I’m having a new wedge-shaped sectional built for my Mahalo Lounge. I need to choose the upholstery fabric. It needs to play nice with my 60 yards of barkcloth pinch pleats — and I’m planning a leopard print rug underneath. What color to choose? I started my hunt by looking for a burnt orange — or coral orange — or a red orange — or even a rust — that would pick up on the blossoms in the drapery pattern. I online-shopped and ordered ’til my eyes about bugged out. Above: All 49 oranges, laid out by manufacturer. Let’s take a look at the seven finalists >>
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Midcentury modern upholstery fabrics in orange from Knoll:
Above: Knoll Rivington designd by Dorothy Cosonas in Paprika.
Before I started my upholstery hunt, I had no idea it was so easy to order upholstery samples from major manufacturers. Knoll is a big name — they have gorgeous fabrics — at a surprising number of price points, both high and low — and they make it super easy to order samples.
The Knoll Rivington in Paprika is a strong contender. The color really seems to change in the light.
Above: See how the fabric looks on these vintage Thonet chairs reupholstered by Modern Chair Restoration— oh my! Thanks for the permission to show your photo, MCR!
As I said, Knoll was fantastic about sending samples — nice big pieces, and they came within a day or two. Following are photo of all the orange(ish) Knoll fabrics I ordered to give a try. I was super impressed:
Midcentury modern upholstery fabrics from Maharam:
Above: Maharam Teatro in Heat — it’s a yummy velvet..,
And above: Maharam’s Outback by Kvadrat 466061 in Color 641. But: It’s not really a contender, because it’s way too lipstick red in real life. But oh my goodness, I adore this fabric, so I had to show it! It’s sort of more loosely woven than a boucle, with a wee bit of gray threads in it that give it just that little extra something in dimension. Comes in a bunch of rich colors. I so wish I had a place to put this — hmmm, maybe I need to make a coat out of it!
Midcentury modern upholstery fabrics from Designtex:
Above: Designtex is a company that I learned about from ModernFabrics.com, which often has remnants, including in substantial yardage. For this project, I found three samples on the Designtex website that are finalists. Designtex was also very easy to order from.
Above: Designtex Adler — my sample is Tomato – a great looking- and feeling fabric — a wonderful boucle-type weave and lots of great mid mod color colors.
Above: Designtex Hint in Carrot — a soft chenille with 100,000 Wyzenbeeks, so seems like it would last forever. Lots more color-colors in this line, too.
Above: Designtex Bark Cloth — in Red Orange — designed by West Elm. 100,000 Wyzenbeeks, some more great colors.
Midcentury modern upholstery fabrics from Kovi:
Above: Kovi K5605, a nice woven with coral, orange and persimmon-colored threads made my list of finalists.
Above: Other Kovi orange upholstery samples that I ordered.
But: Maybe I should go green?!
Ack. After thinking I MUST go orange… and ordering all these samples, I then got the idea that a large orange sectional might present too much of a contrast — rather than act as a secondary complement — to the many many linear feet of green-dominant pinch pleats in the two rooms. So then, I began ordering greens. Story to come.
What do you think of these oranges, for a 101″ x 101″ sectional?
If I choose orange upholstery — which one?
Initial thoughts on orange v. green?
- Follow all my stories on the design of my Mahalo Lounge here.