Upholstered Footstools, Ottomans and Hassocks

There are some pieces of furniture that are simply workhorses in your room because they can be used in so many different ways. Upholstered Footstools, Ottomans and Hassocks fall into this category. But is there a difference between these three pieces of furniture? The simple answer is — not really. They are all small pieces of furniture whose purpose is to provide a spot to rest your feet. That being said, ottomans tend to be larger and are often used in lieu of a coffee table; a hassock is smaller and rounder and a footstool is usually a bit lower to the ground and smaller in size. Let’s take a look at the various ways these furniture pieces can be put to work.


It is common to find an ottoman used as a coffee table. They can be made into any shape including round, square and rectangular. The legs can be fitted with casters allowing you to move it out of the way or around the room as necessary. Placing a tray on top of the ottoman will provide a spot set a drink glass or to corral all those necessary items such as eyeglasses, books and the ever present remote. The top can be removable, exposing lots of storage space for extra blankets, magazines etc.

This trend of using an ottoman in place of a coffee table will work in any interior. A tufted velvet ottoman with brass casters is lovely in a traditional setting. For a contemporary space, a sleek black leather ottoman on polished chrome legs fits the bill. In a country, eclectic or transitional interior, choose a fabric that coordinates with other fabrics and colours in the room for a coordinated look.


Really just another term for an ottoman, a hassock is generally a bit smaller in size and is often round in shape. These, too could be used as an end table by placing a piece of glass on top. You may consider sliding two hassocks under a console table for use as extra seating when needed. Placing one in front of a fireplace provides a nice spot to warm your toes without taking up too much space. Like ottomans, they can be upholstered in any fabric of your choice.


A footstool’s sole purpose is to provide a spot to rest your weary feet. They sit low to the ground, ranging from 9-12″ in height and 12-15″ deep. They can be placed directly in front of a chair, sitting between two occasional chairs or up against a wall holding books until they are needed. Since they are so small you can upholster them in a fabric that you would not want to use in large volume such as an animal print, a bright colour, a custom needlepoint etc. Have fun with these.

Tassel trim, braid, gimp and nail heads can all be used to embellish your footstool, ottoman or hassock to add a unique look to your home.

For more information about Upholstered Footstools just contact us.

The original version of this article was posted on www.onlinefabricstore.com

8 Useful Pointers For Contract Furniture – Leather Upholstery

There are very good reasons why leather is an enduringly popular choice for contract furniture; it is robust and (usually) gets even more attractive with age. Here are some useful pointers about leather upholstery qualities that we have identified from our experiences:

1. Expect every piece of leather furniture to have unique character

Leather hides are the skin of cows, and as no two cows are exactly the same, no two hides are the same either. The grain (which is the term for the outside of the hide) – will have its own collection of wrinkles, insect bite marks and healed scars & scratches that have been acquired through the animal’s lifetime.

2. More character often means better quality

A hide’s unique characteristics can actually be a pointer of better quality leather upholstery as they demonstrate that the leather has not been overly processed – some poor hides can be sanded to make then appear more unmarked, in the process perhaps also losing some of their character.

3. Leather hides are irregular, so care has to be taken with ordering by the m2.

Because hides are rather irregular in shape, even when the area of the hide is accurately measured, all this area cannot be fully used. This regularly means that not enough leather is ordered – if a chair requires, say, 4sqm of leather, it might seem generous to allow a whole hide of perhaps 5m; but the hide’s irregular shape might mean that not all of this can be used. Hide sizes tend to vary too, averaging around 5 sqm.

4. Leather is supplied in full hides, so small requirements will lead to wastage

It is not possible to order less than a full hide and therefore, costs to make an order requiring only 2sqm of leather (for example) can jump up considerably, as you would still need to pay for the full hide.

5. Leather that has been printed with a repeat pattern will require a lot of leather

A repeat pattern exaggerates the difficulties with the irregular shape of a hide (our point 3 above), limiting an upholsterer’s flexibility. This will mean considerably more needs to be ordered, with concurrent extra waste. Occasionally a design scheme calls for the central ‘ridge’ of a hide to be centralised on a seat; this of course means that each seat requires (at least) a full hide, even if of diminutive proportions.

6. Leather can stretch over time

Unsupported expanses of leather upholstery will stretch if subject to regular use. So, for instance, the top surface of a cushion on a lounge chair will probably slightly expand over time, giving it a slightly baggy appearance. The larger an area of leather, the more noticeable this will be. This is generally perceived to be an endearing characteristic of leather furniture. But we strongly recommend extreme care with leather ‘slung’ furniture (ie leather suspended across a seat), which will eventually stretch too far to be comfortable, unless the leather is well-glued to an un-stretchable backing material.

7. Some leather finishes are more robust than others

Leather is resilient by nature, but raw leather will stain extremely easily. Because of this, leather for contract use is usually coated with both a colouring pigment and a clear protective layer. Both of these processes individually will help protect a leather surface; together they provide significant extra protection.

As a contrast, Aniline leather, which can be superbly soft, undergoes a process that preserves and colours the leather, but does not protect its surface. As a result Aniline leather (or semi-aniline leather, which offers some protection) is not as resilient as pigmented leather.

8. Leather requires maintenance and care

Leather improves with age, but only if it is treated with some respect.

For more information about Contract Furniture and Leather Upholstery just contact us.

The original version of this article was posted on info.thecontractchair.co.uk

Upholstered Furniture – Cushion Interiors


Buying a new sofa, chair or entire suite can be a big investment and is a purchase you will want to last. The choices are vast, so we’re sharing some tips on what makes a quality piece of upholstered furniture to help ensure you get more value from your purchase whether that be from a retailer or via an upholsterer.

Let’s look at the upholstered furniture fillings used inside a cushion. These are generally made from the three Fs – foam, fibre or feathers.

Foam is a popular choice because although it can be firm at first, it softens within a few weeks but maintains the ability to return to its original shape when you get up. In seat cushions, the foam is often wrapped in a wadding (Dacron) to reduce wear. Foam has a more structured shape compared to fibre & feather cushions.

Hill Upholstery & Design recommend Reflex foam, this is a well known superior foam made by Vitafoam, and is known for its instant recovery after use, and because it maintains its shape and resilience for many years.

Fibre and feather cushions are popular because they tend to be a lot softer than foam ones and have a pillowed look, but they do lose their shape easily and need daily plumping to restore them.

Upholstered Furniture Hill Upholstery

Deep buttoned headboard

When it’s well made, a deep buttoned headboard looks stunning and can totally transform a bedroom, giving it the WOW factor you did not know was possible.

At Hill Upholstery & Design, we can reupholster your headboard or create you a new bespoke one to really complement your bedroom.

Take a look at the video below as a client’s deep buttoned headboard is finished off by one of our skilled team.

Contact our team today if you want to find out more about our headboard upholstery and reupholstery work.

London Design Week 2017

London Design Week 2017

This week we took a trip to the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour for London Design Week 2017. The centre is home to over 120 showrooms of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands such as our favourites Sanderson and GP & J Baker amongst others.  A great opportunity for us to be inspired by these key designers showcasing their upholstery fabrics.

A highlight of our trip to the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour was a visit to the Chase Erwin show room, where we watched a demonstration of hand weaving on a Harris table loom.  Listen carefully for Scott grilling the talented weaver on the process.

Pantone Colour Upholstery Projects

Every year, Pantone, a global authority on colour, choose a new colour shade that will influence interior design, fashion and beauty, our upholstery projects and they have just announced their colour of the year 2016.

Today they have announced not one but two new shades that they predict will influence our homes in 2016. We are looking forward to incorporating these colours in our upholstery projects in the new year!

Introducing Serenity & Rose Quartz – colour of the year 2016


Upholstery Projects Colour of the Year
Colour of the Year Upholstery Projects


Pantone says “The pairing of Serenity and Rose Quartz bring a feeling of calm and relaxation into the home environment. Like a serene sunset, Rose Quartz encourages reflection on one’s surroundings while Serenity, a transcendent blue, provides a naturally connected sense of space.”

“An ideal choice for rugs and upholstery, Serenity and Rose Quartz also work well in paint and for decorative accessories. Coupling solid and patterned fabrics, throws, pillows and bedding in these shades provides a comforting respite and feeling of well-being in the home. Incorporating texture enhances the duality and kinship of these hues.”Pantone