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Design Trends – Channel Tufting

We talk about tufting rather a lot on this blog (because we adore it), but channel tufting is one of our new obsessions.

Aesthetically associated with the Hollywood of the 1920s and enjoying a resurgence in the 1970s, channel tufting never really went anywhere.  It went undercover, in terms of home design.  But cast your eye about any public interior of distinction, like a high-end hotel and chances are you’ll run across it.

channel tufting sofa

Channel tufting creates an aura of glamor and opulence.  It’s arguably more comfortable to sit on, too, as it doesn’t employ buttons.  Running either horizontally or vertically, channels of fabric are created then filled with stuffing or foam.

Let’s explore one of the moment’s most compelling furniture design trends – channel tufting – and see how it can work in a variety of rooms in your home.

Opulent Practicality

We’ve all witnessed wall treatment trends like the recent renaissance of wallpaper and fabric wall coverings, as well as high gloss, lacquered walls.

But channel tufting on walls adds a distinct air of opulence that goes just a little over the top, delivering a plush finish that gets noticed.

Vertical tufting has the effect of making the ceiling seem higher, while horizontal channels add width.  Another advantage of channel tufted walls is the insulation they provided, as well as sound-proofing.

So, they’re not just gorgeous.  They’re practical!

Extra Plush In Bed

Creating a channel tufted headboard creates another level of plush for your bed.  This is the place you want to be most at ease, luxuriating, as you unwind.

Channel tufting is best employed for this purpose by either running horizontally, along the length of the entire wall the bed is against, or vertically to the ceiling, at the width of the bed.

Both headboard configurations add dimension, texture and comfort to your room.  Use a light-colored fabric to emphasis the tufting or go dramatic with an eye-popping primary color against a neutral wall.

channel tufting bed


Channel tufting lends itself beautifully to seating and is probably most familiar to us in the form of a sofa.  This trend is so redolent of the sleek Art Deco stylings of the 1920s that it brings with it a sophistication to complement any living area.

Fabrics that work well with channel tufted seating include rich velvet.  The tactility of this fabric enhances the dimensional aspect of channel tufting, making it even richer.

Or try a Maximalist approach with a bold, printed fabric in a riotous floral.  When placed in a room with solid-colored pieces which echo the fabric you’ve chosen, you’ve created another dimension for your channel-tufted sofa by adding pattern and color – truly a Maximalist triumph!

At Michelangelo, we welcome the return of channel tufting to the world of furniture and home décor.  As we said at the beginning, tufting is our thing, but channel tufting is a level of luxe that comes with built in practically and comfort.  In short, we’re fans.

Professionals in the Trade are invited to schedule an appointment with Michelangelo Designs.

Come discover the cure for the common!