Last edited 04 Apr 2021


Furnishings, sometimes referred to as soft furnishings or upholstery, are components that incorporate soft material and help create a pleasant and comfortable environment, and complement the furniture and fittings inside buildings. Furnishings can be made of fabric, chenille, velvet, silk, fur, faux-fur, cloth, foam, rubber, and so on.

Common types of furnishings include:

  • Curtains.
  • Cushions.
  • Bedding and mattresses.
  • Wall hangings and tapestries.
  • Rugs.
  • Chair coverings.
  • Sofas.
  • Bean bags.
  • Carpets.
  • Doormats.
  • Window Coverings.

Furnishings should be carefully selected and designed to enhance the quality of a room, often adding colour, texture and elegance to furniture. The soft material of some furnishings can also enhance the energy efficiency of a room by retaining heat and keeping it warm. They may also improve the sound insulation properties as soft materials absorb sound waves more effectively than hard surfaces which reflect sound back into the space and can result in echoes (or a longer reverberation time).

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations define requirements for the fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. These Regulations are enforced by Trading Standards.

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