Falling for a pattern is easy. The rude awakening comes when you discover how many yards are needed to cover your beloved wing chair. Before making a purchase it's imperative to consult the upholsterer who will actually work on your piece, but I find Calico Corners' online guide helpful. A wide array of classic furniture styles are included. And as a preliminary step, it gives me a sense of what my upholsterer will probably say. For example, 11 yards are most likely needed to cover a chair like this in a large-scale pattern with a repeat greater than 13 inches. The estimate for a solid fabric is 8 yards.
Design above, Betsy Burnham. Photography, Barbara Davidson for Los Angeles Times.