We have inherited a Duncan Phyfe sofa similar to the one pictured.
My mother would like to keep this sofa in the family and has offered to help pay to have it reupholstered (it is threadbare in some places, so keeping the existing upholstery is not an option.)
While we like the idea of preserving what is otherwise a solid piece of furniture, and we are excited by the prospect of updating it with a more modern fabric, we are a bit at a loss as to how far to go...
We initially looked at some distinctly modern fabric choices, including Marimekko. However, I am concerned that if we create too much contrast between the style of the sofa and the fabric we will draw more attention to it than we want.
It will be the largest element in the room no matter what we do, so I want to make sure that we don't make it too hard to maintain balance . With that in mind, I am now thinking that we should choose a more subdued, but not traditional, fabric, and then create contrast in the room as a whole.
I should mention that we just moved into our new place and, after years of renting, are looking forward to painting, choosing other fabrics, and starting to replace some of our (other) hand-me-down and student furnishings.
So the setting for the sofa is essentially a blank slate. I would welcome insight from your readers, both with respect to the strategic considerations of placing such a historical piece in a modern or contemporary setting, as well as any specific fabric recommendations.