What are Soft Furnishings and Why Do You Need Them?

Soft furnishings; it’s a term that you’ve probably heard time and time again but never really questioned it. You know the vague definition and that’s enough right? Can you explain what it means in one succinct sentence? No? Well, you should read on then good sir.

If you’re here, then you must have some interest in interior design, so a vague knowledge of key terms ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH… Or, if you’d like to smugly use the term knowingly around your friends, that’s also a good enough reason to learn more about the term.

What does Soft Furnishings Mean?

AFH - Soft Furnishings - Pink Bedroom (1)

Logic would lead us to believe that soft furnishings are simply, furnishings that are soft. And as it goes, the theory isn’t far from the truth.

The Britannica defines the term as:
“Household textiles, frequently referred to as soft furnishings, are fabrics used in the home.” So, that seems pretty straightforward.

The A Fancy Home dictionary defines the term as:
“Anything that doesn’t hurt when you bash a toe or hip on.”

The term originated with the increasing use of the soft material as part of interiors that are used to add beauty and add comfort to daily life.

So…. What is a Soft Furnishing?

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Well, in layman’s terms, a soft furnishing is any component of your home that is made from fabric or soft material. So, really, a soft furnishing could be many things.

One distinction to make here is that soft furnishings aren’t necessarily decorative either. A mattress, duvet, pillows, curtains and bathroom towels would all come under the umbrella term.

BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEY CAN’T BE EITHER. Blankets, rugs, throw cushions and table runners would all, also, be categorised as a soft furnishing.

Why Do We Like Them So Much?

Like everything, there are multiple reasons to explain why we love soft furnishings so much; it’s both psychological and literal.


The home is a place where we can rest and be ourselves. Relaxing on a soft sofa or sleeping on a deeply cushioned bed is not only a lot easier and more enjoyable but actually results in a better quality of sleep and rest.

So, from a literal perspective, after a long day, working coming home to a soft seat is far more attractive prospect than a wooden stall or stiff chair.


From a psychological perspective, humans are programmed to relate soft textures to soft natures. This feeds all the way back to infancy and the psychology between mothers and babies. Cosying up in fluffy blankets in the colder months or stroking cute pets creates a sense of security and comfort – that’s why we love it so much.

Interior Design

Not only does it offer a different texture to contrast against harder materials (brick, stone, wood) but the logistics of soft furnishings are a necessity. It’d be impossible to cover a sofa in anything other than fabric. Likewise, I don’t imagine a solid towel replacement would be a very pleasant experience.

The Conclusion:

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Soft furnishings are exactly what you thought they were and they’re not only pleasant to touch but are actually good for the Feng shui of your home. What are we taking from this? You should immediately go to our offers page and invest in more. Go, now!

How to Include Soft Furnishings in Your Home

Have you just moved into a new home? Are the floors made from wood and are the windows covered by blinds? Often, new homes, especially those in a usual environment (any kind of conversion) or lacking carpet, can feel a little clinical and unhomely. If you don’t like clutter or the interior design theme that you’re aiming to achieve doesn’t allow a surplus of personal artefacts covering every surface (minimalist for example),


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