Skirt and Base styles are one of the first things that we notice about upholstered furniture and can immediately influence our impression of a chair or sofa. Along with the back and arm style, the skirt and base style reinforces the design style of a particular piece. In reviewing the different upholstery skirt and base treatments, you will become familiar with the different styles and how they can affect the overall design of your space.










Kick Pleat

The Kick Pleat is one of the most common types of skirt treatments used in upholstered furniture. The simple design of the Kick Pleat accommodates both formal and casual settings. The Marisa Chair by Bernhardt Furniture (Below) demonstrates a beautiful example of a Kick Pleat treatment. 



Closed Box Pleat

The Closed Box Pleat features a crisp and squared off design that is formal in appearance. A tight, fence-like appearance is formed by the touching pleats. The Closed Box Pleat is an elegant and formal treatment that will lend a classic appeal to any space. The Lilley Vanity Stool by Vanguard Furniture (Left) features a Closed Box Pleat treatment. The sofa below displays a beautiful Closed Box Pleat. 



Open Box Pleat 

The Open Box Pleat adds depth and texture to the design of the piece due to the distance between the pleats. This treatment is angular and formal in appearance. Similar to the Closed Box Pleat, there is simply more space between each pleat. 






The Shirred skirt gives a ruffled look which can be used on sofas and chairs as well as beds and bedroom pieces. This style is well suited for casual or country style settings. The beautiful French Country bedroom (Left) features a bed with a gorgeous Shirred skirt. 




Shirred Corner

The Shirred Corner or Gathered Flair Corner features tightly tailored pleats except for the shirred corners. This style is casual and soft but less textured then full Shirred skirts. 










The Princess is characterized by its shirred corners and features a kick pleat along the front and side rails. This is an elegant base treatment that adds a touch of texture and sophistication to an upholstered piece. The V470 Sofa and Chair by Vanguard Furniture (Below) features a beautiful Princess treatment.



Fringe treatments are characterized by the use fringe along the base of the piece rather than fabric. Fringe lends a unique style and texture to upholstered furniture. The Fireside Sofa by Henredon (Below) displays a beautiful Fringed base.


Plinth base sofas and chairs feature a full base rather than separate legs. This style is typically found on contemporary sofas and chairs. The Mullholland Sofa by Vanguard Furniture (Below) features a gorgeous plinth base.


Exposed Wood Leg

The Exposed Wood Leg can have either long, carved legs or subtle pad feet. This is a classic traditional style that adds elegance to an upholstered piece. The Kingston Wing Chair by Bernhardt Furniture (Below) features beautiful Exposed Wood Legs. 

Additional Styles

There are several more styles that are less commonly seen than the previously mentioned treatments but that are still beautiful options for your home...

The Petal treatment features curved edges that are used on chairs, sofas and other large upholstered items. The Petal treatment is a simple and subtle way to add formality and style to a piece. 

The Scalloped treatments features decorative, curved kick pleats that add an ornate touch to even the simplest of upholstered pieces. This treatment gives a piece a sence of grace and formality. 

The Overlapping skirt features a repeating pattern that moves the eye along the base of the upholstered piece. This treatment can also be used in a larger scale on sofa backs for a decorative finish. The Overlapping skirt will give a piece a classic appeal. 

The Upholstered Leg style features legs that are visible and covered in fabric or leather. This style is popular in contemporary upholstery.