Bouclé may be versatile enough to serve as a year-round material in your home, but there's something about the soft, three-dimensional texture that makes it particularly perfect for winter. It's a material that can almost be felt through images. The tactile bumps and tufts of fluff are soft to the touch but visually appealing, too. And anything that evokes warmth—whether visually or literally—is no doubt a perfect decision for rooms during the coldest months.
Seeing that 2022 is welcoming in textured surfaces and curved shapes, bouclé has never been more fitting. Its popularity is surging now, but it's yet another recycled trend that we have the mid-century modern era to thank for.
What Is Bouclé?
The look has caught your attention, but what is bouclé and where did it come from? The fabric's name has French roots, according to material database Knowledge Bank. "Boucler" is a verb meaning "to buckle" or " to curl," which makes plenty of sense once you notice the nubs, loops, and bumps that coat bouclé items.
Eero Saarinen—the designer responsible for that famous Tulip table and chair—developed the Womb chair, too. He covered it in bouclé from architect Florence Knoll and the rest is history. The cozy construction of the Womb chair and the soft, cozy texture of bouclé may also be inspirations for the types of objects that now utilize the fabric. It's the epitome of a trendy, textured fabric, and it's often found on the beloved rounded cloud couches, egg-like chairs, and cushy seats or footrests—all perfect places to curl up during gloomy winter days.
Historically, dramatic textures like this don't always bode well (just think about popcorn ceilings), but bouclé has proven itself time and time again. Though it's trendy, it most likely will be sticking around for quite a while. When rendered in a shade of white or cream, it instantly becomes an easy neutral to work with that brings more pizzazz than linen or cotton, but isn't as risky as something like velvet.
Give Bouclé Furniture a Spin
One of the more common displays of bouclé in recent months is through couches and sofas. It's hard to think of a more impactful splash of bouclé than through the largest foundational pieces of a room. Covering a big ticket item in bouclé instantly gives this bumpy material the spotlight.
Aside from couches, end of bed storage benches, headboards, and even bed frames can be found wrapped in bouclé. These are large pieces take up enough space to really make a statement with the material. If you'd like more time to warm up to the look, accent furniture may be a better place to start.
Test Out an Accent Chair
At the moment, it's not difficult to find foot stools, accent chairs, and ottomans upholstered in bouclé. Though they're staple additions to a room, they're not nearly as large an investment financially or stylistically as a sofa. This gives you the opportunity to simply experiment with the fabric or fully get on board with its fun characteristics.
Bouclé chairs make a punchy addition to empty corners, and ottomans or footrests are great pieces to contrast against smoother finishes, such as a couch upholstered in a flat material, a sleek marble fireplace, or matte wall paint.
Spice Up a Space With Unexpected Bouclé
It's already quite the standout fabric, but to make bouclé shine even more you can test out different colorways and patterns or the area where you choose to decorate with it. Stripes, navy, or heathered gray are unique shades that'll vary from the classic white, cream, and tan bouclé tones that show up on social feeds and in stores.
Once a playful color is selected, why not reconsider where you're using bouclé? On barstools, office chairs, or simply the seat of a chair, are unexpected spots and refreshing twists on where you'd normally assume the fabric would appear.
Bring Bouclé in Through Small Details
You can cut down on the textured drama and maintenance by incorporating bouclé into your home in smaller ways. Pared-down bursts of it are perfect for adding in texture in a minimalist sense. Bouclé can be a tough fabric to maintain in terms of a pristine appearance, so having it in smaller doses may be more manageable.
Throw pillows and blankets may be the first decorative items that come to mind, but there are other creative ways of working bouclé in. Coffee table tops and side tables are available wrapped in the material, as are storage baskets and poufs.
Use Bouclé-Inspired Textiles on the Floor
Bouclé may not be the most floor-friendly fabric, but materials that resemble its fuzzy tactile appearance work wonders as a pop of texture. That cozy feeling it provides won't be lost on an alternate fabric either. Twisted cotton and other woven materials can be found in a similar knotted look and give that fuzzy blur at first glance like bouclé.
For instance, chenille and different woven blends can still look like bouclé, but they're washable options. Rugs and carpets that are simple to shake out and vacuum without snagging may prove more practical.