What is a Skirt?

A skirt is a fabric panel attached to furniture, typically found on upholstered items such as sofas and armchairs.


In the context of interior design, a skirt refers to a length of fabric that is attached to the lower edge of a piece of furniture, most often upholstered ones like sofas, armchairs, and ottomans. The purpose of a skirt is to conceal the furniture’s legs or base, offering a seamless look that can enhance the overall aesthetics of a room. Depending on the design, skirts can be tightly tailored for a clean, sophisticated appearance or made loose for a more casual, relaxed vibe.

Skirts can vary greatly in style, from straight and simple to pleated or ruffled, adapting to various interior design styles ranging from traditional to modern. The choice of fabric and the design of the skirt itself can significantly affect the item's final look and feel, making it a versatile design element. Additionally, skirts can also serve a practical purpose by hiding unsightly features or wear and tear on the furniture's legs.


In a traditional living room, a skirted sofa might be paired with a classic wingback chair, also featuring a skirt, to create a cohesive, elegant aesthetic. In a more contemporary setting, a sleek, straight-skirted ottoman could be utilized as both a functional and decorative element, aligning with a minimalist design approach.


  • Can skirts be added to any piece of furniture?

    While skirts are most commonly found on upholstered furniture, they can technically be added to any piece if it suits the design and structure. However, the feasibility and aesthetic appeal depend on the specific furniture piece and design intention.

  • Are skirts removable?

    In some cases, skirts on furniture are designed to be removable for cleaning or style changes. However, in many instances, the skirt is an integral part of the furniture's upholstery, making it non-removable.

  • How do skirts affect the maintenance and cleaning of furniture?

    Skirts can make cleaning under furniture more challenging, as they may hide the legs or base that would otherwise be accessible. However, removable skirts can be taken off for easier cleaning.

Practical Application

When selecting a skirted piece of furniture, consider the overall design theme of the room. A well-chosen skirt can complement your design aesthetic, whether you’re aiming for a sleek and modern look or a more traditional vibe. For practicality, if you're concerned about ease of cleaning, look for furniture with removable skirts or opt for a design that allows easy access to the space beneath.