A subtle contrast, rope piping in same color as background of fabric.
A colorful contrast.
I like to play with color and texture a lot in my work. One way of adding interest to a custom piece is to use a contrasting piping, it is a good way of adding an accent color or texture without committing to the color on the whole piece. It can either be done subtly by keeping the color the same and changing the texture, as in the ottoman photo above, or you can go for a more colorful contrast as in the sofas pictured above.
I let the style of the room dictate what kind of contrast I am going to do. The room that the ottoman was placed in was fairly neutral. We had a mix of patterns and textures, but they all had the same background colors so the look was elegant and neutral. I loved the little ottomans, we got 3 that are moved around between 2 rooms, I loved the fabric and thought the silk rope would be a nice compliment to the fabric and design of the ottoman. The silk rope gives the ottoman more dimension and defines its shape.
The sofas, pictured above, were used in a lower level walk out. We used a little more color down there than in the rest of the house. The tv built in wall and the kitchenette were painted a rusty red, so we brought some of that into the furniture by adding a raspberry velvet colored piping to the herringbone fabric of the sofa. We further accented that contrast with pillows in the same raspberry velvet and a silk plaid with a fringe detail. I like the contrast of the more masculine menswear herringbone of the sofa fabric with the feminine raspberry velvet piping detail. It adds a little femininity without being girly.
When selecting fabric for furniture or pillows, think about adding contrasting piping. It can be a fun way to add a little spark to the piece without committing to too much color.