Buying a new sofa is one of those big life decisions. As one of the most expensive pieces of furniture you are likely to invest in the pressure will be on to get it right. Most sofa’s sold are in a neutral colour like beige, as people sensibly feel they can’t go wrong with beige. You can always throw a jazzy cushion on it right? Wrong! My argument is that if you are about to spend a similar amount of money as a family holiday on a single piece of furniture than you better LOVE IT!
So first up we know that a sofa needs to be comfortable and the right size for your room. I’d always recommend going to the showroom, where possible, to try the sofa out first. When I bought my Lady May sofa, I checked out the styles I liked from the website, rang the Sofa Workshop store in advance to check if they had it on display, and then made a family day out of it. Bouncing around on sofa’s is surprisingly good fun! Everyone had an opinion and the store manager was very patient!
So once your chosen style of sofa has passed the comfort test it’s then onto the fun bit. The colour, pattern and style! This is where you have to work hard to resist the beige and find your soul sofa, the one that makes your heart beat faster. A patterned sofa makes a great statement in the room. I’m not going to tell you how much pattern you can have. It might be the only patterned piece in your scheme and therefore becomes the real focal point, having much more courageous impact than a signature cushion. Or it might be one of many patterned elements that happily jostle next to one another. That’s more how I decorate, as I can never too much colour and pattern, but it’s how they all harmonise that’s the key.
The lynchpin of my living room scheme is this rather fabulous Magnolia chintz fabric by GP&J Baker. I chose the fabric before I’d chosen the shape of the sofa and so it’s a big plus for me that Sofa Workshop will cover their sofas in any suitable fabric of your choice! It’s been a life long dream of mine to own a chintz sofa and big floral prints are being embraced again, so I don’t have to hide my guilty secret! Patterns are a great choice for sofas as they hide a multitude of sins like small marks and stains that may appear over the years. They also look gracious as they age, especially when covered in a hard-wearing linen fabric. A pattern also helps create a feeling of lightness as your eye can pass through the pattern, unlike a heavy sold velvet sofa for example. I wanted this living room to feel light and convivial, and this joyous pattern really achieves that look and feel.
However, the emerald green velvet sofa that was in the shop display was equally delicious and that’s what I love about the Lady may sofa-she looks good in almost anything. Next onto the style and shape of sofa to convey the look you are after. This is a decision I jostled with a lot as I really fancied the idea of pairing a really modern clean lined shaped sofa with this very heritage chintz fabric. I think the juxtaposition would have been fabulous! However, the Lady May is such a classic shape and looks so good from all angles.
Since the layout of my room means the sofa isn’t pushed up against the wall, it was important to go for a shape that looked just as good viewed from the back as viewed from the front. I’m in love with the sweeping arms and curvaceous back cushions. The whole shape is both generous and graceful. I also love the way the sofa is raised up on turned legs, again helping the overall look feel and appear light and not too clumpy in the room. With the Lady May centre stage, I can then have fun updating the look by accessorising with more contemporary cushions and a statement rug. The key to keeping florals look up to date is to mix them with strong geometric prints. I really enjoy the playfulness that mixing different patterns and colours bring to a room and knowing that there can be no living room out there anything like mine. Finding your own authentic style is at the core of creating a happy home so it’s really important to invest the time to discover what makes you tick. Only then are you on the road to creating a home you love and you can feel proud of. And no one really gets that excited over a beige sofa, do they?!
This blog post was part of a paid partnership with Sofa Workshop.