Without a doubt, Christmas has always been the time of the year that our home sees an influx of guests, both friends and family. It is lit up beautifully with festive lights and candles, mulled wine and mince pies fill the air with the smell of sweet spices and we're all generally filling uplift. With everyone's eyes on your home decor, how do you make sure it's impactful and makes a lasting impression?
Your furniture choices are at the heart of your design scheme and can influence many of your other decisions on decorations, accessories, even the style of your tree.
If your room has an awkward shape, the door is in the wrong place to make standard furniture work or you need to consider existing large or antique/ vintage pieces, then have your furniture made bespoke, in both size and colour. This will ensure that your scheme is consistent throughout and that all space is used efficiently.
Bespoke furniture may take longer to prepare and deliver and may invariably cost more, but in the long run will pay for itself provided you choose your supplier carefully. Make sure you give correct measurements and always, ALWAYS, check that your new furniture can fit through narrow doors before placing an order!
Charming and luxurious, the glamorous Oscar range from the Sofa & Chair Company (above) includes a loveseat, chair and bar stool; all designed to make an impact. Chic curves and a deep buttoned back are the hallmarks of these pieces, with an optional swivel plinth and sumptuous layers of padding as standard.
This indigo crushed velvet love seat is our favourite and can work with black, silver or gold accents. Because of its shape, it can fit in unused corners to create a reading nook.
In the dining room you can use banquette style seating as a popular alternative to the traditional table and chairs combo. These can also fit in odd spaces and help you maximise the number of people seated, without the clutter of chairs.
Use the right fabrics
Velvet will always be the king of fabrics because it takes decor to a higher level of sumptuousness. But while it used to be considered old-fashioned or too formal by a younger generation (baby boomers and young professionals), it is currently seeing a massive revival thanks to its consistent use across boutique hotels and restaurants, something that people of all ages want to replicate at home.
There are several grades and types of velvet. Always order swatches and create mood boards on Pinterest before ordering furniture. One of our favourite looks using crushed velvet is the New Feminine at the Sofa and Chair Company for its pastel shades.
Photos: The Sofa and Chair Company, Photos: Alessandro de Besi
Jewel like colours are popular at the moment and also work well on velvet fabrics. Here you have the option of mixing things up: use your main piece in a not-so-loud colour and then add smaller accessories (accent cushions or art) in contrasting colours for impact. For your sofa, the main colours that are trending are green and blue!
Blue can be dramatic as well as overpowering, so avoid mixing it with equally bold wallpaper - instead keep your walls neutral for a contemporary look (we love Dulux's Egyptian Cotton).
Always have one statement piece in the room
This could be your sofa, an occasional chair or the artwork on your wall. It is meant to draw attention to it, and this can be achieved through colour or design. With a Monroe chair in deep red, you probably tick off both colour and shape (as well as comfort!).
When choosing a statement colour make sure that there are a few more accent pieces in the room to create a flow: artwork, book spines or small table accessories in the same colour. Keep other accessories like table lamps and cushions in a neutral colour.
Ground your scheme with a rug
You may well have spent a fortune on your new wooden floors and want to show them off but, even where you have underfloor heating, an area rug should be used to keep your feet warm and to create zones in the room. Sofa and chair front feet should always be on the rug if it is not big enough to cover the entire room (an easy way to bring everything together.
Photos: The Sofa and Chair Company, Photo: Alessandro de Besi
Add statement lights
Sometimes, all your room needs is one statement light, especially over a dining table. Hang it low for impact. Brass continues to be big, but do give some thought to colour if your room is generally neutral.
You should also have multiple sources of light, especially in the living room. This will help you create ambience in the evening; reduce lighting for a snug, inviting feeling.
Infuse the room with your personality
We always say: don't try to create a showroom look at home. For your guests to enjoy the space as much as you should, make sure that your personality is showing through. Accessorise the coffee table with little trinket trays and candles and try to create little vignettes around the room: collections of products that tell a story (not necessarily new: these could be vintage things you have collected over time.
How to style your coffee table? Use a tray to keep random things together: a small vase (with flowers), ornaments, a candle. Place a couple coffee table books on top of one another (lately we are obsessed with Hotel Chic at Home: Design Inspiration from the World's Most Inviting Inns) and arrange a small ornament over them.
Hogarth House, Living Room, The Sofa & Chair Company, Photos: Alessandro de Besi
If you don't already know, The Sofa & Chair is the UK’s leading manufacturer of luxury sofas and bespoke furniture for both commercial and retail application. All of their luxury furniture is handcrafted using kiln-dried hardwood timbers.
With solid beech wood frames guaranteed for 15 years, they are dedicated to true British craftsmanship, and they pride themselves on having only the finest manufacturing practices, authentic materials and a steadfast commitment to quality. A firm favourite with interior designers who expect the highest standards and private clients alike!
Photography credits: Alessandro de Besi