It’s time to give your sofa the TLC it needs
I can’t possibly be alone in feeling as though my sofa is becoming the centre of my universe. It’s where I check my work emails first thing in the morning with a coffee and it’s the place to which I return after my lunchtime excursion. It’s all I see from my dining table-come-desk, and it’s where I spend my entire evening dropping in and out of shock-factor Netflix docu-series and escapist fiction.
Our sofas have never been more crucial to our lives and living rooms; they are portals through which we can transport to other lands, cocooning refuges from this warped continuum of news broadcasts and supermarket queues. It’s time we gave our sofa credit for the hard work it does; for its loyalty, its shelter and its comforting presence.
This week, I spoke to six interiors influencers about how best to give your sofa the lift it needs in these sofa-centric times. From sourcing quirky cushions to embracing the lived-in look, here is how to give your sofa the TLC it needs now.
Sophie Robinson is a British interior stylist, designer and co-host of The Great Outdoors podcast with Kate Watson Smyth. She believes in the power of the cushion to give your sofa the ultimate easy upgrade, as she demonstrates on her chintz Sofa Workshop sofa with colourful, clashing scatter cushions.
“Switch your scatter cushions up for a new look. I look to change them up depending on the season,” Robinson says.
“When it comes to plumping scatter cushions, I’m not a fan of the infamous ‘chop’. It looks too contrived to me. I just give my scatter cushions a good shake and let them fall in a relaxed manner, never positioning them on their point. That just looks ridiculous!
Bianca Hall is a London-based interiors blogger with a modern-luxe look, always looking at new and exciting ways to update her Victorian home. She is another advocate for getting experimental with cushions, and with her Loaf corner sofa, demonstrates the way you can update a neutral sofa with splashes of pattern and colour.
“You can really have fun with cushions, so throw out the rule book and do whatever makes you happy. Changing your cushions can change the whole feel of the room,” she says. “You could opt for fewer in a limited colour palette for a more formal look, or go to town with lots of cushions in a mishmash of colours and patterns for a more relaxed and fun look. I’m currently looking out for cushions in different shapes. Circles, balls, pyramids, anything goes!”
Louise Roe is an English fashion journalist, model and TV presenter who believes bold is always beautiful when it comes to sofas, and the lived-in look should be celebrated. Her sofa is from Sofa Workshop and combines on-trend velvets with Pantone’s colour of the year, Classic Blue, for a modern classical feel.
“Be aware that velvet will change its appearance over time,” Roe explains. “I had always wanted a plush, soft velvet sofa to sink into, but I did my research about found that certain velvets can fade somewhat in the light and feel lived in from frequent sitting. I love that! To me, home and sofas, in particular, look best when they’re lived-in and loved.”
Zeena Shah is an art director, printmaker and designer based in London with an Insta-famous sofa from Made.com. She believes accessorising and choosing the right pieces over time will result in your perfect sofa. Of course, she also believes a strong colour theme is crucial to the finished look.
“Start small and build over time. You don’t need to solve your sofa styling woes all at once,” says Shah. “I always recommend you buy a couple of cushions first and perhaps add a throw and then build from there. Do some research and source your pieces carefully.
Medina Grillo is an interiors blogger and healthcare professional with a passion for colour and DIY. With her daring mustard velvet couch from Sofa Workshop, she shows that having a great sofa to start with is just as important as the accessories that you choose to make it pop.
“Styling your sofa with the right kinds of accessories and furniture is the most important part of creating a cohesive look. This can be anything from a coffee table to an ottoman, or even a side table,” explains Grillo.
Ruth Crilly, a fashion model, entrepreneur, writer and blogger, found herself kitting out a Georgian house in Somerset after living in London for over a decade.
“Don’t feel as though you have to accessorise your sofa with a million throws and scatter cushions,” Crilly says. “Admittedly, on any one day I have about eighty chucked on the top of mine because the kids like to make dens, but if you have a handsome sofa with beautiful detailing, such as piping or buttoning, then don’t be afraid to just let that speak for itself.”