A new sofa is a major investment, both financially and in terms of the impact it makes on your space. Get it wrong and you will be uncomfortable and/or aesthetically challenged for years to come. But get it right and comfort and joy await.
Here are some questions to consider before you buy:
1. How to do you plan to use your sofa?
A sofa is for sitting on of course but how do you sit?
If you’re snuggler, fond of tucking your legs beneath you then you will need a good deep seat – look for a piece with a depth of 80cm or more.
However, if you want to create an entertaining space, go for something shallower and combine with a few occasional chairs. If you like to stretch out, make sure there’s room – you need to measure between the arms.
Corner sofas are a good choice for families. And talking of families, leather is a great upholstery solution because it improves with age and can be wiped clean. Remember though, leather doesn’t like heat so you should leave at least a foot between the back of the sofa and a radiator.
For serious followers of interior fashion, the first weeks of the new year are all about trend spotting: what’s coming in, what’s going out and what shape, colour or material can no home be without? Some of you may relish the idea of going out onto the high street to find out for yourselves, but if not, here is my round up of coming season’s hottest looks.
1. Grey is the New White
Grey has been a major winter trend for several seasons, but now it’s set to take over from white as spring/summer’s most important neutral. This is good news – grey is a wonderfully nuanced colour that suits the cool, British light and it works with everything.
Moving into a new house is stressful (all that packing, boxes and removal vans…) – but it can also be therapeutic. With a blank canvas to work from, not only is it a great chance to create the look you really want, you can also de-clutter and edit out the stuff you don’t need at the same time. So how do you go about sorting out the decor when faced with an empty room?
First, decide where everything goes. You can do this by pushing furniture around or you can hit the internet and choose one of the many floor plan programs that exist. These allow you to create your room online and then virtually move your things so you can see what fits and what doesn’t – Room Sketcher is free and includes ready made templates, or the option to design your room from scratch.
An example room plan from Room Sketcher
A messy bedroom is never going to feel tranquil or a place for a good night’s sleep, so if yours looks like it belongs to a teenager, it’s definitely time to whip it into shape! Invest in some storage and your room – and your life! – will be transformed.
Let’s start with clothes. It may sound obvious, but choose a wardrobe that’s large enough to hold everything you need it to. Go for maximum hanging space, plus room below for shoes (unless you’re like Sex and the City’s Carrie – if you are, then see below!) If you like a clean look opt for a wardrobe with sliding doors such as one from Dwell’s Malone and Loft collections. Sliding doors are also a good choice for a small bedroom.
Want to win a wardrobe from our Loft range?
Simply tell us your top #dwellmoment of 2015 to be in for a chance of winning!
We’ve extended this competition until the 11th February, so be quick and enter via this link.
Sometimes you can walk into a house and want to kick off your heels and sink into the sofa; other times, despite a high-design look, a house feels cold and rather dull. So how do you make sure your home is warm and welcoming, and makes you feel good? It’s often the little things that do it – clever touches that bring life and a personal touch, so here are eight easy ways to making your house a home…
Pile on the cushions:
Mix plain with patterned, smooth with textured for a personality-plus mix, but stick to the same set of colours so it all works together. Don’t stint on numbers either, with just one or two on either side – cushion-up the entire sofa. Start from the outside, placing two matching cushions by each armrest, then work your way inwards in pairs, finishing with one contrasting cushion in the middle. Take the combination of our dark grey button cushion, purple butterfly cushion and the blue stripe art attack cushion as a starting point.
Feeling uninspired and unmotivated? Need something to kick-start yourself into a productive new year? How about giving your home office a quick update – cheaply, of course! Here are five ways to pep up your working space and get the creative juices flowing again. And they’re all under £50!
1. Give yourself a daily dose of inspiration with Dwell’s Trigon bulletin board. Hang it on the wall in front of your desk and pin on images that you find inspiring or thought-provoking. Or, of course, you could simply use it to get more organised!
The bedroom is all about comfort and relaxation – so how do you make the sleeker lines of minimalism work in this space? The trick is to soften the look so your bedroom feels modern but also warm and welcoming. Here’s how…
An elegant low-slung bed, such as the Kingsley padded bed, instantly gives a bedroom a contemporary feel. It’s streamlined enough for a minimalist feel but the padded headboard adds a luxurious touch.
Mixing old and new furniture and accessories has been a big interiors trend for some time now – and with good reason. Popping a vintage or vintage-look piece into a room is a sure-fire way of giving a space style and character. An all modern room can look super-stylish but sometimes the combination of furniture that shares a similar design aesthetic can result in a space that feels a little dull. That’s where vintage comes in – an old-style piece adds an interesting contrast and shakes things up a bit.
An easy way to mix old and new is to team a modern dining table with design-classic chairs such as the Eiffel chair – the blend of sleek modern with softer mid-century style creates a chic eating space.
Table new for Spring 2016 (coming soon)
The idea of masculine and feminine style sounds like gender stereotyping (and tbh, it is!), but it’s also interior design shorthand for defining the difference between a more pared down aesthetic and one that is softer and prettier – and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to be a man to like it!
So what exactly is masculine design? Ditch the clichés of messy man caves and monster TVs, it is actually a much more sophisticated and stylish look.
The colours are rich and deep, such as charcoal greys, dark moody blues and greens, and chocolate browns. Walls are usually plain rather than patterned with wallpaper, or if there is pattern, it’s subtle with texture or stripes rather than florals or foliage. Exposed brickwork, left as it is, or painted also features.
Glossy homes magazines may be filled with pictures of bathrooms the size of sitting rooms, but for most of us, the issue is not where to put the armchair, but how on earth we will find space for a laundry bin. (Answer: don’t, instead give each member of the family a laundry bag to keep in their bedroom. This saves space and means everyone can take their own washing to the machine). However, with a bit of clever planning, boutique bathrooms can be both efficient and stylish. Here are some ideas:
Use the Walls
Keeping the floor clear will create more space, both literally and visually. Wall-mounted cupboards keep clutter out of sight and if they come with glossy or mirrored fronts, they will reflect the light too. Go for a rotating number if space is particularly tight.