AD – This post is a paid partnership with DFS
Is it just me that loves the squidge of a brand new sofa?! There’s something about the fact that a cat hasn’t tried to scratch it yet, a child hasn’t smeared jam fingers on it yet (if you know, you know!) that’s very alluring.
But choosing a sofa can also be a painstaking task, not least because it’s one of the heftier investments in terms of cost, but also in terms of the space it takes up. Within your living room I would hazard that the sofa(s) takes up the main space-real-estate of the room. So, what you choose needs to work within the look of the current space and fit your style well enough not to date.
For this reason sofas feel like one of the bigger decorating decisions. According to DFS, people buy a new sofa on average every seven years. I’m not sure how often people repaint their rooms on average (presumably not as often as interiors bloggers so let’s guess it’s the same seven years). But even if a new sofa does mean a fresh coat of paint (don’t worry, it didn’t in ours, I don’t change colours quite annually!) it is likely that other elements in the room will change and evolve in the time inbetween.
For this reason we tend to choose safe colours and fabrics for big ticket items like this, better to choose a safe bet, a clear backdrop for other design decisions to flow around, or do the thinking goes. However, what is considered safe is changing. Sales of velvet are up threefold at DFS with sales last year alone 355% higher, so those deep blue and green velvet pieces we’ve seen so much of over the last few years are becoming the new classic. And it’s easy to see how, those jewel tones of velvet are actually pretty versatile, a navy velvet sofa being just at home in a decadent and dark opulent space as within a white-walled Scandi minimalist one, and unlike patterned sofas these block colours won’t date as trends evolve.
We are all a bit more eclectic these days, less likely to buy the traditional three piece suite – we have never in our 12 years of owning our own home had a matching set. Now, let’s be honest, DFS may be a company that you commonly think of the leather three piece suite on offer coming from. But times are changing, and DFS have been undergoing a brand makeover over the last few years, their sales of velvet alone attest to this. They have expanded their design portfolio, bringing in new brands for collaboration, opening stores like the new one I visited in Westfield which serves as an edited inspiration space with sets that showcase not only the sofas but the environments they may sit in too. I had a few favourites I wanted to look at further when visiting DFS, and a lot of them were said collaboration pieces.
I really like the ranges DFS have collaborated on with Joules, Sofa Workshop and House Beautiful, but the winning range for me is the collaboration with French Connection. French Connection have been producing a small range of homewares to compliment their fashion offering for the last decade and it has garnered a bit of a cult following amongst interiors aficionados. All of the pieces designed for DFS carry the French Connection signature look that produced across their solo homewares collection and you can imagine each piece working perfectly within the French Connection home look.
With almost no deliberation we chose the Hoxton sofa in mink, a stylised piece with vintage notes from the French Connection range. I chose it because I was really impressed with the relaxed simplicity of its looks. We may not have chosen a deep velvet number, but the Hoxton is anything but pedestrian in the style stakes. There is something a little sixties about this piece, it echoes vintage Eames sofas but with very modern footnotes to style – I just love the tan leather strapping on the side cushions. This design doesn’t have the high street look it’s price implies, its a really well considered piece, hitting just the right notes of simplicity and function whilst being informed by the past but more interesting than a replica copy.
All DFS sofas come with a 15 year guarantee on their frames so you are assured of a good quality item that will last. They are also the only sofa company in the UK to hold the British Kitemark for quality upholstered furniture. Every DFS sofa is handmade to order, many in one of DFS’ three upholstery factories here in the UK.
Alongside a design that sings to you, DFS recommend that you consider practicality, do you love the look of an elegant chesterfield but are more likely to sit lounging in front of Netflix for hours than serving high tea in the drawing room? Our living room is a family room so I have chosen a design that suits our laid back style in here. I was in line with our previous sofa, a very sexy mid-century number, but if I’m being honest it wasn’t the most practical choice for a family room (I was forever berating the savages of my household for sitting on it incase they should cause harm!). The wood of the frame echoes the exposed floorboards in here, the media unit and the coffee table (both of which use tessellated wood at the core of their design) and so flows really well with the other elements of the room.
A new sofa usually means new soft furnishings for me and I have my sights on some. I have styled the sofa here with a collection of my favourite monochrome textiles from Mourne, Ikea and my Stoff Studio and Hay cushions from the bedroom as I think it adds to the artisan feel of this piece. I will be adding in some of the new mirage collection from Ferm Living when they are released over the coming weeks in the form of cushions and a blanket. This, I hope, will echo some of the seventies Bohemianism of this piece with the abstract plant patterns from the Ferm Living collection adding a layer of depth to both aesthetics and narrative whilst also tying in with some of the many natural history pieces in the room.
So that’s it, our new and very elegant piece. A few simple tweaks that allow the simplicity of this design to really sing. I’m so delighted with how this sofa works in the space, it echoes the Scandinavian vibe in the rest of the room, the colour really compliments the Dead Salmon on the walls, and in practical terms, it’s reassuring to know that there’s a 15 year guarantee should my four year old occasionally be exuberant on it! What do you think of this design? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
This post is a paid collaboration with DFS.