My inbox can be a dull place to hang out most of the time, then, like a rogue Jelly Tot lurking at the bottom of my handbag, a little wonder can appear. An email from DFS HQ asking me to head over to Milan to garner some design inspiration and soak up the latest sofa and interiors trends from Salone del Mobile (Europe’s largest design exhibition) with their sofa design team was one of those Jelly Tot discovering moments.
You might think going to Milan Design Week with hopes of finding anything suitable for a family home, is the equivalent of bumbling along to LFW to find an outfit for the school run; but the DFS design team trot the globe to ensure their sofa collections offer the very latest in interiors trends, whilst using their years of experience to ensure their sofas are befitting of family life.
Whilst certain trends are never going to translate particularly well to the ‘burbs of Britain (the polar bear shaped/sized sofa being one of these very things), I set out to find the essence of what’s going to be hot in our homes in 2017, then bring it back to our manic, toy strewn abodes, in the vague hope of breathing a bit of life and love into our four walls. Armed with my camera and Philip Watkins (Design Director at DFS) we perused the halls of the wondrous Salone del Mobile on the hunt for the next big thing in the sofa world – colour, shape, materials, piping and even flanges!
My Top Trends
Vogue for Velvets
Luxurious, cosy and endlessly strokable – velvet might not be the most family friendly of materials, but what it lacks in practicality it makes up for in the style stakes. It’s bloody everywhere, dip your toes into velvet-ty waters with a few scatter cushions (soft on heads when the kids are fighting with them), or submerge your home with a bold, statement velvet sofa of dreams. Deep indigo’s, forest greens and blush pinks are certainly not fresh out the traps this season but are still the front runners of the accent colour race – showing no sign of going anywhere soon.
So not exactly a sofa trend, but there was no denying if a wall stood still long enough Milan-side (let’s face it, walls tend to stay put!) it’d be brought to life – trailing greenery, luscious ferns and plump succulents adorned a majority of flat, vertical surfaces. As we all know, keeping 5 boys alive is enough of a challenge for one woman, so I might not be installing the stock of Wyevale onto my walls, it has certainly inspired me to green up my gaffe; not just the odd pot plant, but perhaps a break from the monotony of monochrome with a leafy wallpaper, Botanic Armchair or a juicy green sofa!
Cosy, Comforting Curves
This has got to be one of my favourite trends – comfy! From soft and squashy, to big and bouncy – the sofas of Milan were built for lounging. Supple nubucks and warming velvets sprawled across curved silhouettes, all in welcoming (and toddler choccy finger friendly) dark, moody, jewel hues.
I’ve saved my complete favourite until last. Harking back to my monochromatic natural habitat think chunky knit, tapestry, woven cushions that wouldn’t look out of place in a Marrakesh souk; black and white ikat prints to juxtapose against the gorgeous greens; baskets, wicker and rattan are the warming wooden tones to bring the bold velvets and black/white prints together in perfect harmony! Don’t go replacing THAT beni ourain inspired La Redoute rug for a while yet (yes the one with it’s own instagram page!) – this bohemian vibe is lingering for a while. *Inner hippy does a happy dance*
So, what does all this mean for chez Only Girl? Well, call me crazy, but in a Milan-induced-interiors-stupor I thought it was a super idea to order myself (for want of a better word, but I think this one is actually perfect) a SEXY, dark green, velvet chesterfield sofa (Pearl Lowe’s got the same one don’t you know!). I’ve suitably convinced myself it won’t be covered in Marmite within 12 hours and snotty noses will be banished! So keep your eyes peeled for my big reveal coming soon!
If you fancy checking out my insta-stories from my trip along with my interview with DFS product designer Lauren , panic not, they haven’t disappeared into the ether – head HERE to have a nosey!
Thanks to the bloomin’ awesome team from DFS – this post has been in collaboration with DFS, but, as always – all comments, opinions and fruity adjectives are my own.