One of the issues I come across most often in my interiors consulting is that people feel that because the sums of money are larger than, say, a pair of sandals, that they must be sensible in their choices. That they mustn’t choose anything too bright or outrageous because they might go off it and then where will they be? This seems to extend to anything fun too. and, I assume, is why there were so many magnolia walls and oatmeal carpets for such a long time.
We are, gradually, getting better at this but it’s a slow process. I see many people who are prepared to splash some bright colour on the wall because, hey, it’s a pot of paint and it’s easy to paint over, but then the joyous effect of this is negated by the boring, sensible sofa they put in front of it. Or, worse, they have chosen a colour for the wall and then furnish the room to go with the walls.
I say it’s time to turn that on its head. Think of a colour that you really, really love. One that you wear a lot. Or one that makes your heart sing every time you see it. Buy the sofa in that colour. Because I can guarantee you will find other colours to go with it. And your sitting room won’t look like a kids playroom just because you have bright colours. Because you can always take it down a notch with neutrals. And you can always, always find a shade of grey that will go with the bright sofa you have chosen. And you can always, and much more cheaply than buying a new sofa, repaint the room if you want to change the look.
Now you might think I don’t practise what I preach as I have a dark grey sofa in my sitting room, but I also have a pink velvet chaise longue. Well, to be strictly honest about things, Enid Cat has a pink chaise longue as, God knows, no-one else is allowed to sit on the damn thing but I don’t mind. I can look at it and it cheers me.
So forget about the feature wall. The statement cushions. Make the sofa the statement. Then you can change the cushions according to mood or season – bright ones or monochrome ones. The walls will act as a backdrop for this wonderful piece of furniture and it will make you happy every day. Not least because it’s a colour that sparks joy in you and it will remind you that you were brave and daring and not boring and sensible. And we all need to feel like that sometimes.
These sofas are from the new collection by Rose & Grey who have featured on these pages before. Co-founder Lyndsay Goodger says if you’re nervous about a statement sofa then using neutral colours around it are a great way to get used to the idea and to make it stand out more.
“We do make all these sofas in more neutral tones but choosing a statement colour is a great way to liven up a room,” she says. “The sofa is the main piece of furniture in the sitting room so it makes sense to use that as a the starting point and base everything else around it rather than the other way round.
“Choose a colour that sings to you and then either take it down with neutrals or take it up with more strong colour and don’t forget the power of the dark wall.”
Pictured here are the new collection in jewels shades of emerald, blue and gold. There is also a pink option. The range is made in the UK from hardwood frames with fibre-filled cushions. There are 15 colours to choose from in velvet, brushed cotton and linen.
So go wild. Make a bold choice and don’t buy a sensible sofa. Actually I’m just going to qualify that – the sensible part of your decision should be in choose a well-made frame that will last and that is comfortable to sit on and allows you to sit in the way you and your family need. That is – don’t buy a tidy little upright buttonback conversation piece if you want to all lie around en famille watching telly and eating popcorn. Buy for who you are not who you want to be. But when you have made that sensible decision have fun with the colour.