Archive for August, 2012
Looking good for the neighbours?
Lucy Waterlow reported recently in Daily Mail article Want your neighbours to know you’ve made it? Buy a hot tub! Jacuzzis named as the ultimate status symbol (read more) that sofas, which were top of the ‘must have’ list of status symbols in the 1950s (or ‘foam sofas’ to be more precise) have long since slipped out of the rankings, making way for hot tubs, US style fridges and walk in wardrobes as the things we ‘must have’ to impress the folks next door.
So what’s led to a fall in popularity for sofas?
From the top 10 lists for both men and women, it could be assumed that technological advancements have led to falling popularity for traditional items like sofas. However, we see this as a huge success for sofas, because it merely means that they are such an essential household item that they have reached ‘taken for granted’ status, along with freezers, washing machines, dishwashers and cars, which are also missing from the list!
Are we becoming a fussy society?
It is interesting to note that people are becoming more specific in their requirements when it comes to status symbols. It seems that TV is no longer enough, yet 3D TV makes it to the list. And a cooker is insufficient, though a ‘range cooker’, features on the top 10 list for both men and women.
Leather sofas still make for luxurious seating
There is a wide range available and prices differ significantly. This is partly due to the type of leather used. When you are looking at leather sofas, it’s a good idea to find out how to maintain the product you want to purchase, because some leathers can be pretty high maintenance. If your budget is tight, but you still want to feel you’re sitting on a luxury product, you could consider faux leather sofas. It might not be the real thing, but it could still give you a more luxurious feel than standard fabric sofas while being kind to your pocket.
A thought-provoking articleRomance Cover Trends – Sofas on Parade,which was posted by Linnae at Cover Cafe, highlighted a recent trend for romantic novels. It reads:
“Last year’s hot trend, known as the “show me the back and remain anonymous” cover, still appears on 2012 covers but it is now a lukewarm, if not cold trend… This year, the sofa or chaise keeps grabbing my attention. It has been brought front and center on several Historical romance covers.I’m officially labeling the sofa as one of the new 2012 cover trends.” [Read the full article]
Indeed the examples given in the article illustrate the point perfectly and it got us thinking about what gives a sofa the edge when it comes to creating a romantic ambience.
The sofas shown on the covers that supportRomance Cover Trends – Sofas on Paradethrow up a number of correlations, the most obvious of which is the ‘chaise longue’ factor. The traditional chaise longue is a combination of chair and bed, the translation being ‘long chair’. Often – but not always – it will have only one arm rest to allow the feet to rest along the other end.
It is clear how such a seating option could lend itself to romantic situations. However, we feel that many modern chaise longue options tend to be more comfortable than romantic. For example, we’re pretty keen on the Kenneth Cole Bronx Chaise pictured below, but fear it could lull us into the right zone for a snooze rather than propel us into the mood for love.
So we love it, but we don’t think it creates the same level of romance as the examples shown on the book covers in the article.
The common elements that we think are more relevant include sumptuous fabrics and scroll arms. With this in mind, we’ve picked out a few of our favourites that we reckon might help you to entice your man into a romantic mood… (click on the image for more information).
Before we finish, we do need to point out that, regardless of how sexy your sofa may appear, cleavage spilling out of a corset, a split skirt draped over bare/stockinged legs and a pair of ‘come to bed’ eyes (click here to see the covers again…) might ultimately have more impact on your man’s mood than any choice of seating!
Imagine this… you’re wandering around a furniture showroom or looking for sofas for sale online and you get that thunderbolt moment. Something leaps out of nowhere and hits you right between the eyes. The sofa you’ve been waiting for all your life is there in front of you saying: “Pick me – you know you want to…”. And, in that moment, every bone on your body, every pore of your skin, screams: “Yes”… Know what I’m talking about, ladies?
Though the more spontaneous may be tempted to jump in feet first, make a purchase before they have a chance to change their mind and to hell with the consequences, this is actually the moment where it pays dividends to take a deep breath and very firmly tell yourself: “Wait”. You see, whether we’re talking sofas or men, it’s a really good idea to think about how your dream choice will work with the rest of your life, if it’s going to lastÃ‚Â forÃ‚Â the rest of your life – or maybe not for quite so long in the case of sofas!
As Tatiana Wamiru wisely writes in the entertaining article Decor: how to choose the right sofa, published in the Daily Monitor:
“Be honest with yourself; do not pick aesthetics over practicality. If you know you cannot deal with getting that raw silk upholstery or those plush white pillow covers to always look as good as they did when you bought them, then you had better leave them alone. Try to strike a balance.” [Read the full article here]
On the other hand, if you settle for second best, you risk spending years, if not the rest of your life, wondering ‘what if?’ So, if you’re the type of individual who won’t settle for anything less than amazing, maybe you’ve just got to jump in and risk a mistake. Whether it’s sofas or men, you can always put it down to experience if it doesn’t work out, let go of the past and move on to better things, secure in the knowledge that you tried but it wasn’t meant to be. And, of course, there’s always a chance that you and your dream choice will overcome the challenges and find a way to live together very happily ever after!
Sofasare available in a wide variety of colours these days, but what makes a specific sofa colour attractive to buyers? Cindy Hodnett, Upholstery/Style Editor for Furniture/Today, has posted an interesting article suggesting that furniture colours that are particularly appealing to women tend to be those that have been fashionable in their wardrobes a couple of seasons earlier. She writes:
“Think about this – orange was one of the hottest colors at Miami Fashion week in 2010, and female attendees at the 2012 Tupelo Market had an overwhelmingly positive response to (a) tangerine sofa. In Las Vegas, the orange Aquarius chest elicited countless “oohs and ahhs” in the Lexington Home Brands showroom and is reported to have been inspired by Hermes signature Birkin handbag in a similar shade. Female consumers become comfortable with many of these colors through their wardrobes, and then they’re eager to bring them into their homes.” [Read the full article here]
We think she’s made a very good point, but it leads us to wonder why women who are willing to make a bold statement in their attire take so long to be bold with the same colour in their living rooms! First thoughts swing towards the reason being the level of investment involved, yet some women happily spend hundreds of pounds on designer brands that they know will be out of fashion next season. So is there a perception shared by society in the UK that sofas should be more long-term investments than clothes, regardless of the cost involved? And, if this is the case, then why?
We believe the answer may lie in the fact that fashionable clothes are easily forgettable – whereas fashionable sofas are definitely not! Indeed, once fashions change, it’s easy to hide clothes at the back of the wardrobe or slip them into a charity bag if you’re run out of space (possibly due to past investments that failed to survive the short term…), i.e., ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
However, sofas are rather more tricky to dispose of and, for that matter, it would take a bit of planning to sneak a replacement into the house. After all, though it’s not guaranteed he’ll notice a change in colour/style, there’s a pretty good chance your other half will pay attention pretty sharpish if the remote control slides off an arm where it used to sit comfortably for the whole evening!
Finally, it’s time for a singalong with Ray Davies and the Kinks. This trip back to 1973 is surely worth a couple of minutes of anyone’s time… so enjoy!
Yesterday, our article focused on some darker shades of grey and explained how well a strong grey shade could work as a neutral colour base if you are looking at sofas and armchairs.
Lighter shades of grey can brighten a room every bit as well as a beige or cream shade, yet have the edge over these other neutrals if you want to create a cool look, e.g., a beige or cream sofa could unavoidably add warmth to a room with blue walls. See the example image below, which appears to demonstrate the ‘cool’ look very well (click on the image to find out more about this item).
Light colours for sofas and armchairs give you an exciting opportunity to experiment with colour on walls. You may wish to have a darker paint shade or wallpaper on a feature wall, or consider using a stronger colour on the lower half of a wall, separated with a dado rail, which is a moulding fixed horizontally to the walls around the room. This would work well in a small room where you may not wish to risk the stronger colour becoming overbearing and ‘shrinking’ the space. Even if the darker shades are limited to the lower half of the wall, they will still act as a backdrop to sofas or armchairs in a lighter shade, emphasising their ‘brightness’, and this is equally true if your seating is a lighter shade of grey.
Indeed, if you want to keep a cool feel in the space, a lighter shade of grey is an ideal choice, and this can be very relaxing, too. On the other hand, the video we showed you in yesterday’s article perfectly demonstrated how warm colours can be used to great effect with a grey sofa through clever use of cushions, art and other accessories.
The Sunflower multi cushion below would look fantastic on a light grey armchair or sofa.
Search for ‘light grey’ on a comparison website to see the wide range of sofas and armchairs available.