A guide to choosing a new sofa

It seems so simple to say you are going to get a new sofa. A simple matter of choosing something you like, ordering it and then sitting back and relaxing until it comes. Well, as someone who once made a mistake with the sofa that I ordered, and then had to cancel and choose again, I can say that it is not as easy as all that. There are things to consider to make sure the choice is one that suits your house, and suits your family, and will last you for some years.

Things to consider when choosing a sofa

Style.

When you choose a new sofa it needs to fit with the style of the room. If your house has a old-world feel you may want to go with something like a Chesterfield sofa, a classic design that suits living rooms with dark wood and vintage style elegance. More modern settings may suit slouchy leather styles, more relaxed and less structured in their design. If you choose a style that is out of touch with the rest of your room, this was be jarring and just won’t look right. You also need to think about the colours and fabrics that you opt for. Leather can look modern and minimalist, especially if chosen in a neutral shade or classic black. Fabric sofas can be perfect if your style is chintzy with a slightly vintage feel. Bright colours can make your sofa a focal point of your room, giving your room a theme, particularly if the rest of your decor style is minimal. If you love Art Deco style, which has certainly grown in popularity this year, look at a tan or an antique gold velvet sofa with legs for a retro look. Check out interior design magazines and Pinterest pages for inspiration.

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Who lives in your house?

The style of sofa and chairs you choose are definitely influenced by the people (and pets) who love in your house. Do you have children? Or pets? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then white or cream fabric may not be the best choice for your sofa, frankly it won’t stay that colour for long. A new sofa has to be a practical choice too, and a wipe clean leather may work better with young children than something that will show every stain and spill. How much you spend on a sofa may be affected by whether you feel it will be a stop gap until your children get older, or an investment piece that should last for years. Another factor could be the actual size of the sofa, whether it is a two or three seater, whether you might opt for a corner sofa, or a pouf as an extra seating option. Your family must always be at the centre of your thoughts when choosing a new suite.

Size Matters.

But size is also important in other ways. When you choose your sofa you need to look at the dimensions of the room it is going to live in. Large sofa’s with corner units are great for big living rooms, but put these in a smaller room and the effect will be ruined and the room will look swamped.  Many three piece suites now come with two sofa’s – can your room take this much furniture? Will you be able to move around the room once the furniture is all in? Size really does matter when it comes to furniture, less is more and can make your room seem far more spacious than if you have literally shoe horned everything into a room.

Order A Sofa Swatch

Buying a new sofa is a big expense so you need to make sure your choice is right, especially if you are not planning to redecorate the whole of your living room. One way that you can test out your choice is to order a sofa swatch so you can test out how the fabric and colour will look with your current furniture. Most online stores allow you this option and this is a great way to check out your design ideas before you commit to buy. It may also help you to choose some accessories for your new sofa before it arrives.

 

When do you need it for?

Most sofa’s have to be ordered, and then there is a waiting period before it is delivered.  This is something you really need to remember if you need your sofa by a certain date. Many people order a new sofa in the Autumn that they want to be in place in time for Christmas, as this is a busier time of year it may pay to order earlier to avoid disappointment.

Do you have any tips for choosing a sofa? What is your preferred style of sofa – something traditional, or something with a more modern feel?

 

Horse Riding And Its Celebrity Fans

With the lockdown continuing to ease in most parts of the UK, there has been a rise in the number of people who are getting back in the saddle and enjoying horse riding all over again. The Queen was just one of the people who had missed riding during lockdown, and indeed the first published picture of her after lockdown was, inevitably, one of her riding a pony in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

It is apt then, that horse Riding is often described as the Sport of Kings, but these days it could also be as truthfully described as the sport of the glamorous celebrity. The list of well known names who have their own horses and custom built stables within the ground of their homes is both long and surprising.

Here are just some of the celebrities who take the opportunity to ride in their downtime.

Madonna

Top of any list of celebrity riding fans has to be the queen of pop herself, Madonna. We all know that Madonna had a very ‘English phase’ during her marriage to film director Guy Ritchie, where, as well as drinking tea, talking with a cut glass accent and wearing a nifty line in tea dresses, Madonna developed a passion for horses that continues to this day (she currently owns two.)

I can’t help thinking that the fashion maverick just loved the look of jodphurs and a riding hat (and we all know she’s been partial to a whip at times), but the fact that she actually trained, and with none other than William Fox Pitt clearly indicates that the one time Material Girl has clearly been bitten by the riding bug.

Mary Kate Olsen

These days she is better known for her fashion designing skills along with her sister Ashley for her label ‘The Row’, but Mary Kate is actually an accomplished horsewoman who has competed, most famously at the Hampton Classic Show. From a fashionista point of view, can you imagine how stylish The Row riding apparel would be. I think Mary Kate could be onto a real winner with that.

Bella Hadid

It sort of seems apt that the coltish, beautiful Bella Hadid is another lady with a passion for being in the saddle. The lovely supermodel is said to aspire to ride in an Olympic Games, well, there’s certainly still time to get the practice in before Tokyo 2020.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga became a fan of horse after she was presented with one by her record company. She is now the proud owner of a stallion called…wait for it…Trigger. (How Original!) Gaga is one person I would totally love to see on a horse, can you imagine the fun she would have with equestrian gear, and as for the boots….

Jordan/Katie Price

No roundup of celebrity horse riding fans can be complete without some mention of Jordan/Katie Price, or whatever she happens to be calling herself this week. Katie is a lover of dressage (couldn’t you guess that a woman obsessed with pink would also love the idea of dancing horses) and is actually, all joking aside, an accomplished horsewoman who is very passionate about horse sports, also playing polo. She even had her own equestrian clothing line, KP equestrian, which, as you can probably imagine, was very pink, very tongue in cheek and a whole lot of fun. After all, who could resist a ‘50 shades of hay’ t-shirt…

Are you a fan of horses, have you ever tried horse riding?

Accessories You Will Love For Man’s Best Friend

The days when a dog (or at least a dog owner) was happy with just a collar and lead have long gone. These days, any self respecting pouch has a wardrobe that could rival a Hollywood star, a huge range of toys to play with, luxury dog beds and blankets for when they chose to snooze, and like to eat anything from gourmet dog food to their very own formulated ice cream and chocolate. It really is a dogs life, but in a totally good way.

The Pet Empire is absolutely the first destination you go to when it comes to finding just about anything your four legged friend needs. It was launched to bridge the gap between addressing your pets needs, whilst also thinking about the design and decor of your home. They say:-

A beautiful interior and owning pets can complement each other very well. Our exclusive luxury design- and lifestyle products for dogs and cats in our online pet store prove this.

It now offers a unique selection and independently designed range of puppy and dog accessories, carriers, bowls, grooming equipment, toys and care items, literally just about everything else you can possibly think of that is dog related. Their range of dog beds are unsurpassed, they not only have traditional designs, but also an orthopedic dog bed if your dog needs a little extra support.

All this makes it the perfect destination if you want to treat your own pet, or buy a special gift for a dog lover.

I love the idea that you can totally spoil your pet, without spoiling the look of your home. If you are a fan of stylish, minimal design, you really don’t want this look to be spoiled with huge dog bowls, or tartan style dog beds. You want something that your pet will love, but that you will love too, something discreet and stylish, but still perfect for your pet. The dog beds from The Pet Empire come in stylish, muted colours, so could be matched to your living room colour scheme or decor, actually adding to your overall look rather than detracting.

Owning a pet does not have to mean that you have to forgo your home style, or make compromises, it just means you have to choose your pet accessories with a little more care. It’s great to know you can now actually do this with ease.