‘Trends are a great source of inspiration, but don’t feel pressured to incorporate them in their entirety,’ says Rob Ellis, designer at DFS. ‘You can take one or two aspects, such as colour, texture or pattern, and use them in subtle ways to create a look that’s still personal and liveable for you.’
From the initial worries about the amount of work involved, to the ‘Did I really pick the right colours?’ debate, right through to relaxing on your sofa for the first time when it’s done, we all go through a series of emotional stages when we revamp a room.
It’s vital to plan ahead and allow at least a couple of weeks for your ideas to crystallise. Luckily, the strong organic vibe for 2020 – simple, natural forms offering a luxurious yet inviting retro look – is easy to interpret.
Don’t forget texture
Some living rooms can look ‘flat’ and uninviting. This is where texture comes in, and 2020 sees a strong focus on bouclé. It started on the catwalk and is now firmly fixed as a staple texture for a warm and inviting home. The looped yarns, often in several subtle shades, create a raised ‘curled’ quality that gives a sophisticated but cosy feel.
Keep natural light in mind
Spend some time watching how the light falls in various points across the room and how the sun moves around it. This will not only affect how you see colours, but help you decide how to divide up the space for various activities, such as reading or watching TV, socialising and relaxing, of course.
Unlock your colour code
Devising an entire new colour scheme can be dizzying, but a colour wheel – find one online at canva.com or order from Amazon – will show you how various shades complement and enhance each other.
It’s good to narrow down your choice to no more than three: a main hue, which may be reflected in your upholstery; a contrast; and a highlight. Muted pink, baby blue and neo-mint green are tipped as on-trend accents for 2020.
And here’s a tip from professional interior designers; if you’re stuck, look out for art, ornaments and fabrics with a colour combination that pleases your eye and use them as inspiration.
When you have your colour ideas together, try out tester pots on walls and paintwork. If you’re thinking of a serious investment, perhaps in a sofa or armchairs, a great trick is to drape a suitably coloured throw or pashmina in place to see how your new tones would work.
Keep accents in focus
Dark ebony, walnut trims and furniture accents in steely grey will bring a defined edge to interiors in 2020, so you may have to be disciplined about what you keep and let go.
A cluttered space doesn’t evoke calm, so a good idea is to box up everything – cushions, throws, planters, vases and light fittings – and take them out of the room. Then carefully sort through, choosing only items that will enhance your new look. The remainder can be stored for future use or donated to charity.
Create a sociable space
If you have room, it’s great to incorporate two sofas to make a living room feel sociable and friendly, and 2020’s luxurious, richly textured fabrics – leather, velvet and suede – provide endless possibilities. ‘If you’re mixing two different styles or sizes, consider scale – how will the sofas look together and sit in the room overall?’ says Rob Ellis at DFS. ‘Don't forget their depth, as well as width and height.’
For a welcoming, cosy environment in a larger room, think about zoning. Place sofas close enough together to create an area that’s clearly designated for gathering round rather than having them too spaced out or floating at the edges.
In a smaller room, measure, measure and measure again – and look for a compact design. The new DFS So Simple range, for example, offers eight contemporary styles designed with smaller spaces in mind.
Another great way to create a sociable vibe in a limited area is to pair one sofa with a chair and a footstool that doubles as a coffee table or additional seat. This offers flexibility and functionality without compromising floor space.