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Sofa trends – the ultimate guide

Our tips for the latest in sofa styles. By Rachel Leedham

Sofa trends – the ultimate guide

The days of the three-piece suite are long gone. Today, sofas and armchairs are mis-matched, offering the possibility to bring more fabric and texture – and as a result, more personality – into the living space. And as we ask more and more of our sitting rooms, so the sofa is evolving, from styles that beautifully section off an open plan space to curvy designs that invite rest and relaxation. Read on for the latest sofa trends…



Express yourself with classic florals


Linwood/The English Garden/Albertine/Classic Blue



One of those sofa trends that has never really gone away is the classic floral sofa. And there is a lot to be said for it: a busy pattern is much more forgiving when it comes to scuffs and stains, so it is a godsend if you have children or pets, and it can nicely break up what tends to be a rather large, blocky piece of furniture. The design pictured here, a generous love seat featuring a slipcover in our Albertine linen in Classic Blue, beautifully encapsulates the new, updated shabby chic aesthetic. The deep frilled skirt lends a romantic touch while the plain cushions with contrasting ruffles bring a modern edge and tie in nicely with the green scalloped table. Floral prints beautifully complement classic sofa shapes but don’t discount a floral for a more contemporary sofa design: it can be used to bring an element of softness and pattern to an otherwise modern living space.



Choose coordinating colours


Linwood/Velvet Wonderland/Double Dragon/Green



The sofa is probably the biggest piece of furniture in your living space, and as a result it is often the most dominant piece. One way to ensure that it sits comfortably within the scheme is to coordinate sofa colours with other soft furnishings and accessories, as well as wall colours. Here, a dramatic high-back sofa upholstered in Double Dragon, a striking printed velvet, has been teamed with curtains and walls in coordinating greens, ensuring that this statement piece resonates with its surroundings. Even the ceramics and plants have been chosen to tone with the scheme, while a dark navy cushion trimmed with green adds a touch of drama. Note the rattan table and jute rug, which bring all-important contrast and help ground the tonal pieces within the room.



Stay ahead of the curve


Linwood/Velvet Wonderland/Moonlight Serenade/Night Sky



Curved styles are one of the hottest sofa trends in recent years and demand for these voluptuous designs shows no sign of abating. Shapely and glamorous, they are wonderful for softening angular architecture and for lending a sociable feel to seating. Consider using a sofa design with gently curved lines to delineate a sitting area within a large, open plan space; a low back will ensure that sight lines aren’t interrupted whilst still providing a piece that is wonderful for stretching out on at the end of a busy day. The 1950s style sofa pictured here is a perfect example, its curves elegantly showcasing Moonlight Serende, a striking printed velvet in rich tones capturing the beauty of an ornamental garden. Ideal for injecting bold style into a scheme, it will sit just as well in a period sitting room as it will in a contemporary boudoir.



Opt for invigorating greens


Linwood/Omega Velvet/Teal/Mantis/Tango



Our desire to bring nature into the home continues apace and in terms of sofa trends, this means a crop of sofa colours in gorgeous, invigorating greens. From glamorous fluted designs in luxurious green velvet to classic pieces in lush green botanical linens, they bring an injection of chlorophyll to living spaces, ensuring a look that is at once energising and restful. Here, a contemporary sofa design showcases our Omega velvet in vibrant Mantis green. More tonal hues, from teals to forest shades, create a layered look and add a sense of depth, while all-important orange accent hues lift the scheme and bring a touch of drama to an otherwise monochromatic palette. Sleek yet supremely comfortable, the sofa is also surprisingly practical as the velvet has a clever stain resistant finish that will repel everyday spills. Proof positive that velvet sofas can be family friendly.



Introduce colour clashing cushions





A simple look to achieve yet one of the hottest sofa trends, colour clashing cushions are a brilliant way to inject mismatching hues into a living space. An interior designer will tell you that the trick is to choose cushions that slightly jar against the sofa fabric, helping to visually break up the expanse of sofa and add chutzpah to the piece. In this scheme, an oversized corner sofa upholstered in our Juno linen blend fabric in uplifting Mantis is contrasted with cushions in an eye-popping acidic yellow, Omega in Lemon. The cushions feature the same fabric as the sofa on the reverse side, so that it is easy to tone down the look when required. Note the simple yet highly sociable corner sofa design: a brilliant piece to help zone areas for work, rest and play within large, open plan living rooms.



Add texture with bouclé





Still one of our favourite sofa trends, bouclé fabric is here to stay. It beautifully softens angular sofas and perfectly complements designs inspired by the mid 20th century. Bouclé also fits right in with calming Japandi interiors – that appealing fusion of minimalism, neutral tones, natural materials and hygge that results in soothing, welcoming living spaces. The aesthetic is nicely captured here, where minimalist architecture is teamed with warm woods, textural tongue and groove walls and pared-back pieces, including a modernist bouclé sofa. The upholstery is Sienna in Almond, a textural bouclé combining linen, cotton, and viscose. The soft fabric brings cosiness to the sofa’s streamlined mid 20th century lines and adds texture to the pale, knocked-back palette. Easy, effortless, and supremely elegant.



Select richly coloured velvets


Linwood/Omega Prints II/Fez



A recent upsurge in bolder, more adventurous schemes for living rooms has seen richly coloured velvets become one of the hottest sofa trends. Luxurious and supremely tactile, velvets in bold tones are perfect for showing off shapely pieces, as the pile beautifully catches the light on details such as elegant fluting or super-luxe quilting. Try a plain velvet in a jewel hue to complement an Art Deco-inspired piece or, if you want to avoid a solid block of colour, consider a printed velvet. This glorious design, Fez, from our Omega Prints II range, features a patchwork design inspired by carpets from around the world; it softens the angular lines of a sleek contemporary sofa, informing the scheme’s rich palette of paprika, saffron, and charcoal tones. The fabric is part of a new wave of velvets that are both glamorous and practical: it is inherently fire retardant as well as being stain resistant and washable, making it ideal for a busy – yet super stylish – home.



Be eco cool


Linwood/Elba Linen/Ochre/Rouge/Blush



Making environmentally friendly choices for our homes is essential, particularly when it comes to big-ticket items such as a sofa. Longevity is important, so opt for a well-crafted piece that uses natural materials and choose a sustainable fabric option for the upholstery. This classic Wells design by üp Sofas, which features a high-quality hard wood beech frame, is handmade in the company’s family-run workshop in the Cotswolds. The fabric, our Elba linen in Ochre has equally sound credentials: linen is one of the most sustainable fabrics available as it comes from the extremely hardy flax plant, which grows naturally and requires no additional water other than rainwater. The linen, which comes in a broad range of 48 hues, has been tumbled and dyed for a relaxed feel that works perfectly in this breezy informal scheme. Eco has never looked so stylish.



Select grounding colours


Linwood/Luna/Mineral/Indigo/Maize/Pewter/Blossom =



One of this year’s big sofa trends is a move towards upholstery fabrics in grounding hues. Instead of opting for classic neutral colours, interior enthusiasts are choosing natural minerals and earth tones: think watery blues, dusty pinks, russets, and chocolate browns. The effect is incredibly calming, particularly when teamed with further soft furnishings in similarly “muddy” hues. This sofa is covered in Luna in Mineral, a linen mix fabric made using a special dye technique that produces a washed, vintage look that is perfect for showcasing grounding colours. Cushions made up in the same fabric span shades of straw to inky blues, while the walls are painted plaster pink to add to the relaxed, soothing feel. Note the chaise style sofa complete with squishy seat cushions – one of those oversized sofas that is just made for lazy days.



Adopt eclectic styling


Linwood/The English Garden/Kitty/Spring Green



Today’s sofa trends see the sofa teamed with mismatched pieces, offering the chance to introduce various fabrics and textures for a look that is multi-layered and characterful. And the same goes for accessories and lighting: mix vintage pieces and treasured heirlooms with contemporary designs for an inviting, informal feel that responds to our need for flexible living spaces. This classic sofa design is enlivened with Kitty, a large-scale linen print that has been complemented with our fabulous ruffle cushions. Note how the walls and woodwork pick up the same leaf green and lemon hues of the cushions, while pieces such as a vintage floor lamp and weathered painted table add to the layered, eclectic effect. A fun, relaxed way to style a living space.



Go for bold


Linwood/Tango Velvet/Sherbet



The days of minimalist interiors sporting sleek-lined, neutral-toned sofas are on the wane. The hottest sofa trends for pared-back living spaces see voluptuous pieces sporting punchy, tactile fabrics. Easy to circulate around within a space, these shapely pieces offer a sensual counterpoint to clean architectural lines and form the true centrepiece within a scheme. And the bolder the better when it comes to the fabric: think statement textiles in saturated hues that catch the eye the moment you enter the space. Velvets are particularly suitable for statement sofas as they lend a unique depth and vibrancy to the piece – this wonderfully curvy sofa being a case in point. It is covered in our premium Tango velvet in Sherbet, a gorgeous Schiaparelli red that brings a pop of bold colour to the monochromatic palette. One for the daring.



Escape to the country with a modern twist


Linwood/The English Garden/Albertine/Coral Orange



Relaxed country living is really having a moment – even within urban spaces – and in terms of sofa trends, recoloured floral fabrics are bringing a modern twist to seating. The pattern is instantly recognisable and familiar, yet the palette gently steers it into the 21st century. This comfortable sofa is covered in Albertine, a blousy floral that has been updated with a coral backdrop. The result is subtly contemporary, an effect that is reinforced with a streamlined coffee table and lamp and simple Roman blinds edged with a matching coral trim. An uplifting burst of nature for the living room.


The sofa is probably one of the largest and most expensive pieces you will buy for your home, so make sure you take the time to carefully consider the style and upholstery fabric that will work best for your needs. Choose well and you will have a sofa you can enjoy for years to come, a comfortable piece that also sits well with your aesthetic.





What is the most popular sofa colour? Grounding colours and shades inspired by nature’s palette are currently informing our choices, injecting personality into living spaces. Bolder colours are also on the rise, such as spicy reds and deep, inky blues.


Which sofas are currently in style? The Art Deco era is inspiring curved and fluted designs that offer glamour and a sense of drama. Sectional sofas continue to be favourites in multi-functional, open plan spaces, helping to define the living area and provide sociable yet relaxed seating. Velvet sofas are on the rise as velvet fabric options become ever more practical. And classic sofa shapes are being updated with bolder, recoloured floral prints.


Why should we use contrasting cushions? Introducing a contrasting colour or print through cushions is a great way to break up this large piece and to bring more character to the space. We are also seeing more use of bolster cushions, which add another interesting shape to the sofa and add another layer of comfort.