10 Dec 2013
The sofa is an important piece of furniture in the home. Not only used for seating and defining your space but it can also be used to add detail, mix and match texture and seamlessly incorporate technology into your home.
Design expert, Theo van der Hoven, from Alpine Lounge, shares the top 10 sofa trends for 2014.
1. Motion furniture
According to Van der Hoven, motion furniture is a hot trend worldwide.
He says its rise in popularity is tied to our fast paced life and consequent desire to maximise our leisure time.
At the end of a long day,whether it’s with a book or in front of a home entertainment system, it’s important to kick back and relax. Van der Hoven says the advances in motion furniture have enabled people to do this in comfort and style.
He says new-age recliners have evolved to operate via electric controls rather than the traditional manual methods.
2. Supportive space-savers
Seating has become space savvy. For example, backrests can be fitted with adjustable click-clack headrests for a preferred sitting/head position. This feature can be folded flat when not required, maintaining the modern low-back appeal.
Motion on footrests only are also popular - offering added comfort and leg support, without the space that a normal recliner would require as the backrest is static.
Van der Hoven says this clever, space-saving furniture goes hand-in-hand with increased urbanisation – more people living in cities means smaller spaces that need to work harder and smarter.
3. Hold-all furnishings
“Tech-savvy furniture is becoming the way of the future.”
Innovative home theatre seating designs incorporate elements such as iPad holders and metal cup holders for example.
Van der Hoven says tech enthusiasts will be delighted to know that furniture is moving towards seamlessly marrying form and function by conveniently holding, swivelling and adjusting the height of popular tablet devices, making surfing the web at home just that bit more comfortable and convenient.
4. Low lying features
Lay-flat mechanisms are hot at the moment, says Van der Hoven.
He says this type of seating demonstrates that sofas that recline into a 100 percent horizontal position are most people’s secret fantasy. “They literally double as a bed, and then simply fold back up for luxurious and beautifully designed seating.”
5. Mixing materials
Ten years ago, one would never even think of mixing different materials on one sofa, yet now this is seen as trendy, and for good reason.
Van der Hoven says it makes complete sense to upholster selected areas such as the arms and base in leather chairs, as these are the parts of the sofa that get scuffed and soiled most easily.
He says choosing leather for these areas is a great idea, as it’s a robust material that can be easily wiped down, while the cushions can have fabric covers that are warm and soft to touch.
“A lot of people want the durability of leather with the comfort of fabric, so this trend gives them the best of both worlds.”
6. Creature comforts
Van der Hoven says the latest sofa trends include incorporating chaise lounges into the design. He says people love them because they create cosy nooks that appeal to their desire for comfort and sitting close together.
He believes that the chaise is the best seat in the house, as it creates a sense of visual space and can be easily moved around to accommodate various seating arrangements.
7. Scandinavian influence
Modern Scandinavian forms are weaving their way back into the design world, with slim lines being a hot trend in sofa design.
“You could say it’s a revival of the retro 70s look, but with a modern twist - think sleek, minimal lines and a ‘less is more’ attitude.”
8. Modular furniture
According to Van der Hoven, modular furniture is selling exceptionally wellthe world over. He says more and more furniture companies are producing ranges that allow homeowners to build on or update their pieces using modular components.
He explains that modular furniture creates a custom look that can be adapted to different needs.
9. Inspiration from the 20s
The 1920s are also influencing the way sofas are designed these days.
Van der Hoven puts it down to the influence of the film adaptation of the renowned Great Gatsbynovel. He says these sofas are characterised by deep-buttons in opulent fabrics and sloped arms that are so reminiscent of the Art-Deco period – its pure glamour and luxury all the way.
10. Detailed armrests
And lastly, in keeping with uniting form and function, spotted sofa armrests with built-in overlay pieces, which create a convenient surface that protects the sofa arms while looking effortlessly stylish, are a must-have.
It may be a small detail, but it’s big on style and functionality, says Van der Hoven.
He says he loves how the flat surface does double duty as a side table right where one needs it.
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