A Winter Buyer’s Guide to Your Living Room
With dropping temperatures and short days, it’s no wonder we retreat to the warm sanctuary that is home, with the living room being the space of choice. With the weather drawing in, why not enjoy a cosy evening in front of the fire with this winter buyer’s guide to living room furniture and trends.
The living room should be a haven of soft chic, the ideal backdrop to see us through the long, cold months of winter. But it isn’t all about fluffy cushions and deep shag pile rugs…
When it comes to colour, you don’t have to opt for darker hues just because it is winter. The trend for autumn/winter 2020 in terms of living room furniture has been to stick to neutral tones. The sandy beige upholstered sofa and armchair, for example, make a stunning backdrop with a statement armchair to give the scene a little pepping.
If you feel it is lacking, too monotone and flat, add velvet fabrics and indulge in a little fringing. Adding a textured rug also lifts the living room from the floor up.
Grey is still a popular neutral colour
If beige, cream and white are simply not practical, then a popular neutral colour of choice is grey. Cream and linen shades can look dated, especially when trends change, but there is a classic elegance to a soft, light grey that lasts the test of time and trends.
A grey upholstered block-coloured sofa is a great choice. Use similar coloured cushions and throws but opt for those with texture. The knitted throw is still on the mood board for this winter, along with a statement knitted finish to the oversized footstool-cum-coffee table.
Layer cushions, choosing different sizes but sticking with the same shape and keep throws large or oversized, and textured too.
A beautiful wood coffee table will see through all seasons but the rustic, unfinished, not-too-refined finish is making a comeback this winter. Upcycled living room furniture is making inroads into many homes this year, a trend that could become a staple as we begin to move towards reusing and upcycling rather than ditching furniture when we tire of it.
Start small, if you are unsure, with a reclaimed wood coffee table. There are many variations and styles from simple tables to those with storage and upholstered ‘seat’.
A great colour to use with upcycled wood furniture is Dulux’s Colour of the year 2021 ‘Brave Ground’, a neutral shade with a warm undertone, ideal for winter.
Making more of upcycling or repurposed living room furniture
Hardwood comes from slow growing trees. With a slower growth habit, their internal structure is far denser and harder. It makes for great furniture, including fantastic pieces in the living room.
It may look old-fashioned, but with a skilled craftsman giving it a new lease of life, you can benefit from the beauty and resilience of hardwood living room furniture and know that you are saving it from landfill or, worse still, the log burner!
And this is why living room furniture made from repurposed hardwood is an ideal addition to your living room this winter. Taking the timber from other pieces that are no longer useful, wood can be sanded and painted or stained to create a modern vibe. Repurposed into anything from a coffee table to a nest of tables or TV unit, there is something heart-warming about knowing you have rescued a beautiful piece of hardwood to carry in giving pleasure for years to come.
Embrace ‘Granny Chic’
Think back to the Granny’s house and you’ll remember heavy patterns and chintz in the living room. Once considered an overwhelming assault on the eye, winter trends for the living room encourage us to take the plunge into Granny Chic ourselves.
To stop it becoming a clash of colours and patterns, choose five colours that complement and enhance each other, choosing dark and light contrasting colours as your main choice. Patterns also need to have a connection, such as florals or leaves.
Opt for colour block living furniture, carefully considering the upholstery fabric. Velvet is a popular choice for Granny Chic. Look for the small details too, such as metal tipped legs and turned legs on the sofa. Velvet footstools are an ideal an accessory as part of this winter living room trend.
Even with colour, this has a calming feel, ideal for when you want a living room with a welcoming embrace. Choose classic shapes when it comes to living room furniture with full-length curtains and patterned rugs.
Like Granny Chic, when it comes to memories of 70s design, they may not be kind. Large, patterns in bright orange and muddy browns may be the overwhelming recollection but hidden behind the gaudy colour schemes is a gentler setting – and one that is ideal for those who enjoy the minimalist style.
Rattan, like cane and wicker, has long been associated with the outdoors but accessories such as rattan lampshades are an ideal foil against a season that can feel dreary and grey.
Combine it with darker shades and heavier furniture if you feel the room needs a lift or, if you want to stay true to the minimalist style, opt for sofas and chairs that are not so heavily upholstered. Flecks of industrial furniture – think of a marble-topped coffee table with metal legs, for example – also fit well alongside rattan accessories.
The must-have style - roll back sofa and chairs
The winter living room needs to appeal to all the senses, and so a sumptuous looking sofa and armchair are ideal. A high backed sofa or armchair with a plump cushion is ideal but there is an alternative.
This season, the rollback sofa and armchair feature more often than not. Look for a sofa or chair that has a deep seat to make up for lack of height at the back and sides. This means that when the only course of action is to curl up on a wintery night, you have plenty of space to do so.
A welcome addition – fresh flowers
We associated fresh flowers with the spring and summer months but when it comes to the winter living room, they add the speck of colour that is often needed.
No matter what style or trend you opt for this winter, or what living room winter furniture you invest in, bringing nature into the embrace of the room instantly changes its appeal.
Alongside pine cones and other accessories in nature, opt for a spray of fresh flowers, clustered artfully in a vase or two around the room. If the pick of fresh flowers is a little thin, then opt for partially dried flowers that have retained their colour.
Failing that, opt for plants with lush green statement foliage that add colour and form to a corner, sideboard or coffee table.
Embrace winter with these trends and ideas for the living room
When the sky is a crisp blue and frost covers the garden, winter can be truly beautiful. But it can also be endless days and week so rain and grey skies.
Either way, the living room is the room where the family gather. Weather the chill of winter with a living room that is warm to the eye and the touch with these living room furniture ideas.