Keep up to date with all the latest fashions for furniture, flooring and furnishings with our guide to this year's living room trends
At the heart of every home is the living room – a place to gather and unwind, to hang out wth friends and relax with family. Getting the look just right isn’t an easy ask. After all, you want to create a space you can feel truly relaxed in, but which at the same time shows off your style credentials. Every pick, from the sofa to the wall colour, needs to be carefully considered – and that’s where studying the latest trends can really help.
Here, we explore the new-season looks that will be playing a key role in how we transform our living rooms for the year ahead.
1. Paint colours
Grey may still be the neutral of choice for many rooms, but we’re feeling braver with colour choices in the living room this year. Moody interiors are more popular than ever, with brooding violet, navy and striking emerald green all key colours for 2018.
‘Neutrals in the living room have taken a back seat to the injection of colour,’ says Crown’s colour consultant Judy Smith. ‘Now, more so than ever, the use of multiple shades at a time is becoming increasingly mainstream. Clashing shades can be used on the walls and bought together cleverly via furnishings and accessories.’
How to decorate with 2018’s bold colours
Don’t be intimidated by bolder or dark colours. There’s a misconception that they can make rooms feel smaller – not if used correctly. ‘The use of a feature wall is still an effective way to add colour to a small living room,’ says Judy at Crown. ‘A feature wall allows bold colour to be added without overwhelming a small space.
‘Colour blocking – in other words, using multiple shades at a time in clearly defined sections of one wall, has become more of a prominent trend, particularly in the living room. This more unusual take on a standard feature wall allows for a palette of complementary or clashing shades to be displayed, without overpowering a space with colour.’
Ready to decorate? Discover all our living room ideas.
2. Velvet sofas
When it comes to living room furniture, both fabric and colour choices are becoming bolder. Velvet has been on the radar for a few years, but it’s 2018 that sees it really shine. This luxurious fabric oozes a warming quality, especially on sofas – it has that tactile appeal that instantly draws you in. Velvet as an upholstery fabric makes you want to touch it and melt into its softness.
‘We’ve seen a 150 per cent increase in velvet sofa sales in the last year,’ reveals Kate Butler, head of product design for Habitat. ‘There’s a big trend at the moment for colours such as emerald green, orange and purple. These now account for over half of these velvet sales, so people are definitely being braver and bolder in the living room.’
3. Compact living
The average home in the is UK shrinking in size, creating an increasing need for small-space living solutions. Add to this the fact that many have no option but to rent, and it means we need to create homes that can constantly change and evolve. Ahead of this new lifestyle trend, Ikea has developed the Fluid Spaces concept, focusing on modular and multi- functional furniture that can be easily modified to suit how we live.
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‘Fluid Spaces is about products that can adapt to different styles and functions,’ explains Clotilde Passalacqua, Interior Design Leader from Ikea UK and Ireland. ‘ To keep up with constantly changing trends, buy modular furniture such as the Valentuna sofa, which can be added to and moved around at ease to adjust to changing home needs. When creating the look, the use of storage units with a simple design such as Eket and Himlinge work well and will fit into any room layout.’
Buy now: Valentuna Sofa, from £295, Ikea
‘Coinciding with the growth of the rental market, we have seen a significant rise in searches for small space living solutions. Consumers are seeking clever, practical and portable designs – our Hygena range was created with this in mind,’ explains Ian Chaplin, category manager for furniture at Argos.
‘The Remi 2 Seater Reversible Chaise in a Box, exclusive to Argos, was designed in-house. The sofa, when built, has two parts – the foot stool and the sofa. By re-arranging the cushions you can switch between the two configurations. The product comes in two boxes. The arms attach the back rest and base together making a sturdy little sofa. Then simply add the cushions, screw the feet on and its ready to go.’
4. The return of TV units
The fad of giant plasma TVs mounted to walls is finally going out of style (and can we just say thank goodness!). We’re happy to wave goodbye to the days of ruining walls with giant unattractive screens. Wall-mounted televisions are good news from a space-saving point of view, but not great for style credentials or practicality – you can’t rearrange furniture as freely if the TV is secured in place. The TV unit has made a glorious comeback, this year more than ever. In 2018, our walls are free to decorate with art work and glorious bold colours.
5. Decorating with indoor plants
‘A key living room trend for spring/summer is accessorising using plants and greenery.’ informs Amy Peacock, head of homeware at Urban Outfitters. ‘From small cacti and succulents, to hanging foliage and larger potted plants, greenery can completely transform any living space for the summertime. Whether used in abundance or as a minimalistic finishing touch, both can be equally impactful.’
6. Statement carpets
Forget feature walls – this year is all about feature floors! While wooden flooring has taken centre stage in many homes over the years, there is still a desire for carpets when it comes to creating a cosy living room. Brintons has revealed a dramatic rise in sales in the last few years, particularly of patterned carpets. Tartans and stripes are still the most popular choices, but increasingly, the patterns are becoming more statement.
‘Statement carpets such as the Timorous Beasties collection have become the key feature for floors, challenging traditional conventions’ says Natalie Littlehales, consumer marketing manager at Brintons. ‘Using larger scale and the avoidance of symmetry, carpets like the Ruskin Butterfly creates a completely individual interior. The decor can simply pick out a few key colours, so as not to detract from the stunning floor.’
7. Corner sofas and occasional chairs
Velvet may be the fabric of the season, but a classic corner arrangement still rules the roost when it comes to sofa design. ‘Corner sofas have continued to increase is popularity this year, with the rise of open-plan living and relaxed style living spaces. Sales of corner sofas were up 56 per cent last season and we expect to see this continue to grow,’ reveals Caitlin Price, head of buying for furniture at John Lewis. ‘Many ranges offer storage solutions in the chaise end, which are great for those short of space.’
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Occasional chairs are back in fashion. John Lewis has reported a rise in sales, up 22 per cent from on last year. ‘Modern styling sees customers less likely than in previous years to match a full sofa suite. Instead, they’ll mix a sofa with an accent chair or snuggler.’ explains Caitlin Price. ‘This has allowed customers to be braver with their choice of colour – greens, yellows and teal have been the most popular picks for this type of furniture.’
Which living room trends are you following this year?