It can be a never-ending quest to find furniture which ticks not just the aesthetic box but scores high on functionality too.
So, in an attempt to make good design more accessible and suitable to real life, dynamic duo Leigh Harmer and Abi Boura decided to set up their own upholstered furniture company, Love Your Home. With her eye for beauty as an interiors journalist, and his experience of runninga luxury furniture company and a design practice, it was a perfect match. Their mission? Tomake furniture worthy of the pages of an interiors magazine – but suitable for the rough and tumble of family life.Because a sofa is no use to anyone if it just looks pretty in a photo shoot.
Luxe furniture that's affordable and resilient? Now that's something we can get on board with. Especially when they come in vibrant mohair velvets. But more on that later.
Better still, each item is customisable. Estate agent optimistically told you there was space for a double bed? Have it shortened. Child growing too fast? Have it lengthened. You get the point.Which is probably why 48% of their orders are bespoke.
In light of their new spring and summer collection, we spoke to founder and designer Leigh on sofa trends, popular colours – and, of course, mohair velvet.
WHEN DID YOU SET UP LYH AND WHY?
We started in 2008. The recession was in full swing, our top-end furniture offering was suffering and we were confident that there was a growing market for design-led, high quality sofas, beds and sofa beds – but at reasonable prices.
WHO DESIGNS THE PIECES?
I do! I take inspiration from different decades and weave them into designs to suit modern day life.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SELLING COLOURS?
The Tumeric and Peacock Mohairs are a particularly big hit!
WHAT IS TRENDING IN SOFAS RIGHT NOW?
Big, bespoke and comfy corner sofas are very popular at the moment. They are modern and stylish, yet inviting too.
FORMAL OR CASUAL SEATING – WHICH IS DOING BEST?
Casual – but with style. We have our Earl Grey Chesterfield with it's modern twist that people are loving.
HOW DO YOU INTRODUCE A COLOURFUL SOFA TO A NEUTRAL SCHEME?
We are big fans of bold colour (Turmeric/burnt orange fabrics are always in our top sellers). We think there's a place for colour in any interior style. You can always tone the sofa down with neutral scatters and throws. Stick with bold, natural earthy colours which will always be classic.
WHAT COLOURS ARE CURRENTLY TRENDING?
Teal, Fir green and marine blues
TELL US ABOUT MOHAIR VELVET. WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS?
This is traditionally a very high end fabric and normally not found on sofas at this price point. I love Mohair, so worked very hard on our own range to offer an excellent quality Mohair at a reasonable price. It catches the light beautifully and is very hard-wearing. I find myself stroking the sofa arm at home – it's like having a cat without the hassle. Some people find it too hairy and still too expensive.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE IN THE CURRENT COLLECTION?
The Ottilie sofa. Simple lines, very comfortable and named after my youngest daughter.
WHEN BUYING A PIECE OF FURNITURE ONLINE, WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK OUT FOR?
Always ensure you physically see the fabric before ordering as they will always look very different in your own light conditions plus the check the quality. Not all companies offer great quality fabrics. Carefully check the scale of the piece to ensure it will suit your space and of course the access fit is good.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR LYH?
We have a few top secret collaborations in the pipeline which will be launched in the Spring!
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Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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