We are witnessing a mood swing towards cosiness: the English country house look is definitely in favour, with comfort being key. We are also seeing more informal ideas such as banquette seating for dining areas, which is perfect when entertaining a crowd.
When it comes to picking a sofa or armchair, the type of cushion fill is extremely important. Our standard filling is a mix of
80 per cent feather and 20 per cent down, but we can also offer 100 per cent down for extra cloud-like softness. What is popular in busy areas like family rooms is a Foam Core Feather Wrap – a piece of foam encased in an outer shell of feather and down. This means that you don’t have to plump the cushions but you still get the softness and the feather effect. For a very firm finish, we can also offer foam, and for allergy sufferers we have hypoallergenic cushions.
When selecting a fabric, always ask what the rub test is, which basically means how many times the fabric can be rubbed before it wears out. Fabrics for residential projects should have a minimum of 20,000 rubs and for commercial, 40,000 rubs.
Velvet is still a hugely popular choice for upholstery and looks especially wonderful in jewel-like hues. Velvets that have a directional pile – usually viscose and silk – are tricky for upholstery as they mark easily. Cotton velvets are generally fine, but we prefer velvets that have a directionless pile such as mohair velvets. Mohair has an incredibly sturdy pile, which means that it’s very hard to crush, not to mention its stain-resistant nature, making it a perfect choice for homes with children and dogs. George Smith’s mohair velvet has 80,000 rubs, which means it is incredibly hard-wearing.