Ask The Designer: Vanessa Hurley-Perara of sofa.com

We sat down with Vanessa Hurley-Perara, Chief Product Officer at sofa.com, to uncover the inspiration behind their most popular designs,  this year’s latest interiors trends, and essential tips when choosing new furniture.


As Chief Product Officer at sofa.com, you must always be on the lookout for the latest trends when it comes to furniture and interiors, what’s hot and what’s not right now?

One of the biggest trends to hit us in recent years is colour on colour – and it looks like it’s here to stay. People have become more confident and bolder with colour. Long gone are those magnolia walls in favour of top to toe block colour…everything from the furniture to the ceiling, right down to the skirting and fireplace!

We’re big fans of sofa.com’s Bluebell and Patrick sofas, what are your most popular designs?

I can certainly see why – our Patrick has all of the beautiful details and expert craftsmanship of a classic Chesterfield and combines it with superior comfort. The fabulous Giovanna Fletcher is one of our most recent proud owners of Patrick!

Ultimately, our Bluebell sofa has always been one of our favourites – you really can’t go wrong with this timeless classic! Bluebell is a very adaptable piece that looks great in many different styled rooms, from traditional through to contemporary. She’s like a chameleon!

Giovanna Fletcher’s canary yellow Patrick sofa paired with Farrow & Ball’s Bumble Bee wallpaper

Where do you look to for inspiration when creating new collections?

We look everywhere and anywhere, there’s no set arena for inspiration. Trade shows, vintage markets, Pinterest, eBay, hotels, restaurants, shoot locations, Rightmove…even fitting rooms!

The Bluebell two seat sofa in Loch brushed linen cotton; and the Club small rectangle footstool in Loch brushed linen cotton

When selecting a new sofa, colour and texture are two big factors to consider. How do you go about finding the perfect materials and hues for a new collection?

We approach sourcing fabrics in a couple of different ways and pool all of the ideas and trends together to present to our customers what we believe is great choice and value. We look at how core ranges have performed and whether we feel there is any particular colour missing from the palette or that customers have been asking for. We look at colour trends and apply these to our customer buying patterns. We also work directly with some wonderful mills in Belgium and Italy and they are always developing new fabrics, designs and colour palettes. And then sometimes, out of the blue, someone might just walk into work with the most beautiful colour jumper on and we are all over them!

Do you have any essential tips and guidance for someone looking to buy a new sofa or chair?

You need to just consider some very simple steps, really…

  1. What is the end function? If it’s a family room, you will need something a little more relaxed that you can all snuggle up on for that Sunday movie.
  2. Who is using this piece of furniture? If for example, you have children and pets then you might want to consider a more robust fabric that will take that kind of use in its stride!
  3. What is the size of the room? Measure, measure and measure once more… There’s nothing worse than a sofa that looks awkward in a room – whether it’s just too big and engulfs the space or too small and looks like it’s in need of some company. A great way to check if you are buying the right size is to either lay down newspaper to the dimensions you are thinking of or use masking tape to mark the outline on the floor. This will give you a good indication as to whether you’re buying the right size or not. Don’t forget to also measure all of your access points. You might be buying the perfect sofa for the room, but can you get it through the front door? We offer breakdownable versions of a selection of our sofas, which is perfect for smaller spaces with tight access points!
  4. Is the colour right? Take home all of the fabric samples that take your fancy and lay them on your furniture at home and live with them for a few days. Did you know we can lend you larger swatches of fabric that you can take home with you just for this purpose? Living with a colour really is the best way to get a true feeling if it’s the right colour for you and your room.

Ultimately, don’t feel you have to be a slave to particular trends – buy what makes you happy.

Images kindly provided by sofa.com



Hannah Solman

About

Hannah's love for interiors stemmed from a dangerous Pinterest addiction, where she covets Mid-century armchairs and Moroccan inspired rugs. Having recently relocated to Dorset, she spends most of her weekends exploring as much of the Jurassic Coast as possible while hunting for geocaches and working on her photography.


The Chromologist 2017 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist