5 min read

No world city has the old-school cool of New York. Paris has romance, London has history, Tokyo has technology – but NYC is the superstar.

Whether you’ve been inspired by the glitz and glam of Sex and the City, the bright ‘n’ breezy details dotted around Monica and Rachel’s Friends living room, or are looking for some On The Road Beat generation grit, we take a look at how you can turn your living room into a lasting tribute to the city that never sleeps.

Sofology Fellini in industrial room set

The industrial look

New York’s iconic lived-in look stems from the many warehouses and factories that were eventually converted into apartments.

That’s why the tasteful minimalist style of New York loft apartments is often backed by exposed brickwork and wooden flooring.

If you want to capture that same combination of cold and warmth, experiment with metallic furniture alongside more homely pieces like lamps, scatter cushions and a rug. Combine the two with a leather sofa – warmth and comfort in a cool, minimalist style.

The Fellini defines elegance and clean, simple design, and is available in a wide range of colours so you can set the tone for the rest of the room.


Buckland ladder shelving
Marino table lamp

New York neutrals

Reflect New York’s laid-back personality by choosing colours to suit. Think chilled blues and blustery browns, rather than pastels, as you strike a more neutral scheme throughout.

Choose bookcases and a coffee table to match – tasteful metallic furnishings or washed-out wooden fixtures. After a hectic day, return home to the cooling comfort of a colour-neutral room and sink into something comfortable, like the fabric Hetty, featuring pintucked stitching detail for a designer look.

Pair with a footstool and opt for the Linoso Duck Egg/Teal Mix to get more of the chilled-out blue in your living room.


Larger than life

One thing we can’t help but notice in our favourite New York-set sitcoms and series is when a character moves into a new apartment that’s been generously described by their estate agent as ‘compact’. 

If you want to make your own living room appear larger, there are a few simple tricks to try. 

Make the most of all available natural light by decorating in brighter colours to increase the light levels. Hang curtains from ceiling to floor to make the room look taller, and use wall lamps instead of free-standing ones to maximise floor space. Your choice of sofa is important, too, when it comes to creating a more spacious-looking apartment. 

The Finchley not only fits comfortably into a corner, opening up space in the middle of a room, but on raised legs it adds more visual space too.


The grand old days

The New York of the past conjures up Art Deco designs with Mad Men-style bright colours and vibrant imagination.

If you’re going for a retro look, take a cue from F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel-turned-movie The Great Gatsby – clean lines, geometric designs and lots of lacquered wood. It can be tough to recreate when your living room isn’t as sizable as the ballrooms and libraries of the upper set, but a few neat details can help you set the tone.

Mad ideas

Mad Men has inspired countless designers to go for Scandi style in their homes. In an interview with Chandelier Creative, the show’s set decorator Amy Wells said the 1960s look spans more than one decade: “The reality doesn’t come in by looking at a Sears catalog from 1960 and just having things from that catalog. You would have to layer it in.”

If you want to ‘layer it in’ yourself, start with a seemingly timeless piece, like the fabric Midas sofa with hand nailed chrome stud detailing, creating a look that would be just as at home in protagonist Don Draper’s bachelor pad as it would in Jay Gatsby’s mansion. The angular accent chair is an especially neat design, providing the kind of cosy welcome home a New Yorker needs.

New York past and present provides a spark of imagination – one of the world’s liveliest cities has given us so many design delights over the years. So if you’re thinking of celebrating the Big Apple in your home, tune in to your favourite shows and seek your own space. Shop our range of new arrivals to provide the perfect starting point.


About Sofology

Helping everybody feel happier and more comfortable at home - that's what we’re all about. Originally founded in the North West of England in 1974, Sofology now has stores all across the UK. Providing specialist sofa advice and interiors inspiration for your home, our stores are designed to be a haven from the chaos of traditional sofa shopping.