Hi, I’m Joanna.
Interiors writer, stylist and design expert Joanna Thornhill has written four books on all things interiors, alongside creating regular editorial features, styling photoshoots for brands, and teaching her styling secrets through various workshops and online courses. Her portfolio, services and links to her books can be found at joannathornhill.co.uk, or for her personal design insights, visit her instagram joannathornhillstylist .
With the nights drawing in (and Christmas looming on the horizon), now’s the perfect time to refresh your living space with warming tones, sink-into-me textures and lashings of layers for an inviting, snuggly vibe. Take inspiration from three of Sofology’s top trends this season – Social Living, New Traditionalists and Comfort & Joy – to create a welcoming space that’s unique to you.
Warm up a neutral scheme with Social Living
If you prefer living with a relatively neutral palette, the Social Living trend proves it’s possible to create a space that still feels warm and welcoming without dialling up the hues. The key to ensuring things don’t feel cold or austere is to get your undertones right within your key colours: look for furniture, flooring and wall finishes which have an underlying warmth to them, such as hints of brown, pink or yellow (rather than cooler blue-based neutrals or pure white). A neutral palette also gives you a little more to play with when it comes to mixing in different tints and tones throughout your scheme (and in fact opting for a mix, even if subtle, helps to create a more layered, relaxed feel).
While it’s always important to consider textures in a space, it’s even more so within a neutral design, to aid a feeling of warmth: follow the same formula and aim to incorporate several different fabrics and finishes, in subtly different colourways. Here, a sleek two-seater Cricket sofa, upholstered in warm-neutral Grey Weave, is paired with two Canterbury accent chairs in a gently mottled Lagoon blue/grey fabric, rather than opting for a more formal fully-matching suite.
Get playful with New Traditionalists
Perfect for both period spaces and modern homes alike, the New Traditionalists trend artfully mixes heritage-influenced accents with some distinctly modern, playful touches. Taking design notes from the much-loved TV shows Bridgerton and Downton Abbey, its namesake Bridgerton range of sofas, chairs, footstools and (what else?) chaises form the backbone of this look, with its streamlined interpretation of classic button-back detailing. Pairing these two rich furniture colourways of Moss and Vader Gold Nugget together creates a palette representative of nature at its warm Autumnal best.
Play bold green tones off against punchy pinks, for a contrasting yet complementary look – if in doubt, follow the classic ‘60/30/10’ interior design rule: stick to green as the dominant colour within your design, allow yellow to take up around 30% of the overall palette, then limit pink to just 10% of the total scheme, for a look that’s bold yet balanced. Design details which also flirt with period patterns help support this hybrid-heritage look: think fussy frills edging otherwise-streamlined cushions and classic floral motifs on modern monochrome backdrops.
Hunker down for some Comfort & Joy
Nothing screams cosy quite like a generously-sized, cushion-laden sofa, so if your idea of a perfect night in is bundling the whole family onto one giant, sumptuously-plump couch and sinking into multiple layers of textiles, the Comfort & Joy trend could well be one to emulate. Key to this vibe is choosing the largest corner sofa your space can accommodate, like the Rococo, which comes in a choice of sizes.. While L-shaped and corner sofas work well for large, open-plan spaces – where they can help zone and define a seating area – they are an equally savvy option for smaller rooms, too: visually, our eyes are less distracted by one large item in comparison to several smaller furniture pieces, so this can help create a less cluttered look.
Here, the classic buttoned side panelling of the Rococo – finished in tactile chenille Verbier Gold fabric – is given a gentle nomadic style nod by layering on fur throws, spice-toned fringed linen cushions and faded Persian rug-influenced patterns. To ensure your cushion-loaded sofa feels inviting rather than overly formal, introduce a slightly eclectic mix of colours and patterns, in several different sizes and formats – and skip the hotel-esque ‘karate chop’ cushion styling in favour of something a little more lived-in.
Complete the look with charmingly rough-and-ready nomadic accents, like earthenware bowls, dried grasses and rustic wooden furniture, and enhance the informal boho vibes.