Our resident interior designer, Amanda Hanley, answers your questions
I have a small sitting room, but I need to fit a lot of seating in, and would really like to have two sofas. Is it better to have two the same, or would different ones look better?
I’d recommend buying two sofas in different materials. An idea would be to have one upholstered in a patterned fabric, and the other in a gorgeous plain velvet or linen, picking up a colour from the pattern. If you have space, I’d also suggest adding a small statement chair, to break the room up a bit. If the layout is too uniform and organised, it can feel a bit too clinical. In a small room you should aim to get texture and pattern into the main pieces, as there often isn’t much scope to do this elsewhere. Getting the balance of plains and patterns is key – the pattern adds style and cosiness, and the plains relieve the eye, so it doesn’t become overwhelming, and give you an opportunity to focus on sumptuous textures.
I’ve read that Pantone Colour of the Year 2019 is “Living Coral” – I love how bright and fresh it is, and I enjoy keeping up with trends. Can you advise on how to use it?
Coral is an extremely versatile colour. Personally, I think it looks fabulous against blues, teals and greens, as the high contrast combination looks striking and makes the coral pop out, enhancing the warm tones. For a more relaxing look, try combining it with fresh white, soft grey, or gentle neutrals. It can be a little overwhelming when used as a solid colour on walls, so limit its use to smaller amounts, soft furnishings, upholstery and accessories. Coral tends to work better in large and well-lit spaces. As with all bright and bold colours, if the room is smaller, less is more, as it can become overwhelming and make the room feel oppressive if used heavy-handedly.