What am I loving for 2016? Timeless classics reimagined through subtle changes in silhouettes and reinterpreted with exciting new fabrics. I firmly believe in investing in high quality furniture — made of the best materials, using the top craftsmanship — because it will look lovely for decades. And I opt for pieces that are so stylish, they transcend trends.
Here are some of my top picks:
George Smith classic: Sometimes you just can’t improve on perfection. That’s how I feel about this ageless classic, an English rolled arm sofa made popular years ago by British designer George Smith. You can pull out a copy of Architectural Digest from the ’60s, and see this lovely sofa staring in a beautiful room scene. And, you can find it still turning heads and winning hearts in the world of design today. The features that make me swoon? The turned legs with castors on the front legs, the two- or three-cushion seat and the tight back.
Chesterfields: Chesterfields have been turning heads for a long, long time. And why not? These sheltered arm sofas provide the perfect little corner where you can prop up with a few pillows and watch TV or read.
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Chesterfields have been turning heads for a long, long time. And why not?
Mary Carol Garrity
I really like this current rendition of the Chesterfield because the arm is not too wide and it has just the right amount of tufting on the back. If you get too many tufts on a sofa like this, it starts to look like a Victorian piece, too fussy for my taste.
When I’m designing a larger room for customers, I often pair this Chesterfield with the English rolled arm sofa above — they look lovely together, similar enough so they harmonize, but different enough that they each bring a different voice to the grouping.
Comfortable classic: With its clean lines and loose back pillows, this gorgeous sofa is the right pick for any style home. A timeless classic, it can go traditional to contemporary, depending upon the upholstery fabric you select. It’s not just its good looks that turns heads and steals hearts – this is one of those magical pieces of furniture that fits everyone who sits in it. Often, sofas are too deep for those of us who are shorter. But this sofa is comfortable for people who are petite and those who are taller.
Holly swivel gliders: I had a prejudice against motion chairs when they first starting making an appearance at market. Recliners, rockers, swivels — I had seen so many bad examples through the years I didn’t think this style would ever be for me. But our younger customers started asking for swivel chairs, so I took another look. Now, I’m crazy about these super comfy, lovely chairs. The Holly chair is a go-to chair for our designers when they are creating a comfortable, stylish space. It’s the kind of super-comfy chair everyone in the family will fight over.
Compact comfort: This motion chair is smaller than the one above, which makes it ideal for spaces where a larger motion chair just won’t fit. If you are downsizing or live in a smaller home, this chair gives you all the comfort and look without eating up any extra floor space.
Those of us who are sentimental at heart always want a few pieces of furniture in our homes that have a warm, cozy, vintage feel to them.
Mary Carol Garrity
Vintage feels: Those of us who are sentimental at heart always want a few pieces of furniture in our homes that have a warm, cozy, vintage feel to them. I’m drawn to this Allerton chair, with its S leg and classic lines.
Ottomans for open spaces: When we are helping customers design large living rooms, our goal is to make the lofty rooms feel cozy. So we often start with this wonderful 53-inch square ottoman, placed in front of the fireplace, surrounded by sofas and chairs. It’s amazing how adding this beautiful ottoman, with its tufted top and turned legs, instantly warms up a big open space. It also comes in different sizes, so it will fit any room.
Oval ottomans: Some of us prefer a world without so many straight lines. This oval ottoman is just the ticket. It’s graceful and elegant, soft and sensual.
Half-round ottomans: What’s cool about this ottoman is it is sold in half-circles, so you can get one or both. When the two sides are pushed together, they are 48 inches round. Slide a half under a console table, place it against the foot of a bed or in a long hallway. Use two to make a round ottoman, then split it when you need extra seating or several foot rests. The ottoman transforms with the fabric you select.
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.