Decorating Ideas Newsletter

Living Room trends: Design inspiration tips for furnishing your lounge

Kings and queens of the castle know that design trends in living rooms tend to date quicker than most rooms in the house, so you need something that you can add to or switch around so you can refresh the look and make it fit the times.

Living room furniture and accessories should fit the room and your needs. Do you want enough space to get friends together to watch the rugby? Or are you looking to hold small coffee mornings? Will you take the living room furniture with you to a future home? If so, how will it look there? Should the home wares be functional and flexible – a sofa bed or a table that can also be a desk, perhaps? How big is your room, and would you like to have furniture, colours and materials that will make it appear bigger than it is?

It’s nice to have a gorgeous bedroom; it can be romantic or cosy, or cluttered and comfortable – either way, not many people get to see it. The living room, on the other hand, is open for everyone to view, and therefore it’s important that you spend a bit more time on it.

These are just some of the questions you may be asking yourself when it comes to furnishing this important part of your home. In the next few pages, we talk to a couple of key members in the marketplace to get their ideas on current trends and show you a mere sample of what’s out there for you to choose from to make the most of the space.

Catherine Trotman
Founder and director, INSIDE (HK) and Inside Trading

If you’ve been in the business since 1997, like Catherine, you’re bound to have a clear idea of the turning tides of style and taste. Here she explains what her customers are looking for at the moment, and what sets them and INSIDE apart.

What changes are you seeing in what people are looking for when it comes to their living room furniture?
We are well recognised for offering versatile pieces that aren’t too heavy and can transition between different rooms. Our customers tend to be quite confident in terms of knowing their style. We very rarely sell a sofa “suite” as they are able to (and prefer to) mix and match pieces themselves. As this sense of self-confidence grows within the Hong Kong furnishing market, so too does our business. People seem to find the eclectic style of our offering appealing.

What are the most popular colours for sofas?
A natural linen colour is the winner at the moment.

Is there a particular type of sofa that is popular with shoppers at the moment?
Our petite buttoned linen sofa is very popular; the scale and levity of it are well suited to
smaller Hong Kong homes.

How about sofa shapes and arrangements? Is L-shaped the most common? How about individual chairs?

We tend not to make large modular sofas. Undoubtedly, this format is very popular in Hong Kong but we specialise in smaller pieces and upholstered chairs that can move with ease between bedroom and living spaces. 

Is furniture getting smaller to fit smaller spaces? If so, how are you meeting this need?
Yes, certainly. As mentioned earlier, offering versatility is key; so, for example, we offer tables that work equally well in a hall, in a bedroom or as a desk.

Lighter woods and colours in upholstery have been trending for a while now; do you see this as continuing or changing?
I think that with the ever-increasing pressure on space, the lighter finishes will continue to win as they make a room feel bigger. They also provide a sense of freedom and the informality that people want.

What are your biggest sellers?
We do very well with our shelving units and small reclaimed teak cabinets and tables; most recently, our brass stools and drum tables are proving fabulously popular.

How do you manage to stay original while still giving people the things that are on trend?
I’m constantly selecting one-off vintage pieces and having them re-finished to our specifications, in accordance with market trends and our customers’ requests. The uniqueness of these pieces ensures our originality.

Find these products at INSIDE, 1201 Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau.
2873 1795 |

Thomas Ma
Co-founder and director, OVO

With a background in hotel management and the hospitality industry Thomas has gained a good understanding of what people look for in their homes and living spaces. His design inspiration comes from travel and from the “supreme beauty” of nature, elements reflected perfectly in what OVO offers.

What are people currently looking for when it comes to living room furniture?
The trend is definitely towards solid wood furniture to keep the living room simplistic and timeless. The unique and beautiful colours, grains and textures of solid wood are obviously also a huge attraction. For the environmentally conscious shopper, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials are the way to go, providing functionality, sustainability and style all in one.

We’re also seeing that people want to bring the outdoors in to their living rooms by adding greenery with a twist. Instead of traditional plants or flowers, they’re using modern mini-gardens or mini-greenhouses with different succulent plants to do the trick.

What are the most popular colours for sofas?
Earth tones are definitely hot at the moment. These hues range from very light beige to dark browns that easily mix with a wide range of living room furniture and accessories, while also providing a warm and inviting ambience.

Is there a particular type of sofa that is popular with shoppers at the moment?
Our most popular sofa at the moment is from our Master of Comfort Collection. It combines Danish design with contemporary touches. It’s stunning, soft and comfortable and works in the most modern of interior spaces as well as older ones. The simplistic design, subtle asymmetric detailing and clean silhouette help to brighten a living area. We guarantee you’ll not want to leave your seat!

How about sofa shapes and arrangements?
The living room has to be a social space where family members and guests gather to spend time together. An L-shaped sofa can help facilitate communication and interaction in an open space. The L-shaped sofas in the Master of Comfort Collection do this, while maintaining simplicity and minimalism; the clean lines expand the room yet still provide a perfect place for curling up in the evening.

Individual chairs or occasional chairs provide more than just a comfy place to sit, they can also be a statement piece, and a way of showing your personal taste and creating a talking point.

Is furniture getting smaller to fit smaller spaces? Give us an example of a product that is meeting this need.
Yes, there’s a greater need for flexible living and space-saving solutions nowadays. For people who live in the quintessential studio apartment or want to make the most of a space, we’ve got the latest sofa bed collection from Danish design company Innovation to maximise functionality. These are available in two- and three-seaters with a huge choice of fabrics to create a welcoming feeling and comfort whether you’re sitting or sleeping.

Lighter woods and colours in upholstery have been trending for a while now; do you see this as continuing or changing?
I think it will be a continuing trend, not only because it’s warm and inviting but also better for smaller areas and spaces.

What are your biggest sellers?
Solid wood collections and our sofa bed collection.

How do you manage to stay original while still giving people the things that are on trend?
Providing a wide range of on-trend items is undoubtedly one or our core competencies, but we’re trying to offer more than that. Our furniture consultancy team offers creative ideas for interior planning and styling. They consider the interior as a whole instead of just a single furniture piece, and they inspire our customers through mixing and matching with different designs, with the “live life in style” message incorporated.

Find these products at OVO Studio, 2002 Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau, and G/F, 1 Wanchai Road, Wanchai.
2529 6020, 2527 6088 |