Class it up when your feet are up
It’s time to answer the age old question: What makes a house a home? You want to create the perfect environment of comfort without sacrificing style and the best way to achieve this is upgrading your furniture. Take the plunge and surround yourself with sophistication, says Ana Klein.
Flatpack furniture has its uses. It’s cheap as chips and easy to stuff into the back of your mate’s car; that’s a solid virtue when you’re stumbling around in your early twenties, convinced that you’ll never figure out life. But there comes a time in every man’s life when quality becomes the priority. It’s time to get classy.
Nicole Daniels of Momentum [Contemporary Furniture and Lighting] has
this to say: “People invest a lot of time and are brand conscious when it
comes to clothes and cars; the brands we know and recognise make it
easy for us to see where to spend our money if we want quality. With
furniture it is harder. You need to investigate a bit more to understand
what to invest in."
With that in mind, here is a walkthrough of the modern man’s home
As implied by the name, you do a lot of living in this room. Here are
a few basics to give you optimal comfort and fashion.
THE ULTIMATE RECLINER
First up is pure relaxation: a chair that reacts to your body’s slightest
movements to ensure comfort at all times.
“Natuzzi Re-vive is the result of years of research and development, combining quality craftsmanship with leading edge ergonomic design,” says Liz Mynett at Natuzzi, Re-Vive’s suppliers. Sleek, modern, and terribly on trend, this piece is a statement for any living room. You can nab the casual model, The Lounge, online for £2680, or its more formal cousin, The Suit, also online for £2710. They both have personality and they’ll both be with you for life. Quality like that sticks around.
If traditional design is the route you’d rather take, check out the Eames Lounge chair for all of your lazy day needs. Inspired by the classic English club chair, this design has itself become a contemporary classic, combining a level of comfort and elegance that will earn you envy from visitors. Recline in smooth black or fresh white upholstery depending on your taste and struggle to remember why you ever used to leave the house. Contact Momentum for more details.
THE STATEMENT SOFA
A sturdy sofa makes a perfect accompaniment to the Re-Vive. Here we’re opting for timelessness – both in style and quality. There will never be a point when the leather sofa goes out of fashion, so this piece is another lifer. The Avana is “characterised by its modern edge and finer details” (Liz Mynett, Natuzzi); you can choose the feet and stitching colours of your sofa – finer details indeed! Classic and comfortable, you can create the perfect environment with the Avana model at £2560 from Natuzzi.
If you’re looking for something a bit more creative, Momentum’s Tufty-Time sofa is the one for you. It’s modern, comfy, and completely open to customisation. You begin with the ottoman and mix and match with other units to design your own sofa shape. Play it safe with a traditional sofa shape, or shake things up with a chaise longue or corner piece. It’s completely up to you.
THE COFFEE TABLE
This table, can be matched with pretty much any style. Smooth and clean designs are trends that go hand in hand and the Apostrofo table wins on both counts. It’s unobtrusive enough that it won’t detract from the major players in the room, but still carries its own edge. Find this steal at Natuzzi for £340.
THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE OF TV STANDS
On the topic of trends, fashion has moved to function, and rightly so. There’s no reason why something can’t look good and be useful. That’s why we recommend the Novecento wall unit. It includes benches, drawers, cabinets, shelves, and sideboards – you can set up your TV, game stations, DVD collections, books, and whatever else you desire, all in one beautiful modular unit. It can be set up in countless variations so the final look will be a completely unique living space. This piece starts at £890 from Natuzzi and ends wherever your creative vision takes it.
You now have the basics to create your own bespoke living area. It’s time to bring your kitchen up
to the same level as your living room.
FROM THE GROUND UP
The best method to getting the perfect kitchen is getting the perfect designer. You need a well
fitted room that speaks of taste and quality and the way to achieve this is to start from scratch.
Have someone who knows their stuff, like the experts at Space Fitting Furniture, take a look at
your place and show you the potential of your room. Steve Bloom (SFF) says that a good kitchen
“reflects our lifestyle changes, so our busy lifestyles, desire for open plan living, more adventurous
cooking styles, along with developments in the AV industry transpire into our design.”
THE DINING SET
Now that you’re not a poor twenty-something eating cereal on the floor, it’s time to invest in a
dining set. Classy, I know. Clean curves and a smooth finish characterise this Harlem table. You can
choose from circular or oval and from a range of shades to match any theme. This little catch is
available for £1050. Pair it with Brera leather chairs; the Brera set is comfort meets chic. Pick up a
set of four for £1280 and say goodbye to those memories of backache from half arsed chairs of the
past. Find these guys at Natuzzi.
Steve Bloom, of Space Fitting Furniture, says: “If a living space is designed properly it will be timeless and enhance your lifestyle.” There is no betterstyle than one that lasts as long as you do!
"Maximum comfort, style, timelessness, longevity: these are the most important factors that go into designing your future," says Nicole of Momentum.
They’ve been in the contemporary furniture business for more than a decade, so they know a thing or two about a good, solid bed. We’ve gone for simplicity and minimalism in this room, starting with the Aluminium Laccato bed. It has that “less is more” vibe, and needs no extra clutter to look great. Not to mention a very durable frame for all your needs! It’s available from Momentum for £2190.
THE BEDSIDE TABLE
The Truck bedside table is the perfect friend to the Laccato bed. As with all of the pieces featured, there are a variety of colours you can go for and it doubles as a storage unit with two sizable drawers. If you’re into space saving, you can tuck half under the bed, or you can keep this little statement piece out in the fresh air. You can get yours for £1,164 from
There are only so many socks you can stuff in your bedside table, so the final necessity is a wardrobe, or on a larger scale, a bedroom that takes advantage of its own space with sensible storage options. Why not talk to the experts at Space Fitting Furniture, as one of their specialities is bedroom designs. “Fitting furniture effectively and to a budget is what it's all about”, says Steve Bloom, of SFF. Space Fitting Furniture emphasise uniqueness and function, and their countless wardrobe and bedroom designs leave rooms looking fresh and open.
HOMAGE TO AN OFFICE SPACE
If contemporary furniture isn’t for you, why not try the vintage route? Furnish your office space with something a little different, like this dynamic combo: a Canvas Voyager desk inspired by antique luggage, and its accompanying industrial style Forge Factory stool, both available from Homes of Elegance. The two are a shout out to more traditional décor and are sure to give your lair a rustic pop. The desk is available for £475 and the chair for £239. Their range of furniture comes as a “mix of authentic, vintage and contemporary styles”, says Rachel of Homes of Elegance, so it’s worth checking them out no matter your style because they probably have something to suit you!
LET THERE BE LIGHT!
One thing that is often overlooked when decking out a house is the lighting, and yet it can make a huge impact on the finish of a room. Nicole Daniels of Momentum says of designing a room: “It is important to consider how the space will be used and how it needs to be lit.” For the kitchen you may need brighter light for cooking. Living space lighting is likely to need relaxation and work areas. Bedroom? Well, atmosphere is pretty important there, but what kind of atmosphere you want to create is up to you! We’ve chosen a few of our favourite lights from Momentum for you to spice up your home.
We’ll begin with the Öff Öff, a light that easily encompasses style and use. It carries a modern
edge that suits it well to dining areas or work stations, and it’s not garishly bright, ensuring a calm, diffused atmosphere.It looks great alone or in a set of two! You can find them for £468.
Next up we have the classic Goldman lamp . It’s a funky little statement piece ideal for any and
all surfaces. The best home for it would be your work station or office due to its warm but bright lighting that fits long hours of reading or writing, but it has that professional looking edge reminiscent of businessmen of bygone eras. Finish off a room with this lamp for £356.
Lastly, the Wireflow deserves a mention for being so versatile. It comes in several different beautifully geometric shapes to suit whatever vibe you’re aiming for in your room. The light itself isn’t overbearing, but is instead soft and casual, making it a necessity for your living areas. Find your unique Wireflow model from £1448.
All of these lighting essentials can be found at Momentum. Mix and match and don’t be afraid to have multiple light fixtures in a room! If your plans have been tame so far, keep in mind the advice of Momentum’s Nicole: “It is important to be brave: don't be scared of lighting and play it safe - be bold.” Let there be light!
GADGETS AND TECHNOLOGY
So far you’ve been given direction on the furnishings and lighting to
achieve the perfect home. If however you don’t want to be stuck with
a tech experience that’s out of step or one that ruins your look with
a trail of wires and black boxes, now is the time to rethink your
gadgets - which is where Smarta can help.
As the longest established home automation company in Wales and
the only Control 4 Gold standard installer, Smarta are in the business
of incorporating the latest technological wizardry into your home as
inconspicuously as possible. An obvious place to start is your audio/
Mark Wray, Smarta’s MD, explains “We can install a system that, at the touch of a button on your tablet or remote, will turn your lounge into the perfect home cinema.
"Blinds will automatically close, lights will dim, the sound system will
switch to the right mode and link to your streaming device, player or
screen - which can be a projector or state of the art TV. Other neat
audio/ visual tricks include having your music and TV follow you from room to room or having all your A/V set to each family member’s personal preferences and controlled via the remote.”
But you don’t have to stop here. Smarta can rig your home so that you can manage everything you need – lighting, heating and security, for example – remotely. Turn your heating on if there’s a cold snap while you’re on holiday, view your security cameras while you’re at work, change your mood lighting from the couch - the list is almost endless. Control4’s system even allows individual users to set their own preferences. When you arrive home at night, it can recognise you and adjust your home’s settings according to your presets.
Mark expands: “Perhaps the three great benefits of a service like ours
are the flexibility to precisely control so many aspects of how you live – sound, vision, security, light and warmth - the fact that you can do it
remotely both in your home or elsewhere via your smart-phone and that all the technology is hidden away. Having spent a lot of money making your home look great why would you want to ruin it with a mass of cables and boxes?”
You can find out more about bringing your home into the 25th century at thinksmarta.co.uk or by phoning 029 2000 6588.
Find out more about the furniture and lighting discussed by getting in touch:
Momentum: momentumcardiff.com; 029 2023 6266
Natuzzi: natuzzi.co.uk; 029 2048 8698
Space Fitting Furniture: spacefittingfurniture.co.uk;
029 2045 5778
Homes of Elegance: homesofelegance.co.uk; 01873 854173
You now have the basics to create your own bespoke living area. It’s time
to bring your kitchen up to the same level as your living room.