Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

How to pick the right sofa.

As the days get lighter, I’m getting that seasonal urge to do an interiors Spring refresh at home. I’m currently on the lookout for a new sofa.

I have set 4 criteria to help me on my sofa hunt : colour, tufted with buttons, piping and extra comfortable.

The sofas at Darlings of Chelsea ticked many of these boxes. I will be talking through my “how to pick the right sofa” criteria, whilst showing you my favourites.


There are 3 on trend colours this season that will continue into next year – green,blue and pink. Since I already have 2 green and a dark blue sofa, it’ll have to be a new pink one for me. I say that with an indulgent smile, since I have always yearned for one. I’ve been waiting for the shops to embrace that hue, and now is definitely pink’s moment for the limelight . You may also be thinking, why does she need so many sofas? Sofas to me,are like how shoes and handbags are to some ladies. As if that is a tangible excuse! No, the truth is I love styling room sets, so the sofas come in handy for photo shoots too.

This pretty pink sofa from Darlings of Chelsea (above) is called Arden. It is a corner sofa inspired by the classic style of the 19th century. It features delicate curved arms, fibre seats with foam cores and buttoned fixed back.

Tufted with buttons.

The whole tufted with buttons look has always been associated with being too traditional or dated. However, this is no longer the case, in fact that look has been steadily or even stealthily creeping back into interiors. I’m already spotting tufted doors, walls and beds everywhere. Talking about tufted bed, I may be getting one soon.

This is the Paisley sofa and stool. A classic Chesterfield that is tufted with deep buttoning. Isn’t it a beauty?


I always remember that time I saw my sister’s new sofa. It was shipped all the way from New York. It had white piping against grey. I remembered thinking to myself how that simple contrasting feature could elevate a sofa from plain to top elegant.

This is the Olivia sofa in extra soft brushed cotton blossom. Look at those chic contrast piping and button back cushions. I am seriously tempted.

Extra comfortable

This is obvious right? However, I think sometimes we can compromise a bit of comfort for style – yes, talking from my own experience! The sofa market is now so competitive that I think you really can get both comfort and looks in one. I suggest reading reviews, request fabric samples or even physically getting down to that showroom to try out that sofa. After all, you are about to spend a four figure sum for a quality sofa right?

This is the Lorena sofa. A beautiful Italian style piece with a metal frame. It comes with a manually adjustable headrest for extra comfort. There is also a recliner option for indulgent lounging. I say we definitely need these after our hard days at work.

Last but not least. I may have missed out fabric in the criteria for ‘how to pick the right sofa’, but actually this is intentional. I think fabric choice very much depends on one’s lifestyle. Velvet may be on trend this season, but may not be a practical choice if say, you have a young family ( thinking back to my own experience), then perhaps wipe clean leather for those spills may be a better investment. It also depends on the climate of the country you live in. If warm, you may want to go for cooling linen or cotton fabrics instead. I really think the choice is dictated by what you will be using your sofa for.

Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed my post on how to pick the right sofa. I think writing this all down has also helped me consolidate what I need when searching for my next piece. The thing is, all the sofas I have featured totally tick all the boxes. Which one is your favourite? I would really love to hear what you think and how you pick your sofa.

Wishing you a beautiful day.

( This is a sponsored collaborative post, however all my writing, views and opinions are my own .)

printing photos from phone Printing photos from phone or camera with Printiki and an Instagram Giveaway.

I love colour hunting when I travel. Unsurprisingly, my camera card and I-phone gallery are now packed full of images.

I have recently returned from a trip to LA and Palm Springs. As you can imagine, I have amassed quite a collection of photos.  It would be so nice to see the physical copies of those photos on holiday.

It was perfect timing when Printiki contacted me to try out their service for printing photos from phone or camera.  Have you noticed the trend for 4″x4″ photos? I’ve certainly seen many high street shops now stocking frames for that size.

I’ve purchased the colourful frames above to create a large gallery wall. I’m still waiting on a few more frames, so will show you when the wall is completed, at a later date.
You can order the 4×4 photos with a thin white border or in a polaroid style. They come in either a matte or glossy finish. I have chosen matte.

I’ve decided to display my photos on a blue wire mesh board, using colourful paper clips. printing photos from phone The board currently sits on one of the walls in my creative work studio.It has become both a decorative feature and visual mood board for me. I can see my favourite colours of pink, sky blue, pops of yellows and natural green. It’s so interesting to see how I gravitate towards those hues when photographing. How do you like it? Another idea for the printed photos, is to make postcards.

As you can see, I have attached my photos to bright pink cards, all ready to post. You can order your photos just by using your phone, adding the images straight from your Instagram account, Facebook page or camera roll. There’s even an option to add caption.

Printiki  can also print photo books and posters. There are various size options and finishes available, all at affordable prices.

They post internationally and delivery is super fast, as the photos can be printed locally in many countries, such as the UK, USA, Australia and more. Now for the GIVEAWAY. How would you like to win an amazing wire mesh memo board, similar to the one I have above, along with a voucher code to print 30 of your own photos from Printiki?

The instructions for the giveaway are on my Instagram.

It really is so easy printing photos from phone or camera. Do give Printiki a go, and I’m pretty sure you’ll love it as I do.

( All photography and styling are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This is a sponsored collaboration with Printiki, but all views are my own).

This post is all about the latest trends in bathrooms and kitchens, from my recent tour of PORCELANOSA in Valencia, Spain.

I’ve been thinking of re-doing my bathroom and kitchen lately, and so this showroom tour, a source of inspiration, was especially relevant to me.

We started the tour with some artistic fun, by tracing over the pencil illustrations on tiles, created by Spanish artist, Coté Escrivá.

Here is the tile wall completed. The black stone basin above, with its clean cut contemporary lines and luxury feel has now made it to my bathroom wish list. This beautiful wall mounted Noken tap, designed by renowned Italian designer, Simone Micheli, was also a favourite. How cool is this? A wooden stand with a groove for a mobile phone or ipod, that can be connected wirelessly to a sound system behind the mirror.  This is KRION™, PORCELANOSA’s next generation in solid surfaces.

What’s amazing about KRION™, is that it can be cut into sheets, joined and thermoformed to make seamless surfaces and curved shapes.

I was wowed at the live demo, showing us how resistant KRION™ was to acid and stains. This would definitely be the perfect work surface material for busy kitchens. Here is a basin shaped out of KRION™ . This white and gold bathroom is just gorgeous. The gold basin looked great when contrasted against black.
PORCELANOSA is more than just tiles and bathroom. This concrete effect wall, was made from one of their products called micro cement. We were shown how easy it was to mix and apply to walls.

What’s wonderful about micro cement is that it is waterproof, and so can be used as the walls in showers. We also got to tour PORCELANOSA’s large collection of kitchens.

How clever is this storage solution above the sink? I realised I haven’t talked much about tiles,so take a peek at the image above.

They look like wood don’t they, but are actually tiles. Rather than have wooden floors in wet areas such as the kitchen or bathroom, these would make perfect alternatives.

Hope you have enjoyed my take on the latest trends in bathrooms and kitchens at PORCELANOSA.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. I was invited to Valencia, as a press guest of Porcelanosa).

Search the blog