I was so excited to do an interview with John Darling from Darlings of Chelsea. Here’s what he had to say:
Can you tell us a little about the history of Darlings and where you are at now?
Darlings of Chelsea was founded by myself at the end of 2005 – after I waited over 6 months for a sofa to arrive for my flat. I decided to set up a website selling UK made sofas – delivered in 5 weeks. My first year we sold close to a million pounds of sales and we were up and running. I took on my first high street shop in Fulham after one year and have subsequently opened stores as we’ve grown. We now have 4 shops in Birmingham, Fulham, St Albans and Surrey and 5th soon to open in Parsons Green. As well as UK made sofas, we also sell sleek Italian sofas. Our range has become much broader over the years.
Please introduce us to your new ranges, they look simply gorgeous?
Thank you! After seeing a rise in demand from customers for sofas in brighter bolder shades, we looked into increasing our fabric and colour choices for our best-selling designs, like the Charnwood and Galloway. We researched the next key colours tipped to be huge for the interiors world and sourced a new line of vibrant fabrics based on our findings.
As we know everyone has their preference on what material they want their sofa upholstered in, we ensured the new colours were available in leather, velvet and linen mix to suit everyone’s taste. My favourite is the Sahara Sunshine yellow which looks incredible on the Dulwich sofa.
We have also just introduced a new leather and fabric mix range, which is super deep and very comfortable.
Where do your designers find their inspiration from?
Predominately, our sofas are designed and manufactured using traditional methods here in Great Britain. So naturally, their inspiration is drawn from the classic designs of the past, the quintessential British home, the interiors in the country manor, the village cottage, the Victorian townhouse. Of course, we also have some European designers on board too, whose ranges have a far more linear, sleeker, contemporary feel.
The colours in your new collections are really lovely, perfect for adding vitality to a living space. How do you choose your colour ranges?
We work as a team here at Darlings, it’s a collaborative process. From our sales consultants to the design team we expect everyone to keep a keen eye on what our customers like, emerging patterns and current trends.
We are big fans of Darlings, your furniture always looks distinctive and great quality. What do you think makes it stand out?
We are very selective about our designs and each range is put through its paces by our team of experts to, “separate the wheat from the chaff”, so to speak. This is to ensure that we always we always excel in the three most important aspects of sofa design – style, comfort and build quality.
Finally, can you tell us your predictions for the hottest interior trends of A/W 2018?
The summer this year has been fantastic. So with that in mind, I think people will be holding on to the warmth as much as possible. So, my prediction for A/W 2018 will be warmer tones of yellows and oranges, like mustard and rust orange, plus the usual earthy hues and berry shades but with a golden metallic sheen for a luxe touch.
Pop over to Darlings of Chelsea to see their full range