On the Sofa with Arlo & Jacob’s Michelle White

As December is the month of Christmas entertaining, we are sure looking forward to hosting this year. We sat down with Arlo & Jacob’s Brand & Marketing Director Michelle White, to discuss our love of entertaining and interior design, future home trends and how to style a space. Michelle has shared her insights on how to make the most out of your entertaining space, and how to incorporate elements of the Hygge ethos into your home.

 Arlo & Jacob | Henry large sofa in Scandi Linen Sencha

Arlo & Jacob are a fabulous boutique furniture maker. They design their pieces in-house and the craftmanship is to an extremely high standard that’s built to last. They only use sustainably sourced materials, and all their products are made in the UK. We don’t know about you, but it’s ticking all the boxes for us. Where will your next furniture purchase come from?

Arlo & Jacob | Agatha Chair
  1. Tell us a bit about Arlo & Jacob.

We’re boutique furniture makers who like to do things the old-fashioned way. We’re lucky to be based in Nottinghamshire, which is a region of the UK with a really rich tradition of sofa making. There are some wonderful craftspeople in the area with such a wealth of expertise and ability, which adds a certain human touch to our collection, as well as a sense of quality that you can really see and feel. Although we use classic techniques to make everything by hand, we do love applying them to more contemporary designs, creating pieces that feel fresh and on-trend, yet hold their stylish quality as the seasons go by.

  1. At Swygge we have a Hygge ethos. How can you incorporate Hygge into living spaces?
We work with a base colour palette that’s full of toasty tones, largely inspired by colours found in nature. There’s a humble character to these hues and a real depth to them. We like to then apply those to really tactile materials, like velvets and bouclés. That adds another dimension and brings a certain mutability to the surfaces as the light hits them from different angles. So, it’s all playing into this idea of really settling into the home and enjoying it with all of your senses, taking time to appreciate those little things that bring a glimmer to the day-to-day.
Arlo & Jacob | Oscar Chair Two
  1. Our customers love to entertain. What top tips would you give for styling an entertaining space?

Flexible seating is always a friend! We’re big fans of incorporating chairs and footstools into a scheme so that you can change the flow of movement and the seating arrangements to suit your needs. Footstools also work wonderfully as coffee tables. If you pop a tray down, you can create a really original look that’s at once casual and chic in a very creative sort of way. Corner sofas and chaises are great for entertaining as well, as they create a convivial feel that invites conversation and makes people feel naturally comfortable in the space.

  1. Tell us a bit about Arlo & Jacob’s sustainability approach. We know you, like us, are big on this.

We make sofas for life. That means they’re crafted to a high standard that’s built to last. The idea is that you hold onto it and enjoy it all the way down the line. We guarantee our hardwood frames because we’re really confident in our craftsmanship. If there ever does happen to be an issue, we’re primed to fix it so that you can keep that sofa, rather than buying a new one. As far as materials, we use solid birch timber, meaning it’s sustainably sourced. We also offer fabric options that are kind to the planet, like our Sustainable Stripe.

Arlo & Jacob | Agatha Grande Sofa
  1. Is there a golden rule you should always consider in interior design?

Interior design is a bit like making a cocktail; there are helpful guidelines to consider but none of them are hard rules. Ultimately, go with your gut! If you really love a piece of furniture, a colour, a pattern, and it makes you really happy, you should have it in your home! Why not bottle up that feeling and keep it close? The best thing to do is gather up those things that you really love and collate photos then look at them collectively to figure out which ones will jive best together. Perhaps some of them fit into one room, and others can live in another. You’ll begin to see commonalities lining up and naturally sense which ones sing together.

If you’re ever stuck, we are more than happy to help with complimentary style consultations! You can book one on our website and take it remotely from the comfort of your home. Or pop by one of our showrooms and we’ll gladly chat through ideas in person! The next step is then taking some free swatches home to see how they behave in the light of that space – that’s really important. Always test out colours at home to get a true sense of how they’ll look in practice. The same goes with paint. Coat Paints is great in that they provide stick-on paint swatches, so you don’t even have to get your hands dirty!

Arlo & Jacob | Vesper
  1. What do you think the 2023 home trends will be?

We’re seeing lots of very sculptural forms cropping up. A lot of them are quite organic and soft, very much from nature. Some of our sofas lean this way, like the Harriet, which is very pillowy and striking. Or our Leon has got a more classically modern silhouette, with very geometric elements that give it a mid-century feel. The references to nature also translate into colour. Sage green is becoming very popular, or even botanical prints like our Chintz in the Greenery colourway. There’s also been a rise in the monochromatic approach, where you paint out entire areas of your space, for example. So, you could paint not just the wall a certain colour, but also the baseboards and even any built-in cabinetry. That works for furniture, too! You can dress up your sofa with accent cushions that are the same fabric and colour as the upholstery, and even pair that with a matching footstool to heighten the effect.

  1. What has been your favourite Arlo & Jacob project or piece to date?

That is a tough one! Top of mind is our new Hector sofa. That’s been really fun to work on as we’ve taken some of the best bits about a very popular design of ours, the Henry, and adapted them. So, now we’ve got this fresh take on something that was already well-loved, where we’ve given people more options to tailor their furniture to suit their specific tastes. That’s only just launched so we’re really excited to see it popping up in people’s homes soon!

Swygge Cocktails & Entertaining

You can learn more about Arlo & Jacob on their website, where you’ll find more information and their offering of beautiful handmade furniture pieces as well. We’d highly recommend you consider purchasing from them in the future, their style, quality and sustainable ethos gives them the edge above the rest, and keep up with them on Instagram, too!

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