More than any other item of furniture, a comfortable sofa is essential for harmonious entertaining. Whether friends drop round for a pot of mint tea, or require a spot for a post-prandial game of scrabble, cosy and abundant lounging space is at the heart of a welcoming home. But sofas do not come cheap: shop at any high-street store and you could end up spending hundreds, or more likely thousands, finding the right one. So what is a girl on a budget to do? For years I made do with a solitary, three-seater sofa, which meant that friends and family were forced to sit in a serried rank, whilst the unluckiest were relegated to hard, straight-backed dining chairs. And then it struck me: what could feel more luxuriously exotic than a Moroccan-inspired seating area? Something along the lines of this sumputuous makeshift settle photographed by Maryam from My Marrakesh, source of plentiful inspiration for North African-style interiors:
The beauty of this solution is that because the wall becomes the backrest, any number of things can be recycled or re-used to make the base: a low table will do the job, as in the Pondicherry bench from Maisons du Monde:
Photographer Ashley Campbell even used simple wooden pallets to make this marvellous daybed, which was featured on the wonderful design*sponge:
To make my own Eastern-inspired lounging area (below and top), I used an ancient camp-bed covered with an old chenille curtain and massed cushions piled against the wall. I love the way the rich textures and colours of the fabrics stand out against the flat charcoal wall with its gilt mirror. Just perfect for an afternoon tea party, no? Chic, recycled and practically free: what's not to love?