You may have heard of a capsule wardrobe, but have you heard of capsule décor? The former is the trend for curating an edit of clothing that works for every style, season and occasion, and the latter is the interior design equivalent – it’s about investing in high-quality pieces that can transition from one scheme to another. It helps you to avoid ephemeral trends, and instead focus on the furniture that will last you a lifetime. So, what are the foundational pieces that you should be investing in? Read on to discover a few of our capsule décor ideas.

A navy sofa sits in a green-walled sitting room, decorated with pattern pillows.
A linen, neutral-coloured sofa decorated with green patterned cushions.

Select a Timeless Sofa

Comfort is surely one of the most important elements of a home, and so anything that can help to enhance that is a winner in our eyes. While we’d rather not look too closely at how much time we spend sitting on our sofas, let’s just say it’s a furniture piece that’s certainly worth investing in – not least because it’s the focal feature of one of the most frequently used rooms in the house. “We spend most of our time at home on our sofas, so if you are going to invest in any piece in your home, this is the best place to start,” explains Sophie Gammon, one of the experts behind our Interior Design Service.

To avoid micro-trends and settle on a truly timeless style, we’d encourage you to think about three key elements: shape, colour and material. Striking the balance between a classic and contemporary shape is tricky (and subjective), but we think you can place a safe bet on styles that feature a deep seat for guaranteed comfort, a fixed cover (which can be easily updated with a loose alternative), and a mix of sloping and straight lines to tick both boxes. Take our Coleridge Sofa, for example; though it takes its design from a traditional English silhouette, the shape works in both classic and contemporary settings depending on how you dress it up. Pairing it with different cushions, colours and textures will completely change the look and feel of the piece, allowing it to work for numerous styles and schemes.

The Coleridge Sofa we have in the kitchen is special – timeless, elegant and quality through and through… The perfect spot to sit in the morning sun and drink a coffee to start the day.” 

OKA Customer

Colours and materials, meanwhile, should be chosen with longevity in mind ­– a classic neutral or navy will work with every scheme, while materials such as cotton or performance fabrics, such as our ‘clever’ linen and velvets (available as part of our made-to-order Tailored by OKA collection), are good at withstanding wear and tear. “It’s important when purchasing this investment piece that you also enquire about the frame,” Sophie says, “as sofas can always be re-upholstered in time, but only if the frame is structurally sound. Our Tailored by OKA sofas are made of beech and birch hardwood which makes them strong and durable to last you through the decades.” If you need more guidance on how to select the perfect sofa, check out our buying guide.

 A wooden dining table in a green-walled room decorated with patterned tableware.
A wooden dining table paired with rattan dining chairs, on top of a terracotta rug.

Find a Sturdy Dining Table

When once the dining table was the reserve of formal occasions, in today’s modern homes they run the gamut of practical (and casual) uses, from breakfast to lunch, from home working to homework. A key component of a home, this essential furniture piece should be carefully considered, ensuring it is sturdy, practical and timeless. With these elements ticked, your dining table should last many lifetimes (and lifestyles). Take our range of extendable dining tables, for example – these clever designs have been created with myriad uses in mind, paving the way for a piece that works in a number of different spaces and homes. Crafted from oak, our Petworth design is a true classic, with the ability to seat as few as two people and as many as 10. Our Hawkley, meanwhile, puts an elevated twist on the Petworth’s classic style, with gold detailing and tapered legs. 

During lockdown, I collapsed [my Petworth Dining Table] down to use as my desk, during maternity leave I weaned my daughter on it and I’ve celebrated many Christmases. The way it collapses and extends and its timeless design means it will be with me to the end of my days. I truly love it.” 

OKA Customer

Though predominantly practical, a dining table is a large focal feature of a room and so should be chosen with your personal style in mind, says another of our experts, Sarina Hawkins. “Aside from the obvious that they need to be functional, dining tables are also the stage for creating impact for a special occasion, a beautiful family dinner or a cosy night at home,” she explains. Bear this in mind when selecting your chosen piece, as you’ll want to ensure it not only works for a lifetime but that you’ll love it for just as long – we recommend seeking a classic rectangular style with a simple base, such as our Arthur, which can be easily dressed up with more elevated accessories. “Once you've invested in those key pieces, you can add soul to the room with artwork, accessories, photos, candles,” Sarina adds. “These will bring your dining table to life and create a sense of occasion.” If you’d like to find out more about how to choose the perfect dining table, why not read our buying guide?

A leather dining chair is pulled up to a black wooden desk.
Leather dining chairs are pulled up to a large wooden dining table, decorated with a white vase holding pink flowers.

Get Comfortable Dining Chairs

What’s a dining table without comfortable chairs to support the many hours you’ll be spending there? Another key piece on our list of essential furniture items, the dining chair is a design worth investing in. When making your decision, comfort should be high on your priority list, as well as sturdiness, size and material – all of these are important to factor in. You can’t go wrong with a wooden design, which not only provides support and timeless style but is a material that’s easy to take care of. If you favour upholstery, which comes with the benefit of additional comfort, we’d recommend investing in a fabric that is durable – leather, for example, will improve with age and is easy to clean, should your chairs fall foul of any spillages. 

In our collection, our signature Stafford Dining Chair is one of our most popular products, and with good reason. Designed by our Co-Founder Annabel Astor to be both comfortable enough to sit in for many hours, slim enough to accommodate many people around the same table, and stylish enough to be worthy of the spotlight, the design perfectly bridges the gap between function and form.

Our Stafford Velvet Dining Chairs have given our dining room a new lease of life!” 

OKA Customer

A leather upholstered coffee table sits in front of a white linen sofa
A black wood and glass coffee table sits in from of a white linen sofa, decorated with green cushions.

Seek a Classic Coffee Table

Capsule decorating is all about finding pieces that will work for multiple styles and uses, and the humble coffee table is a living room furniture essential that, if chosen well, will help to tie your look together, no matter the aesthetic of the rest of the room. This piece really centres a sitting room, and so needs to complement any upholstery, rugs, artwork and accessories you may have elsewhere in the space. You should also make sure to select a size that is proportionate to the other pieces in the room (read our buying guide for more help in this area). 

“Investing in a good coffee table is important as it is a centrepiece,” says Charlotte Saunders, another designer behind our Interior Design Service. “Adding dimension and interest, it is also a place to display accessories.” With this in mind, we’d advise looking for natural materials in finishes that will complement other colour palettes – a light, warm-coloured wood, for example, will pair nicely with most other shades and textures. We’d also advise opting for a style with storage, such as the open shelving featured in our Marylebone and Alexley designs. This will boost your coffee table’s practical advantages, and will also offer a great opportunity to display your most treasured accessories and books.

I saved up for months to buy [the Large Marylebone Solid Oak Coffee Table] for my first home. It was the first item I bought for my home and it will always remain very special to me and has a lot of sentimental value which I intend to pass down.” ­– OKA Customer

OKA Customer

A wooden side table sits next to a bed decorated with white linens and a blue upholstered headboard.
A black and rattan side table sits next to a white linen sofa

Spring for a Supportive Side Table

While they may sit on the sidelines, these handy furniture pieces shouldn’t be overlooked. A surface on which to place a lamp, drinks or book, as well as a subtle way to sneak in some extra storage, side tables are a worthwhile investment that, though small, will help to enhance the overall look and feel that you’re trying to achieve in your space. As these pieces aren’t typically the focal point of a room, we believe you can be playful with your choices, while still maintaining a timeless look – for example, you could “mix materials and shapes,” says Charlotte, who recommends ignoring trends and instead simply looking for what you love. Why not spring for a style that pairs two classic materials, such as wood and rattan? This is a great way to add more depth, texture and, in turn, interest to your space. You could also play with silhouettes – seek a style that has a curved front, for example, such as our trusty Bayuban, or find joy in the stacked design of our Abaneri. Ensuring your chosen piece has space to store your essentials, should, of course, be high on your priority list too. 

The Abaneri Side Table is a true statement piece of both function and form… So good we bought two.”

OKA Customer

How to Hone Your Capsule Décor Collection

Curating a capsule décor collection isn’t the easiest of tasks, but we believe finding pieces that will endure both trends and time are worth the investment. Remember to look for high-quality craftsmanship and materials, and always bear in mind that ‘basic’ furniture can be anything but – be as flamboyant or as minimalist as you like with your chosen pieces; the key is to ensure they suit your home, your tastes and your lifestyle. If you’re ready to begin curating your capsule home, why not explore our collection? Click the button below to get started.