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  • Fiona Mostyn

How to Choose The Perfect Sofa

The perfect sofa to curl up on at the end of the day is top of everyone’s wish list for the ideal home. It is one of the most essential purchases for your living room.

As such there is much to consider when purchasing this important piece of furniture.

Here’s a guide that lists the essential things you need to consider when buying the perfect sofa for your home.

How to choose The Perfect Sofa

The perfect sofa must deliver on three key ingredients.

Style - With so many different types of sofa to choose from it can be as expression of your style to complement your home design.

Practicality - It also needs to stand up to everyday use and suit your lifestyle, whatever your style.

Comfort - The shape, upholstery and durability are all important factors to consider for comfort.

The perfect size sofa

Your room size will inevitably determine the size of your sofa. The shape of your room, location of doorways and access points to things such as the TV or fireplace will all determine the choices you make.

Before you consider choices such as colour and style planning the space in your room and the layout of your sofas is key to making the right choices. There are so many options to choose from in the layout from here are some common room styles:

  • matching sofas opposite each other

  • a sofa and two chairs

  • two sofas and two chairs

  • a corner sofa

  • two sofas at a right angle

  • single sofa and matching chair

The ideal sofa layout allows for easy access around the room as well as being in a good position to view the focal points of the room such as a fireplace, window or TV. The Create Perfect layout review packages are ideal for getting this crucial part of your planning in place.

Kitchen extension design by Create Prefect interior design
Perfectly placed sofas in a kitchen extension design by Create Perfect

With her professional experience and sharp eye for design, Gina is able to determine your ideal sofa size, style and layout to make your room work perfectly for you. Precision measurements create digital layout plans which are sent to you as an easy to follow PDF report. Book directly through the website or contact us to find out more about this service.

Without these tools at home I recommend that you layout out the measurement of your sofa, chairs and coffee table on the floor in making tape or string and walk around the room to get a feel for the size in the room.

Sofas for small spaces

There’s lots of great choices for smaller spaces. As well as the footprint of the sofa consider the size of the actual seating area of the sofa. Avoid sofa styles such as the chesterfield where bulky arms will take up a lot of space in the room.

compact sofa for small spaces
The Beckenham - A compact sofa design from Darlings of Chelsea

Access into your home will also determine the size of your sofa. Ensure you check and double check this to get it right.

Compact sofa for small spaces
The Snug Shack sofa arrives in a box. Similar to flat pack furniture you build it yourself at home. Great for homes with difficult access such as attic apartments

Especially the dimensions of your door openings and any tight stair corners. Removing the legs of the sofa helps if space is tight.

Choosing your perfect sofa style

Here’s where the choices can become overwhelming. Think about your existing style and how you define that. Is it contemporary or traditional? Minimal or full of colour and pattern? If you need help with this the Create Perfect Room Decor Service can define an elegant room scheme adding a designer touch to ensure your colour, pattern, fabric and textiles choices fit together beautifully in a room.

What ever colours you prefer check the durability of the fabric. This is especially true if you have pets. You may consider fabrics which will be easy to spot clean or have removable washable covers. However recent innovations in fabric technology mean there's now stain resistant fabrics in many finishes which now even include velvet finishes.

Answering the earlier questions to define your decor style will help in choosing the shape of your sofa style. Here are some classic sofa shapes to consider.

Mid- Century

Mid century style sofa
The 59th Street Sofa from the Terence Conran Content collection has a classic Scandinavian mid-century style profile

The Chesterfield

Grey Chesterfield Sofa
The Hampton is a classic style of Chesterfield sofa from Furniture Choice

Curved Sofa

Grey Curved Sofa
An elegant grey velvet curved sofa available from Cox and Cox

The Tuxedo Sofa

Green velvet sofa - This one is the Edith Button and Stud sofa by Rose and Grey
The Tuxedo Sofa style brings mid century linear style to the classic chesterfield buttoned upholstery. This one is the Edith Button and Stud sofa by Rose and Grey

The Chaise Sofa

pink velvet chaise sofa
The Chaise sofa is perfect for lounging. This one is the Squishmeister by Loaf

The Corner Sofa

white corner sofa
The Bancroft corner sofa by Sweetpea and Willow Corner sofas are space saving and can be cost effective by only purchasing one piece of furniture.

The Statement Sofa

pink curved velvet sofa
With bold curves, gold accents and deep button upholstery the Bold Monkey sofa fom makes a statement in any room

Choosing a sofa for comfort

Although the style of sofa you choose will primarily determine it’s shape, your comfort is a key factor. Firstly make sure you test every sofa you are considering for comfort. Foam and feathers are the main ingredients used to fill sofa cushions.

Foam on it’s own creates sharp clean lines for linear designs. However it can lose its clean edges with wear over time. Feathers are a more luxurious sink into solution however they will need regular plumping to keep their shape.

perfect comfy sofa
The Loaf Pudding Sofa has luxurious deep feather wrapped foam cushions

Many sofas are made up of a combination of feathers and foam to create a balance of comfort and support. Look for sofas which offer a variety of comfort options in cushion density from sinkable soft to firm and supportive and try them in store to find your perfect fit.

Seat depth and height are an important factor in the comfort of your sofa. It differs from sofa to sofa so try them out. Think about how you use your sofa. Perhaps you love to rest on the sofa arm to read or do you prefer high sides to lie against for serious lounging?

As well as sitting on a sofa don’t be afraid to lie down and stretch out to check if is a comfortable fit.

Quality and sustainability

A sofa is a major investment and one where it pays to choose a quality product. Choosing carefully makes your purchase sustainable. When you need to change your decor a good quality sofa can be upholstered to suit your new colour scheme.

Alternatively if you need to replace it, a good quality sofa can be sold on to a new home through an auction house, or online marketplace helping you to invest in new furniture.

Choose a sofa with a hardwood frame that has been sustainably sourced. Always look for the FSC - Forest Stewardship certification to ensure the wood comes from well managed and sustainable forests.

Ask about the production process and check the use of VOC’s in the varnishes and fabric treatments. Additionally check the guarantee - it should be at least 10 years but the longer the better.

Vintage Ercol Sofa
Vintage Ercol Sofa featuring Stellar Fabric designed by Angie Lewin for St Jude's from an original linocut.

An even more sustainable solution is to source a second-hand sofa. Many vintage pieces such as Ercol hold their value and can be updated with new upholstery to suit your decor.

Feeling overwhelmed in trying to find your perfect sofa choice? For a more in-depth consultation to book a shoppping styling trip to help you create your perfect living room book a consultation with Gina.

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