Buying a sofa is a significant investment, both financially and in terms of its lifespan as the focal point of your lounge room, so it’s important to put the time and effort into making the right decision. A new sofa, when chosen wisely, will refresh your home, breathing colour and life into your living room space.
According to Interior Designer, Bronwyn Pool, from Touch Interiors, investing time and money in finding the right piece to suit your home is crucial because a sofa is a key piece that needs to last.
Can’t make up your mind? From functionality to making a style statement, here are some key factors you may want to consider when buying your new sofa…
The right sofa should suit your routine and your loved ones. When choosing the perfect sofa, you should first ask yourself the following questions:
If you have a family, Susan Redman of Domain.com.au suggests choosing “a couple of sofas that fit together in an L-shape or U-shape so that everyone can sit together. These styles, known as modular or sectional sofas, should be upholstered in a durable fabric – especially if you also have pets”. “Good choices are leather, strong microfibre, cord or chenille”.
“The type of comfort you want will also determine the type of lounge you look for: one with a fixed back often gives a sleeker look, ideal for smaller spaces, but will offer limited comfort compared to a generous loose cover lounge with overfilled back and seat cushions,” says Bronwyn Pool of Touch Interiors.
“Consider how you would like to sit in it, eat in it or work on it. All these factors will determine your preference for proportions such as seat depth, arm style and the height of the back,” she said.
What’s in Style?
Head of styling at Temple & Webster, Jessica Bellef, notes a trend in modular sofa bed such as mid-century-style sofa beds and day beds.
“We are also noting a rise in the popularity of chaise-style sofa, the L-shape sofa, that allows you to swap the position of the extended end,” she said, explaining that this design allowed seating to be better adapted to the room”.
Lexi Kentmann, from Williams-Sonoma Australia (the company behind West Elm and Pottery Barn) said smaller, more slimline sofas were rising in popularity, particularly given the rise in apartment living.
“Sectionals are increasingly popular too – giving you flexibility – and are space-saving,” she said. “If you measure out the footprint of a sectional, it will most likely allow more wiggle room – plus it’s perfect for entertaining,” she said.
In terms of colour, Ms. Bellef suggests “mid to dark greys, navy or oatmeal-linen for a classic base colour, with pops of colour provided by cushions or throw rugs”.
“Look out for a sofa with a clean-lined design, and avoid anything that is overly decorative or embellished,” she said.
For information on how to style your sofa with decorative pieces, please watch:
Arlo & Jacob of Arlo & Jacob Furniture, insist that just as you would lie on a mattress in a store, you need to try a couch before you buy it, to assess its comfort against your needs and preferences. Comfort is purely subjective - some people prefer a softer, sink-all-the-way-in feeling, whilst others prefer a firmer seat with more back support, and it’s important to remember that the fabric of the sofa will also affect the feel of it.
“Leather and less malleable fabrics will always feel firmer in comparison to fabrics prone to stretching and slackening, such as the natural fibre fabrics, including linen and cotton”.
“Ergonomically, if you’re looking for a supportive sofa, seek out firm cushions and a shorter seat,” said Ms. Kentmann of Williams-Sonoma Australia.
Size is Proportionate
Ensuring that the sofa size is proportionate to the size of the room is essential! A sofa shouldn’t be overbearing or impede movement – a large sectional may look nice, but in a small space may be inappropriate and ill-fitting, much like a small armchair may look out of place in a large room.
“Proportions are everything! The couch is often the largest piece in a living space. Too wide and big; it overpowers the space, too narrow and small and you are left trying to fill in space with unnecessary furniture,” Ms Pool suggests.
Interior Designer, Jodie Kingman of Coco Republic agrees, saying buyers need to “Take into consideration how it looks from all angles – the length, depth and back height”.
Ms Pool offers the following tips on finding the perfect sofa for your space:
- “If your space is small consider a couch with a petite arm profile. A Smaller couch can be made to look longer and sleeker by using one or two-seat cushions as opposed to three and often these are changes you can request”.
- “If you have the luxury of space and want two couches, don’t jump straight into ordering a pair. Consider a modular and combine it with alternative seating such as a feature armchair or ottoman. Or two couches that work sympathetically with each-other such as a deeper one and a slimmer one”.
Buying a new sofa can be a difficult and complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be…to ensure you find your perfect match with ease, make sure you consider its purpose, your comfort preferences and the current style recommendations.