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How to pick the right sofa?

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Few pieces of furniture can make people drool like a great sofa. Other furniture may be beautiful to look at, but a great sofa will become an integral part of your home life. Depending on your style, the right sofa might be a place to sprawl about while watching movies, snuggle with loved ones or perhaps something tough enough to survive the ravages of little children. It may even be a stylish centrepiece in the hallway.

In contrast, a bad or unsuitable sofa is often the source of chronic complaints. Sofas and longue suites are generally fairly expensive so once we choose a sofa, good or bad, we tend to stick with it for a while.

There are a few common mistakes many people make when choosing a sofa. So, to help you avoid the dreaded bad sofa situation, we have put together a guide. This may help guide you through the process of deciding on a sofa. Of course, it may just be another excuse to check out a few lovely sofas.

What should be the size?

GW's RESIDENCE:  Living room by arctitudesign
arctitudesign

GW's RESIDENCE

arctitudesign

It might sound incredibly obvious, but it is crucial to start by measuring the space for the sofa properly. This doesn't just include measuring the total space available, it also includes marking out the projected edges of the sofa on the floor. This will help give you a real feel for what will fit without being cramped. Sofas are often bulky and unwieldy, so it's important to make sure that the removalists will be able to fit the sofa through the entrance and hallways.

Finally, as a general rule, it's good to allow for at least 30 centimetres between a sofa and a walkway or traffic zone.

Which sofa fabric?

If you have ever sat on a leather or nylon sofa and had that horrible sensation of the cover sticking to your skin, you know the importance of choosing the right cover. Natural fibres are a popular choice as they are soft on our skin and allow it to breathe. But the downside is that these fabrics are easily stained. Removable covers are a must and it's usually possible to buy them with fabric protector already added. Sofa covers made from natural fibres are no different from any other when it comes to washing—follow the washing instructions carefully or you might just end up with a cover too small for your sofa.

Finally, consider something hard-wearing with a weave that won't show up dirt so easily. This is particularly important for those with small children.

How to place it in the room?

As you can see here, a corner sofa is great for a small living room. It will help you maximise the oft-neglected corner space and create an inviting atmosphere into a little room. A chaise lounge is another great choice that can often work well, butted up against the wall of a small home.

But don't overlook the potential for a sofa to act as a room divider. This can work particularly well in an open plan layout.

Decide if the sofa will be for sitting or sleeping

Frost XL - FurnID:  Living room by Stouby
Stouby

Frost XL—FurnID

Stouby

It's good to consider if you need a sofa for seating or sleeping. Hallways and offices are often better served with a simple, stylish sofa like this. This would also be a good choice if you anticipate entertaining new guests regularly. Many of us are not comfortable really sinking into a deep sofa when meeting new people or dealing with others in a formal setting.

If you want something for snoozing, choose a sofa with deeper seating and softer cushioning. Tall lanky people would certainly be happy with something that lacks arm-rests as well.

Choose a set or not?

A matching 3 piece sofa-suite is a little old-fashioned these days. But some people may feel a little scared to mix and match. Collect photos of colour and style combinations that work, and see how you might recreate the look. To create a cohesive look, all you need to do is group items with a single common theme. This theme may be the furniture height, shape, line or colour. Even a group of otherwise radically different white sofas and chairs will instantly form a cohesive look. If you don't want to combine different styles, simply choose an entire matching suite, but mix up the colours. 

Furnish the perfect sofa with the right decorations

If your basic sofa colour is a little restrained, the decorative living room accessories are where you traditionally add bright accents and experiment a little with the style. Alternatively, the accessories could be used to expand on the colour scheme and add a little more comforting texture to the living room. Look at this sofa set. The sofa itself is just a dark, charcoal grey. But the white Scandinavian fluffy rug, grey cushions and some pouf ottoman floor cushions add the final welcoming touch.

If you are refurbishing you home, you would love this Ideabook Tips to choose the right carpet.

Which of these sofas is your favourite? We would love to hear in the comments below.
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