Whether you’re a busy social butterfly who only stays in on Sunday’s or a self-confessed homebody who loves to curl up with a book, the right sofa will make your down time even better. But, unlike those spur of the moment lunchtime purchases, buying a sofa requires an element of research and some careful thinking too. Are you after a style statement for your large apartment-style living room, or looking for a cosy two seater to fit into your cute country cottage?
Before you buy, take a few moments to read our buyers’ guide and to have a good think about what you really want. We promise it will pay off in the end…
Get handy with a measuring tape:
It might sound obvious, but it’s vitally important you measure the space you have for a sofa and also the size of your door frames. There’s nothing worse than getting your sofa home to discover you can’t even get it through the door. If you do opt for a large sofa and are worried about manoeuvring it, check to see if the arms and feet can be removed.
Top tip: try taping old newspaper to the floor where your sofa would sit. This allows you to accurately measure the space.
Think about the usage:
If you’ve got a large immaculate flat or you’re away from home often, then you can pretty much choose whichever style, shape and material you’d like. But add children or floor shaking bachelor parties - and things look a little different. For easy to clean sofas, many people choose loose covers which can be whipped off and cleaned quickly. But for a smarter look, you might need to consider other options, including ‘fixed’ covers. Many sofas have fixed covers that are still removable, but if your sofa doesn’t have a removable cover, opt for a tight weave fabric (which wipes clean far easier than others) or a mottled textural colour that doesn’t show up the dirt and grime.
Top tip: once you’ve washed the covers, put them back on when they’re slightly damp – as just like a pair of jeans, they’ll shrink slightly to fit.
Leather sofas have proven increasingly popular recently and slightly battered vintage styles are a preference for many – but if you like the feel of fabric and you love a spot of colour, then fabric could be the choice for you…
On-trend and luxurious
Fits well with a vintage style room
Wears extremely well if looked after
Adds character as it ages – particularly when pure aniline leather is used.
Offers the option of colour
Easy to clean
Adds warmth to the room
Will Bernhard, Furniture Buyer
‘All our leather sofas are made from quality aniline leather, even the backs and arms – where many sofa retailers choose to use a cheaper alternative.’
It’s not all about looks…
The inside of your sofa is equally as important as the outer particularly if you’ve got children and the sofa will be worked hard. But that doesn’t mean you have to opt for rigid structures and hard lines. Take a look at our guide to fillings – then make an educated decision about the one for you.
Foam – gives a firm, springy feel but can flatten over time
Thermo-sensitive foam – better at retaining shape but slightly pricier
If you’ve got only a teeny room to fill, consider the size of your sofa and whether or not it’s wise to invest in a sofa-bed. Slimmer arm rests and a more compact design won’t overpower your space, where large arm rests take up valuable extra inches (and look out of place on a smaller sofa). If you need extra seating, it’s worth considering a foot stool or ottoman as these can prove useful additions for guests.
Another great space-creating trick is to choose the right colours. A lighter coloured sofa will always appear larger than those in darker colours and darker colours will naturally give your small space a cosier feel.
Top tip: a little space beneath your sofa can create the illusion of space – so look out for sofa legs.
Open plan areas If you’re working with a large open plan space, then a corner sofa is a great way to define the area. By angling your corner sofa at right angles and placing a rug in between them, you’ll also be creating a warm focal living area – with optimum socialising potential!
Top tip: if you’ve got a large space, try a light coloured sofa which will appear larger than a dark coloured version.See all sofas
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