How to pick the right sofa | homify

How to pick the right sofa

Lily Cichanowicz Lily Cichanowicz
IMAGO DESIGN Living roomSofas & armchairs
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The sofa is a fundamental feature of any living room. They’re a cosy place to curl up and watch a movie with loved ones, a spot to drink an after dinner cup of coffee with guests, and a spot to read a good book on a rainy afternoon. Sofas also help define the aesthetic in the living room. The sofa plays a significant role in making your living area a comfortable and welcoming place. For these reasons, selecting the right sofa is an important job! For most of us, the sofa is an investment and a large fixture in the living room for years to come. There are lots of things to consider when choosing the sofa, and it can become a bit overwhelming to decide which factors to consider. That is why today we’ve made this foolproof guide of factors to consider in order to pick the best sofa for your living room.

Sofa for seating or sleeping

One of the key components in choosing the right sofa for your living room is to consider the purposes it might fill. Of course, it needs to be comfy enough for lounging and presentable in appearance when guests come over. Something else to consider is whether you’d like to have a sofa that can be converted into a bed. Daybeds are an excellent idea for those living in studio apartments because this piece of furniture will do double duty in thus be space effective. Alternatively, you might host relatives from out of town fairly often or your children might have friends sleep over. To accommodate them, it could be best to get a sofa with a pullout bed. You could also get a sofa that folds into a bed like the sleek and stylish one pictured here.

Choosing the right size

Although we certainly love them, sofas can be quite bulky in size. It may feel as if a small space could simply not accommodate one. Going with a love seat and comfy armchair could be an alternative for your living room. Pairing these two separate pieces of furniture together is stylish and it will allow you more freedom to arrange them in a way that best maximises space. If you have a large living room on the other hand, you don’t want to go with sofas that will be dwarfed within the expanse of space. Therefore, we suggest opting for a large corner sofa or sofa set, but more on that later. Basically, choose a sofa that is proportional to the space you’re working with. When in doubt consider going smaller and pairing the piece with some chairs for a more dynamic look.

How to place it in the room

There are a few common options for placing the sofa in the living room. One of them is to orient the sofa around the television. This makes sense because most of us gather in the living room for the purpose of watching TV. Often corner sofas in particular work well in this arrangement. Another idea for placing the sofa in the living room is to situate a smaller sofa and a few chairs to create a nice chatting space in the room. If your living room is large enough to fit a chatting area and a TV viewing area, consider setting up the chatting area facing the backside of a corner sofa. This way, the areas will be separate and their purposes will be clear.

Which fabric

Along with the shape, size, and arrangement of the sofa, the fabric upholstery is very important to keep in mind when choosing one. Fabrics can alter the aesthetic of the living room in significant ways. For example, this sleek industrial abode by Imago Design would look lose some of its edge if this striking brown leather sofa were replaced by cotton upholstery. Additionally, the fabric you choose has practical implications. If you have kids or pets you’ll want to go with a fabric that is durable, cleans easily, and doesn’t retain a lot of moisture or dirt. Some leather and faux leather options can be quite moisture resistant. Micro-suede is another excellent choice if you think your furniture might get dirty.

Which colour

 Along with fabric, going with a colour you like is a given when picking a new sofa. Of course, neutral colours are almost always fitting in the living room. They will make the space feel cosy and inviting. A muted colour sofa could help to establish a more cohesive colour scheme in the living room by helping to better incorporate the colours in your other rugs, curtains, and furniture. Yet, if you’re looking to do something a bit more bold and daring, we suggest you choose a different colour tone. Bright colours, for instance, are fun and retro. This adorable canary yellow sofa looks great contrasted against the blue and indigo image hanging above it. Sofas in sober tones are ideal for making the living room more elegant.

Sofa decoration

If you’re looking to spruce up your existing sofa or you feel more comfortable choosing neutral coloured upholstery, try adding some accent pillows! They are really an excellent way to bring colour and style to the room in a noncommittal way. If you decide the bright red pillows on your black leather sofa are no longer your thing, you could simply switch them with some different ones. Mixing and matching the accent pillows on your sofa, like we can see in this example will also make the space look more dynamic and pleasing to the eye. You can even make your own accent pillows by sewing different fabrics of your choosing to a plain pillow case like the pillow featured above. This is a fun and relatively foolproof DIY project.

In a set or not

Sofa sets can be wonderful because purchasing a sofa with a matching chair and ottoman is so darn simple. You can finish your shopping in one fowl swoop and come home with a unified set of living room furniture you love. This sounds almost too easy to be true, and it kind of is. Although furniture sets can look great like the one pictured above, we suggest you be mindful of your choices on this. Going with neutral tones in the furniture set or choosing a smaller sofa and ottoman will keep the look from being too overwhelming. No one wants to walk into a living room that’s crammed with red and white striped furniture of all kinds! Therefore, it may also be a good idea to see if you can choose pieces of the same set but in different colours. Otherwise, going with a sofa and ottoman of the same set and supplementing with an awesome vintage chair you found at an antique shop will keep things looking balanced and fresh.

How to clean

Finally, because a sofa is a long-term investment, we want ours to be clean and well maintained for years to come. Each type of fabric will have its own cleaning requirements. Be sure to ask when you buy for any important tips or instructions for properly cleaning yours. There are often upholstery cleaners on the market that are effective as spot treatments. If you think your sofa might be prone to messes, consider going with one that has removable cushion covers that are washing machine friendly. Many sofas with fabric upholstery do well with the occasional vacuum clean as well. Also consider keeping your dogs and cats off the sofa if possible. Keep pillows neatly arranged like we can see in this example to make the sofa look neat and tidy in between cleanings.

If you found this Ideabook useful, check out these tips for making a more inviting living room. Happy decorating! 

These are just a few things to keep in mind whilst choosing a new sofa. We'd love to hear your suggestions. Let us know in the comments section, be...
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