One of the many challenges I faced when I completely remodelled our home was the challenge of purchasing new sofa’s. Two new sofas to be exact. One for the family-living-dining-kitchen space and one for the lounge / living room. Buying one new sofa is a major investment, buying two is a traumatic experience. An experience which is likely to cost you both your cash and your sanity!
The two rooms I was challenged with furnishing were two very different spaces, with different design styles, practical requirements and physical size and space. I thought sofa shopping was something the whole family should be involved in. I was wrong. I was naive. It was awful. I lost five weekends of my life to sofa shopping in store, online and at the end of these five weekends I had ordered nothing.
The family-living-dining-kitchen space is the workhouse of our home. The sofa needed to be able to withstand spills, snacks, crafting, X-box gaming sessions and couch transformations into dens and more. This space is also large. I was looking for a corner sofa to fit a large 2.5m square space. A sofa which looks luxury yet can withstand the demands of family life, physically fits in the space, is comfortable to sit on and doesn’t bust the budget. That said, after five weekends I was ready to throw money at the problem!
I knew what I wanted in terms of colour, style and dimensions I just couldn’t find it to buy. The solution was to go bespoke and have the sofa for the family-living-dining-kitchen made. I was amazed that going bespoke worked out costing less than most of sofas we had looked at and we got exactly what we wanted.
Size, practicality, longevity, style and comfort are all things you should pay careful attention to before investing in a new sofa, otherwise you could find yourself wasting time and money when you end up with a sofa that just isn’t right for you.
To save you and your weekends from suffering a fate such as the one I endured here’s my top tips to help you pick out perfect sofa.
Huge, luxury looking sofas looking amazing in show rooms and professionally styled photography, but do you actually have the space? Buying a sofa too big for the room is an expensive mistake and a sofa that is too big for the room will make the room look cramped and much smaller than it is. Know your room dimensions and if your room is on the compact side, go for a sofa with low arms (or none at all) as it will make your room look larger than it is.
Having a larger room to furnish brings it’s own different challenges. Deciding on the layout of your sofa or sofas needs careful thought to make sure it meets the use and purpose of the room. Don’t go crazy with the biggest sofa you can find as you’ll soon discover you won’t have space for much else.
Consider what you’re planning to do on your sofa, and be honest. Do you work in front of the TV and need something with more structure, arms to balance cups of tea to keep you going or is it mostly going to be a part time bed while you work your way through box set after box set on Netflix? Choose a sofa that’s shape and structure accommodates your intended use without compromising how it fits in the room.
Your sofa is likely to get daily use for the foreseeable future and most homes only look to replace their sofa between 7 and 15 years so it needs to last, keep its shape and stay looking good. Practical considerations can’t be overlooked. I have two young children and I am able to enjoy having a house full of my friends and their children knowing my furniture choices are practical. I can see the mess and clear it up easily and everything that is likely to be subjected to spills is wipe clean. If you have pets you’ll want to take a similar approach and avoid certain fabrics such as wool, satin, velvet, and even certain leathers.
Stop and think about how many people you expect to be seating on your sofa on a regular basis. If you often play host you should look towards larger, three-seater sofas, or one with a large footstool that can double as a bench style seating. Squashing everyone onto a two seat sofa isn’t a comfortable option.
If like me you can’t find the right combination of size, style and suitable fabric consider going bespoke. Bespoke furniture from The Sofa & Chair Company specialise in luxury sofas and bespoke furniture to help you get just the right thing for you.
It’s estimated that in Britain we spend an average of 17 years throughout your lives sat on our sofas. A sofa isn’t a purchase to make a decision in a rush. If you think you’ve found the one, ask yourself these questions:
- Will it last five years?
- Will it still look and feel good in five years?
- Will I still love it in five years time?
Style & comfort
When it comes down to sofas, the most important thing is that your sofa looks good and feels great. Remember, you’re going to be looking at and sitting on it for the foreseeable future, so make sure you truly love it.
For our family living kitchen space I chose a sofa to accommodate as many people as possible within the space and the way I want to use it; I love to drink tea and wine with friends, but I also like to curl up and stretch out in the evenings, so it has to be beautiful. I keep adding cushions and throws so it has that ‘snuggle factor’ to it. I am constantly adding and layering up scatter cushions in different sizes, colours and textures and throws and super-soft blankets too.
If you’re wondering what we picked for the new living room, here’s the new L-shaped sofa and spinning cuddle chair.
Sofas are a big financial investment. In my opinion buying the best quality you can afford on a sofa is money well spent. I’d definitely recommend considering bespoke options. For me it meant being able to get just what we wanted and our budget went a little further too.
Are you shopping for a new sofa? I’d love to hear how your search is going.