James Treble talks size and style, comfort and practicality.
Choose a sofa by expert James Treble.
BUYING A SOFA IS A BIG investment: it’s usually the one place where we relax, spend time with family and friends, and put our feet up with a good magazine (like this one!). Here are four tips to help you choose the right sofa for your home and family needs.
I often visit clients who have sofas that are too large for the space, or sometimes so small they feel like kids’ furniture! The size of a sofa should relate to the size of the room; there should be enough seating for the whole family but not so much it feels like a doctor’s waiting room; and big rooms don’t always need big sofas.
Consider the dimensions of your room and where the sofa will sit. Allow enough space for a side table and, of course, make sure you can easily walk into and around the room without the sofa dominating the space. I usually place the main sofa on the longest wall of the room and the TV unit along the shortest, to balance the room. If you are renting or moving soon, opt for two smaller sofas that can fit in different configurations rather than a fourseater, which will be hard to transport and may not fit in the next house.
COMFORT VERSUS STYLE
I know – those huge sofas with big, fat arms feel like you’re sitting on a cloud – but get up and walk away, and see what they really look like. Oversized sofas often look dated and heavy, filling up the whole room, which is not practical or good looking. Instead, consider a sofa that feels comfy but is also more modern. Add stylish cushions for comfort without changing the volume of the sofa itself. You need to feel relaxed and enjoy sitting on the sofa, but also consider how the piece actually looks: this is a high-ticket item so you want it to date well and look just as good in a few years’ time.
When it comes to style, decide on the “look” you’re trying to achieve. Pay attention to the arms on the sofa, the height of the backrest and the legs – do you want a full-looking piece or one raised up on legs? A great tip is to play on Google and popular sites like Pinterest, search for the theme or style you like, and then look at the sofas in the images. A Hamptons-style sofa with a linen fabric cover will look very different to a sleek, low-lying leather lounge with chrome legs! Remember, a little time spent researching now will save you a lot of time and money later!
KID AND PET FRIENDLY
Do you have young children or pets? A sofa with a removable and washable cover is not only a practical
“Get a sofa to suit your needs, in a style that will work into the future.”
choice but also one that will keep the sofa looking like new for longer. There are many styles and designs to choose from: some have removable cushions covers and armrests, making them easy to interchange, or you can flip the base cushion over if, by chance, your budding-artist child covers it with Texta! Spend a little time researching these options – it will let you enjoy the sofa for longer, rather than freaking out when the dog runs in the back door.
Covered up Slipcovered sofas are so easy to clean.
ROOM FOR ALL! Soderhamn 3-seat sofa and chaise longue in Isefall Light Turquoise, $1138, from Ikea.
SLEEP ON THE COUCH Maddox sofa bed, $999, from Early Settler.
Good as new Reupholster the cushions on an op-shop couch.
Shiny style Chrome legs give any couch a modern feel.
Movie night A modular sofa is great for families.