Sofa, so good
Is a new sofa on your interiors wish list? It may be a daunting task but LESLEY TAYLOR advises that a bit of preparation will go a long way…
RARELY does it get the same praise as a beautifully curated picture wall or a new kitchen in the most on-trend of hues, but the sofa could very well be the home’s most important asset. After all, it’s a place to unwind after a day at work, somewhere to share tears and laughter as you snuggle watching the latest box set with a loved one, and often, it’s the centrepiece of the home’s living space. It’s safe to say, the hunt for a new place to park your posterior is a pretty important task. But pick well and not only will it be a haven for some post-work relaxation, it will take centre stage in bringing your home’s interior scheme to life.
RESEARCH AND PLAN
“BUY the best you can afford” is something I tell all my interior design clients when it comes to buying essential items such as a sofa or a bed, and knowing exactly how much you can spend from the start of the search process will help make your sofa dreams a reality.
Once you know your budget, consider what type of sofa you want. Do you want a classic sofa, something modular so you can play around with the layout or perhaps a corner sofa to break up a large living space? If space is tight, an oversized love seat may be more suited.
Speaking of size, it plays a huge role when it comes to picking a new sofa. Some living areas will be large enough to allow room layouts to change from time to time, whereas others will be more suited to a set style.
Measure, measure and measure again the space you are earmarking for your new sofa. And remember, always allow for a little gap either side of your sofa so it isn’t flush against the wall. Leaving an inch or two on all sides between your sofa and wall, allowing light and air to envelop it, will make the space feel and look bigger than it actually is.
FROM the classic styling of the Chesterfield to the more modern Mid-century influenced pieces, there is a sofa style to suit every décor.
The key is to pick something you are going to love for a very long time, because unlike a new coat of paint or a feature wall upgrade, changing your sofa with the seasons is going to prove extremely punishing on the bank balance.
Consider your home’s signature style and look for sofas to complement this décor. Search for inspiration on sites like Pinterest and consult endless home magazines – there may be some sofa styles you hadn’t even thought of which will suit the room.
If you love the way your home looks and feels – and have done for some time – the same will happen with your new furniture.
Alternatively, if you are looking to revamp your home completely, a sofa can be the perfect piece of furniture to build a look around.
Always look at your sofa options alongside flooring, curtains and wallcoverings – even if you’re not yet ready to commit to these items. The sofa is an important element within a room, but it is that, an element. You must feel sure you are going to love the other things that will co-ordinate with the sofa you choose.
CONSIDER THE FINISH
FABRIC and leather are your two options when it comes to sofa covering. Both have plenty of benefits but ultimately, it’s a very personal decision based on what you prefer to rest your weary legs upon.
What I would say though is order samples of any fabrics you like the look of and place them where the sofa is going to be. This way you can see how it looks in natural daylight, how it plays with your room’s main light and any other lamps.
Sometimes, a fabric can look very different away from the bright lights of a furniture showroom.
And finally, do not forget the ‘sit’ test. A sofa might look amazing but if it doesn’t feel right don’t bother. This is the place where you’re going to relax and recharge and if isn’t comfy, no amount of scatter cushions will save it.
Lesley Taylor BIID is Lead Designer at EDIT Home and Design (edithomeanddesign.co.uk)
Corner sofas are perfect if you want to frame your living space
Whatever space is available, there will be a sofa to fit