Things to consider when buying a sofa

Buying a sofa isn’t a decision to be made lightly, but that doesn’t mean it can’t at least be a little bit fun. Once you’ve got all the practical thinking out of the way, get out there and do a lot of testing, and we mean a lot. To help you on your way, we’ve come up with just a few simple things to think about when buying that sofa – whether it’s for the home or the office.

What will your sofa be used for?

It sounds like a daft question, right? But hear us out. Determining the level of usage that your new sofa is going to get will help you to pick the right material and style.

If it’s going in your home, will it be used for the everyday? Will family flop down onto it after a long day at school or work to watch some TV? Or is it only going to be used occasionally in formal settings?

Will it be placed in an office? Is it going in a break room where it will be sat on by multiple people every day of the working week? Or is it going to take pride of place in your reception area to impress visitors and have the occasional person sit down?

What size do you want?

Before you choose the grandest sofa available, consider the size of the room you’re going to be placing it in. While it’s great to have a stand-out focal point in each room, having a sofa that is simply too big won’t have the desired effect you’re after. It’s more than likely that it will overwhelm the room or become a nuisance to those trying to move around.

Take a measurement of your chosen room, perhaps even sketching out a small diagram that shows where other furniture in the room is going and where certain features are e.g. plug sockets.

If your chosen room is a little on the small size, a tight back sofa with a low profile will work well, or a smaller scaled sectional. For a larger room, a standard sectional is perfect.

What shape do you want?

Once you’ve narrowed down the size of the sofa you need and thought about its purpose, you want to choose a shape that is going to suit both of those.

If it’s for relaxing, perhaps at home or in the office break room during lunch time, deep and squashy cushions with loose pillows is something people will love to flop onto. Look for arms that are lower than the back – it’s a choice that will suit both informal and formal situations. Or opt for a rolled arm sofa instead.

For something a little more formal – perhaps those special occasion sofas or ones designed to impress in an office – a camel-back sofa has a gorgeous shape, tight back and shallow seating.

What fabric?

Now you’ve got the more formal decisions out of the way, it’s time to get onto the more fun stuff. Step one; choosing the right fabric for your sofa. Here are our top tips…

  • If your sofa isn’t going to be used frequently, you can opt for a ‘high maintenance’ fabric like silk. If your sofa will be used on a regular basis, steer clear of this kind of material
  • For heavy usage areas, microfiber sofas not only look good but stand up well to wear and tear and are easy to clean
  • Textured fabrics can withstand regular use without showing, as opposed to smooth fabrics
  • Looking for longevity? Opt for leather!

What colour?

Next up, the colour. While we understand the temptation to go a little crazy – technicolour patchwork, anyone? – it’s important to take a look at the room’s existing colours and patterns before you make any final decisions.

If you’re ever in doubt, or if you already have bright colours to contend with, always opt for neutral. Neutral doesn’t automatically equals boring; you can always spice it up with some bright cushions and throws, which only adds to its warm and inviting appeal.

For heavy use areas like your office break room, consider a patterned fabric as not only will it stand up to the heavy usage, but it’s also great for hiding minor stains.

For a bold statement, don’t be afraid to go for the stronger colour. But remember that if you do, opt for a sofa with simpler lines so the room doesn’t become too crowded.

Remember that you and other people are going to be sitting on that sofa for many years to come, so don’t be afraid to take your time and really think about your decision. Comfort, style and quality are the three main factors that you should be looking for, and even if you don’t find it straight away, keep looking. We promise your perfect sofa is out there.

Get in touch to discuss your own project