Getting the sizing just right
Too big and the space will look cramped; too small and the room will lack atmosphere – but if the sofa’s just right, it can really bring a room together. Measure your space and take note of the position you want your sofa to stand in. Will it be in a corner, against the wall, or in the centre of the room? How will you position the different sofas and chairs if you opt for a multi-piece suite? In a large, open-plan area, you might use the sofa to help divide the space, in which case you’ll want to choose a sofa large enough for the purpose, and one that's up to the task with a good-looking back.
Choosing a sofa style
Our top tip on how to choose a sofa is to take a step back and look at the room as a whole. What interior design style are you aiming for? For a more antique style, you’ll want a sofa to match, so look for Chesterfield or camelback designs. Scandinavian-inspired rooms are best accentuated with a minimalist-looking, low-backed sofa, or perhaps a 1950s piece with wooden peg-legs and elegantly sloping arms. Remember, the sofa is a key item of furniture for expressing your taste.
Picking a sofa shape
The shape of the sofa is important too, and depends quite heavily on the style you’ve picked. How to choose a sofa in the perfect shape really depends on the function you have in mind. A curved sofa is ideal for creating a central focal point in a large room and is great for encouraging conversation. Corner sofas have been very popular in recent years, and work well tucked against the wall in square or rectangular rooms. However, they are often less suited to oddly shaped spaces; in irregular-shaped rooms, it can be better to use several smaller sofas or chairs.
Deciding on colour and fabric
When considering how to choose a sofa, colour should be secondary to considerations like size and shape: sofas are so customisable that you can often find the exact shade you desire – or simply have it made or reupholstered for you.
Consider how the colour will look in the fabric of your choice, and how that fabric will wear over time, since we invest in sofas with some expectation of longevity. Leather sofas age well, often looking better and cosier after several years’ wear. While the colours available are often more limited, a leather sofa is also versatile enough to survive several colour scheme changes in your living room. A velvet sofa can require careful upkeep, but looks phenomenal as the centrepiece of a well-designed space. You could also opt for a range of different textured fabrics to create a layered feel in your room.
Once you’ve chosen your perfect sofa, the rest of the interior design should flow seamlessly.