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Sofa Buying Guide

GeneralSofas & Chairs

Sofa Buying Guide

Buying a new sofa is a major investment and it can all seem a little bit daunting. When looking to buy a sofa it’s important the one you choose reflects your needs and lifestyle.  We want you to be delighted with your choice, and with so many different options available, we want you to take some time to think about what’s best for you and your home before you buy.

Here are some points to consider before making that final choice.

1. What Style Sofa should I choose?

We suggest finding a sofa style that suits you and consider how it will fit in with your home. There are many different styles of sofa but here are some of the main ones:

Contemporary sofas   

Contemporary Sofas tend to feature straight lines or sculptural or innovative shapes. They are often low to the ground, on exposed metal or wooden legs. Many of them have a low back which may not give you the support or comfort that you desire but  removable or adjustable headrests can be an option.  A low back can be a great solution in an open plan space where views are important.

Traditional Sofas

If you like scroll arms, decorative turned legs or castors and a high back cushion, your style is more classical and so a more traditional sofa might be the right  choice for you.  Think Chesterfields and wingback chairs!!  A traditional sofa will give your living room a boost of style and elegance and will stand the test of time.   Traditional shapes can take on a modern aesthetic by choosing a more modern fabric

Mid Century Style Sofas

Mid-century sofas are characterised by simple style, tapered legs, neat arms & in some cases a button detail.  They are designed to reflect the original designs manufactured from 1930s to 1960s. Think Mad Men or Scandi-Style !!  The American mad-men influence brought bright colours and velvets whereas the scandi-style brought more muted tunes in natural fabrics.

Family Sofas

If you regularly host movie night with kids, pets and popcorn all on the sofa, then a family friendly sofa will be great choice. A family sofa will offer lots of comfort and as much space as your room allows.  Easy to clean upholstery is essential, we recommend an easy clean fabric or removable covers.‌

Top tip: Always choose furniture that’s true to your style, rather than a trend that you have seen on Pinterest or Instagram, which will come and go.  A sofa is an investment piece which you will have in your home for a long time.

2. Size is important.

Size is important both in terms of getting it into the room on delivery and also how appropriate the size is in the context of the room. If possible, use masking tape or layout old newspapers to the size of the proposed sofa on the floor of your room.  This will show you how much space the sofa will take, and also, how much space is left to move around and to open all doors and drawers. 

For those that are not confident to do so themselves, we offer a space planning service.  In this case, we ask you to provide us with a rough drawing of your room, showing the dimensions and location of windows, doors, TV, fireplace, etc.  Based on the dimensions provided, we will complete a 2D / 3D drawing of the room, which we can use to demonstrate how different sofa sizes will look in the space.

Top tip: Use masking tape on the floor to mark our the size and shape of your ideal sofa or avail of our free space planning service.

3. Furniture Layout

Depending on the size and shape of the room and the location of windows, doors, fireplace and TV, there may be a number of possible furniture layout options.

You also need to consider how you plan on using the room.  Will the room be used mostly for watching TV or is it a space for reading and admiring a view from a window?  All of these elements will help determine the best layout for your furniture.

Our space planning service, will help you make the right decision about how best to layout your furniture in your room.  The good news is that most sofas are available in many different sizes and shapes and many can be customised to suit your home.

Top tip: A corner sofa is not always the best sofa for your space.  Think about how you will use the room and have a furniture layout plan.

4. Choice of cover – fabric or leather

It pays to think carefully about the cover you choose depending on how your sofa will be used.  Loose Cover sofas are ideal for family life  as covers can be removed and cleaned.  With loose covers, you have the option to buy an additional set of covers which give you the flexibility, should you choose an alternative colour, to bring a new look to a room on an occasional basis.

As an alternative to loose covers, we offer many fabric options which have been treated with the hi-technology Aqua-Clean coating which is completely invisible to the touch, eye or smell but allow you to wipe clean any stain.

Velvets, or fabrics with a pile can crush over time, so if this is something that concerns you, it may be better to choose a robust chenille or flat woven fabric

Leather is often considered a robust material as a simple wipe of a damp cloth can restore it’s good looks. However, Analine or semi-analine leathers, which are natural and have little or no protective coating may scratch or stain if not treated with care.

It is also important to consider the colour and pattern of the fabric and how this will look in your room.  We can order a fabric sample or you can borrow the fabric swatch to take home.  Colour reflects light and its surroundings so it is always a good idea to check the actual fabric swatch in your own home to compare it to your existing décor.

5. Level of Comfort

Comfort is totally subjective - a sofa that feels comfy and cozy to one person might feel too plush or firm to another, because it all depends on what you like.  There are several important factors to consider, including seat depth, seat height, cushion fill, and upholstery fabric.   The depth and height you choose all depend on your size and how you like to lounge.  If you like a soft, comfortable, sink-in feeling, fibre-filled seat cushions may be the best option for you but they will require maintenance and “plumping-up”. For a firmer, minimum maintenance seat cushion which will retain its shape, foam is the best choice. In some models, it’s possible to get a combination of fibre and form, which is a good compromise.

Sometimes, it can be difficult for couples to agree on a sofa due to a difference in height or how they like to sit, it can be a good solution to opt for a sofa and an occasional chair, which offer different types of comfort.

Top tip: Comfort is totally subjective and our best advice is to visit the showroom and do the sit test.  Try out lots of sofas and find the most comfortable one for you.


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