This is one of the single most expensive items you are likely to buy for your home. The amount of choice on the market is somewhat mind-boggling. So where do you start when choosing a new sofa? Some people just buy on impulse – they see a sofa and fall in love. For others it can take years to find the right sofa, and if there are two (or more) of you making the decision it can be even more of a challenge! So it helps to cover the key topics below to help you choose the right sofa.
How big is the room? Remember to include the depth of the sofa when choosing as this can vary widely and a deeper sofa will take up a lot more space in your room. For example Stouby’s Eva sofa is 84cm deep whereas Knoll’s Barber & Osgerby range is 102cm deep. Also remember to measure all access points to get in to the room, including your own hallways and doorways and any communal areas such as lifts or stairs within the building. Some sofas have to be bolted together at the point of delivery, which makes delivery easier when access is tight. Depending on where you are based, we can usually arrange a site survey to check your chosen sofa will fit before your place your order. Please ask for more details If you are not sure whether your chosen sofa will fit in the room, we recommend using newspaper to make a template to represent the size of the sofa, to help you visualize how much space it will take up.
What shape is the room? This will help you decide what sofa will work. Corner sofas work well where you have a clear corner within the room and in open plan spaces .You could have a lot of fun designing your own Alphabet sofa from Fritz Hansen of Suita sofa from Vitra. A sofa with a chaise longue section can work equally well in a corner. High back sofas work well with rooms with high ceilings. If the room open plan, you may need to consider what the back of the sofa looks like. Vitra’s Polder sofa has a particularly attractive back, which anybody would be happy to show off.
Sofas with low backs work better in smaller rooms and spaces with lower ceilings. If you have a long narrow room, you may wish to consider a smaller sofa with one or two chairs to break up the space better. Stouby’s Concord chair is a good option in smaller rooms, which comes with or without a footstool. But it is hard to beat an Eames Lounge chair and ottoman for a comfortable, classic piece of furniture to complement your sofa. We can help you co-ordinate fabrics or leathers to bring the scheme together.
How do you want to use the sofa? Do you want to mainly sit upright and need a high back for support? If so consider the 3300 series from Fritz Hansen, or Vitra’s Suita or Stouby’s metropole range, both of which are available with headrests. Or do you want to lie down? If you want to lie down it’s important to measure the length of sofa you need and to choose a sofa with lower arms for comfort. Knoll’s Boeri works well as a lying down sofa
There is a huge range of sofa styles available. You may have a particular style that you love such as retro or vintage. Or you may just love modern furniture. If you want a sofa style that will last a very long time and not “date”, you can’t go wrong by investing in a classic piece such as the Florence Knoll sofa (1954), or Carl Hansen’s CH163 (1965). These are both timeless designs which still look modern today despite both being designed over fifty years ago.
You may also wish to consider the filling in the sofa, which affects its comfort level. Many modern sofas are filled with foam, which is supportive and gives a tailored look to the sofa. Knoll’s Barber & Osgerby sofas have different density foams for different parts of the sofa and even memory foam for the top layer of the seat. This makes it a super comfortable option. Foam needs less maintenance than older feather-filled sofa cushions which need to be plumped up regularly.
Do you want the sofa to be the key focus in the room? In which case you may wish to choose a bright fabric. Or you could usea range of different fabrics with certain sofas such as Fritz Hansen’s Alphabet and Stouby’s Mirage.. Alternatively, if you are concerned about getting bored of a bright colour, we recommend choosing a neutral colour such as brown leather or grey or cream fabric and injecting colour with cushions, throws and other accessories in the room such as paintings and photos. See separate sections on choosing a fabric and choosing a leather for more in depth information.
But if you really cannot decide between leather or fabric, you can have both on certain designs. The design of Knoll’s Architecture & Associes sofa allows you to choose one leather or fabric for the shell and an entirely different leather or fabric for the seat cushions. So if you want a hard-wearing leather for the shell which is easy to keep clean, but a soft fabric for the seat this option could be perfect for you.