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How to Choose the Right Sofa for Your Home

Like almost everything else relating to home furnishings, there appears to be unlimited choice when it comes to choosing the right sofa for your home. You might think you know exactly which type of sofa would fit perfectly in your living room, but once you enter a furniture store or browse the plethora of different sofa styles, shapes and materials available online, the infinite options can become overwhelming. A new sofa is a major investment, and choosing the right one should be a pleasure rather than a chore. To help you choose the right sofa for you, and to help you to avoid the pitfalls that can occur as part of this decision making process we’ve made this step by step guide. These useful hints and tips should help you get a clear idea of what type of sofa you want, and will hopefully help save you the time, money and headache of trying to decide which sofa would best compliment your home.

1. Sofa Size

Size is probably the single most important factor to consider when choosing the right sofa for your home. If you have a larger living room, you’ll need to decide exactly how much of the living room space you want your couch to take up. Do you intend to have other couches or chairs in the room along with the sofa? Would you like a coffee table in your living room as well? Or how about a footstool? If so, a simple sofa, or one with a slight L-shape, is probably the best option to go for. If you want your sofa to be the centre-point of your living room, go for more rounded sofa shapes that take up more room and provide a lot of seating area.

If you have a smaller lounge, you’ll most likely need a smaller sofa. With less living room space to occupy, any couch you purchase is going to become the focal point of the room, so it’s extremely important to select a sofa that is practical, but also has a powerful design that carries and complements the rest of the living room space.

2. Orientation

After considering how big the sofa should be, the next thing to decide will most likely be how the sofa will be oriented. Successfully organising a living space begins with analysing your lifestyle. What do you do the most in that space? Do you like to relax in front of the TV? Or do you have children that play video games? If you do, you should make sure that your new couch faces the TV. If the room serves a more social purposes, such as hosting regular parties or wine nights, then you would most likely want to arrange the furniture in a semi-circle (or even a full circle) around an occasional table.

If you and your family use the living room to lounge, relax and read, you could surround your sofa with chairs, cushions and other soft furnishings to create multiple seating areas that can be enjoyed individually or as a large group.

3. Sofa Shape

Determine which sofa shape will be most appropriate for the room. Now that you’ve decided your sofa’s function, it’s time to figure out which shape will help it fulfil that purpose. L-shape sofas are great for open areas that need to be divided — such as separating the living room from the dining room. A rounder shape is a bit more conducive for a smaller space meant to serve as a gathering area for groups of people, but could also be perfect for a media room.

If you want to include additional chairs and tables in your living room, a chaise or a daybed could be a good alternative to a traditional couch. It still provides seating for several people, but is compact and can work as a more sophisticated version of the futon.

4. Materials

When deciding on a sofa, it is also important to research upholstery materials. Which will be best for you? Aesthetics are important, but functionality is arguably more important when it comes to choosing a material for your sofa. Many people would love to a plush, white suede sofa as they look so luxurious, but suede can be a poor choice if you have pets or small children who could potentially damage the sofa.

Leather sofas — particularly in darker colours — are always in style, generally wear very well with age and can also be relatively easy to clean. This makes a leather sofa the ideal choice if you do have pets or children.

Another choice is to opt to have your couch upholstered in an outdoor fabric. Many companies now use extremely durable, weather-proof fabrics which resist stains, water and fading from the sun. Many outdoor furniture companies also have outdoor couches and love seats that are so stylish, simple and classic in design that they could easily be used indoors instead.

5. Style & Design

Choose a style and design that compliments your home. It can be challenging finding the right sofa that represents your own personal style, but go with your gut instinct when picking the type of couch that will fit naturally in your home. If your style is sleek and modern, pick something that reflects that in clean lines and dramatic colours.

If your home features an eclectic mix of colours and designs, a sofa that combines several styles (such as a vintage couch re-upholstered in a colourful fabric, or a more modern shape with traditional accents) could be the perfect expression of your taste.

If your look is a little more traditional, a classically structured sofa in a durable and neutral fabric will stand the test of time and will work well with various colours and complementing pieces.

6. Sofa Colour

Choosing the right colour to compliment the décor of your lounge can be challenging, so it’s worth spending time to get it right. If you are struggling to find the right colour, another option is re-upholstering the couch to personalise the appearance. Re-upholstering furniture has become a relatively inexpensive option for anyone who wants a unique colour or pattern for their sofa.

When choosing the right sofa for your living room, don’t be afraid to select a sofa with a fun or unique print, especially if the rest of the room features simple or neutral colours. It can add a surprisingly personal touch to any room and quickly transform the feel of the entire living room. A sofa with a unique print will often become the focal point of the room, so if you would prefer something a little less discreet you should choose a colour or pattern that matches other elements in your living room.

If you’re not brave enough to experiment with bolder colours and patterns in your sofa, you can always choose a funky Ottoman that can also act as a coffee table. It’ll add a more subtle sense of diversity to your living room, while complementing more classic couches and chairs.

7. Ethical Manufacturing

When deciding on a sofa, some people consider how the furniture was made to be as important as the colour or size. Lenleys are proud to be an official supplier of Harris Tweed sofas, a premium range of traditional hand-built furniture using modern techniques, classic designs and timeless styles, 100% British craftsmanship with beautiful authentic luxury cloth and hides from the skilled islanders of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Harris Tweed is protected by an Act of Parliament and can only be made in the Outer Hebrides. Revered for its quality throughout the world, Harris Tweed is handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.