How To Choose a Sofa

Before you even think about colour, material and style, here are five essential tips that you need to consider before buying your dream sofa

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Content supplied by Sofas & Stuff

Furniture suppliers and retailers have multiplied in recent years and the range of models and choice of fabrics has never been so wide. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when presented with so many options when choosing a sofa, so it is a good idea to decide what you like, what you need, and what will fit, before visiting the retailers.

1. Do your research

Most retailers have an online presence now and it is much quicker, and potentially cheaper, to browse and buy online. At the same time, it helps enormously to sit on the sofa you are going to live with, so a trip to the shop is a good idea.

However, you can use websites to create your own shortlist and get an idea of the styles different suppliers will stock. You can also play around online with fabric options and see what your chosen sofa will look like when it has been upholstered, before making any commitments to buy.

2. Measure up

Pay attention to the product descriptions and especially the measurments. Looks alone will not ensure that your chosen sofa will fit through your front door, down the hall or up the stairs, so be prepared and do a little research.

The diagonal depth – from the back of the frame to the front of the arm – is a crucial measurement that is often overlooked. This measurement dictates the minimum space required for turning. It will save you hassle, money and a lot of disappointment if you measure the spaces and turning circles accurately before you purchase your sofa.

3. Plan your room

When you are planning your room – or adding a new sofa – always allow a minimum of 50cm of space around every large piece of furniture. That will give you room to move around the space and your furniture won’t look cluttered or crammed in.

Get an A4 piece of squared paper and draw out your room using one cm2 to represent one m2. Then you can cut out a rough representation of your furniture and plot them on your floorplan to get an idea of the available room. You don’t want to block any doors or windows, so keep in mind their opening angles too.

Of course, things always look different once the furniture is in situ, but it will give you a good idea of what will work and what won’t.

4. Consider the space

If your space is small or awkward, it may be worth considering a modular style with parts that can be delivered separately and assembled in the room. Some models are also available with split frames or removable arms, legs and cushions, making it easier for you to move them in small spaces.

5. Ask for advice

Always ask showroom or store teams for the options before placing your order. Made-to order sofas are expensive and once production is underway or completed, stores are unlikely to make a refund if you have measured your space wrong. Expert advice is available in store, so make sure you ask if you have any queries or doubts. You might find some details you overlooked.