How to Buy the Perfect Sofa

There are some days when I feel I have spent far too much time slouched on my sofa and other times when it seems I have hardly been in my lounge for more than an hour after work. But, regardless of the time we spend sat on it, the furniture we choose is crucial to how we feel and use the space and finding the right sofa can be harder than you think.  Often something which looks great, isn’t actually all that comfortable and doesn’t work for your lifestyle and as some pieces don’t come cheap, getting it right first time is pretty important. Here are some key things to consider before buying your new sofa:

Size (does matter)Measure the floor area of your room and draw a diagram of it, include any windows and doors, TV points etc – you want to capture all the main features of the room. Try to think of the room as a blank canvas and don’t be stuck to your existing layout, could you re-jig the room, move the TV  to create more space for a larger sofa or just a different feel to the space?  Trying to envisage the potential for the room gives you the widest range of options when it comes to choosing furniture so it’s worth spending some time drawing out a diagram, measuring and thinking. It might mean swapping some of your other existing furniture too but sometimes that’s all part of the fun and as always needn’t be expensive.


Shape – There is often a temptation to put a certain shape of sofa in a certain sized room and this is a bit of a bug bear of mine.  I have been in so many small houses or apartments (like my own) where the living room is perfectly lovely but the sofa of choice is nearly always a big L-Shaped monstrosity! Now, I am all for a well designed L-Shaped sofa but I don’t think it is always the best option for a small room – it generally leaves you limited to having the sofa in one position forever, your guests all have to sit neatly in a row craning their necks to converse and it can dwarf the room making a small space look even smaller. When I moved into my house I had a pretty ugly second hand 3 seater leather sofa and when I had guests, two people would sit on it and I would perch on the coffee table or lean in the kitchen doorway so I now have a generous two seater and a lowrise vintage chair on one side of the room and my antique ‘captains’ chair tucked in front of the TV on the opposite side – perfect for when I have guests and it is the best use of the space that I have found having tried various options over 2.5 years! So, always consider if perhaps a 2 or 3 seater sofa plus a chair, or two 2 seaters etc would work better for you (and your guests) and try to avoid having furniture in a row if you can.  You can still create the L-Shaped look with two 2 seater sofas, making up the corner section with a statement table or you could go formal and have the sofas facing each other with a table or sumptuous rug in the middle.

Loaf Monty|Monty

Loaf Bagsie|Bagsie

Leather Pavlova|Leather Pavlova


Style & Practicality – I’ve gone for a classic, elegant design from Laura Ashley in the Kingston 2 seater which comes in standard and large. I fell in love with the range when staying in a holiday cottage a couple of years ago which had the 3 seater version, it had deep enough seats that I could curl up on it, the arms were just the right height for propping cushions against and laying out and the back height supported my shoulders without looking like an ‘assistance’ chair. It works well with my eclectic style and I know I’m getting a quality, long lasting product from a tried and tested brand. I also love that I can vacuum underneath it and having a sofa raised off the floor works well in a small space as your eye line can travel a little further, giving the perception of more space.

Laura Ashley Kingston

Laura Ashley|Kingston (not my living room!)

When it comes to deciding which style will work for you, often the one that grabs your attention first will be the right one but it must do more than look good.  If you’re fortunate enough to have two lounge areas you could go for a firm chesterfield style in one room and a deep seated, squishy style in another. You might be quite happy to slouch and go for something super soft with low backs or something with a rigid base and lots of moveable cushions but really think hard about how much time you spend sat on your sofa and what you’re doing during that time.  For me it’s a mix of reading, drinking coffee, eating breakfast, watching TV and using a laptop so I needed something that offered me enough support to sit up straight and support my slightly dodgy shoulders/neck but was equally comfy for watching a film or Restoration Man marathon (no GOT in my house!) The key here is not to go for something that just looks pretty.

Colour & Fabric – Here you can really go all out as many companies will custom make your sofa in a fabric of your choice. I’ve gone for a pale grey textured fabric on my sofa as I intend on keeping it for many years and didn’t want a bold fabric or colour to soon look dated or for me to quickly change my mind (more likely). Again, think about how durable it needs to be – a wipeable leather or darker coloured fabric is probably a more sensible option if you have young children or pets, similarly a crushed velvet or very textured material may not be wise.

House to Home

Image|House to Home

Sofa Header Image

Loaf| Pudding

Loaf Butterbump


So once you’ve decided on Size, Shape, Style, Fabric and Colour – enjoy buying your perfect sofa!

For more inspiration check out my Pinterest board Sofa’s & Chairs

Thanks for reading

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