Aside from the kitchen, we spend a majority of our time relaxing or gathering with friends and family in either our living or family rooms on or around the sofa. Because of this, it is important to choose this piece of furniture wisely, as sofas are often a considerable investment. You’ll want to keep a few guidelines in mind when purchasing a new sofa to be sure that you are choosing the right one for your space.
1. Determine How It Will Be Used
If it is a family room sofa that you’ll be using for lounging, it’s likely you’ll want a deeper sofa. Standard sofa depth ranges anywhere from 36 to 38 inches. If you anticipate using the sofa for curling up and really sinking in, or if a family member is particularly tall, opt for a deeper version, such as one of Restoration Hardware’s Luxe depths that are 41 inches instead.
If the sofa will be used as part of a more occasional sitting area that won’t necessarily be used as your main lounging area, consider a smaller sofa like this 2-seater from Crate & Barrel, which you can pair with a few occasional chairs and an ottoman to create a seating area conducive for conversation where people can sit across from one another rather than side by side on a large couch.
Also consider the logistics of getting the new piece into your space. Be sure that your new purchase is physically able to fit through your home’s doorways, especially if you have an older home. Measure twice to be safe and avoid a big headache! Check with your retailer for delivery and clearance specifications also, as it may have a quick reference tool such as Restoration Hardware’s Delivery Brochure.
2. Stay True to Your Personal Style
Knowing your personal style can help narrow down your quest for the perfect sofa and help you choose a style that reflects your lifestyle and personal taste. If you lean toward the more formal, traditional design aesthetic, a sofa with tufting or a tailored upholstered piece with exposed legs may be a good option, such as the Jayson Home’s Kennedy Sofa pictured below.
If you tend to be more casual, a slipcover is a less formal statement and is especially perfect for high-traffic areas or families with small children because you can quickly throw the slipcovers in the wash. Pottery Barn’s Catalina Slipcovered sofa is a great, classic shape with a nicely tailored slipcover.
3. Consider Comfort & Fill
The sofa’s placement and how it will be used determines the type of fill you want in the piece. Sofas are traditionally made of a dense polyfiber wrapped around a foam core, but many retailers offer upgrades such as down-feather cushions instead, for an additional cost.
Obviously, comfort should always be a consideration, but if you can’t afford upgraded fill in each of your sofas, determine where you’d like to splurge on fill by weighing which room receives more traffic. You will likely want to choose an upgraded fill in a TV room where you and your family spend a majority of your time.
4. Pick a Color That Fits the Feel of the Space
The fourth consideration when choosing a sofa is determining what color you will choose for the piece. If the piece is intended for the main living space, you will likely want to choose a neutral fabric such as an oatmeal or charcoal color that is timeless and will fit with any décor style. Then furnish the room with colorful accessories such as pillows, an ottoman and art to add color to the space.
If the sofa is to be used in a more occasional sitting room, you can go bolder with your fabric choice, such as a fun pattern from Anthropologie or a bright color, as these pieces tend to be more aesthetic than your staple sofa in the main living area.
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