Whatever kind of seating you need for your living space, here’s how to pick a couch that will feel right at home
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Your sofa needs to work for your lifestyle, fit into your space, and be comfy and gorgeous, too. That’s quite a tall order, but the good news is, whatever your particular needs, there’s a sofa out there for you. Here are just a few favourites to inspire – and fall for.
Flatter a period room
If a touch of tradition appeals, you can’t beat a bit of buttoning – and this shapely piece is right at home amid paintings and porcelain.
High-backed, it’s a stylish design that would suit high-ceilinged or larger rooms best, and – piled with cushions – would be a comfortable place to spend an afternoon.
Go wide for family viewing
Is movie night something you and your brood do on a regular basis? If so, you need a sofa with serious width.
This design’s low back and deep seats, not to mention the generous cushioning and L shape, make it the perfect model for slouching with feet up on footstools or the coffee table.
In the market for a new sofa? Browse a range of designs in the Houzz Shop
Fit a classic into a compact area
The iconic chesterfield never goes out of fashion, so it’s a great choice for any style of room. This mini version would fit in a small living room with ease – or you could put it alongside a full-size model in a larger space.
Choose fabric rather than classic leather for ultimate comfort.
Build in to save space
Got an awkwardly shaped room to furnish? Ditch the idea of trying to shoehorn in a shop-bought sofa and consider instead having a piece built to fit the space.
The key is to make sure the cushions are well attached and super-welcoming. And if you can hide storage in the frame beneath, all the better.
Find a local carpenter or joiner to help you realise this sort of project to perfection
Reboot trad with bold colour
Looking for a sofa to complement a period home? The shaping and turned-wood legs of this rather handsome model give it a strong hint of authenticity, despite the low back and relaxed posture.
What really draws the eye, however, is the show-stopping colour of the upholstery – the best way to give a classic piece a pleasingly contemporary look.
Choose low-slung for a petite room
Just as a tall sofa flatters a large, high-ceilinged room, so a low-slung or low-backed sofa will be better for a space with compact proportions. This style creates a more relaxed appeal, too.
You’ll also get a better view of whatever’s behind your couch, so it’s a good choice if you’re placing it in front of big windows with a view across your garden.
Forgo arms to maximise space
If your room’s small, a sofa without bulky arms will make the space look and feel larger. These are a good choice for couples, who can snuggle into the corner.
If your chosen model also comes with a pale upholstery cover that reflects light to exaggerate the space-enhancing effect, you’re onto a winner.
Note also the loose covers here. They make the sofa’s surface easy to wash, but also add – along with the kick-off-your-shoes linen – to the informal, easy-breezy feel of the piece.
Fall for a beauty
If being admired rather than lounged upon is your new sofa’s main job, one with a curvaceous wooden frame and slim cushioning might be your best option.
Aiming for this ‘just picked it up at a Parisian flea market’ look? Choose upholstery in a strong yet classic pattern – like these elegant stripes – to guarantee it gets maximum attention.
You can scour antiques markets and look online for originals that may need a little love, or opt for one of the many reproduction versions out there. ‘French Louis style sofa’ is a good starting point for your search.
Give a neutral room a bright centrepiece
Just as a slick of lipstick can brighten your whole look, a vibrant sofa can take a white room from so-so to sensational. This hot pink design has extra wow thanks to the light-catching velvet.
Tie a bright sofa into the room with one or two accessories that feature your chosen colour, however subtly. Here, the large artwork has small touches of pink amid the greys and greens, helping to create a cohesive scheme.
Stretch for sociability
A beautiful and vast sofa like this one will probably be a significant outlay, but let the idea of it inspire you for a minute: a modular sofa in a sociable shape, a strokable upholstery fabric, and a warm, bold colourway set within a moody decorative scheme… Clearly it can only have one outcome – lots of lying around chatting.
Look around for inexpensive modular sofas that offer the option of upsizing to give you a similar level of seating.
Here’s why we’re going nuts for velvet sofas
What kind of sofa would improve your living room – and life? Let us know or share photos in the Comments section.