A sofa is fairly major purchase for your home and how you want it to look and feel as well as how you intend to use it will all determine what type, size, colour and fabric you should be looking for.
Before you head out shopping, it's definitely worth taking a little time to consider your room and your needs. Take a look at the general shape of your room as well as the locations of your doors, windows and TV. It also pays to consider the practical issues too like kids, pets, fashion and budget. These things can all help determine the style of sofa you should shop for.
shape and style
Traditional two or three seat sofas can be used either on their own or else paired with one or two separate arm chairs. This style is a good choice if your space is limited, if your family is smaller or if you like a more formal seating arrangement.
Alternatively, two traditionally styled sofas can be placed directly opposite each other to create a conversation area. An L shape arrangement will also work and can be set around a coffee table or TV.
Showpiece sofas are not intended for comfort so much as looks and are simply meant as a style statement. These can work well in rooms meant for passing through – such as reception or more formal areas and can also work well placed with other more comfortable furniture just for a little extra pizzazz. Also consider this style as a reading chair in an office or library area, for a dressing room or large bathroom or else placed at the foot of a bed.
Comfort is paramount for most of us however, so the ideal sofa is one which can easily be enjoyed by the whole family together in front of the TV. In this case, no matter the style, look for generous proportions, softer cushioning and versatility. Modular styles are very popular but traditional sofas can work well too.
plan your purchase
Measure the floor area of your room carefully. Be realistic about the sofa size your home can comfortably accommodate. These days they're becoming bigger than ever so a quick measure will ensure it fits either up your stairs, in your lift, through your doors and into your room.
Sketch a basic plan of the room, indicating all of the positions and dimensions of the existing furniture, windows and doors.
Referring to your measurements, consider several layout options for the room. Establish the approximate size your new sofa needs to be and remember to take your plans and measuring tape with you when shopping
sofas for small rooms
Create the illusion of space, by selecting lower, slender sofa styles where the legs are clearly visible. Sofas with substantial proportions and concealed legs will look solid and heavy and can make the room appear smaller.
For a sofa long enough to fully stretch out on you should look for something low and relatively deep. This style can also help to open up a small room as the low back can make the walls seem taller and the ceiling higher.
comfort and support
The inner structure of a sofa is often underestimated but is extremely important for it to retain shape and provide good long-term support. Where possible, select a kiln-dried hardwood frame, held together with glue and screws (rather than pins) and coil inner springs, at least in the seat