How to Choose the Perfect Sofa

The sofa is one of the largest, and often one of the most expensive pieces of furniture you’ll ever buy, so it’s an important piece. It not only needs to fit in with your desired decor, but needs to be comfortable and long lasting.

Read on for Abi's tried and tested, 100% guaranteed tips for choosing just the right sofa so that you can be inspired and confident in making the right choice for you and your pad.

Things to consider when selecting the perfect sofa.

It's a big investment piece, so how long should a sofa last? Well, the average life of a sofa is apparently 7 to 15 years, so understandably you want to make sure you're making the best sofa choice for you.

I have put together my list of important things to consider when selecting the perfect sofa, so that you can make your investment worthwhile and ensure that your home looks beautiful too. Mine is a George Smith classic beauty in a caramel mohair/cashmere blend. Yes, it was definitely an investment but it’s lasted over 15 years and is as comfy as ever and I might add still covered in the same original upholstery.

Go for comfort

The trick with sofas is to select and buy something supremely comfy. I’ve had clients with precious fabrics on theirs who jump out of their seats with nerves whenever you plonk down with a glass of wine – not for me. Your living room is for relaxing first and foremost, so if you can’t do that then your sofa choice is wrong.

Abi's must-have Sofa Accessories

A textured throw or sheepskin to increase comfort and extra warmth on chilly evenings.

Adding pattern like this cushion, especially if your sofa is a solid hue, will add further interst and enhance the fabric of your sofa. Of course a furry companion is also a must have!

You can never overdose on texture so adding in a variety of cushions in contrasting tones and fabrics is key to creating a sofa that invites you to hunker down.

Choose the size carefully.

Don’t go too massive. As tempting as it is to buy the biggest hugest sectional or sofa to fill up the space, it can drain the energy out of the room. If you’ve got a lot of space to fill look at buying a few odd chairs and creating a conversational seating zone that isn’t just the sofa. This is all a study in contrasts too – the more boxy the main sofa the more leggy and dainty your chairs should be.

The Acott Occasional Chair would be a perfect partner to a chunky sofa. The gold delicate legs add a simplicity that ensures it won't overpower your space.

The Nola Armchair's curvy and petite proportions allows it to nestle into a neglected corner, creating another level of interest and extra seating.

The Emery Butterfly Chair, an iconic design that wont fail to rank high in the style stakes. It's classic design and unimposing frame will sit perfectly with almost any sofa and decor.

Give the illusion of more space - if you need it.

 If you have a small room then small curvy numbers like our fab Rosali Sofa, will give the illusion of more space.

Small moveable side tables are fundamental for practicality, somewhere to put down that drink or your book as well as for cozying the space up.

Side tables can be tiny, but they’re still essential! They’re the sidekick every sofa needs. Finally it’s a good idea to bring in the odd low table, floor cushion or ottoman so you can always put your feet up should you wish. I’ve got a pouffe handy at every seating area.

Abi's Sofa Sidekicks

Small enough to pick up an pop anywhere. The rustic wooden Julian Stool would contrast beautifully with leather, velvet or fabric. So versatile.

Put your feet up or use as an extra place to plop if you have friends over. The pouffe if a staple in my house.

Add a touch of wild, intrigue the eye or start a conversation with the fabulous leopard print Savannah Table.

Find a material that works for you.

Leather, velvets or a hard wearing wool, knit or tweed are my go to faves, but each material has their benefits depending on your individual needs. For instance leather tends to be a good choice if you have young children (or furry ones) as they are ultra hardwearing and wipeable. Modern velvets also tend to be much more hard wearing than previously too, making them easier to keep clean and looking beautiful. I'm all for being able to feel comfortable and not get too hung up on the odd piece of dirt or spillage, so hard wearing will always be my goto choice. Just because they're hardwearing doesn't mean they can't be beautiful too!

Dress it well!

You wouldn't splash out on a fabulous outfit and then not bother to accesorise it or make it looks it best. Ensure your sofa has layered mix of textures and pattern so that it looks inviting and entices you get cosy. Drape throws and add cushions in contrasting textures, shapes and sizes. You don't need to overdo it with the cushions and if I could I ask you one thing NOT to do - please do not karate chop them and make them look too perfect. I hate to see a sofa thats been styled within an inch of it's life. Aim for cosy and inviting rather than stuffy and prim.

Final thoughts..

Finding the perfect sofa can be an onerous task but don't rush, take your time, gather all of your sofa inspiration and then if you can 'try before you buy' and get the best quality that your budget will allow. once you've nailed that, follow my tips on dressing it well and adding companions like extra chairs and occasional tables and you will have a sofa that looks inviting and feels super cosy as well as stylish of course.