With spring comes the desire to clean, reorganize, and redecorate your home. Aside from instilling newness into your life, redecorating feels like a fresh start for a new season. And there is no better way to make a space in your home feel updated than by reworking your furniture.
Nothing gives definition to a room like a sofa, since it’s a statement piece. You can go bold and structure the design and decor around your sofa, or you can score the perfect unit that ties to your pre-existing theme.
The question then is how you can select the right sofa that pulls your living space together in both a homey but refreshed way.
We’ve spoken with design experts who have great ideas about how you can go about picking the right sofa for your home, and with their suggestions, you’ll be sure to find the perfect piece.
Determine the Vibe You’re Looking For
“Choosing a sofa style can be a great way to dictate the vibe of your space. If you’re looking for a sofa to live in a more formal sitting room, opt for a tufted back with rolled arms.
If you’re looking for a sofa to live in a family living room, opt for a sofa with loose back cushions and a deeper seat to curl up in. If you’re a family with kids, a pet lover or have a penchant for red wine, consider a performance fabric.
These are more durable than a standard linen or twill and are made to withstand life’s everyday messes.
If your sofa is in a low traffic space, go for the designer print you’ve been eying or a beautiful vintage velvet.
“If you’re having a hard time visualizing the size of the piece in your space, use painter’s tape to mark off the dimensions of the sofa on your floor.
This allows you the chance to visualize the overall scale and check that all walkways are clear and don’t feel too tight,” says Roxy Te Owens, Founder and Creative Director of Society Social.
“Your sofa, or couch if you will, since the terms are essentially interchangeable these days, fills space in a very intentional way.
Odd shaped rooms or ones that you want to rework to appear wider or larger or taller can be transformed with only this one furniture piece.
An important element to consider when buying a new sofa is to consider the shape of the room and the shape you want your sofa to be in order to fill it.
Ask yourself whether you want a standard sofa size that sits people side by side (like you’d get with a loveseat or mid-century modern piece) or a rounded swivel couch or an L-shaped sectional to fit into a corner as a corner sofa.
You can even find U-shaped sectionals or purchase a sectional and divide the various pieces to accommodate the space.
“Whatever you decide, you then need to ensure it will fit the way you want. It’s best not to take chances when it comes to sofa size, so make sure you measure everything before you make a purchase.
Don’t forget the door frames. You can even use masking tape to draw the measurements on the floor and try it in various places,” says Ben Hyman, CEO of Revival Rugs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make a Colorful Statement
“You can go bold and bright in your home; it’s a space meant to be perfectly tailored to you, your likes and preferences. Sofas make a statement in any room, because they generally play a focal role wherever they’re placed—you sit and lounge on the sofa, whether you’re entertaining, watching television, or getting work done.
You can of course try to minimize the appearance of the sofa, but it’s more fun to select a piece of furniture that stands out a little. A bright or bold colored sofa draws the eye and expresses more about your personality.
The main reasons people shy away from colorful sofas are their fears about whether they can pull off the color in a tasteful way, or that they’ll be bound to that shade forever.
But choosing a color shouldn’t limit you; instead you can try different arrangements of accents, decor, and wall paint to expand on the color you’ve chosen in new ways.
Remember that certain fabrics hold more or less saturation and shimmer, so consider multiple different materials before you settle for one,” says Lauren Kleinman, Co-Founder of The Quality Edit.
Build From the Sofa and Pull Everything Together With Accents and Textures
“I’ve seen rooms where the sofa is more neutral in color and style and monochromatically plays well with other furniture. I’ve also seen bold, bright sofas there to make a point, and everything else is supporting.
Being the most-used piece in the room, it’s generally easier to start with the sofa and build from there. I am generally drawn toward textiles with a subtle, textured weave. They hold up from a design standpoint and are comfortable, which is important, given how much you’ll be sitting on it.
Even 100% natural fibers can withstand heavier use with hemp, linen, flax, and wool, proving they can last. If color scares you, go for neutral tones as the foundation for the room.
There are many grays and browns with interesting weaves and warm tones that offer depth. Generally, I lean toward solids and textures for bigger pieces, and use accent pillows, throws and other smaller pieces in bold colors or prints,” says Ryan Schultz, Co-Founder of Medley.
Stay True to Your Style
“You know what you like in most areas of life, but you may think you aren’t well versed in home styling. Yet, crafting your home to become a place that makes you comfortable to spend your time follows the same rules as crafting any part of your life to express who you are; you simply need to focus on what you like, one item at a time.
Choose each small piece of decor based on whether you like it or not, and try to stay somewhat consistent in your theme so everything gets pulled together.
Your sofa is a more attention-grabbing article than most others in your living area, but don’t let that deter you from beginning your search for the right one.
The most important element that should go into your selection is that it stays true to your style.
Once you’ve narrowed down your hunt into a few favorite options, then you can consider details like spacing, size, and making it work in your room. But first go off of the style that you most enjoy,” says Sara Adam Slywka, Co-Founder and CMO of Nestig.
Consider Accents and Hardware
“Before buying a new sofa, assess the room you’ll be placing it in to ascertain the best fit. If you’re working from a previously decorated space, look at details like the hardware and the accents already there. If the other items and fixings in the room follow an obvious cohesion, you’ll definitely want to factor this into your search.
For instance, piping and wicker give off entirely different ambiance than gold, silver, and bronze each do. Also, consider the other accents you have around the space, such as rugs, artwork, cushions, and blankets.
You certainly don’t have to match everything to make the space work, but an unintentional mismatch of hardware or decoration styles can leave you dissatisfied with the way your new sofa looks in your room without knowing why.
Aiming for certain levels of unity helps prevent this,” says Marcus Hutsen, Business Development Manager of Patriot Coolers.
Consider Your Use of the Room
“Everyone uses their living areas differently, so one of the most essential questions to ask yourself when shopping for a new sofa is what you hope to mainly use the room for.
Do you need it to be primarily comfortable and cozy because it’s your prime space for relaxing on the couch and watching TV?
Or is this room more about practicality, style, and appearance? Then consider details of style versus functionality. Is there a certain theme in your home that you’re trying to match? Or is your main concern more about the plushness of the cushions and whether the sofa’s material will show stains and pet hair?
Always first consider your main motivations for the space. It may help you to make a must-have list for your living area and arrange your priorities around that,” says Michael Van, CEO of Furnishr.
Choose Based on the Fine Details
“There are so many factors that can go into choosing the right sofa, from style to shape to material, but when you’re either really stumped or really not too interested in those aspects, you can always make your selection based on the fine details.
When in doubt, choose a neutral color and comfortable material, and set your parameters around the quality of the furniture, because you want it to last.
Set it around the price, because you probably have a budget that can help you significantly narrow down your options.
You can definitely set a parameter around finding a material you like, or whether it offers reclining, or how many people it seats.
When you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, it’s always helpful to work around the factors you do know,” says Justin Soleimani, Co-Founder of Tumble.
Your search for the right sofa is on now that you know exactly what to look for. However you decide to rework your living area with your new piece of furniture, we know it will inspire you to enjoy your space.
After all, your home is the one place that remains comfortable and constant in a shifting world, so you might as well make it be a place you want to spend your time.