Let me tell you, buying a sofa is no picnic. Not only is it one of the most expensive items you'll buy for your home,  but it also needs to be incredibly comfortable, stand the test of time AND pull your whole room design together...no pressure then! 

But fear not, we've pulled together the questions our interior designers get asked time and time again to guide you. You'll have your feet up on your new couch in no time!

 Where to start?


Image credit: My Bespoke Room 

Before you start to scroll through endless pages of sofas, it is important to understand your space and style. Here are some things you should consider before beginning your search:

Measure up! It may seem obvious, but when it comes to sofa shopping, size really does matter. A sofa that is too big for your room will leave the space feeling cramped and limit room for yourself, let alone a coffee table and any additional seating options. Alternatively, if you have a larger space and you get a sofa too small, it can look lost and less homely. 

Do you want your sofa to set the foundation or make a statement? Your sofa will inevitably be one of the largest items in your living room, if not the largest, and so its presence will be felt. The question is, do you want your sofa to be a foundation item that can be styled and designed around, or do you want it to be the main feature of the room?

Always consider the practicalities. It is very likely that for the foreseeable future, your sofa will be used on a day-to-day basis, so you need to think about the practicality as well as what it looks like. For example, a beautiful pair of stiletto heels may look absolutely dazzling, but you wouldn't want to strut around in them daily on the school run.

If you have messy kids or a mucky pup, you're probably going to want a fabric that is 'easy clean', whether this is a wipe-clean leather, or a sofa with removable covers. It's also worth thinking about the maximum amount of people that will be seated on the sofa at one time. An elegant loveseat may look lovely, but it won't feel so lovely when your family of four plus Grandma is trying to squeeze together to comfortably watch a film on a Saturday evening.

So now you've considered these points, it's time to dive into our style guide...


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What style of sofa should I choose?

Corner sofa in blue and white living room

Image credit: My Bespoke Room 

Looking for sofa ideas? Well, we're interior designers, and we are obviously going to talk style! Sofas come in all different shapes, sizes and styles. The right one will depend on the size of your space, how many people will use it and how it will be used. Will it host cosy long movie nights with the whole family or provide a perch for the occasional guest?

If you have a contemporary home, we suggest a sleek sofa with clean lines. If your home is more classic, a traditional Chesterfield is a loyal staple. Saying that, mixing old and new or putting a modern twist on an older property can look amazing,

To help you narrow it down, we've taken the most popular styles and explained what each is typically used for:

Types of sofa | What sofa suits my home

Image credit: My Bespoke Room using Sofa.com sofas 


Some sofa ideas for your home...

Love seat: Ideal for smaller spaces or as a secondary sofa, this style is also called a compact sofa or snuggle seat. They have one single seat cushion and a single back cushion.

Two-seater: It's in the name, they are perfect for two people! Ideal for smaller spaces or perfect to be paired with another sofa as additional seating.

Three seaters: This bigger sofa is made to accommodate three people or two people (or even one person) to spread out and relax.

Pillow back: Elevating both comfort and style, the abundance of pillows creates texture and depth within the room while providing luxurious comfort. 

There are plenty of other options for larger sofas as well, such as a chaise sofa, which has an extended leg rest for added comfort. For those seeking adaptability, modular sofas offer a dynamic solution as they can be mixed and matched to suit your room. Or, there is the corner sofa, which is optimal for larger spaces and ideal for families. 

Pro tip! It is always important when deciding the style of your sofa to take into account its longevity. Regret: It's a horrible thing. Therefore, there are two things you need to take into account: 1. Will this sofa last five years? and 2. Will I like this sofa in five years?


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What colour sofa should I choose?

Velvet green sofa in industrial style living room

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Naturally, this very much depends! As the biggest piece of furniture in your living room, the colour is a big decision and will form the foundation of the design of the room as a whole. Ask yourself a few questions:

Do you want to make your sofa a foundation item that can be styled and designed around, or do you want it to be the main feature of the room?

If you want your sofa to be the star of the show, you can have great fun picking bold and bright colours and also patterns that will make it a focal point.

Alternatively, if you like to change up your living room regularly, opt for a neutral colour like your greys, tans, or whites (risky!) so that it will sit happily in any scheme. 

Make sure you always get a sample of the fabric before purchasing the sofa to see how the colour looks in real life. As with paint, colours can change in different light conditions.


How do I make sure it's comfy?

Pastel living room with wall gallery

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

We've touched on the style and colour but as you'll be spending a great deal of quality time with your sofa over the years, comfort is key. For maximum comfort, it's all about the filling, fabric and back heights.

Starting with back heights and angles, this is a personal preference depending on your body shape and how you like to lounge. If you're tall, opt for a higher backrest to give you additional support. Nothing quite beats testing out a few different styles to hone in on the style that suits your body shape.

The filling is also the foundation of a super comfy couch. When choosing the filling for your sofa you have a few options and aspects to consider. Such as, how often you will use the sofa and how much upkeep you are willing to put in? Here are some of the common fillings:

Foam-filled: Provides more structure and as a result, it is firmer. However, within 6 months they lose around 15% of their firmness and eventually can flatten out over time.

Feather filled: The most expensive option, it is more comfortable and has a relaxed feel. However, it requires regular plumping but with proper maintenance, they can last a very long time.

Foam and feather: The best of both worlds, the feathers give the squish and the foam gives the structure. However, still requires plumping occasionally to help maintain its shape and comfort.


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What fabric should I choose for my sofa?

Turquoise and pink living room.

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

The sea of fabric options out there can get overwhelming. Base your decision not only on the style that works in your space but also your lifestyle. Some fabrics look and feel luxurious but won't stand the test of time against kids and pets!

Cotton: A versatile and comfortable natural fibre fabric that is breathable and soft. Cotton is an easy-to-care-for option that enhances comfort. Ideal for casual and relaxed spaces, it can effortlessly complement both traditional and contemporary room styles.

Velvet: Often made from cotton or polyester, it is a soft and luxurious fabric. Velvets can require a bit more love and attention, but some velvets now have a special coating, which prevents spills and stains from soaking into the fabric too quickly. Velvet shines in sophisticated and elegant interiors, making it perfect for formal living rooms or stylish lounges.

Linen: More durable than cotton, this natural fibre material gives a casual, lived-in look. Its durability is an advantage for households with moderate activity. The casual elegance of linen fabric suits well in rural and coastal-themed rooms.

Leather: A natural material that gets better with age, it is a super hard-wearing material that is durable and will last a long time. Leather can complement both classic and contemporary interiors. It's an excellent choice for adding a touch of sophistication to study rooms, dens, or industrial-style living spaces.

Polyester: A synthetic fibre that is very durable and hardwearing. Ideal for families and pets. Polyester works seamlessly in family rooms, playrooms, or any area that requires robust furniture.

Wool: Often blended with synthetic materials to make it more durable. It gives a warm look and feel to any interior space. Wool's cosy appearance makes for a perfect fit in cosy reading corners and rustic-style living rooms; it could even be added to eclectic spaces seeking a touch of texture.

Once you've narrowed down your favourites, order some samples so you can make a final decision.


How do I make sure my sofa fits in my room?

Grey sofa with blue feature wall.

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Layout is imperative when choosing a sofa. The first step in deciding the layout of your furniture is analysing your lifestyle. Will the room be a more formal entertaining space? In that case, two sofas facing each other may work better than a larger chaise sofa against one wall, which lends itself more to a TV room.

Also, as mentioned at the beginning of our blog, scale is incredibly important in interior design. Make sure your sofa is the correct scale for the room size and in proportion to the other items of furniture in the room. If you want to make the most of your small living room space, why not check out our best small living room ideas here.

You can mock up a quick floorplan with your room and sofa measurements, but nothing beats marking out exactly where it will sit in the room using masking tape or even stacked boxes. This way you can get a feel for how it will fit in the space - just because it technically fits within millimetres along a wall, doesn't mean it's right! 

Don't forget to make sure it can fit through your doors and hallway too! Need I remind you of the iconic Friends episode? 'PIVOT!'


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How to style a sofa

How to style a sofa. Soft furnishing tips

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

So you've chosen your sofa?! Nice work. Now you're faced with the challenge of styling it. Cushions are more than just for comfort, they help to blend your sofa into the room and tie it together with the other items of furniture.

As we've already waffled on long enough here, head over to our other guide which will help you choose the colours, fabrics, sizes and shapes of cushions to make your sofa feel at home. 


How can I get a sofa in time for Christmas?

Blue and neutral living room | How to get a sofa in time for christmas.

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Sofas typically have the longest lead time of any item of furniture you'll buy, so make sure you put your order in as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Hosting family and friends on camp chairs this Christmas isn't anyone's idea of fun! 

Aim to order your sofa by the end of September at the latest. At the moment, there's a lead time between 12 -16 weeks depending on the retailer. 

So get your skates on! If you're a customer, your Personal Shopper can help. They'll be able to place the order for you, finding you the best price available. You can also get exclusive discounts on our VIP suppliers so you know you're getting the very best price.


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