A Guide To Choosing Your Sofa Shape
It’s time for a new sofa. Something you’ll probably live with for many years to come. New sofas are an investment – particularly if you opt for a bespoke sofa – so it’s important to get it right the first time around.
One of the biggest considerations you will need to factor in is the shape of the new sofa and how it’ll fit with your living space, but narrowing down your selection can be tricky if you don’t know where to start.
Fortunately, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you to choose your sofa shape, packed with interior design tips to help you make the right choice.
Think about the size of your room
The obvious place to start is by thinking about the size of your room and how a new sofa might fit into that space. You want the furniture you choose to feel like a natural feature of the room, rather than have it overwhelm a small space or get lost in a large open-plan area. If you are lucky enough to have a big, open-plan living room, then a showstopping corner or U-shaped sofa can become a brilliant focal point and will help break up the space into separate areas with differing functions.
For smaller living rooms, a large sofa is probably going to look a little odd and can make the space feel cramped. In this instance, you might like to think about pairing a three-seater sofa or a loveseat with an armchair, so you still have plenty of seating options without any of them dominating the room. In short, you want your sofas to feel like a centrepiece without them completely taking over.
Go with the flow
When we talk about the ‘flow’ of a room, we’re really talking about the layout and how you use the space. Try walking around and seeing where a sofa or armchair would feel natural, without getting in the way of other items of furniture and how you’d want to use them. For example, you probably don’t want to position a sofa too close to a door or a storage unit, since they’re going to be in regular use and a sofa would become an obstruction.
This is particularly important in larger open-plan living rooms, where you might want to carve the space up into areas with separate functions. If yours is a lounge/diner, for instance, then a sofa is a great way to delineate the lounge area from the dining area, creating a sort of barrier between the two. Simply wander around and think about how you and your family will interact with the space, and this should help you choose both the size and location of your sofas.
Find your style
Your next step is to find the style of sofa which will slot right in with the style of your house. Is your home contemporary or traditional in design? Older period properties with traditionally decorated interiors probably want more traditional sofas – something like a Chesterfield with dark wood and uniform rectangular armrests, for example. Lawson sofas or loveseats are other popular choices for smaller period properties, as they can add a cosy cottage feel to a snug or compact living room.
More modern properties often have bigger spaces for you to play with and might be better suited to a sofa with a more contemporary design. That might mean a sofa with straight lines rather than curved edges, or with a lower back rather than the high-backed sofas we associate with the Victorian period. Sofas with straight lines and rectangular arms have been in vogue for a number of years now. Ultimately your sofa should complement your other furniture, so if the rest of your home décor is contemporary in style, then choose a more modern-looking sofa which will fit in with the aesthetic.
The shape of your sofa is another important factor and again will depend on the size of your room and its purpose. Large U-shaped sofas are very on-trend but really only work in big, open-plan rooms, as they take up a considerable amount of space. L-shaped sofas, on the other hand, can be made to fit comfily into both large and small living rooms. In a smaller room, they can actually save space if they’re positioned in the corner and leave the centre of the room open.
For very small spaces, a chaise or loveseat can tuck away neatly into a smaller nook, perhaps to create a reading space or a quiet retreat away from the main living area. You could also maximise the space and opt for single sofas and chairs. These can be easier to position in a room of any size, whether you go for a compact armchair or more generous three- or four-seater bespoke sofas.
Mix things up a little
You may not want to have just a single sofa, so mixing and matching sofas of different sizes can be a great way of adding character to your living room while giving you more seating options if you have people around. Chairs and sofas in the same style, fabric and colour can create a harmonised, cosy look – especially if you go for bespoke sofas in a material you’ve chosen to match your décor.
Alternatively, more modern homes can benefit from a real mixture, particularly if you want to create a more personalised or eclectic feel to the room. This could mean having different fabrics on your bespoke sofas and armchairs or choosing colours which contrast with the shade on your walls.
Choosing a sofa should take time because it’s quite a big decision which will influence how you use and see a space. Whether you’re furnishing an entire living room or adding an extra armchair to a particular room, think carefully about the size of the space, how it’s used and what shape will fit neatly in with your existing décor and furniture.
If you follow these simple interior design tips, you should be able to narrow down your selection and find your perfect sofa in no time.