How to choose a sofa with…Vanessa Hurley-Perera of

A sofa is central to most living room schemes, but when it comes to choosing the right match for your space, lifestyle and personality, it can be a bit bamboozlin

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1. How can we choose our perfect sofa?

Everyone’s perfect sofa is different; it really does depend on so many variables. Some of the most important things to consider are:

• Size and shape of the room – measure each wall accurately and consider how much space the new sofa will take up, it may be less or more than your existing sofa and effect views/access that currently exist.

• End use – is this sofa for a busy family room or more infrequent formal gatherings?

• Light – where does the natural light from windows cast and where are wall fitted/ceiling lights positioned?

• Colour - what works with the walls, floors and existing furniture in the room?

• Comfort – what defines comfort for you, slouchy and soft, or upright and supportive?

2. What new trends for sofas have you seen coming through?

There has been a subtle shift to modular pieces as people are looking to utilise the space in their rooms more efficiently.

Many homes have open plan spaces and modular furniture is an incredibly versatile choice. You can create the perfect configuration for your room dimensions and then reconfigure when guests arrive to create a more social setting.

In terms of fabrics, customers are becoming more confident with colour and luxurious textures such as velvets are popular.


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3. Aesthetic is important, but functionality is key when it comes to choosing a material for your sofa. How can we decide which will work best for us?

You really do need to think about the end use of your sofa and also the people using them. For example, if mum is prone to spilling her cup of tea (or, if it’s Friday, her G&T!) then you might want to opt for a loose cover sofa in a fabric that is washable. Or, for pieces with fixed upholstery, consider a good stain repellent.

4. Which fabric/upholstery should you choose if you have young children or pets?

You know your children and pets best so this varies within every family. Do take into consideration how this piece of furniture will interact with the family and pets and go from there.

If your home is full of tiny paws that love to share the comfort of your sofa with you then perhaps avoid deep and detailed textures as claws love these!

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5. What sofas are ideal for compact spaces?

In compact and urban living, space and storage is often very limited and multi-functionality is becoming a key consideration for our customers. Sofa beds and sofas with built in storage are a great space-saving solution, allowing you to make the most out of your home.

If you have a home with smaller room dimensions, look out for love seats and 2.5 seat sofas which are great for smaller bays. We create our ranges with all room sizes in mind, so you will be sure to find something to suit even the most awkward of spaces.

6. How can we make our sofa a focal point?

Choosing a bold and vibrant fabric will make your sofa the star of the show. Opt for coordinating accessories in complementary colours to bring the look together.

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7. How would you revamp an old sofa?

Everyone likes a scatter cushion, right? The easiest and most cost effective way to update your sofa for the season is to introduce new colours and prints with a variety of scatters – this summer we love the beautiful green hues and tropical patterns found in the botanical trend.

If your sofa is looking a little tired and has seat and back cushions, then you can get replacement cushion pads which will give your sofa a new lease of life. Alternatively, if you have a loose cover sofa then you can change it for a new fabric altogether to make it feel like new!

8. What tips do you have for creating an intimate and sociable mood with the sofa you choose?

If you have the space, modular or corner sofas are great for socialising. If not, you can create something similar with smaller pieces but placement is the key for a good natter!

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9. Which is your bestselling sofa?

Our Bluebell sofa continues to be consistently popular with our customers. With its beautifully turned legs, generous proportions and luxurious seat pads, it works well in both traditional and contemporary homes.

10. What colours/materials are most popular?

Our most popular fabrics are our brushed cottons, which are beautifully soft to the touch and luxurious. Velvets are also another strong contender; our rich Prussian Blue pure cotton matt velvet is the current star of the show.

The best advice I can give is make sure you plan carefully. I always work with swatches so make sure you get samples of paint colours, fabrics or flooring so you can ensure all the different hues, textures and materials sit nicely together. Remember to add a touch of your personality into any room you decorate. A throw you have brought back from your travels or a vintage lamp will help to lift your scheme from beautiful to exceptional.

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.