Pick the perfect sofa for your space

Style and colour are important, but the first step in choosing the right sofa is to determine the best shape for the space you have.

1. You've got a period terrace

How do you fit enough seating into a small room that has a fireplace and a bay window taking up wall space? Choose a corner sofa in a classic style.

living room with white sofa set with dotted red cushions

(Image credit: TBC)

Camelot corner sofa, double unit from £1699, Furniture Village

Put the elements together:

  • Choose a classic style to suit an older property, with a low, flat back that will sit flush against a wall and not block light from the window.
  • Go for white painted furniture, simple pieces streamline a space without absorbing light.
  • A large overmantel mirror will make the room feel bigger and brighter.
  • Chosse simple accessories. Go for basic glass vases and ceramics, plain lamps and untrimmed cushions.
  • Small wall art will make a cramped room feel even smaller, so scale up with an oversized canvas like this one.
  • Pick a traditional pattern.
    Mix florals that share the same two or three-colour palette.

sofa set with printed red floral cushions and white wooden table

(Image credit: TBC)

Use pretty vintage-look florals and lashings of cream for an uplifting scheme. Small living rooms can be overwhelmed by sofas, so choose a space efficient corner design rather than trying to squeeze in a cpouple of two-seaters for a layout that's easier to walk around.

2. You've got an open plan flat

living room with blue sofa set having yellow and white cushions and floral printed walls

(Image credit: TBC)

In an open-plan space, create areas that feel connected but are clearly defined. This compact but characterful sofa shape marks out a boundary, with no curves to blur the lines.

For similar sofa try Miss Daisy medium sofa in Teal, £1596, Sofa Workshop

Put the elements together:

  • Choose a low-arm club sofa. This square, squat design is space-efficient but able to hold its own visually.
  • Try futuristic furniture and make a subtle statement with high-gloss white, handle-free, streamlined pieces.
  • By picking vibrant shades you can use colour to mark boundaries. Choose harmonious hues that are side by side on the colour wheel.
  • Lots of pure white on woodwork and floors will make the colour pop.
  • Combine with contemporary pattern.
    Choose from retro florals, stripes, geometrics and bright toiles.

blue sofa set with floral printed cushions and wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Bright blues and citrus shades, teamed with delicate leaf motifs will create a fresh scheme. A classic, low-profile sofa with flat sides and back preserves the visual flow between spaces, but its strong, square outline can define a seating area.

3. You've got a new build


In a room with no original features and no fireplace or feature window to arrange furniture around, you need a sofa that can set the scene.

living room with white sofa set having printed cushions

(Image credit: TBC)

Langham Place sofa, from £1699, Furniture Village

Put the elements together:

  • Go grand with a Chesterfield-style design that wouldn't look out of place in a stately home.
  • Create a rough-luxe contrast by offseting the fancy sofa style with tough metal, raw wood and leather.
  • Keep a palette of muted colours. Go with a mix of sophisticated grey, mushroom and taupe.
  • Choose contemporary patterns such as geometrics, ikat and typeface prints that will look sharp.
  • Supersize accessories.
    Think size, not quantity: an oversized table lamp, a big framed print, a giant glass jar.

sofa set with white and grey printed cushions and green plant in white pot

(Image credit: TBC)

Stay calm and cool with layers of grey-toned neutrals and natural materials and textures.

Make the sofa the focus of the room: choose a space-gobbling design with scroll arms and back, and reinforce its status by symmetrically positioning a rug, coffee table, console and large picture in front of behind it to frame it visually.



Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.