Autumn is approaching fast (albeit delayed by a last blast of sunshine), so we are poised to sit indoors once more…
Swapping our deck chairs for our sofas needn’t be so tough…
Finding the best sofa for your family doesn’t need to be complicated. However, it’s crucial to consider all the factors that contribute to finding the best fit for your physical space and for your lifestyle.
Essentially, you need to consider several key components:
- The size of your living area and arrangement of your furniture
- The extra features included with your sofa
- The primary materials used to make your sofa
- Its style and colour
- Your overall budget
Will it fit…?
First, measure the size of your living room. Your furniture should take up less than a third of your total floor space, so consider whether you will need to remove another piece of furniture to avoid overcrowding the room.
Keep in mind that the comfort of your couch is as much about the atmosphere it creates in the room as the physical comfort provided by the cushions. If a couch is too large for a space, it’s as uncomfortable as if it’s too small for multiple people to share.
On a related note…
You might be interested in learning more about Feng Shui, especially if you are into energy and how spaces can be made to feel more positive or negative based on the arrangement of your furniture.
Back to the layout…
As part of determining the maximum dimensions of your couch, remember that it can’t simply be plopped down anywhere in the room. You’ll need to plan out in advance exactly where your couch will sit so that you can be certain not to block any outlets, air vents, or even windows.
You also don’t want to create any awkward bottlenecks that force people to re-route around the furniture just to enter the room. This can be an issue with open floor plans. It might be wise to have someone else who lives in the home help you brainstorm the potential benefits and drawbacks of different arrangements since these can be difficult to picture.
You might even use tape to mark off the floor to help you visualize your options
Are those extra features worth it…?
Next, rule out any additional features that don’t make sense for your situation and include those that do in a list, ranked by priority.
For instance, you might already have an ottoman with additional storage space, so you don’t need a sofa with hidden storage. Or, you might consider a reclining couch because your teenagers have demonstrated a tendency to put their feet up on the coffee table.
Keep in mind that you will need to account for any additional space required for certain features. A reclining couch, for example, will need enough room to fully extend. Think top to bottom when considering features.
What about the feel of the material?
Certain textures might appeal to a scratch-inclined cat, for instance. Also, certain feet make more sense for hardwood than carpet. If you have a cleaning robot, it’s worth confirming that it will have clearance to go about its business with your new couch in place, too.
You should also make a list of the materials you are considering, based on the use you think your couch will get. If you anticipate only adults using the couch, you might not need as durable a material as if you have kids and pets constantly scrambling all over the furniture.
Leather and tight-weave fabrics are both tear and stain-resistant and much easier to clean than other fabrics. Leather, in particular, though it comes with an added expense, generally increases the longevity of a couch significantly. You should also consider the cushion material. A combination of thick foam for the seat cushions and down back cushions generally outlasts other combinations.
Think about cleaning it
Your couch will come with a tag that lists the appropriate cleaning options according to the manufacturer, and it’s worth reading through this information even before you make a purchase. Certain materials require special treatment to avoid damaging fabrics and dyes.
You might find that you get stains on your sofa, which is completely normal over the lifetime of it. So you need to make sure you can get any stains out without too much hassle.
Styling it out
Now, you can begin to think about style and how your couch will work with the existing furnishings, walls, and flooring. If you already have a definite design direction, this may actually make this decision easier. If you are using your couch as the focal point for your living room, however, you might consider carefully if you want to go in another direction. After all, you should feel comfortable in your living space, and part of this is enjoying the design of the room.
While you generally don’t want to try to match colours exactly, a tone variation of an existing colour within the room is a good way of guaranteeing that your couch will fit into the overall aesthetic.
While neutral tones are an option, keep in mind that lighter fabrics are less forgiving about stains and that you don’t want your couch to appear to blend in with the carpet. To help any room to appear cohesive, it’s also smart to limit your colour palette. Choose a single neutral tone and two colours that complement one another well.
Your couch may be one of these colours or a combination. Ideally, you will build the rest of the room around this colour palette so that it all comes together into a unified whole. This is a particularly effective strategy when you are able to limit the elements in a room to the essentials. While not necessarily minimalist, keeping a room free of excess ornamentation or décor also reduces the impression of clutter, making the entire room feel cleaner and more open.
Finally, you don’t want to lose sight of your budget. A couch purchase is often a long-term investment, however, so plan strategically. Spending a little more to ensure durability might mean a saved expense when you might otherwise need to replace a worn-out sofa. Browsing for a sofa online is a helpful way of determining what options fall within your budget. In fact, you may be pleasantly surprised by just how much is available on even the tightest budget.
It’s worth considering whether a sofa set makes the most sense for your living area, too. If you are redesigning a room or relocating and starting from scratch, a set is a great way of creating instant cohesion within a room and guaranteeing your furniture will match. Whatever you choose, following these basic guidelines will help direct your choice and increase your confidence in finding the best couch for you and your family.