Design + Decor |

How to Choose a Sofa: A Savvy Guide

Jonathan Adler
Choosing a sofa is a major investment, a commitment that you don’t want to enter into lightly. When choosing the perfect sofa for your space, you need to carefully consider size, shape, material, fill and style. Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting your search.


Choosing a sofa that is neither too big or too small for your space is key. A few things to consider: How big is your room? How much of that room do you want the sofa to occupy? How many people does it need to accommodate? Will you use a coffee table? Will there be chairs or a loveseat in addition to the sofa? Can you get the sofa through the door? Are there any architectural details in your room (such as columns or tight corners) that you need to take into account? Apartment dwellers generally choose a smaller sofa than homeowners, but again, it depends on the size of your space.


After you have determined the size sofa you need to purchase, consider its shape. Rounded sofas are conducive to smaller spaces, can be a focal point and can soften a room’s aesthetic if there are lots of straight edges. Sectionals are great for bigger rooms that need to seat lots of people. Daybeds or chaises are multi-taskers and great for those who need their sofa to take on different roles at different times.


Is a sink-in soft snowy white sofa calling your name? Sounds beautiful, but does all white work with your lifestyle? Do you have pets? Kids? White may very well work, but you do have to consider the pitfalls before taking the plunge. Aesthetics are important, but function is paramount for a sofa that gets lots of use. Dark leathers, for example, are a good choice. They wear well, age well and are easy to clean. Most fabrics now, however, can be treated for durability. Outdoor fabrics are also a great idea! Hardworking and good looking, fabrics that grace our outdoor furniture can also be amazing indoors!


When it comes right down to it, how your sofa feels when you sit on it and how it holds its shape is really one of the most important considerations. There are 4 different types of fills for sofa cushions:
1. Down. Think of these cushions as just big soft pillows. Definitely the most comfy of the fills, down cushions do not have a core, so they will flatten over time and need the most fluffing to maintain their shape. But boy are they soft!
2. Down-wrapped. A bit more sturdy than just down, down-wrapped cushions have a foam core. They are still super soft but the foam makes them a bit more supportive and helps them maintain their shape.
3. Fiber-wrapped. These cushions forgo the down and instead rely on a foam core wrapped in polyester fiber. Still soft, these cushions are much better at retaining their shape and are more supportive than their down counterparts.
4. Inner-spring. Offering the most support, inner-spring cushions have an inner-spring core (like the inside of a mattress), that is wrapped in either down or fiber. With an inner-spring cushion, you’ll never have to worry about the cushion holding its shape.


There are so many different styles of sofas that choosing a style that perfectly complements your room and personality is relatively easy. But knowing what makes each style unique and ideal for certain spaces is important. For example, do you know your chesterfields from your tuxedos; your cabrioles from your lawsons, your camelbacks from your English rolled arms? Which style is best for you? Here’s a handy style guide we found that describes these styles to get you started.

Are you shopping for a new sofa this year? Don’t know where to start? Let us help you choose the ideal sofa for your space. Give us a call and set up an appointment to meet with one of our designers or click here to contact us.


Author: judy uelk

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