How to Choose the Best Sofa Design for Your Space

The sofa is an essential investment, especially over the past few years as people are spending more and more time at home. It’s also one of the more expensive items you may own so it’s important to choose the right one. But before you set out to find the perfect sofa, here are a few things to consider…

What is the overall purpose of your space?

At a Glance:
  • Entertaining
  • Lounging
  • Overnight stays
  • Workspace

When choosing a sofa, first think about the purpose of your living room. It’s typically used for entertaining and lounging. But there are other possible functions as well. For example, if you don’t have a guest room, consider purchasing a spacious, plush sofa or one with a pull-out bed. Your living room may also double as an office or for the kids to do their homework. In that case, make sure there is enough space on the sofa for everyone to be accommodated comfortably. It’s also important to pick the right upholstery for your activities. Most brands offer upholstery with the following features: liquid-resistant, stain-resistant, performance grade, commercial grade and kid/pet-friendly fabrics. There are also many upholstery types to choose from including leather, suedes, weaves, velvets, boucles and chenilles. If you’re having a hard time deciding which is best for you, keep in mind that most brands offer free swatches so you can experience the fabric in person before you buy.

Shop our favorite spacious sectional and sleeper sofa:

Range 8-Piece Sectional Lounger by Burrow
  • Spacious seating
  • 4 durable stain-resistant performance fabrics
  • All fabrics are CertiPUR-US certified
Haven Queen Sleeper Sofa by West Elm
  • 171 stain-resistant and durable fabrics
  • Pull-out bed with mattress featuring high-density and gel-infused foam
  • Back cushions use down alternative

What is the flow of your space?

At a Glance:
  • Loveseats or sofettes
  • L and U-shaped sectionals
  • Side tables
  • Sofa height and width

The size of your space is a great scale for determining the size and configuration of your sofa. Loveseats and 2-seater sectionals are great for smaller spaces. Some sofas have side tables attached to the arms that can save you precious space. Low-slung sofas are typically better for small spaces because they don’t overpower the room like a tall sofa. For large spaces, consider getting 4-6 seater sofas which are L or U-shaped sectionals. And finally, modular sofas are great for any space since they can adapt to your lifestyle at any given time. 

Shop our favorite loveseat and modular sofa:

Ceni Loveseat by Article
  • 2-seater
  • Low-profile
  • Cushions are high density foam wrapped in polyester
Modular Bondi 4-Seater Sofa by Inside Weather
  • 100% modular = multiple configurations in one
  • Size ranges from 2-seater to 6 seater
  • Fully customizable

What’s your style?

At a Glance:
  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Contemporary
  • Eclectic

There are 3 common types of furniture design: traditional, modern and contemporary. Traditional furniture design has a classic struction that is reminiscent of the 19th century and earlier. It’s heavy and large with darker wood and usually rolled and padded arms. Usually it has the classic 3-cushion configuration for the seat and back cushions. Modern furniture is reminiscent of a specific time period in the mid-twentieth century and is a precursor to contemporary designs. In contrast to traditional furniture that is designed to be extravagant and orante, modern furniture is designed for functionality. Modern sofas will have clean lines and neutral hues. Finally, we have contemporary furniture which represents the most recent era. Contemporary sofas will have a sleek silhouette that feature brighter fabrics instead of earthy tones. These sofas will also have newer materials such as metal and plastic and a 2-cushion configuration is also typical of the contemporary style. The eclectic style is not a common category but it is worth mentioning. Eclectic furniture combines traditional, modern and contemporary styles in delightful ways to create something completely original. Your home is an expression of your personality. So take it in whatever direction you like and don’t forget to have some fun with it.

Shop our favorite sofas in each style:

Adelbert 95'' Chesterfield Sofa by Birch Lane
  • Traditional, antique design
  • Genuine leather upholstery
  • Water resistant; mildew resistant
Imbu Velvet 5-Piece Sectional Sofa by CB2
  • Modern design
  • FSC ®-certified engineered wood and walnut veneer frame
  • Cushions have foam, polyester and feather-down filling
The Belia Modular Sectional by Rove Design
  • Contemporary design
  • Low profile seat cushions with a deep sink-in feeling
  • Cushions are made with 3-layer high-density foam topped with premium 100% goose down feathers
Addison 99.8'' Sofa & Chaise Sectional by AllModern
  • Eclectic design, combines traditional chesterfield style with practical modern design
  • Down feather seat cushions
  • Genuine leather upholstery comes in 3 different colors

Who is using the space?

At a Glance:
  • Family
  • Kids
  • Furry friends
  • Human friends

If you have a busy household with kids, pets or invite friends over for dinner frequently, it’s important to choose an upholstery for your sofa that will hold up well over time. Fortunately, many brands offer a wide variety of upholsteries that include stain-resistant, liquid-resistant, performance, commercial and pet-friendly fabrics. Look for fabrics that are Blue Sign Certified and/or OEKO-TEX® Certified if you have sensitivity to fabrics. Ordering free swatches is always a great way to test out the fabrics first and make sure they will hold up when put to your most zealous wine and ketchup test. Let your sofa pitch into your child proofing efforts by choosing one with padded arms instead of a wood frame with sharp edges.  And one last hint for the road; avoid sofas with extra lumbar and arm pillows if you need to accommodate as many people as possible. They will only take up valuable real estate.

Shop our favorite pet and kid friendly sofas:

Aime Sofa by Joybird:
  • 38 pet-friendly fabrics
  • 4 sustainable fabrics
  • Fully padded for child-proof safety
OG Couch Potato Sectional with Bumper by BenchMade Modern
  • Large and spacious seating
  • customize the cushion comfort
  • over 50 pet-friendly, family friendly fabrics
Modular Bondi 4-Seater Sofa by Inside Weather
  • Over 100 fabrics with pet-friendly, performance grade, commercial grade and liquid-resistant features
  • 100% modular = multiple configurations in one
  • Size ranges from 2-seater to 6 seater

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