How to Choose a Sofa: Granite Lane's Guide to Buying Right
So, you’re looking for a new sofa. The process is as easy as a quick visit to your local furniture store, right? Unfortunately, not.
No matter how beautiful the furniture you’re browsing may be, buying a sofa without first clarifying some important details can result in significant inconvenience and costs down the line...
From taking measurements to choosing the best frame and collecting fabric swatches, How to Choose a Sofa: Granite Lane's Guide to Buying Right outlines the important factors to consider to ensure you are satisfied with your sofa for years to come.
1. Clarify your design aesthetic:
Before making any furniture decisions, it's important to determine your interior style first and foremost. Take some time to clarify your desired aesthetic to ensure a cohesive look throughout your home. Every detail, including colours, materials, sizing, and finishes, should be considered. It's important to choose a sofa that fits within your desired aesthetic to avoid an ill-fitting piece that feels out of place in your home.
Action item: Not sure what your design aesthetic is? Jump on Pinterest and start browsing a range of inspo pictures. Save 3-4 favourite shots and from there, work out the common theme!
2. Choose the size and depth
Measuring the room where your new sofa will be placed is a crucial step. It's important to ensure that the sofa fits both physically, (meaning it can make it through the door) and fit comfortably in the fully styled room with surrounding furniture and decorative elements. Choosing a sofa that is too large will dominate the room, leaving no space for a coffee table or other furnishings. On the other hand, a sofa that is too small can look lost in a room, overshadowed by other furniture or empty space.
When taking measurements, it's essential to consider the sofa's depth. This will impact how well the sofa fits in the room and whether it provides adequate seating comfort.
Action item: When visiting your local furniture stores, bring the room measurements with you. At Granite Lane, the in-house interior stylist team will help design a sofa that works best based on these requirements.
3. Don't forget about the height
The height of your sofa's back can significantly impact the room it's in, particularly if it's placed across the room rather than against a wall or corner. Larger rooms with high ceilings can easily accommodate taller designs, while lower styles can prevent visual interruptions and allow you to look around the room.
However, high-backed sofas can be useful for neck support when placed against a wall, allowing the sofa back to serve as a comfortable means of resting while relaxing or watching TV.
Action item: Make sure to take the height of your room! And note that if you are particularly tall, you need a taller sofa!
4. Try before you buy
Similar to testing a new mattress, it's important to consider the comfort of a sofa. Most sofas have a seat depth of at least 60cm, providing ample space for individuals with long legs to manoeuvre and shorter individuals to tuck their legs under. However, seat depths can vary, so it's crucial to try out different styles to ensure proper back support. Seat heights typically range from 45cm to 50cm, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it's best to try before buying.
Action item: Go out to your local furniture stores and test different types of sofas.
5. Invest in a good frame
Investing in a quality frame is crucial for the longevity of your sofa, so it's worth spending as much as you can afford. While a solid hardwood frame is a reliable choice, be cautious of particleboard or metal constructions, which may not hold up as well over time.
Action item: Make sure to ask if the sofa manufacturer offers a warranty (a minimum of 7 years is a good start).
6. Focus on fabric
The upholstery fabric you choose for your sofa can greatly impact the overall look of the room, so it's important to choose carefully to ensure it complements your interior. If the sofa will be exposed to direct sunlight, consider synthetic fabrics that won't fade easily. In a busy household or if you have pets, opt for easy-to-clean fabrics such as FibreGuard. Slip cover sofas are worth considering, as they can be removed for cleaning and some even have washable covers.
Tip: We are seeing a strong trend towards warmer-toned fabrics in 2023. Think more oats over greys (as in previous years).
7. Consider purpose when deciding on a sofa
For TV, cinema, or family rooms where people don't mind sitting together, a big squishy corner sofa with a movable ottoman is always a great choice. But when a room is primarily used for entertaining guests, two sofas facing each other can provide a more sociable seating arrangement than a single large sofa in a straight line. In this case, it's important to size down the sofas appropriately and leave enough space between and around them for optimal comfort.
Action item: If you have other people to consider in your sofa choice, make sure you're all aligned on the purpose and configuration/type before you start your search!
8. Who can I consult when purchasing a sofa?
We have a team of expert stylists at Granite Lane who specialise in custom-designing sofas based on your specific needs. Ready for your dream sofa?
Action item: Pop into our Osborne Park showroom for a free in-store consult - sit with the team and go over the above key points. With your measurements, our team will map out your room to discover what configurations will work best with your space!
Start now - Browse our collection of locally-made sofas here.
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