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How to choose the right sofa for your living room

Photo courtesy of Kovacs Design Furniture
Morgan Sofa by Kovacs Design Furniture

A sofa is the most important piece of furniture in your living room and so it’s worth investing in a piece that is perfect for your space and lifestyle. It needs to be the right balance of functionality and style, and this is something we love working with our clients on.

The first thing we do is ask you four key questions:

1. What is the function of the living room where the sofa will be in?

Is it for watching TV, sitting in front of a fireplace with a book, entertaining adults, or a playroom for kids? 2. Who lives in the home and how old are the children?

3. What is the mood you want to create in the room?

For example: Cosy and intimate, light and airy, causal and modern?

4. What is the focal point of the room? i.e. TV or fireplace?

This is key because we will situate the sofa to best surround this; or perhaps the space is primarily used for entertaining and you want people sitting opposite each other.


George Modular by David Shaw

Once we know the function of the room and the mood you want to create we can talk about the style of the sofa. The first consideration here is the size of the room i.e. is it an apartment or large lounge?

Apartment living

Our furniture manufacturers design sofas for all types of living spaces, and have a good selection of smaller, sleeker and contemporary style sofas that suit apartments.

If you do have a smaller space then having a sofa on legs gives the illusion of a larger room as opposed to a heavier sofa that sits very low to the ground or has no legs.

Large lounge

Have you considered a modular sofa? A modular sofa is made up of sections to create a corner unit, or a sofa with a chaise. These are becoming more popular, and can be custom made to suit your needs.

The following are things we need to consider:

  • How many people are in your family? This tells us the number of people who likely need a seat. We also consider if you need seating space for guests.

  • Is there a corner in the room? Or a space for one end of the sofa to extend into the middle of the room?

  • Your height. We always consider the depth of the seats and the height of the back when recommending a sofa to suit our clients. We would not recommend a sofa with a low back if you are tall as there would be no support. If you have long legs, you may consider having a chaise at the end of the sofa, or a matching ottoman.

Sofa arms

Oroton Sofa by Montreux Furniture

Sofas come with various different style arms. They can have wide arms to sit your coffee on, or narrow arms for a more contemporary look (great for apartments). Modern shaped arms are more stylish and offer interest to the space. The traditional style rolled arms are also now available with a modern twist so if you love that style but have a more contemporary space there are options for you.

Consider arms that sit lower and back from the front of the sofa to prevent a boxy look that high arms can create. Lower arms create a feeling of openness in the room which is more social than choosing a sofa that has arms the same height as the back of the sofa.


Henley Sofa by Kovacs Design Furniture

When choosing the sofa cushion style there are several things to consider:

  • Do you need the support of a sofa with a firmer back with no back cushions?

  • Do you prefer a sofa with soft back cushions that you can sink into?

  • Will you be lying down on your sofa as well as sitting?

A lot of our clients prefer sofas that have better support for their backs and then we introduce decorative cushions to add colour and texture.

Your new sofa must be comfortable! We will show you a range of different sofas from our manufacturers and encourage you to take the time to sit in various styles and get a feel for all the options available.


Kepler Sofa by Woodwrights Furniture

The most exciting part of having a custom built sofa is that you can choose your own fabrics to suit your style and home! It’s a fun process looking at colours, textures and patterns to suit the existing décor or to fit into a new scheme we have created.

The most important thing that we have to consider is going back to the function of the room – is this a family room or an adults only sanctuary? If it’s a family room with young children, we may need to consider a couch that offers removable covers so they can be cleaned.

How much natural light is in the room and what is the position of the couch? We need to ensure the fabric doesn’t fade or deteriorate in the sun so the light fastness of the fabric is very important.

The strength of the fabric is also important. When investing in a piece of custom made furniture we recommend a durable, hard wearing fabric with a suitable weave to endure effects of rubbing from clothing like denim, animals and high use wear and tear.

Our fabric suppliers produce beautiful fabrics to suit these needs. Soft polyesters with textures that look like linens and velvets are more readily available, they are easy to clean and some can be washable. Even solution dyed nylon fabrics have come a long way and look just as good as indoor upholstery fabrics. These can be perfect for window seating or a sofa that gets all day sun.

Totally worth the investment

With so many factors to consider it really is worth the investment of working with an interior designer to help you get it right. We have access to manufactures that specialise in designer furniture made exclusively in New Zealand. Quality and comfort is next to none, and when complimented with beautiful upholstery fabric that suits your lifestyle you are guaranteed a fabulous piece of furniture that will become part of your home for years to come.

The process is simple and stress free:

  1. We will have a quick chat and ask you some questions about your room and sofa.

  2. We will show you designs considering function and style.

  3. We will take you to visit showrooms where you can try out various styles of sofas.

  4. We will show you a range of beautiful fabrics that will suit your decor needs.

  5. We will source quotes and project manage the manufacture of your sofa.

Call Inside Storey today and learn more about how we can make your dream sofa a reality. Email or call 021 610 752.

Axle Sofa by Kovacs Design Furniture

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