It’s been a little bit quiet on the blog recently but if you popped over to my house you would see I’ve been a busy little bee! With Christmas well and truly out of the way it was time to start work on decorating our new house, putting our stamp on it and trying to make it into our home. So we’ve been busy decluttering, re-arranging, painting, DIYing and buying a few key pieces of furniture.

One of the things we have just invested in is a new sofa. It arrived last Monday and is a beautiful addition to the room. Not only has it totally transformed the look and feel of our living room but it has had an impact on us as a family, our evenings, family time and snuggle time. We now have the perfect space for us to lounge, relax, cuddle and chill and it feels wonderful.

Choosing a sofa can be really quite stressful, we spent countless days wandering through shops and evenings looking at measurements and pondering what would work best. There is so much choice out there and such varying qualities and prices that it can be a mind-field.

Today I’ve teamed up with the quite brilliant Sarah from Willow and Hall, to get her top tips on buying a sofa. Sadly I didn’t have this advice before buying mine but hopefully I’ve found the right one for us! Perhaps these tips can make your sofa shopping experience more enjoyable and less difficult, after all if you are spending such a large amount of your hard earned money, it should be fun shouldn’t it?

Over to you Sarah!

1. Size.

In this case, size is very important! Consider the proportions of your room and work out what size will be suitable. You will also need to take into consideration the other furniture in the space.  A sofa needs to fit into the overall space but also work with the other large items in the room.  If you’re finding it hard to visualise the proportions try laying down cardboard, covering the exact area of the sofa and any other large items in the room (it may not be glamorous but it really does help!)

2. Shape and Style

You need to think carefully about what shape and style sofa is going to complement your décor and fit naturally in your home. If your style is sleek and modern, pick a sofa with simple, clean lines that reflects that.  If your home is traditional then look for a sofa with rolled arms, a contoured back and or a skirting/ valance. As for fabrics, I recommend sticking with a fairly neutral fabric. You can add colour and pattern through cushions and throws – a far easier and less expensive way to subtly change the look of your sofa if you decide to change your décor.

3. How will you use your sofa?

It is important to consider how you will use the sofa in the room. Do you like to unwind in front of the TV whilst lying on the couch?  If so, choose a style with relatively low and curved inner arms so you can rest your head comfortably.  Is it a large space with multiple functions? Try an L-shaped sofa to help divide the room up into the functions you want.

4. Position

Fourthly you need to consider the position of your new sofa.  If you like to watch TV you will need to make sure it is positioned in front of it; if you like to socialise a lot on the sofas consider a rounded sofa or two sofas facing each other with a coffee table in the middle.  Also remember the flow of space – far too often sofas are positioned in such a way that people have to manoeuvre themselves around them to get out of the room…remember your sofa should fit around you and your lifestyle not the other way around.

5. Durability

Finally, since sofas are such a big investment, you’ll want yours to stay in fashion and more importantly last for as long as possible. Given that, I recommend making sure yours comes with a solid wood frame and an extended manufacturing guarantee over and above the obligatory 12 month one offered by all retailers – this is a good indication of the quality of the wood frame.

If you want your sofa to double up as a sofa bed then likewise look for one with a good solid wooden slatted and webbed mechanism (not the cheaper trampoline type mechanisms) and with a top quality sprung mattress.

It is also important to consider the fabric when thinking of a sofas durability. Find out what the rub counts and cleaning instructions are for the fabrics to get an idea of their durability and practicality. As a rule, synthetic fabrics are more durable, colourfast and easy to clean. Tightly woven fabrics and fabrics that are heavy will stand up to wear and tear better, as will leather.

sofa bed

So there you have it. A pretty extensive guide to buying a new sofa, thank you Sarah! Happy shopping and don’t forget to check out the beautiful Willow and Hall for their exquisite selection of sofas and sofa beds.