How to choose the perfect sofa, whatever your budget

A stylish settee is a key part of any sitting room, so take time to consider your options. Start with our selection of the season’s most elegant designs

6_Loaf Dixie sofaedit
1

Traditional style

A traditional floral sofa against a purple wall with dado.
The Walpole sofa in Coromandel Rose is part of Sofa Workshop’s collaboration with the V&A, available in three sizes, from £2,759, Sofa Workshop.
2

Scandi simplicity

Scandinavian simplicity meets traditional styling in the Henry Grande, five sizes available, from £1,190, Arlo & Jacob.
3

Glorious in green

With its simple tapered legs and beautiful proportions, this new design from Beaumont & Fletcher is a future classic. Edgar sofa in Capri Emerald Silk Velvet, £11,165, Beaumont & Fletcher.
With its simple tapered legs and beautiful proportions, this new design from Beaumont & Fletcher is a future classic. Edgar sofa in Capri Emerald Silk Velvet, £11,165, Beaumont & Fletcher.

Expert tip

Jane Durisova, Company Director Beaumont & Fletcher

Silk velvet is synonymous with luxury, valued in the interiors industry for its lustre and ability to age gracefully. To extend its life, we recommend vacuuming several times a year on a low setting with a fine mesh over the nozzle. Always work carefully in the direction of the nap.’ 


4

Sleek and sophisticated

With brass studs, a buttoned back and turned feet, the Coniston Midi ticks all the boxes, from £1,577, Tetrad.
5

Mid-century modern

Its mid-century lines and buttoned back make the Prague sofa the perfect choice for contemporary schemes, two sizes available, from £299, Dunelm.
6

Mellow yellow

Make a statement with the generous proportions of the Dixie sofa in Bumblebee Clever Velvet, four sizes available, from £1,945, Loaf.
Make a statement with the generous proportions of the Dixie sofa in Bumblebee Clever Velvet, four sizes available, from £1,945, Loaf.

Buying guide

Lisa Mehydene, founder of online interiors destination edit58, on how to choose the perfect sofa

Lisa Mehydene, founder of edit58

Size matters: While you don’t want a massive sofa in a tiny space, you do want a sofa that’s roomy enough to relax on. So measure up to ensure the fit is right for both the space and how you live. When it comes to shape, think about the look you’re going for, the design of the room, and how you use a sofa. Do you lie out on it or do you want support? Will it fit the whole family? It’s important to understand how you will use the sofa and match the design aspects to this.

Price and construction: Sofas are normally filled with foam, fibre or feathers, or a combination of these. While I love feather-filled sofa cushions, they do require regular plumping! The frame of the sofa is really important, so go for the best you can afford. A solid hardwood frame such as beech will last longer than a frame made of pine or metal. Although cheaper, these frames can be a false economy as they’ll need replacing in a few years.

Placing your sofa: The space will dictate where to put the sofa. We have a sofa with two armchairs in our living room. I like the way the space is broken up by the chairs alongside the sofa. I’ve noticed that guests often gravitate towards the chairs – I suppose they feel they are encroaching on ‘our’ space less by sitting there! However, if room allowed, I would happily have two sofas facing each other, with a coffee table or ottoman in between, as this creates a cosy set-up that encourages conversation. I am not a fan of pushing sofas up against the walls, I like them to ‘breathe’. Putting your sofa centrally, if space allows, creates a lovely feel in a room. Sometimes, you can use a sofa to create zones in a room: a seating area and a dining area, for example.

Be bold with colour: I love strong shades for sofas – our sofa is a lime green velvet. On paper, that sounds brave and difficult to work with but, in reality, it provides the room with a wonderful injection of colour that’s actually much easier to work with than you might imagine. It genuinely acts as a neutral (honest!), and provides a great base from which the cushions and homewares in the room can ‘pop’.

Much like bold colours, patterned fabrics can also pull a space together. Patterns and colours don’t need to match, so you can have fun adding different yet complementary designs into the space through soft furnishings and wallpaper.

Consider the fit: Once you’ve decided on your fabric, the next thing to think about is whether to opt for fitted covers or removable slip covers. The latter are great in family homes as they are easier to keep clean. But I’d say that stain protection is essential on all sofa fabrics. We added this at the time of buying our sofa and it has meant that a bottle of red wine spilt over the seat simply washed straight off. A lifesaver!

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