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Sitting pretty: choosing the sofa that works best for you


My first sofa was the first piece of furniture I ever bought that I intended to keep forever. It was a two-seater bucket style in a stone grey fabric by British furniture company Hitch Mylius.

I had just bought my first home, a little one-bed flat in Notting Hill. So I had neither much money nor space. Very little budget, tight space and maximum comfort was my brief, it took some work but I got there in the end.

When planning to buy a sofa, the first thing is to decide on a budget. You can pay anything for a sofa, from a few hundred euros to the price of a deposit for a tiny one-bed flat.

Secondly, measure up, work out the layout out of the furniture in the room. There will be pieces that you already have that you will want to use in the room, so plan the layout carefully as this will determine what size and shape will work best.

An easy way to do this is by marking out the size of the sofa with old newspapers, this give you a great idea of how much space it is going to take up in the room.

When it comes to the style there are a number of factors that should influence your choice, such as which room you are purchasing the sofa for, and where you are planning to put it in the room. For example, if you are planning to place the sofa centrally in the space rather than up against a wall, it will need to look good from all angles.

There are a huge variety of styles to choose from depending on your requirements and personal tastes. Classic shapes such as the chesterfield are timeless and a more contemporary fabric will give a traditional sofa a modern twist.

Contemporary sofas are becoming more curvaceous with cleaner lines and bold fabric choices. But probably the most popular current style is the modular sofa. This marks a departure from the traditional three-piece suite in favour of an L-shaped or corner configuration. The beauty of the modular sofa is that you can change the configuration to suit your seating requirements.

If you love the look of an L-shaped sofa but don’t quite have the space, a good alternative is to go for a standard shape and a matching footstool which will allow you to create the same arrangement – the foot stool can double as additional seating or as a coffee table.

Think practically about your choice of fabric – leathers are a popular choice for family rooms where furniture needs to be durable. Fabrics have become very popular in recent years and most suppliers offer a wide range, many of which can be stain blocked making it easier to maintain.

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