Best seat in the house

You just know when you’ve found ‘the one’. Supportive, and always there for you when you need comfort, a snuggle or just to relax.

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I’m not talking about a partner — at least, not a human one, but the sometimes more tricky matter of getting the right seating partner; a sofa.

Bear in mind that you’ll probably live with it for 10 years or more — that ranks as a pretty long-lasting relationship — and it becomes even more apparent how key that choice is.

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But with so much to consider, from size (which in this case, does matter) through to shape and colour, never mind sorting through a seemingly endless array of ranges, finding the perfect match for you and your home can be daunting.

“People often go to enormous lengths choosing a sofa, not just because this is a costly item, but also because it’s the most important piece of furniture in a living room. It can literally make or break the look of a setting,” says Malcolm Walker, buying director at Furniture Village.

“We find people may even delay far too long getting rid of an old sofa because it holds memories, and it’s hard for them to envisage a newcomer. It’s understandable there’s an emotional attachment to something on which we’ve spent so much time, and is where we gather as a family.”

Indeed, a lot of life happens on a sofa, so it’s worth taking time to find ‘the one’. Follow the experts’ tips for a seat-match made in heaven...


Charlie Marshall, founder of Loaf: “I’m a fan of sofas which are big enough to lounge around on and super comfy, with deeper seat cushions than average, so they’re inviting to curl up on.”

TOP TIPS: Measure your room before shopping, so you choose a sofa to fit the space and scale of the room. When you have one in mind, make a paper template of it and lay it out in the room to help you visualise the reality of its size, as display sofas always look smaller in large showrooms. Ensure it will fit into the house, especially if there are awkward stairs or narrow doorways, although bolt-on arms or removable legs are solutions if space is tight. He advises choosing a sofa made with a solid beach frame, held together by screws and dowels, which will have a longer life than a glued and stapled chipboard model.

STYLE GUIDE: Leather sofas are a big trend, as they’re durable and practical and easy to clean.

A FAVOURITE: Button-back Chesterfield-style Bagsie Sofa, from £1,715.

MY SOFA: Crumpet Sofa in granite vintage linen, from £1,155. (; 0845 459 9937)

CHECK OUT PATTERN: Helen Leigh-Jones, designer at DFS: “Don’t be afraid to be adventurous and really push the boundaries when it comes to choosing seating - it’s outdated to pick a matching sofa, armchair and footstool.

“Create an eclectic, customised look by mixing colours and patterns, so a sofa upholstered in a plain fabric could be paired with a leather armchair, or a patterned footstool.”

TOP TIPS: Don’t be led purely by design. Comfort is key, so sit on a variety of sofas so you really find the one that suits you. For instance, deep-seated sofas can be uncomfortable for short people, while those who love a squashy sofa for snoozing and sprawling will struggle with a lean, low-backed contemporary model.

STYLE GUIDE: “People are becoming more adventurous in their decor, so clashing statement patterns and bold colours are starring,” she says. Pair a sofa with a bold fabric design with a plain backdrop, or if you love bold wallpapers, create a feature wall first and then match the sofa’s colour to the wall.

A FAVOURITE: Check Cuddler Sofa, £1,598, from the Moray range.