Choosing the right sofa

So your old sofa is nearing its ‘used-by’ date? The kids have scrawled felt tip pen on the arms; the springs have sprung; the fabric is definitely shabby, rather than shabby-chic. It’s high time you treated yourself to a new piece, but with a mind-boggling array of sofas to choose from in Ireland, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start.

Don’t panic! Follow our quick guide and soon you’ll be sitting pretty on the sofa of your dreams.

Size matters

Before you rush out to a store or go online at, the first question you should ask yourself is how large you need the sofa to be. Bigger is not always better, in fact an overly large sofa can make a room feel cramped. If space is an issue, slim down your expectations accordingly. A curved sofa can work well in a tight space where groups of people gather, but what’s most important is that you pick a piece of furniture that is practical and complements the room. With a larger room you will have to think about exactly how much of the space you want your new sofa to occupy. Will you, perhaps, have two sofas? What other furniture do you need to incorporate? A recliner? An occasional chair? A coffee table? An L-shaped sofa is often a good choice for delineating the space around a coffee table. It can also be effective for dividing an open plan area – such as separating a living room from a dining room.

Function foremost

Once you’ve worked out the size of sofa you need, ask yourself what you use the space for. Is the room primarily for lounging in and watching TV?  If so, the sofa will have to be orientated with this in mind. If you like to sit and read of an evening, proper lighting could be an issue. If you have a large family, try surrounding your sofa with cushions and other chairs to give plenty of options to sit as a group. For the couples out there, a snuggler sofa is a perfect option for cuddling up and watching a movie.

Fabric of life

People’s tastes are wide and varied, and the good news is that when it comes to fabrics there is something to suit everybody. However, before you splash out on that white suede sofa you’ve always fancied, stop and think. Children and pets, as a rule, don’t mix with white suede. In this case you might want to opt for something more hard wearing and easy to clean. Leather, of course, is always popular and generally wears very well with age.

Style to make you smile

From bright and quirky to sleek and sophisticated, a sofa makes a statement. Just be sure the statement your new sofa makes is not different to the rest of the room. Your sofa should look like it belongs in the space, so look for colour accents in, for example, the curtains, or use cushions to draw different items of furniture together.