How to choose the right sofa

Step One – Proportions

A large couch can engulf a space, while something too small can get lost in a large room. The trick?

1. Measure + mark out the actual dimensions with newspaper

It's the best way to understand the length and depth of how the piece will work with the rest of your furniture.

Smaller Rooms:

Bigger Rooms:

STYLE TIP: "A sofa with raised legs can add lightness to a room. Plus it's easy to vacuum under". -Jenna, freedom buyer

Step Two Fabric or Leather?

Leather is a really strong all rounder – hardwearing, smart looking and long lasting while fabric offers more colour options, patterns and textures to play with.


Like wine, leather gets better with age. It develops character and becomes and become softer and more comfortable.

Cheaper, thinner leather (such as nubuck or aniline) are very absorbent – which spells trouble when spills occur


You can choose anything, from bright geometric patterns, to subtle pastel florals. This makes it easy to select a style that fits with your own personal taste and room colour scheme.

Choose a fabric that's textured or a multi-coloured weave because they are much more serviceable for the home.

STYLE TIP: Still can't decide between the two? Then why not have the best of both worlds: a fabric sofa and a leather armchair or vice versa.

Step Three – Dress Up

A couch shouldn't dominate the look of the entire space - it needs to work in harmony with the rest of your room. A mix of different textures is the best way to pull a space together.


“Team a sleek leather sofa with a longer, shaggier pile rug. While seating in soft fabric – like velvet – needs a rug with a tighter twist pile or the stiff structure of sisal,” advises stylist Clare Hillier of Checks and Spots blog (


“Be sure to add table lighting to side tables and floor lighting to your space for a soft, subtle atmosphere,” she says.

Occasional chairs

Occasional chairs are the perfect way to add the finishing touch to the room. You can be playful with upholstery and colour in a way you wouldn't do on a couch.

STYLE TIP: “Create a comfortable U-shaped configuration by coupling your sofa with occasional chairs or an oversized ottoman so that everyone who is seated can chat easily,” says Clare Hillier. You can even update your look for guests with a generous scattering of cushions. Earn extra style points for playing with shapes – a mix of rectangular, square and round cushions keeps things interesting.