Sofa Buying Guide - What To Look For In A Sofa - OKA Europe
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  • Sofa Buying Guide

    Like a bed, a sofa is a key piece of furniture that needs a lot of forethought before purchasing. It’s not just about what looks good or fits in the space, but also about what your requirements are; what’s right for someone else’s home and lifestyle may not be the right choice for you. With a minefield of scrolling arms, modular sets and loose covers to contend with, we’ve dissected the essentials when it comes to sofa buying to help make the process a little bit easier.


    Ledbury Seater Sofa


    1. SIZE

    Most of the sofas in our ranges come in various sizes allowing you access to most styles, regardless of the scale of your room. Our sizes go up in ½ seat increments from a 1.5 seater sofa to a 3-seater sofa, and our modular sets can go as large as you like. The best method we know for judging the size of your sofa is to lay out a flat template (a newspaper will work) on the floor to the exact footprint of your chosen sofa. Make sure you have adequate space around it to move freely through the room, and if you desire it, space for side tables or even a console behind.


    2. SHAPE

    The shape of sofa that you choose is really down to personal taste and to the style of the room that it is going into. There are however a few options that are worth weighing up before making a final choice.


    Modular or fixed


    Norga Armless Chair


    Modular sofas are hugely adaptable and give you great scope when the space you are filling is an unconventional size or shape (allowing you to work around a corner). They can also be easily rearranged as required.

    Fixed sofas are less flexible and a little more formal but come in a huge range of styles so offer greater scope in terms of aesthetic.


    Back & arms

    Marwick 2 Seater Sofa


    A lower back gives a more open look, perfect for big open plan spaces or for positioning under a window for example. A higher back sofa tends to be more formal and will have a more imposing presence. Also bear in mind arm width, which can make quite a difference to the overall size of your sofa: if space is tight choose a style with narrow arms.

    Straight or curvy

    …Which is another way of saying traditional or modern.


    Bimbister Seater Sofa


    Straight lines and square profiles tend to be characteristic of modern designs.


    Chester 3 Seater Sofa


    Scrolling arms and curvaceous profiles suggest a more traditional sofa style.


    Legs or legless

    Sofas with legs are generally upholstered, whilst those without are often loose covered and suggest a degree of informality. Again, this is really a matter of personal taste and the existing tone of the room.


    Aubourn Seater Sofa


    3. COLOUR

    When it comes to sofas, you can opt for a neutral palette of Off-White, Ecru and Natural (with the occasional stripe or contrast piping thrown in for good measure) or a bolder shade in colours such as tobacco leather or marine blue. Neutrals are hugely adaptable and will slot into most schemes, ensuring that your sofa is useful for years to come. We dress ours up with scatter cushions and throws and alter these as the seasons change and the mood takes us. If you choose a loose-covered sofa, these are easily updated with a new set of covers. In contrast, sofas in a solid block of vivid colour can uplift a space to become a real feature in the room.


    Bretigny Armless Sofa




    Hurlingham Low Back 3 Seater Sofa


    This decision often comes down to practicalities and if your sofa is liable to be subject to a lot of use (and abuse) then a loose-cover that can be removed and cleaned is the way to go. Loose-covers also mean that you can change the look of your sofa – either by purchasing a loose-cover in an alternate colour, or by getting one made in your own fabric.

    Upholstered sofas generally have a more tailored and sophisticated look. Often coming with feet they tend to have a sleeker, smarter profile than their loose-covered cousins and will work well anywhere, even in the smartest drawing room.

    We hope we’ve given you plenty of ideas when it comes to purchasing your new piece of furniture. If you’re after a few more ideas, take a look at our post featuring 5 new pieces for your sitting room.