I get the most questions surrounding our sofa and how I went about choosing it. There are a few factors to take into consideration with this large purchase!
At the end of the post, I’m sharing my specific sofa configurations and the helpful online tool I used to figure it all out!
1. Before Browsing, Measure
This may seem obvious, but it is so important to not get ahead of yourself and just measure once you get home from browsing. This will eliminate options off the bat and help set realistic expectations as you start looking.
Measure all walls in the space. Consider the flow of traffic – where will people come and go? More details on considering space below. Drawing out a floor plan helps immensely!
Also measure your current couch, if you already have one. If not, measure idea length, depth, and height.
Take Depth into Consideration:
Depth is something that tricks people up and is hard to tell when you are in-store. Here is a breakdown:
- 18 Inches Deep: Looks cool and modern, but not the cozy look.
- 22 Inches Deep: Minimum depth for sitting comfortably, but still a modern look.
- 24 Inches Deep: Just deep enough for lying down solo.
- 33 Inches Deep: The type of the depth that makes you fall asleep on the couch every night.
2. Think about Scale
This is another reason to measure before shopping. Everyone loves a large, 3 piece chaise sectional sofa, but you’ll be full of regret if it’s going to take over a smaller space. This might seem very obvious, but many people still choose sofas that are too big or too small for their space.
A general practice is that your sofa should not occupy the entire length of a wall. If you want a sectional with a chaise, the long chaise portion should hit around halfway across the room. The sofa should also be in scale with your accent furniture.
With that said, a sectional sofa is great for homes with open floor plans because it can help give shape and separation to the space. It can help define the living room against the dining room, for example (like our rowhome). A sofa should never block off any unique architectural features like windows, fireplaces, or built-in shelving. Framing around those pre-existing features and it will help you decide on the right sofa for your space. Sometimes, you have no choice – but considering all these factors before buying is a win!
3. Focus on Function
Think about how the space is used on a regular basis. If it’s more of a formal living room (a styled spot for occasional entertaining), you’re better off with a stand-alone sofa, which has a sleeker, cleaner line. If you mainly watch television, you need to select furniture that fits in the room oriented towards the TV so you can spraw out and binge Netflix without breaking your neck. The last thing to consider is if you enjoy hosting, game nights, and conversation – you may want to account for a coffee table that’s big enough for activities and food, but small enough that you can sit comfortably around it.
4. Contemplate Durability in Fabric Selection
If you have a large family and pets, durability is an essential consideration when choosing any kind of seating. Look for stain-resistant materials, leather sofas with detachable cushion covers OR slipcovers for easy cleaning, and durable fabrics that will stand up to years of use. Leather has a timeless style, is easy to wipe down and develops an attractive patina with age that adds to its look, but it’s not everyone’s style. So, whether you go for a bold color, pattern or a neutral, your choice of upholstery fabric will drive the look of your space. Taking home or ordering fabric samples will help determine factors of durability, texture, tone, and how easy they are to clean.
5. Think beyond the Sofa
I always focus on making home happy and yours. Therefore, thinking beyond the sofa is key! If this is for a new space, take the time to explore and think about your style and how the sofa will drive the furniture and decor surrounding it. Sure, you can easily swap out throw pillows to change up palettes and moods – however, bigger ticket items like end tables and coffee tables are a big decision and visual anchor in a room. For example, being matchy matchy with all wood may come off as rustic, or, all gold may come off as glam. Mixing the two can create a modern farmhouse or cottage look.
Making a design board, or shopping around before you buy at the least, will make you feel more confident in your decisions and prevent you from stressing to rush order options.
6. Try Before You Buy
The process can be rushed for many reasons — you’re moving and have no existing furniture, you’ve damaged your current sofa, or you’re just plain OVER what you have…all of which causes you to panic-order. However, if you have the chance to go-store, do it! See if you really love the depth, the materials inside that make up the cushion, the feel of the fabric, etc. Talking with a staff member about the durability and feedback they get is helpful, too.
Beyond in person, browsing social media for reviews and real photos is beyond helpful. I get at least one message a week about our couch and I am happy to provide an honest review as it is such an investment!
My Sofa Configuration
We have a small row home in the city with some interesting configurations of a window and entry way. After going to every furniture store, the easiest experience ended up being online!
I discovered the Sectional Planner tool (view here) when browsing sofa options that I liked. You simply select and drag around your pieces (I started with mine to make it easier for you) and then turn on the dimensions to see how it would fit in your space. This not only helped, but gave me extreme peace of mind knowing that our selections would absolutely fit, while also giving us a semi-custom feel! Once you select your pieces, you can also just add it to cart from there to be 100% correct with the items!
My Exact Sofa
Many of you ask what exactly I chose, so here it is! I chose the Axis II line with the following pieces in the Taft Pearl fabric:
- Axis II Left Arm Apartment Sofa – shop here
- Axis II Armless Chair – shop here
- Axis II Right Arm Chaise Lounge – shop here
Shop My Sofa
That’s all! If you’re looking for living room inspiration, check out my design boards here. You can also shop my living room here or via the Shop Instagram tab to explore many views of the space. As always, let me know if you have any questions!