The guys at Argos recently got in touch to see if I would share my top tips for choosing and styling a sofa and with updating our own sofas in the last year I have a little bit to say on the matter. Our home is totally open plan, bar a door for the bedroom and obviously the bathroom too. Our ‘hall’ kitchen, living room and dining room all flow into one another with no separation. This is a total bonus for a small or shall we say ‘cute’ flat like ours, giving the illusion of space, something you fight for in central London. This does however blur the boundaries between work and play for me as I set up shop in the dining room each day. Part of me likes not being shut away in another room but it does make it hard to clock off. All of this means we’re more deliberate with our living room area as we wanted it to be comfy and inviting with soft finishings and textures, nooks for cups of tea and space to store all our books for some time away from screens.
What’s really made our living room feel like a place to relax are our sofas. You may remember this post last year when we finally got rid off our bulky, brown leather eye-saws and replaced them both with shiny new and improved options. Part of the issue with our old sofas were that they took up far too much precious space and where our black sofa now sits there was only room for an beefy armchair before. The arms on their own were a whole person’s width, to give you some context! To still keep the sofas the main feature of the room but maximise space, we chose two very streamline styles with thin arms and removable legs so we could easily get them up the thin staircase in our Victorian terrace. The moment we replaced the sofas, the room felt so much bigger and where we’d once had a large one seater arm chair, there was now space for a two seater sofa. The room isn’t just for us to unwind in, it’s also the venue for our Church community group each week. About eleven of us eat together, read the Bible and pray together every Tuesday so more room for people to sit has been a big bonus!
TOP TIPS FOR BUYING A SOFA FOR A SMALL SPACE:
- Added arm width takes away from seating space, so buy sofas with thinner arms to get more bum room for your money and space!
- Think about how you’ll get it into your home. Our black sofa cleverly came flat packed and the grey one had removable legs so there was no trouble getting them in. We learnt the hard way the first time round!
- Pick neutral colours and mix and match. Use muted tones or monochromes to make sure the sofa doesn’t totally take over the room and look out of place. Statement sofas are great in larger spaces but keep things simple here. It also gives the sofa more longevity if you want to tweak your decor in the future. If you’re having more than one sofa make sure they don’t match in colour as this will once again be to overpowering for a small room.
Top tips for styling your sofas:
- Add some textured cushions to give added cosiness. We mainly used neutral tones with a few pops of colour here and there to liven things up.
- Add a throw which immediately makes your sofa look more inviting (possibly because it starts to take on squishy bed-like qualities).
- Add a rug. I feel like sofas almost look like they’re floating when they aren’t either sat on or next to a rug. It joins the dots, in this case the black zig zag ties in with the black sofa, helping it to sit better in the space.
- Make practicalities stylish. Obviously you need somewhere to perch your hot beverages or bulging glasses of Friday night vino so make sure both ends of the sofa are catered for. My Husband and I both have ‘our side’ of the sofa which has somehow become ingrained in our being. When I once sat down on the ‘wrong’ side in preparation for a Netflix marathon, Nick looked as if his brain couldn’t compute what had just happened. Our little side table can be moved around as and when it’s needed and the larger one can house a plant to bring some greenery into the room.
- Finish things off with some statement art. Don’t leave big spaces above your sofa empty. Instead get a large scale piece of art or photography and think about how the colours interplay with the sofa. I actually created the artwork on our wall and tried to draw out some of the black from the sofa and the copper and mustard colours from the cushions. This once again adds continuity.
I hope that inspires a bit of a shake up in your home, perhaps giving you some way for your sofa’s to work in a small space. The sofa is such a central place for down time in the home so I vowed a while ago never take my work there. It’s for lounging over one another watching Scandinavian Crime thrillers, catching up or reading first thing in the morning, oh and accidentally falling asleep on every so often. First signs of old age creeping in!