THE INTERIOR DESIGNERS BEST TIPS:
3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A SOFA
Jannice Wikstrand is the interior designer and feng shui expert behind the blog Add Simplicity. Here's her guide to what to consider when it comes to choosing colors, materials and proportions when buying a new sofa.
Buying a sofa is a big investment and to choose one can be really tricky. Jannice herself experienced this when she was about to buy a sofa for her studio and that’s when the idea of making a sofa guide was born.
How do you actually choose which sofa to go for? What is it that sets the style? What fits in and how does the choice of material and color affect? To answer these questions clearly we have divided Jannice's interior design tips into three categories; material and color scheme, model/style, as well as furnishing and room type.
MATERIALS & COLORS
“The material on the couch is crucial for the style of interior design you want in your home. A velvet couch feels much more elegant and decadent than a cotton sofa for example. Linen is perceived more natural and is recommended if you want a more rustic style where craftsmanship and simplicity are central. It’s also important to consider care when choosing material.”
”When it comes to choosing color of the sofa, there is two main questions to ask:
1. What does the famliy situation look like?
Is the sofa going to be easily soiled by children or pets for example? A light sofa is, of course, more sensitive to stains than a dark one. A light sofa on the other hand, has the ability to enlarge the feeling of the room while a dark sofa is experienced heavier, more earthy and safe.
”2. Are you brave and confident in your style and like color?
If the answer is yes: Then invest in a couch in a bright color. If you choose an accent color for your sofa (fuschsia, pop blue, mustard, petroleum green), do not forget that the color should reappear in at least three other items in the room in order to achive a uniform impression.
If you, on the other hand, prefer a sustainably classic style with basic colors that can easily be changed with pillows and textiles? Then choose a sofa in gray, beige, greige, brown, black or white. ”
MODEL & STYLE
”Usually we don’t have one consistent style but we want to create a personal style in our home. Maybe you like the classic style but want it to feel a little bit more exclusive. Then the choice of material can give that extra luxurious feeling to a classic sofa. ”
Should you invest in a velvet sofa or is it too trendy?
“Trends come and go but personal style remains. Therefore, I always recommend my customers to choose a material that matches their style, that makes the best result for the whole expression. A velvet sofa will always work in a home where you prefer an upscale and luxurious style. A leather sofa feels less inviting than a linen sofa since the leather gives a more rigid impression. The leather sofa is, however, perfect in rooms where you want to create an orderly, effective feeling - for example in an office. Leather is also a very resistant material”.
"Do you have a modern style but like a feminine touch? Then you might choose a sofa with straight, clean shapes but in a softer color such as poppy pink or lilac.”
"A luxurious sofa can also be a sofa with a distinguished design in combination with the choice of metal (in this case brass), exclusive velvet and a deep, beautiful color."
FURNISHING & ROOMS
WHERE TO DECORATE WITH A SOFA?
How do we furnish and how should we make sure the sofa is exposed in the best possible way?
“Instinctively we often think that the sofa should be placed in the living room, where the TV usually is. But there are so many other places where the sofa can take a natural place. I think firstly, on a large hallway. A sofa as below, with arched soft shape, or a neater variant is a wonderful nice eye-catcher to place in your entrance. Then the sofa is not only functional, but also a welcoming jewelry for the home. ”
“The Norwegian royal family has a sofa in the kitchen. And sure, why not! Today with our open floor plans and our need for communication, the sofa has been moved closer to the kitchen again (in the past, you always had a kitchen sofa). Someone cooks, the others take a glass of wine, talks, read a book, do their homework and socialize. Placing the sofa in the kitchen is a nice way to create a space that is based on social interaction.”
"Last but not least, the bedroom. In the interior design world we usually talk about that one part of the home should be set aside for relaxation. If you have room for it, it’s great to place a sofa next to the bedroom where you can read a book and relax before bedtime. A sofa in the bedroom gives a luxurious touch and can provide another dimension to relaxation. One nice idea is to place a neater couch at the end of the bed, facing the room. If there is enough space, why not also add a coffee table in front and a carpet that frames the furnishing to create a hotel luxe vibe.”
FURNISHING & PLACEMENT
“When it comes to the placement of a couch, the most important thing is to place it in a power position. A power position means that you have support in the back, on both sides and free view forward. This creates a sense of safety that we humans have had since when we slept in caves and had to protect us from animals and other threats."
“A good placement is crucial for a successful interior design. If the placement of the couch is wrong you will never enjoy your sofa.”
Do you need to place the sofa against the wall?
"No! In Scandinavia, we are very fond of furnishing along the walls, which creates a dance floor in the middle of the room (which we rarely dance on). By moving the seating furniture to the centre of the room we create space for storage along the walls - cabinets, beautiful dressers and tables with personal ornaments. The final touch is to frame the interior with a luxurious carpet. ”
“Centred furnishing creates a feeling of space, better flow and makes you use the space fully. There are various options for furnishing with sofas and I have chosen the 4 best formations for a harmonious home. Click below to see examples of Classic furnishing, L-shaped furnishing, Sofas across from each other and Sofas along the sides."
“Regarding furnishing and the options above, it is nice to add poufs, benches or armchairs where there is empty space. This creates a good, harmonious flow and makes the room more inviting. The extra furniture can soften up square, modern shapes with the soft roundings of a chair or pouf."
"The size of the sofa is of course depending on how many you are in the famliy and how big the room is. Too small furniture piecies in a large room gives kind of the feeling of being in a gymnasium. On the other hand, too large furniture pieces in a small room can be perceived as cramped. The general guideline however, is to rather go for a little to big than too small.”
"Finally! When furnishing, don’t forget to decorate for the season of the year. It doesn’t cost anything to turn the couch towards the fireplace in the winter and towards the garden view during the summer months. I hope that my guide will make it easier for you to choose, style and furnish the Rolls-Royce of the furniture pieces - the sofa. Good luck!"
Want more advice and tips? Email a picture of your home with your question to email@example.com or give us a call and we will give you personalized interior consultation without charge.