I’ve owned many sofas over the years, ranging from a cheap grey Ikea two-seater to a blue check sofa found in the corner of a department store’s home furnishings section. It proved too big for my small flat and, if that wasn’t bad enough, wasn’t the easiest of things to clean. Still, you live and learn.
When I had children, the time came to move home, and that meant getting rid of the old sofa my partner and I had at the time – a slightly twee floral sofa complete with a pair of matching armchairs. We had spotted it in a local furniture store and thought it was a complete bargain. Only £250 for the lot! Unfortunately, it wasn’t the most child friendly of sofas, so we decided to buy another sofa for our new flat.
I wanted something practical, while my partner was after something stylish. The sleeker, the better. I didn’t want have to wash the covers regularly because of the stains and spills (parents everywhere will appreciate that fabric sofas are the worst around small children). We decided, in the end, to choose a leather sofa for our living room.
Since it was our first time buying one, we inevitably made mistakes. Firstly, always think about what the entire room will look like once you’ve bought it. Our living room was painted a completely different colour to the rest of the furniture (brown walls versus light pine). We thought a dark leather sofa would be ideal. It got rid of any light in the room and wasn’t appealing at all. Buy something neutral and avoid the temptation to go for red leather. Unless your room and furniture match, it won’t be the best investment. Shop around at local retailers and specialists such as multiyork leather sofas to find something right for you.
Our second mistake: buy a sofa that’s easy to move around. Castors are perfect, so forget anything else. Thirdly, try it out in the showroom if possible. Sit for a while and see how comfortable you are. We rushed and didn’t spend enough time with the sofa, so we couldn’t gauge how uncomfortable it would actually be once we had it for a while. Remember that a sofa shouldn’t look good for your living room but should also be comfortable to sit in as well. If you have children, get them to try it out as well.
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