When it comes to setting up your living space, choosing the right sofa is the most important step. In addition to providing a cosy spot to lounge, socialise and sometimes even work, your sofa will become the focal point of your room. So, it needs to enhance your home's aesthetic and fit comfortably within the dimensions of your living area. To help you along the way, our Soho Home Interior Style Manager, Candy Murray, has some simple advice for picking your next sofa.
Style and design
'When designing furniture for the Houses, there is always a nod to the original building. For example, within White City House we were inspired by the history of the BBC Television Centre, and sourced fabrics and furniture from the 1960s,' explains Murray. 'The beauty of a Soho House interior, though, is that there will be unexpected moments. You might find a large floral sofa within a hard industrial building, such as at Soho House Berlin. Or a feminine decorative aesthetic in one space versus a masculine modernist aesthetic in a neighbouring area, such as the Sitting Room and Square Bar at Shoreditch House.'
When designing furniture for the Houses, there is always a nod to the original building.
Picking the right colour
'The fabric colour you choose depends on the overall look you're after,' says Murray. 'A bold richer colour will mean the sofa is the star feature and it will anchor the room. A neutral sofa will have more of a unifying effect.' Lighter tones can also help to make a tight space feel more spacious.
Once you've found some options that you like, try ordering a few fabric swatches. This will allow you to see which colours work best with your floors, walls, artwork and other soft furnishings, as well as helping you to picture the sofa within your space. When you've received your swatches, look at them under different lights throughout the day, as 'the same fabric could look a completely different colour in natural light versus artificial light,' says Murray.
A bold richer colour will mean the sofa is the star feature and it will anchor the room. A neutral sofa will have more of a unifying effect.
Choosing your fabric
When picking your fabric, think about which textures and tones work best in your home. 'In our Houses, we tend to use linen in sunnier spaces with plenty of windows, as it feels fresher and lighter than thicker fabrics,' says Murray. If you're looking for something warmer and richer, opt for velvet. 'It has a luxurious feel because of the softness and thickness of the pile,' she adds. 'The colours also have a richness to them due to the way light hits the fabric.'
If you have pets or kids, you might want to choose a sofa with a linen slip cover, which can easily be washed. And if your sofa gets lots of direct sunlight, go for a lighter tone in linen, as it will be less prone to fading.
In our Houses, we tend to use linen in sunnier spaces with plenty of windows, as it feels fresher and lighter than thicker fabrics.
Planning and layout
'If you're unsure about which size sofa to buy or you're finding it hard to picture it in your room, I'd recommend marking out the dimensions with masking tape on the floor,' says Murray. 'In smaller narrower rooms, don't make the mistake of pushing your furniture around the edges - choose a more compact sofa like the Alice or the Reya. Then, add armchairs or footstools rather than trying to squeeze in a corner sofa or two sofas.'
If you have narrow entrances or corridors, keep this in mind, too. For tricky spaces, choose something modular such as our made-to-order Vivienne sofa, which can be broken up into separate pieces.
If you're unsure about which size sofa to buy or you're finding it hard to picture it in your room, I'd recommend marking out the dimensions with masking tape on the floor.