How To Choose A Sofa
Your seating arrangement is the nucleus of a good living room. It should be conducive to conversation and relaxation and further the feeling of pleasant togetherness. This means that you will need chairs and sofas to suit different tastes and purposes. The Conran Shop's buying guide will help you make a perfect choice, plus discover our exclusive Build Your Own collection.
Space & Size
If you are thinking of buying new furniture, it’s a good idea to work out dimensions, cut out paper models to scale and then try them out on the room plan before committing.
Just because the sofa fits into the room, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get it down the hallway on delivery, so take careful measurements. Our access checks are available for ease of mind.
Once you know what’s possible in terms of space, you can start to choose or design your sofa. Our bespoke Build Your Own service means you can create almost anything, with over 3,000 options available.
If you decide that it is time to invest in a new sofa, we offer a complimentary collection service in partnership with the British Heart Foundation, to help re-home your pre-loved items. Find out more here.
We offer a comfortable range of pricing, including entry pieces with prices starting at around £900. Whilst furniture is an important investment, good design doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank.
Style vs. Function
Whether you’re decorating a city pad or a country house, you’ll want to consider some style options, as well as the functions to be served by the room in question. Children and pets will also need to be taken into consideration if you have them. If your style preference is more minimal, you may wish to choose from our contemporary or designer pieces. We offer design classics, exclusive pieces created in collaboration with iconic designers, and pieces from iconic brands such as Knoll, Gubi and Vitra. We also cater to more traditional and classic tastes.
How Many Seats?
Two-seater sofas are useful because they take up much less space than do two easy chairs. They also give mass and weight to the composition of your furniture, which might otherwise look disjointed. Bear in mind that while three-seater sofas will look nice in a large room with generous proportions, neither great comfort nor any real conversation is achievable by three people sat in a row, although they will take three TV watchers or listeners to music.
For multi-purpose rooms and smaller spaces, you may want to consider a sofa bed. As the need has grown to make use of every inch of space, the ubiquitous sofa bed is one of many ways to camouflage a sleeping area, or to maximise hospitality options in lieu of a guest bedroom.
With the increase in popularity, sofa beds have become easier to use as well. The latest designs offer stylish sofa beds without sacrificing sleekness or functionality. Sofa beds will either have a back that folds down flat, or a collapsible bed frame concealed within the base.
Caring For Your Sofa
Your sofa is an investment and should last you at least ten years, longer if you take good care of it. Bear in mind that care instructions will vary, so always check the individual requirements for your furniture. In terms of general guidelines:
- An uneven floor will damage the frame, so make sure your sofa sits flat.
- Regular shaking, patting and plumping of the scatter cushions will maintain their shape.
- Rotate your seating and backing cushions to keep the wear even and maintain shape.
- Sitting on the arms will eventually cause the upholstery to distort.
- If you have children, trying to prevent sticky finger-marks often proves fruitless, so washable covers are the way to go.
- Your chances of removing stains will increase the faster you attend to them. Always test your cleaning products before use.
- Fixed-cover upholstery needs to be cleaned whilst on the frame and should be done using a professional cleaner, ideally around once a year.
Build Your Own
Our bespoke furniture service covers both classic and contemporary styles of seating, up to 5-seater sofas, all designed in-house. These are bespoke in terms of style, colour, and fabric, and are exclusive to The Conran Shop. Things you’ll want to consider if you’re going to have your own seating made with us, include the base, fabric, filling, and shape of the seat back.
The bases available are either metal or wood, and can be raised up, or low to the floor. Bear in mind that the eye registers unbroken areas of floor and wall, and the same area broken up will look half its size. For this reason, furniture with light legs or bases, or wall mounted, will make a room feel larger than the same pieces solid to the floor.
Our Fabric Edit
Each piece in The Conran Shop's Build Your Own range is available upholstered in material from our exclusive collection of fabrics. From beautifully grained leathers to finely woven linen, the collection includes the perfect fabric to suit your space. Discover more about the exclusive fabric edit.
The filling for your sofa seat and back will influence the comfort and longevity of your purchase, so it’s worth choosing carefully. Foam is a very common filling due to the firmness and comfort it provides, but if a softer seat is your preference, you’ll want to consider feather filling. Feather and foam is a good compromise and helps the sofa retain its shape, compared to pure down which will eventually become lumpy.
“Never be afraid of rolling up the rug that will lie in front of the sofa and taking it along to the shop; it is so important how things work together.”