20 Jun 10 Easy Tips to Picking Your Living Room Sofa
When it comes to thinking of living room decoration or living room design, an interior designer not only has to contemplate the size of the room, its shape, the texture of its walls and floor, or the position of its windows; an interior designer also has to consider the arrangement of living room furniture, its various sofa sets, coffee tables, side tables, console tables, TV cabinets, wall hangings and accessories; especially the way in which these separate furniture pieces come together to achieve a desired atmosphere.
The living room is a favourite interior design project. In Malaysia, its status as a room to host guests or as the “family room” is beyond question. While the dining room is where we partake in the legendary Malaysian past time: eating, the living room is where we Malaysians partake in family: sharing, laughing and just spending quality time together. When thinking of living room ideas, its important also to think in advance about the sofa set that you plan to purchase.
A sofa is a very distinct piece of furniture. There are many different categories with which to appraise a sofa and judge its value to you when you are sofa-shopping. Fella Design has been furnishing Malaysian living rooms for over 30 years! We are sofa experts, and we offer our customers in Malaysia a chance to create your own custom made sofa by choosing from over 1000 fabrics at any of our 21 stores!
The sofa is a key part of the living room: it can either lift or tear down the atmosphere of your living room!
Tips to Choosing a Sofa for Your Living Room
There are all kinds of sofas to choose from ranging from the extremely expensive to the budget-friendly. What’s most important to determine is your personal budget first. What is the maximum you’re willing to spend on a sofa? That’s a good place to start. It might help to set a budget for all living room furniture items too. That way, you’re going to get a good idea of what price range of sofa you’re going to be able to afford. Besides, there are plenty of other furniture pieces to consider when thinking of living room ideas, from coffee tables, side tables and console tables, to TV cabinets, occasional storage cabinets or chest of drawers! It’s a good idea to start with a sofa as your first item, as it will decide the design and arrangement of every other furniture item you purchase for your living room after that.
What size would you like your sofa to be? This is the second most important metric to determine when deciding what sofa set to choose for your living room. Of course, your sofa size is dependant on the size of your living room! So before you head off and shop for a sofa, it might be a good idea to bring out the measuring tape and get the dimensions of the space you intend your sofa to occupy. With these dimensions noted down on a piece of paper, in your digital device or memorized in your head, you will be better prepared to select your sofa in any furniture store you visit.
3. Number of Seats
Alongside the sofa size, it is also particularly important to determine: how many people would you like your sofa arrangement to comfortably seat? Most Malaysians choose a sofa set of a 3-seater and a 2-seater, along with 2 wingchairs, armchairs or an accent chair. However, it is important to note that any sofa arrangement you can imagine is perfectly valid! It depends on your particular taste and the space requirements of your particular living room. A 1+2+3 arrangement works perfectly for a moderate sized living room, but a small living room might require some creativity: perhaps opt for a 1+2, but add in a bench for additional seating space when you host guests! In any case, determining the number of seats you’d like your sofa arrangement to have is a good place to start when choosing your living room sofa!
Intelligent selection of colours can truly transform your living room design
Once you’ve determined your budget, the size of your sofa, and the number of seats you would like your arrangement to have, its time to put some thought into design! Without a doubt, in considering living room design and living room ideas, choosing a base or “accent” color is one of the most important aspects when determining the overall atmosphere of your living room. The “accent” color is the theme color of your entire space. It can be heavily patterned or otherwise embroidered, and it should be present in sporadic splashes, on your accessories, draperies, carpets, sofa cushions or accent pieces. Your base color is the supporting color to the theme. Compared to your accent color, the base color should be plain, and it should be present, among other things, on the base color of your sofa! But also on your carpets, curtains and occasionals.
Remember that your accent and base colors should be applied not only to your sofa, but to all the furniture pieces you decide to include in your living room; beyond that, it should apply even to the color of your walls and your floors! It is also important to note that choosing accent and base colors is a very basic design principle. Skilled interior designers create wonderful living room spaces by simply manipulating this basic rule, adding complementary and contrasting colors into the palette and using these colors to “paint” the furniture. You can have a hand at this yourself! Fella Design allows our customers to customize their own sofas by choosing from a selection of over 1000 fabrics! Find out more about us if you’re looking for living room furniture!
Nearly as important as color, if not equally important, is: texture. When it comes to the interior design of living rooms, the material you use to coat your walls, ceilings and floor, can really contribute to the identity of your space. Similarly, how you choose to texture your furniture also plays an important part in the identity of your living room. Should you opt for an Industrial design? Wood and steel? Or should you opt for a more modern living room, with glass and concrete? Would you like to have plants, and if so, should you use wooden, earthy textures? Or would you like to go for a contemporary living room, utilitarian and simple?
There are so many options, and depending on what you pick, these textures should manifest in your sofa set too. Will you go for a fabric sofa or a leather sofa? Would you like to have exposed lengths of wood or steel? Many people opt for custom made sofa cushions, taking advantage of wool, velvet, and fur textures too! Deciding on a texture requires more of an effort in imagination than deciding on a color, but it’s a necessary step to take when deciding on your sofa!
An industrial style living room, identified by the brick wall, wooden flooring and exposed beams of steel
Sometimes, choosing colors and textures can be an exhaustive and draining creative process. If you’re unwilling to go through such an extensive process, choosing a style, with its preset colors and textures, might be a better idea. There are plenty of popular interior design styles to choose from, but some are more favoured than others to design your living room.
In Malaysia today, the modern, industrial, oriental fusion and country styles are particularly popular. Each style already has a particular mood palette of colors and textures that it represents, making your living room design job less taxing as when compared to going to the basics and choosing colors and textures from scratch! Fella Design’s sister brands Urban Culture and American Accents specialize in oriental fusion and American country respectively!
After deciding upon the three design elements; color, texture and style, figuring out some practical requirements you would need your sofa to have is also a helpful thing to do when making a decision to buy a sofa. Malaysians spend a lot of time in the living room, especially since that’s where the television is at. Sofa seats have to be comfortable, and suited to the comfort needs of the person or family using them.
Some people prefer firmer seats, others like their sofa seats soft. Some people prefer high backs on their sofas, so they can rest their heads, while yet others don’t mind low sofa backs at all. Some like to have seats that go far back, such that their feet don’t touch the floor when sitting comfortably, while others prefer to have their feet touching the floor when they sit down. All this is totally subjective, and completely up to your preference!
Another practical point to consider when purchasing a sofa set, particularly for Malaysian homeowners who do not contract the services of a domestic helper, is the amount of maintenance required to ensure that the sofa is in tip-top condition. As beautiful as a large living room space can be, the effort to maintain it increases directly proportional to its size. Depending on the sofa-owners (who could be either a large family, or a young executive couple, or any number of profiles), the needs of maintenance would be different. For example, a homeowner who doesn’t have a domestic helper, and who desires low maintenance efforts, can opt for a sofa with taller, longer legs and a sofa slipcover that doesn’t touch the ground. That way, he or she can sweep and mop the floor with ease.
If you’re feeling up to put more effort into design while choosing the right sofa for your living room, something else you can ponder about are the designs for your sofa cushions. While the sofa itself contributes something to the overall atmosphere of the living room, your sofa cushions can really put in the work to lift your sofa to another level. When it comes to sofa cushions, it’s important to remember that textures are more important than colors. Go wild, mix and match, and come up with something totally original! There are plenty of furniture stores that provide custom made sofa cushions! Start now!
Armchairs and Wingchairs are perfect additions to a seating arrangement if you’re looking for alternatives
If you’re sick and tired of choosing a common sofa and you want to try something different and new, you should know that sofa sets aren’t the only seating arrangement that makes a living room a living room! There are so many other ways to arrange seating for your guests that doesn’t necessarily involve a sofa. People use sofa beds, daybeds, lazy chairs, wingchairs or armchairs instead! They supplement the arrangement with benches, footstools, ottomans, and even beanbags! There are plenty of alternatives to sofas if you want to travel on the road not taken. It’s all up to you!
We hope with these 10 tips, you’d be better prepared to choose a sofa for your living room! Fella Design is a Malaysian sofa expert, offering services in customization, sofa repair and sofa upholstery too! Pair these tips with our guide to choosing a coffee table for your living room!