First, think about size. If you have a big living room, you’ll need to decide exactly how much of the living room you want your couch to fill. Do you want to include other chairs or couches? Will you have a coffee table? If so, a simple sofa, or one with a slight L-shape is probably the best fit. If you’re looking for a sofa that will be the focal point of your living room, look for rounder couch shapes that take up a bit more room and provide a lot of seating.
If you have a small living room, odds are you’ll need a smaller couch. With less space, any sofa or couch is going to be in the spotlight, so it’s important to pick something that is practical but also complements the rest of the space.
Decide exactly how the sofa will be oriented. Successfully organizing a living space starts with analyzing your lifestyle. What do you do the most in that space? Do you like to wind down in front of the TV? Make sure your couch faces that direction. Love hosting game or wine nights? Create a semi-circle (or even full circle) around a central table.
Does your family use the living room to lounge, relax and read? Surround your sofa with chairs and cushions to create multiple seating areas that can be enjoyed individually, or as a large group.
Determine what shape will best suit your living room. An “L Shape” is ideal for open spaces that need to be divided, such as separating the living room from the dining room.
A rounder shape works well for smaller spaces that are meant to serve as a gathering area for groups of people. It can also be perfect for a media room.
If you’re going to have more chairs and tables in your living room, a daybed or chaise is a good alternative to a traditional sofa. It still provides seating for several people, but is also compact.
Research upholstery materials. Which will be best for you? Aesthetic is important, but functionality is key when it comes to choosing a material for your sofa. A lot of us that would love to indulge in a plush, white sofa. They’re so gorgeous, but also so dangerous!
Leather (especially darker colors) is consistently in style, generally wears well with age, and can be easy to clean.
Microfibers are a great choice if you have pets or kids. They are machine washable and very easy to spot clean. Bonus: they are super soft and comfortable.
Choose a style that complements your home. Go with your instincts when picking the type of sofa that will fit naturally in your home. If your style is sleek and modern, pick something that reflects that in clean lines and dramatic colors.
If your home is an eclectic mix of designs and colors, a sofa that combines several styles (like a vintage couch in a colorful fabric, or a more modern style with traditional accents) could be the perfect expression of your taste.
If your look is more traditional, a classically structured sofa in a neutral and durable fabric will stand the test of time. It will also work well with various colors and complementing pieces.
Bright, printed, or neutral? Don’t be afraid to choose a couch with a fun or unique print! It can add a surprisingly personal touch and quickly transform the feel of the entire room.
If you’re too nervous to experiment with bolder patterns and colors on your sofa, you can always get a funky ottoman. It will add a subtle sense of diversity to your living room, while complementing more classic couches and chairs.