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How to choose the perfect sofa

Created: 28/11/2017

Bagsie sofa in Kingfisher clever cotton (Loaf, from £1,695)

Bagsie sofa in Kingfisher clever cotton (Loaf, from £1,695)

If our home is a castle, then our sofa is surely the throne. We can spend as much time and money as we like ensuring where we live is filled with beautiful artwork, high quality carpets and an immaculate kitchen or bathroom, but all that will seem to count for little if you do not have somewhere comfortable to sit down and relax after a long day.

Investing in a decent sofa is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to creating the perfect home. There are a number of things to take into account before making your final choice – from fabric and colour to size and shape – and this isn’t something you should rush; providing you pick the right one, the sofa you settle on (so to speak) should last you for years to come.

We spoke to the experts at Willow & Hall – manufacturers of luxury sofas and sofa beds – to find out the answers to all the most vital sofa-related questions, and to see some examples of their latest and finest products which might help to inspire your ultimate selection.

How are the best sofas and chairs made?

The Gastard 3-seater sofa in Cotton French Blue (Willow & Hall, £1,363 / sofa bed £1,553)

The Gastard 3-seater sofa in Cotton French Blue (Willow & Hall, £1,363 / sofa bed £1,553)

“When beginning such an important purchase as furniture buying, it’s essential to shop around and review your options, a simple rule that not everyone adheres to. I would always recommend looking for a company that values craftsmanship by making everything by hand with an offering of high quality fabrics rather than flat pack furniture that requires self-assembly and tends to have a shorter life span. At Willow & Hall, we believe in combining the finest materials with traditional craftsmanship. All of our furniture is handmade to order in our Wiltshire workshop by craftsmen with over 35 years’ experience and all of our frames come with a long lasting 10-year guarantee.”

What difference do the fillings make?

The Lover 2-seater sofa in Linen Cotton Pistachio (Willow & Hall, £1,060)

The Lover 2-seater sofa in Linen Cotton Pistachio (Willow & Hall, £1,060)

“Choosing the right seat cushions is always down to personal preference. Given the option of different fillings, always opt for one that will provide comfort and is easy to maintain on a daily basis.

“Reflex foam provides a very supportive and relatively firm sit, keeping its shape very well and requires very little maintenance – just a simple turn every two-three months. However, make sure to opt for reflex foam, as this will recover well and keep its original shape and density.

“Those looking for a slightly softer sit and a more relaxed look should consider either siliconized hollow fibre or feather-wrapped cushions. Simply give them a quick plump-up after use and a real shake down once a month to keep the shape and comfort.”

Should I opt for fixed or removable covers?

Wishford 2-seater sofa in Matt Velvet Turmeric (Willow & Hall, £1,270)

Wishford 2-seater sofa in Matt Velvet Turmeric (Willow & Hall, £1,270)

“I would always recommend removable covers that are cleanable, meaning that if there should be a stubborn stain that can’t be spot cleaned it can either be put in the washing machine or dry cleaned. It also means that if the sofa is looking a little grubby, the covers can be washed and refitted for a fresh look, time after time, and if needed new custom made covers can replace old, tired covers.”

What do I need to think about re fabrics? How can I check a fabric is suitable?

Appledoe 3-seater sofa in Broad Weave Linen Silver (Willow & Hall, £1,329 / sofa bed £1,519)

Appledoe 3-seater sofa in Broad Weave Linen Silver (Willow & Hall, £1,329 / sofa bed £1,519)

“In order to get a real look and feel for the fabric, I would always suggest ordering a selection of fabric samples and testing them in different lighting to see how they might sit within the room.

The choice of fabric durability all depends on the piece of furniture and how often it will be used. Thicker, more hard-wearing fabrics are best used on everyday furniture such as sofas, whereas more delicate, lightweight materials are better suited to an occasional chair and footstool.

As an industry standard, most companies trial the fabrics with a rub count test to gauge how hard-wearing the upholstery is. The majority of fabrics come with at least 20,000 rub counts, whilst anything near 100,000 is considered very resilient.”

Where should I buy?

As well as Willow & Hall, we were also impressed by the range available from Loaf, experts in laid-back furniture for the whole home. Along with the Bagsie sofa featured at the top of the page, examples of several of their other favourite products can be found below:

Slowcoach sofa (Loaf, from £1,195)

Slowcoach sofa (Loaf, from £1,195)

Truffle sofa (Loaf, from £1,495)

Truffle sofa (Loaf, from £1,495)

Souffle Modular sofa (Loaf, from £655)

Soufflé Modular sofa (Loaf, from £655)

Dixie corner sofa (Loaf, £2,745)

Dixie corner sofa (Loaf, £2,745)

Dixie love seat chaise (Loaf, £1,295)

Dixie love seat chaise (Loaf, £1,295)

Chatnap storage sofa with arms (Loaf, from £436)

Chatnap storage sofa with arms (Loaf, from £436)

As you can see, there are plenty of options available which will allow you to find your ideal sofa, whatever the variety of tastes that exist in your household.

Of course, it may be the case that you are buying your new sofa (or sofas) as part of a total makeover of your house. If so, make sure you call in the professionals for any jobs which you do not have experience with if you want to make your home’s new appearance memorable for all the right reasons! A quick search for handyman services near me will allow you to look up the experts you need to make the best of all those tricky household tasks.



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