After covering a trilogy of articles focusing on kitchen design, this week, we move on to the art of seating. Ever walked into a furniture showroom only to be overwhelmed by the choices of sofa design?
Where do you begin? Do you pick the ones that catch your attention? Or simply because you were told it’s the latest new design?
This article sheds some light on how to choose the right sofa for your home.
How do you find the perfect sofa? Always begin by measuring the size of your living room. Nothing is worse than buying a sofa only to realise it is too big for your living room. Hence, always check the size and maintain a good sense of proportion to the overall space.
Then, determine your personal style and the overall vibe of your living room interior. Is it playful or sombre? Calming or bold?
Another key determining factor is your family’s lifestyle at home. If you have children and pets, it is best to get a sofa with a washable slipcover for better durability.
The last deciding factor is flexibility. How versatile do you want your living room to be? Do you have occasional guests who may need a pull-out sofa bed? Or the possibility of re-arranging seating pieces from time to time?
Here are the five most popular types of sofas available in Malaysia.
If you have a compact-sized living room in your apartment, opt for the Loveseat sofa. It is perfect for small spaces and provides a great focal point in the living room. Loveseats are a great way to experiment with colours and texture. It is snug for two people, (hence the name loveseat) yet cosy for one person too. In the larger living room, the loveseat can also be used as a wonderful extension of the main full-sized sofa.
Sectional sofas are one of the most popular types due to their modular characteristic. They are formed by multi-piece sofas that allow flexibility in arrangement. This type of sofa is exceptionally versatile for scaleability of seat capacity, and can form an L- or U-shaped configuration.
This type of seating is characterised by sleek, rectangular shapes with shallow tufted cushions and wooden legs. Being the supreme trend from 1930s to 1970s, this trend is still a hot favourite due to its timeless appearance of clean lines and minimalist form.
The Tuxedo sofa tends to display a formal dignified vibe. Its main characteristic is its high arms, which are usually the same height as the back. It is one of my personal favourites when I want to achieve a clean look. You tend to see tuxedo sofas used at hotel lounges and showrooms.
These are perfect for small living rooms as they can double as additional beds for visiting guests. A sleeper sofa conceals a thin mattress beneath its cushions that can be pulled out to make a bed. Sofa beds, on the other hand, are designed with the ability to lay out flat to form a bed.
Buying a sofa set in your home is a major investment because you will use it often to lounge after work or entertain guests. Hence, choose the type of sofa that fits your lifestyle for the next three to five years.
I have heard of homeowners who initially opted for an easy-to-maintain sofa when their kids were still toddlers. But once their children had all grown up and left for university, the home was furnished with a fancy all-white leather set! Hence, be practical and realistic at the same time.
Work closely with the showroom assistant or your hired professional designer to understand what sofa types and materials suit your home the best.
Tan Bee Eu is a professional architect registered with Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia. She teaches at Universiti Sains Malaysia and has two decades of working experience involving diverse local and international projects in architecture and design. She can be reached at www.betadesignz.com/contact.