The Perfect Sofa
As furniture retailers and Interior Designers we receive interesting insights into the requirements and desires of many customers as they look to improve or create beautiful homes. There are often multiple concerns, but it is one particular piece of furniture, one product category, that levitates above all others to become the focal point of most inquiries. The living room, lounge, sitting room – whatever it might be designated – is almost always the centre of the home. Whether formal or relaxed, it is where most socialising, relaxing and day-to-day activity occurs. Of course, meals can be taken in dining rooms, kitchen diners, at breakfast bars, and hours of study can be conducted in spare rooms, designated zones or otherwise (and the highest number of hours are spent in the bedroom)…but the living room does exactly what it says – it’s where we live.
And at the heart of this room is the sofa. Welcoming, comforting, reassuring, reliable. In many cases a sofa can almost be considered an additional member of the household in terms of the support and nurture it can offer. Frequently moved from house to house, there is a semi-permanence to the sofa that few other items of furniture are able to match. And just like a great pair of shoes or your favourite jeans, the sofa improves with age as the comfort levels can improve as you find the optimum seating position and the most effective part in which to sit/slump/perch.
The sofa is also a social adhesive, one of the few pieces of furniture that is shared – it brings us together and by design encourages intimacy and informality. It creates both relaxation in the body and also in the mind – who hasn’t let out a small breath of relief or pleasure when they fall into the womb-like clutches of a supremely comfortable settee? These are often the ones that also force the users to “roll together” as gravity draws them together in the centre of smaller examples!
With this in mind, choosing a new sofa (a task that may only occur every five years or even longer) can be a quite complicated matter, and the stakes can be high. This is a big decision, as this is something that will be used nearly every day but also needs to be accommodating for guests. Balancing the aesthetics and the comfort is a real conundrum. A hideous but supremely comfortable sofa can be as awkward as a stunning but impractical example. Somewhere in the middle is that “sweet spot” where both requirements are fulfilled. This is going to be different for all individuals, as the importance varies for the room and the property. (for example those with multiple properties will assign less importance to comfort as the dwell time at that site diminishes)
At Kings of Chelsea we are well versed in the likely demands upon this hard working piece of furniture, and can advise and offer options ranging from off-the-peg to fully bespoke. A family sofa that is subject to the rigours of children and pets for example, will look very different to the one required for an open plan apartment of a single occupier. Traditional v modern, modular v fixed, soft v hard – there are many dilemmas to be worked through, and we are here to help. Our experienced sales team and in-house designers can offer both advice and inspiration.
Sofa choices are made with both the senses and the mind which adds the extra dimension of complexity…