The living room sofa is usually the largest – if not the most expensive – item in a room and is often the most dominant piece, so it is no surprise that the sofa usually dictates the style of the room.
Asked to name their most indispensable piece of living room furniture, most people would opt for the sofa. Cosseting and useful, upholstered seating has been a feature of the western home since the 18th century, morphing gradually from the prim settles of Georgian days to the more familiar sofas and armchairs of the 20th-century.
But today, as technology and lifestyles change, the living room sofa has acquired a more pivotal role. Gone are the days when the three-piece suite, festooned with antimacassars, was the place to entertain visiting vicars or slump in front of the television on a Saturday night.
So whether you are buying new or decorating around an existing one, look to these living room sofa ideas for inspiration.
1. GET THE SCALE RIGHT WITH THE TWO THIRDS RULE
A living room sofa that’s the full length of the opposite wall could prove overbearing in a room scheme. But you also do not want a sofa that is too small. One approach to getting the right proportions is to aim for a sofa that’s about two-thirds of the wall length.
2. THINK ABOUT FUNCTIONALITY AS WELL AS STYLE
While the dimensions of the living room are an essential factor when choosing the right sofa, how the room is used will also influence which sofa size is best for your space.
When a room is used largely for entertaining visitors, two sofas facing one another can prove more sociable than one large version that puts sitters in a line. The sofas will accordingly need sizing down with adequate space between and around them.
3. INVEST IN A SECTIONAL SOFA IN AN OPEN-PLAN SPACE
A sectional will often work well as a room divider. ‘A large L-shaped sofa is a great choice for an open-plan space as it helps to delineate the sitting room area from the dining area or kitchen,’ says by Lucas Lam
But a sectional can also be a smart choice for a small living room because it’s more space efficient than a sofa plus armchair combination. In this case, choose a design with dimensions that follow the perimeter of the room.
4. …AND INTERESTING SHAPES
The shape of the sofa is also a key consideration. If the room has a low ceiling, opt for a sofa with a lower back to keep the design in proportion to the room’s height. A design with a low back can also create the illusion of extra space below more usual ceiling heights.
When it comes to sofa trends for 2022, modern-retro fluting and glamorous curved lines are de rigueur, while at the opposite end of the scale a raw, organic and unrefined aesthetic is also breaking through.
5. GO FOR RAW BEAUTY – AND NEUTRAL COLORS
‘Raw materials and unrefined finishes are without a doubt two of the biggest sofa trends we’re seeing for 2022,’ says Jessica Y, head of interior design at KDEVICE FURNITURE. Natural, pared-back designs are combined with heavy textures such as boucle, creating a lovely tactile look and feel.