The Idealist

Secrets to Styling Your Sofa

You’ve spent ages choosing the right sofa but, now it’s in your home, it doesn’t have quite the same feel as it did in the showroom or brochure. Why? Because it hasn’t been styled by a team of experts to make it look as welcoming and stylish as possible. Don’t despair though, as this handy guide will talk you through how you can achieve this look whatever your style of sofa.

Positioning

It’s very easy to place your sofa in an obvious space, along a large wall for example, but it’s worth thinking of the room as a whole to work out where it would work best. Ideally this should be done before your sofa arrives, saving you a lot of backache trying it in different locations. So take the measurements of the room, the sofa and any other furniture and sketch out different layouts. Placing a sofa opposite the room’s focal point such as a fire place is a good starting point. Another tip is to pull your sofa slightly away from the walls to create the illusion of greater space around it and connection to the rest of the furniture within the room.

Copyright: piovesempre / 123RF Stock Photo

Proportions

Consider the proportions of your sofa in relation to other items nearby to create a balanced look. The style and size of the sofa will determine what you place nearby, such as side tables, the number or type of pictures hanging above it or the height of a lamp. Play around with pieces you already own, then stand back to see what does and doesn’t work.

Copyright: Khongkit Wiriyachan / 123RF Stock Photo

Colour Blocking

Choose a colour within the room and use it in a few places to help bring the room together. Cushions, lampshades and throws are all easy ways to do this and help the eye travel: a secret to good styling.

Rugs

Rugs are an item that deserve their own mention as they can compliment a sofa beautifully. By placing a rug in front of a sofa instead of in the middle of a room like an island, it draws the eye to the rug and the sofa together. It also creates a cosy feel for those sitting on it too.

Copyright: mihalis77 / 123RF Stock Photo

Accessories

Accessorising is the fun part of bringing other parts in to help your sofa achieve a stylish look. Cushions, lighting, interesting objects, patterns, pictures and plants are all ways to display the things you love and express who you are. Different ways of displaying your accessories will create a different look so try a few options and bear in mind proportions, heights and balance within the space to achieve a look that works.

Copyright: bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo

Steal From the Experts

It may sound obvious but sofa guides and catalogues show how the professionals have styled the furniture and room. What other colours and accessories have they used to complement the sofa? These can give you the ideas and confidence to create a similar look with your sofa.

Change With the Seasons

Just as we change what we wear throughout the year, we can apply the same principles to styling sofas. Adding heavier woollen blankets and chunky knit throws to sofas in the winter months creates a warm and cosy feel, whereas lighter, brighter coloured cushions in spring and summer reflect the lighter days and warmer weather.

Copyright: worldwidestock / 123RF Stock Photo

So, in the same way you put time and thought into choosing a sofa, the same applies for how your sofa will look within your home. A little consideration of the factors above will really help your sofa to look inviting and stylish all year long, just as it should be with a large piece of investment furniture.

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  • Helen is a fabric designer and lives with her husband and two sons near Bath. She grew up by the sea in Cornwall and is reinventing a modern coastal look of interiors with her debut collection in a minimal graphic design inspired style. Passionate about pattern, Helen is constantly capturing images on her phone for potential design inspiration.

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