How to Match a Sofa Shape to Your Room
When it comes to choosing a sofa, you’ll likely be thinking about the colour and the material in order to make the best decision. However, you will also need to think about its size and how to match a sofa shape to your room so it fits your needs and style. Remember, ‘Shape’ refers to not only the number of seats on a chair as well as the width and dimensions but also the shape of the design itself including the backboard, the arms and the cushions. With this in mind, there are lots of options you can choose from – but how can you narrow them down?
In order to help you make the best use of your space and choose the best sofa shape for your living room or any other area in your home, here are our best tips.
Consider Living Room Size
To match a sofa shape to your room you will firstly need to think about the size of your living room in order to choose the most appropriate sofa shape for the space. For example, if you have a large, open plan area, you might want to think about an excellent show-stopping corner sofa or U-shape model, or another type of sectional option such as a modular sofa. In larger living rooms, you’re naturally able to use larger pieces of furniture and add additional seating options without this feeling out of proportion in terms of the room size.
For smaller living areas, a large L- or U-shaped chair would take up too much room and become an unnecessary focus. With this example, you want all of the furniture in the space to feel natural, without competing to stand out. So, you’ll probably want to choose a love seat, a 3-seater sofa, or even smaller armchairs to add extra places to sit.
Think About the Flow of the Room
When designers talk about the ‘flow’ of a room, they are talking about the way that people will move about in and interact with the space. Instead of just placing furniture randomly, you should walk through the room and try to work out if anything feels cramped or out of place.
For example, you wouldn’t put a chair close to a doorway, as this creates an abrupt stopping point as soon as you enter a room. As another example, if you wanted to add a dining area to your living room, you probably wouldn’t set this up in the middle of the space. Instead, it would be better to put this type of furniture off to the side or at the back of the room. This is because when you think about how occupants will interact with the room itself, their primary focus will be sitting and relaxing. Then, they might move through the space to reach a dining area.
The concept of ‘flow’ is particularly relevant for a large living room with an open plan layout as in this case, it makes sense to split the room up into different areas with transitions that flow with one another.
Consider the Purpose of the Room
When choosing a sofa shape, you should also consider the purpose of the room itself. For rooms that need extra seating, you’ll probably be purchasing a four-seater, or a five-seater couch, or some combination of mixed larger and smaller chairs.
If you’re likely to be hosting guests, you could choose a sofa with a built-in bed or a convertible futon. This will ensure that you have plenty of sleeping options for anyone who might be staying over.
As another example, if you are a family with small children you probably won’t want to choose a sofa shape that includes wood panelling as this could be dangerous to tiny heads.
Alternatively, you could be purchasing furniture for another room outside of your living area. For offices, you might want a standard two or three-seater sofa to provide seating for a client or an armchair for reading.
Find Your Signature Style
In addition to the shape of your sofa in terms of the number of seats and size, you should also think about the shape of your sofa in terms of design. You can then match different designs to different style living rooms.
Some different types of sofas that suit different interior design styles include:
- Cabriole sofas – Cabriole sofas come with ornate wood panelling and a distinct frame shape that is perfect for traditional or lavish living rooms that want to add a touch of class or romance.
- Chesterfields – Chesterfield sofas are large and uniformly rectangle with high arm rests. This option works well for a traditional British country style living room – think Victorian old-world features such as dark mahogany and wood panelling.
- Lawsons and Love seats – Lawson sofas and smaller love seats add comfort and cosiness to any living room. So, if you’re looking for more of a cottage feel, one of these options with the addition of blankets and throw pillows would suit your design style.
- Mid-century modern sofas – Mid century moderns are perfect for contemporary style living rooms with their signature shape that involves clean lines. Due to their symmetry they’re also ideal for a minimalist space where less is more.
Wrap Around a Coffee Table to Create a Focal Point
You should always use your furniture arrangement to create some kind of focal point within any room. A natural way to do this is to wrap your seating around a coffee table. Whether you have one chair with a coffee table in front of it, two sofas on either side of the table, or an L-shaped model with the table in the middle, this will create a comfortable hub in the middle of the living room.
Other ways to create a focal point include using a large area rug between two chairs, or directly in front of a sofa. This arrangement draws the eye to the centre of the room, which is a good design practice. Then, you can build outwards, filling the rest of the space with extra furniture such as console tables along the walls, bookcases and dressers.
Tips For Different Sofa Shapes
If you’re looking at a specific sofa shape and wondering how it might work with your living room, you should consider the following:
Depending on the atmosphere you’re looking to create, L-shaped sofas work in both smaller square and rectangle rooms as well as large living rooms with less standard shapes such as an L-shape.
In a small, square living room, a smaller L-shape sofa or chaise would fit nicely along the back wall or in the corner as long as it is not so large that it dominates the space. In a larger or open plan area, L-shape sofas can be used to separate the room for different purposes.
Chaise sofas work well in smaller living rooms or add an extra seating area for a larger or open plan space. For example, you could create a separate reading area in a nook or corner of the living room by including a chaise, a bookcase and a table with a reading lamp.
A stunning Chaise sofa is also a great addition to bedrooms when used at the end of the bed. You can also achieve the same effect with a daybed type sofa.
U-shaped sofas are suited to much larger rooms. They’re designed to be a real focal point as they naturally draw the eye to the middle of the U. For this reason, you probably wouldn’t want to put a U-shaped sofa in a corner or side of the room as this will lead to an asymmetrical and unbalanced feel.
Single Sofas and Chairs
It’s likely you wouldn’t use an armchair or single-seater as your only couch option – even for the smallest living rooms. These types of seating, therefore, are great additions to existing chairs, especially when used to create a separate space with its own purpose. You could even add an armchair to a bedroom, library or office to add more comfort.
How to Mix and Match Different Sofas
Another thing you’ll need to consider is whether to match two types of the same couch or to mix different types of seating in one room. The option you choose will depend on the size of your living room as well as the design style and atmosphere you want to create.
Matching the same shaped chairs within the living room is a great way to achieve a cohesive, uniform aesthetic, especially when matching two couches with the same colour and fabric. It also creates a feeling of comfort and warmth.
With this in mind, try taking two matching sofas and having them face each other in the middle of the room with a table or rug in the middle. Alternatively, you could arrange them in a right-angled or wide-angled L-shape. This still keeps a focus at the centre of the room and keeps things symmetrical. For this reason, matching furniture is also a great option for minimalist spaces which focus on uniformity, clean lines and lack of clutter.
Mixing Different Shapes
However, you don’t just have to choose one type of chair shape. Sometimes, too much symmetry can look stifled and boring. So, don’t be afraid to make some bolder design choices when it comes to varying the shape of your furniture. A great 3 person sofa can be paired with an accent chair or even a small armchair.
If you have a square or rectangle room, you could use an L-shaped sofa with a round swivel one-seater at one corner, or even an armchair at the other end of the room for extra seating. You can also combine any sofa with a pouffe, or beanbags scattered around it to add an extra comfortable touch.
Other pairings that work well include a standard rectangular couch as the focal point of the living room, and a chaise lounge in another section of the space to create two distinct seating areas.
Mixing different types of sofas and chairs works particularly well for larger living rooms or L-shaped spaces as it is possible to create distinct sections with different atmospheres or purposes. However, it’s still achievable in smaller, square or rectangle living areas if you use armchairs and individual seating in addition to a multi-seat sofa.
So, there you have it – all of our best tips and ideas on how to match a sofa shape to your room.
Always remember to think about the size of the room, consider how the arrangement of the space flows, think about how many seats or features you need depending on the purpose of the room, and choose a shape that fits your interior design style. Now it’s time to look for your next sofa!