Small Home Style: Sofa Shopping 101

Welcome to another edition of Small Home Style, today we’re talking sofas: scale, style and where to find modern sofas. Just a quick FYI for all my new readers, I started the design series Small Home Style last year to help fellow small home dweller solved the design dilemmas that pop up in a small home. 

When it comes to sofa shopping for smaller spaces things can get tricky. People often think small room equals small furniture, but too many small pieces in a small room can make everything feel tiny or cluttered. The key is to think of the scale of the sofa with the size of your living room. Also, consider how you use your living room, remember to design for the life you live versus the life you want to live. Meaning if you entertain a lot in your small home, make sure your living space is comfortable for yourself and family - so plenty of seating is essential. For most people buying a sofa is an investment piece and not an item of furniture your swap out when you get bored. On average most people keep sofas for 7-15 years. When I was sofa shopping, I knew most likely would have our sofas for 8-10 years. 

When we first bought our home, we had one sofa and two chairs, over time I noticed when we had company over they would gravitate towards the couch instead of seating in our arm-less chairs. The arm-less chairs while comfy, they weren't made for long-term sitting and chilling. When sofa shopping the next time around, I realized our living room best suited two sofas instead of sectional or sofa plus two chairs. Also, I made a list of musts for our sofas: clean, modern design, no back cushions, must have feet and neutral fabric. We've had our sofas for four years and the cushions are still holding their shape (I flip them regularly between sofas) Also the fabric is also in great condition (no peeling or fraying) We do have one tiny tear on the seam of an arm, thanks to the puppy! Thankfully its small enough I can repair it with help from a glue gun. We purchased our sofas from Scandinavian Designs, I love thier modern design aesthetic and feel you get exceptional style on a budget. 

Below are some tips when sofa shopping.

Sofa Shopping Tips

  • Measure Your Room, make sure you still have room on both sides of the sofa for end tables or plants. Use painters tape on the floor to map-out area of the sofa to make sure the sofa size: length, height and width will work in your space 
  • Determine the design style you want: Sofa, Sectional or Sofa with Chaise (make sure you have room to walk around the chaise and think of the placement) 
  • Ask yourself how you use your living room? How much seating do you need
  • Think streamline classic look on arms on sofa verses and back cushions, instead bulky arms on sofa. Extra heft on a sofa design can look dated fast. 
  • Ditch the ready-made pillows that come with the sofa! Instead buy the pillows separate
  • Make sure the warranty on the cushions is good! (Nothing worse than flat cushions) Also make sure the construction is well made and built to last 
  • Consider investing in the stain-resistant protection 
  • Buying a sofa online: Read all reviews, check return policy and restocking fee and warranty 

Now that you know the style and size of the sofa you want, where to shop for your sofa?

 image via  Oh Eight Oh Nine

In store Shop: West Elm, Crate & Barrel, JC Penny's, Lazy Boy Furniture, RC Wiley, IKEA, Pottery Barn and Room  & Board (most of their sofas are available in three different sizes) CB2 

Online Shop: Overstock, Wayfair, West Elm, Room & Board, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and RC Wiley (depending on delivery) CB2 

Here’s a roundup of my favorite sofa options from the stores mentioned above in various styles and price points both online and in-person options. The sofas in the round-up range from $500 - $2500 bucks

Modern Sofas Small Living Rooms.png

Get The Look

MID CENTURY MODERN L-R  Laura Sofa, Reese Sofa, Kelsey Sofa, Petrie Modern Sofa, Liam Sofa *Design Steal $599! MODERN STREAMLINED L-R Harrison Sofa, Grey Club Sofa *It's a Sleeper Sofa,Perfect for Company! Hamilton Sofa,  Dryden Sofa, Henry Sofa, Brindon Sofa CLASSIC MINIMALIST L-R Antwerp Slipcovered Sofa, Shelter Sofa, Movie Sofa *Perfect for Lounging, Extra Deep Cushions, Seville Tufted Sofa, Leslie Sofa, Willow Sofa *Classic Modern take on Slip covered Sofa 

I hope my sofa shopping 101 for a small living room comes in handy the next time your ready to buy a new sofa! Remember, its an investment piece that you'll likely have a very long time so make sure you know you'll love yuor sofa long-term.