Aston Sofa by Gamma & Dandy

Talk to a Designer

1. Sketch It

Do a rough sketch of your room. It doesn't have to be architectural but make sure you include plug points, radiators, window sill heights and any other fixed items on the drawings.

If there are lose bits of other furniture that you are 100% certain you'll be keeping in the room, draw them in too.

Measure everything in cm rather than inches - it's easier when selecting items online or in shops. If you're feeling up to it, try using a free drawing program like Sketchup to get more accuracy -

Nautilus Sofa by Gamma & Dandy
Tulip Sofa by Gamma & Dandy

2. Decide how many people you actually need to seat

Consider how often you have many people over. How many people do you need to seat in that room 80% of the time? That's the number you need to cater for - on those other occasions you can always pull in extra chairs from the dining room or kitchen.

3. Discuss with the family

Write down the main functions of the new sofa. Yes, obviously to sit on, but also consider: What about your current seating don't you like? Is the current seating too deep? Or perhaps it's not deep enough? Does it have sufficient back support? Is it easy to curl up on when you want to blitz through a box-set? Is it easy to clean / maintain? Does it look great in the room? Has the filling lasted or is it sagging? Make notes of all the things that you would like the new sofa to provide. Basic as it sounds, write all this down as it will help you immensely when your actually in store.

4. There is no such thing as "we don't have a budget".

Rather than setting a fixed figure like £2000, better to set a range. Be clear with yourself what your range is. What is it that you expect from your range? If you're looking for a large "L shaped" top grain Italian sofa with recliner, storage, sofa bed and a jetpack, will your range realistically cover it? Make sure you set a realistic range before and during your online research.

5. Take lots of photos / videos.

Take lots of photos of the room where the sofa will be placed. Take a video too. Don't just take photos of the wall or corner where the sofa will go - be sure to get a complete 360 of the room.

Wave Sofa by Gamma & Dandy
Richmond Sofa by Gamma & Dandy

6. Measurements

Measure the largest piece of furniture you currently have in that room - width, depth, height in cms.

If you don't have anything in the room yet, take a walk from your front door to the room and use a measure tape to measure any small doors or corridors - you need to have a good idea of what will fit in the room but you also need to make sure you have clear access to get it there.

When in doubt, pay the sofa supplier to carry out an access check so that the responsibility lies with them to make sure everything will fit.

7. Save time by looking online before heading out

Look at online customer reviews of the shops you are thinking of visiting - there are many shops that have fantastic reviews - aim to see those first.

Avoid those shops that suppress or don't encourage customer reviews. Obviously also avoid those that have poor reviews!

8. Speak to the shop before hand

Understand their price points so that they are aligned with your budget range.

Crossover Sofa by Gamma & Dandy
Sunset Sofa by Gamma & Dandy

9. Plan your hunt

You need to sit on as many sofas as possible when making this decision - find out how many sofas the shop has on display before adding it to your visit list. Anything over 20 models is usually a good start.

10. If you can, ditch the kids

Send them off on a play date or drop them off to relatives, friends, babysitter, zoo - anything to give you a few free hours where you can focus.

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Sofa Special Offers by FCI London

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