Interior Design Tips: How to Pick a Sofa – Part 2


You have given your ideal sofa some thought and now you are out shopping for it. But, often it is hard to find exactly what you envisioned on the floor of a showroom. There will be options to choose from in-store (from fabric to cushion fill and legs or skirts) to make your dream a reality. Here is how to navigate some of the questions that may arise:

Cushion Fill:

What are the seat and back cushions of the sofa made from?  If they are foam or foam wrapped with Dacron (a material that kind of looks and feels like cotton batting) they will be on the firm side. They will keep their shape but foam can deteriorate over time and use so you will want to rotate your cushions from time to time. If the cushions have a down/feather fill or wrap to them, they will be softer to sit on and mould to your shape. However, down/feather pillows do need to be fluffed to stay looking fresh.



A more formal sofa will look great with a taller or possibly a turned (carved) leg. Taller legs raise the sofa off the floor and give it a sense of airiness within the space. A turned leg adds an extra level of sophistication to the piece. In a more modern setting, consider a lower “block” foot—basically a big square block of wood—which keeps the sofa lower to the ground and more casual. A metal leg is also a nice choice for a modern sofa.



Often there are literally books and books to choose from. Start by narrowing down either the colour or the kind of fabric you think you want (Ex: linen or polyester) and look in those books first. Most people are overwhelmed by all of the options so it is best to look at only a few if possible. If durability is key, stay away from natural fibres and focus on mid-tones or fabrics that have a mix of colours in them as these will be the most forgiving.

Be sure to check back in next month, our Fabric 101 will help make choosing the right fabric for your project even more clear!

Check out Part 1 of the “How To Pick A Sofa” series here.