Real Renovation… Sofa Deliberations

This afternoon, we’re back to Jessica’s Real Renovation and she’s sharing the dilemmas of one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. Jess and I have spent many an hour on my sofa, the two of us enjoying the super comfy cushions and a glass of vino, so I knew the hunt for her very own take on this essential would be epic…

When I’m buying clothes, I like to justify an expensive item with the old ‘cost-per-wear’ argument. So if budget allows, I think the same rationale can be applied to sofas. After all, you will sit on them nearly every day that you own them, so why shouldn’t you splash out?! Having said that, there are some great sofas that will fulfill all your interior design fantasies as well as being comfortable, without needing a fantasy sized bank account.

A sofa has to be a considered purchase and I think them so important even, that I have just bought new sofas yet still don’t have any wardrobes! I have lost count of how many sofas Dan and I sat on before we found the right one. If I had been doing an equivalent number of squats at the gym in a bums, legs and tums class I would’ve thrown in the towel long before I found my perfect perch!

We had one major specification and that was comfort. Having said that, as we now have a new fairly large living room we needed something that would suit an Edwardian house and its proportions, and of course look good. In the past we lived in a small, modern open plan flat and we had leather sofas which we really liked and so initially considered leather for the new house too. But, for the past few months we have been borrowing a friends leather sofa, and we soon realised that this was not a practical option in our cold and poorly insulated house! Fabric is the way forward for us…

*Chesterfield from Habitat, via Home Shopping Spy

So, if we are going to talk about sofas, we can no further without talking about the classic Chesterfield. Over the 200 or so years it has been around, it has been a staple of English design, often furnishing a traditional study or living room. Now it is having a huge revival, as its original shape with rounded arms and stud detailed back is combined with modern fabrics and sumptuous colours. It is now a key piece of furniture design that can look great in both period and modern homes. So if you feel like making a statement without compromising on comfort, I don’t think you can go wrong with a Chesterfield. Maybe go for a classic leather version (if you have a nice warm house!) and go all out Victoriana style, or as alternative maybe this luxe fabric version from John Lewis.

*Pale Blue Chesterfield – John Lewis

For the daring amongst you, this yellow sofa has curves in all the right places and will definitely make a statement any room. I was seriously tempted by this one but just couldn’t quite be brave enough.

*Arighi Bianchi Hepburn Sofa

Fashion has gone retro and so why shouldn’t your sofa? I love the simplicity of this green beauty from Couch Design which fits the bill perfectly, and Marks and Spencers new Conran range has some beautiful chairs and sofas that epitomise the smooth clean lines of the retro look. Personally I love with the teal velvet, its the fabric I think that makes this sofa so good. (Rebecca has already posted about the entire Conran for M&S collection if you want a peek at the rest of the range.) Although there are plenty of rooms that successfully combine retro shapes and period features, it just wasn’t right for our home.

*Retro Sofa, Not On the High Street

*Conran sofa for Marks and Spencers

So, by this point I had pretty well narrowed down the style of the sofa that I wanted, something quite traditional in shape, but with a modern fabric and super comfortable. Our living room is reasonably big, but just because it could fit two large sofas doesn’t mean it should. Too much furniture can make a big room feel smaller than it really is.

One of the things that attracted me to our house was the bay windows and a love seat seemed the ideal way to utilise the often difficult to use space. So, along with one large sofa we could have seating for at least 5 or 6 people (I can still feel a statement chair coming on though). I figured that many more people than that in the room and it becomes a standing up kind of a party anyway.

*Sofa – Tamarisk Designs

The sofa style we chose was something fairly classic by Tamarisk Designs but we chose a deep grey/blue slate chenille fabric that really adds to the luxury feel I want to achieve. There is also an almost identical to this one from Baileys in a linen weave.

*Sofa – Baileys Home and Garden

Above all though, I think it is one of the most comfortable sofa I have ever sat on, and it was sheer luck that it was in just the style I had been looking for. Luckily for me this time, Dan needed no convincing that this was the right sofa for us. Unfortunately it was not the cheapest option but when they arrived last week it felt like Christmas! The rest of the room is still a work in progress (as you can see by the bare white walls and paint samples below), but at least I will be comfortable whilst researching my next purchase!

Thanks Jessica!

What a search – but I have to say, it’s a great choice 🙂 I can’t wait to see the room finished…

Have you bought a new sofa? Are you desperate for one of the above? Or did you too have an epic sofa hunt?


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9 thoughts on “Real Renovation… Sofa Deliberations

  1. Great topic. Sofa shopping is hard work – you really have to get it right!
    Ever since we sat on a small 2-seater chesterfield in an auction house, we knew we wanted one. It took about 6 months to track one down but we now own a very lovely green leather chesterfield.
    We also live in an Edwardian house and struggled to find a sofa small enough to fit in the gap we had for it.
    We have teamed ours with a brown puffy JL number – we thought that two green leather chesterfields might end up making our living room look a bit like a gentleman’s club!

  2. Ahhh…sofas! We spent many hours contemplating what was right for our victorian end of terrace when we moved in. We found that Laura Ashley has an amazing selection of styles and so many different fabric options. They also, and this was a key factor, do incredible deals on the sofas in their sales.
    We plumped for a very big cranberry red velety number (called Mortimer) and a smaller antiqued leather one. I adore my red sofa, it is the most comfy place ever and given its colour is a really striking addition to the room. If/when we end up moving I will have to have another red living room to accomodate it!

  3. is a great place to look and buy from online and they have a fabulous showroom if you’re in London. We bought a sofa from them about 20 months ago and after a lot of searching have gone back to them for a sofa bed!

  4. I was at Arighi Bianchi recently and saw that yellow beauty in person and it is really gorgeous. If I was in the market for one, I definitely would’ve considered it!

    As it goes, I bought mine just over a year ago after much deliberation (one of the very first purchases we made for our Edwardian semi too) – a 3 seater chesterfield in a lush olive green velvet from The Handmade Sofa company. It’s probably one of my most favouritist things in the house and really makes a statement in the room.

    So glad to hear you love your new purchase! 🙂

  5. Sounds like you guys have found some great sofas too, its such a personal thing but its so worth looking around so that you do find the right one. And as the winter nights draw in I’m looking forward to some sofa time with that glass of vino! x

  6. I bought 2 cream couches 6 years ago and I love them – not great with a black cat and red wine lovers but the covers do come off!!

    Loving the pics – would never have thought a yellow sofa would work but it’s really nice! x

  7. Great choice….you’ll love it for ever and can update every few years with different cushions if you fancy a change.

    I’ve also got 2 very similar to the Baileys one in grey which came from M&S. I fell in love with the wooden feet and low arms. Even better if you have an M&S reward card as you rack up some cracking points to spend on tasty food when the bill comes in!

    Although I spent forever choosing, I wish I’d spent a little longer researching the different types of cushion filling. Ours is feather…sooo comfy but needs constant plumping, therefore quite high maintenance as opposed to foam or feather wrapped foam.

  8. Pingback: Key Look #2 – Olde World Collector « little Nudge

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