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How to Choose a Modern Sofa

How To

W ithout a doubt, the most important purchase in almost any living room is the sofa. Given its size and function as the primary seating option in a room, a modern sofa will virtually always be the focal point of a room—and warrants time and careful consideration. Finding the perfect modern couch or sofa is not, needless to say, all that easy, when the choices before you are so vast and varied. Still, whether your space is small or large, formal or informal, dark or light-filled, following some basic guidelines for selecting a contemporary sofa or sectional will help you avert common mistakes.

4 Tips for Choosing the Best Modern Sofa

There may be a whole range of reasons for making a new sofa purchase, but 4 key elements will ultimately determine whether your choice is the right one. Size and proportion, shape, upholstery choice, and design style will ultimately determine how visually pleasing, and how useful your sofa purchase is. So, before you embark on that shopping spree, do some measuring and ensure that the right elements are driving your decision.


This may seem like an obvious point, but one of the most common mistakes made when purchasing a new sofa, is the wrong size. As with all furniture, size and proportion to the room can be the difference between a well appointed room and an awkwardly composed one. So do some measuring of the room's width and length before you try to fit an inappropriately sized sofa into your space or room. The other seating in the room will also be a driver. If you have a lounge chair and several other chairs, perhaps a more modestly sized couch will suffice, even if the room is large enough for a sizable sofa. These simple questions will help you make a decision that's both attractive and practical.


As with size, shape will also determine the overall usability and attractiveness of you living space. Do you want a standard sofa, or is an L-shaped sectional more optimal. Does a more angular shape, or one with a rounded profile complement your living room better. Does a minimal low-profile sofa make more sense, or will a sumptuously upholsterd one do the job? Do you want a sofa with arms, or will an armless sofa save space will still giving you the seating and comfort you desire. Measuring your living room or space, and determining a layout beforehand, will avert common mistakes regardomg sofa size and shape.


How you plan to use your sofa—the projected wear and tear, in other words—will determine the kind of sofa upholstery or fabric choice that makes the most sense. Durability of upholstery, as well as how easy it is to clean, should be directly proportionate to the amount of use a sofa is likely to get. A household with children, versus a household with only adults, should also be a driving factor in upholstery choice. Expensive fabric that won't hold up under the wear and tear of children, no matter how visually pleasing, is not an optimal choice.


Making a room or space a personal, rather than a generic, statement is a matter of both emotional and esthetic satisfaction. While choosing the best modern sofa for your space should certainly be guided by practicality and functionality, buying something that isn't appealing to you on a viceral level is never a good idea. Balancing practicality (size, comfort, affordabilty), and functionality (seating capacity, fabric choice) with more subjective decisions—like beauty, shape, and color—will ensure a modern furniture purchase that has lasting value.


Sofa Length   
  • 60-72 inches                  Seats 2 people comfortably
  • 84-90 inches                  Seats 3 people comfortably
  • 90+ inches                     Seats  4 people comfortably
Sofa Depth (Measured from edge of seat front to front of back cushion)    
  • 25+ inches                       Deep
  • 23-24 inches                    Average
  • 21-22 nches                    Shallow
Sofa Height (Measured from floor to hightest point of cushion center)
  • 22+ inches                       High
  • 20-21 inches                   Average
  • 18-19 inches                   Low

How do I measure for a modern sofa?

As with all primary furniture purchases, measuring is imperative. For a sofa purchase, it's essential that you measure room/space, sofa dimensions, and the access points in your house: doors, hallways, stairwell. The following is a basic guide to accurate measuring prior to making a purchase.  



It may be tempting to just eyeball your room's size, but don't be fooled by your eye. Get out that measuring tape and write down the fundamentals: width, length, and height of the room. The length and width of your room is obvious, but the height of your ceiing also plays a roll in achieving the right proportion of furniture for the space.

Once the basic dimensions are arrived at, hone in on the area of the room where you plan to place your sofa. Consider the other pieces of furniture that will be occupying the same general area, and arrive at the length, height, and sofa depth that the space will comfortably accomodate.





Nothing will be more frustrating than finding your pefect sofa, only to discover that an access point—front door, stairwell, hallway—are too small to accommodate it. Avoid this common mistake and measure all the areas through which your sofa will need to travel upon arrival. Use a measuring tape, and measure the height, length or width of any hallways and doors, entryway to house or apartment building, as well as elevator height and width.

Be sure to take note of any other obstacles, like bannisters, ceiling fixtures, or wall protrusions, that may also present problems when moving furniture in and out.





Once you've measured you room and entry access points, you can more accurately gauge your desired sofa against the dimensions your space.

The length and depth of your sofa (sans removable cushions) should safely clear the width of any hallway or door through which the sofa will travel. If the sofa is delivered via elevator, the sofa's length (height, if turned vertically), should safely clear the height of a elevator's ceiling.

Note that to measure the diagonal depth of the sofa, place a straight edge from the highest point of the back frame (without cushions) to the front of the sofa arm. Then, using your measuring tape, measure from the bottom rear corner of the sofa up to the point that bisects the straight edge.

Our modern sofa collection offers something for almost any contemporary space. Choose from small-space sofas, extra long sofas, sectionals, and modern sleeper sofas—and a whole range of upholstery choices.