How to find the perfect statement sofa

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How to find the perfect statement sofa

Finding a statement sofa isn’t as simple as walking into a showroom and picking one – it takes thought and a little research.

If you’re currently looking for the perfect statement sofa, you’re in luck. Here are four things that I keep in mind when sourcing a statement sofa for my interior design clients – whether I’m using a well-known furniture dealer or if it’s a bespoke piece.

Insight is thanks to three decades’ experience, coupled with an intense, but real, fear of buyer’s remorse:

      Will the statement sofa be the start or endpoint of the interior design you’re going for? What I mean is, do you want it to be the hero piece in the room (so the rest of the interior design is informed by the sofa’s aesthetics), or will the statement sofa be influenced by the aesthetics of the space it’s going into? Will the style of the statement sofa – whether it’s minimalist and contemporary or a classical high-back – ‘talk’ to the style of the space, and vice versa? Lastly, consider the proportion of the statement sofa in relation to its placement.
    2. FRAME
      The frame is the foundation of the sofa, and it should be made from a good, strong timber. Then, do you want a sprung-edge or hard-edged sofa? A high-end statement sofa will almost always have a sprung-edge; a bit like how some mattresses have a box spring underneath for luxurious comfort and easy getting up (an essential element once you reach a certain age!)
    3. COMFORT
      I’ve seen many a statement sofa comfort pitfall: tall people with knees to their ears; the vertically challenged disappearing in cushions. Do you want a sofa you can sink into with a G&T after a challenging day at work, or would you prefer a sofa that has some back support? For a soft comfort-level, you’ll need to consider down inserts in the seat and back cushions; for medium comfort, a foam core with a down wrap (so seat cushions pop up back into shape once you stand up) is a must. Personally, I like to channel Goldilocks with a medium to medium-soft comfort-level.
      A sofa is similar to a bed: it’s a piece of furniture that has a function, after all. Ask yourself what you’ll be using the statement sofa for (watching TV would require the back of the sofa to slant backwards a bit, for example). Where will the sofa be placed (in a formal living room, a children’s rumpus room, or in a commercial space?). And how many people need a seat (this includes fur-children for some!). The statement sofa’s function will also inform what type of fabric it needs to be in (stretchy, natural fibre for casual use or part-polyester so it’s firmer?) Do you want a luxe, velvet feel, or leather for the man cave?

Investing in a statement sofa you can actually use is essential – even more so in a Covid-19 world, where we’re spending more time than ever at home. By keeping these four factors in mind you’ll have all your bases covered, so there’s no wasting of money (and no visits to the chiro).

Have a look at some bespoke statement sofas we’ve created for our clients (although at Marylou Sobel Interior Design we buy sofas from reputable furniture dealers, too):


  1. A classic, linen sofa with the seat back fully upholstered. Two of the seat cushions are filled with a foam core and down wrap for a medium-firm comfort. The timber legs are on castors at the front, no castors at back. Photography: Lisa Cohen



  2. A classic/contemporary linen sofa with slip cover; back and seat cushions filled with feather and down for a medium-soft comfort level. Photography: Maree Homer



  3. A classic/contemporary patterned-linen sofa with slip cover; back cushions filled with feather and down and seat cushions filled with foam and down wrap. Photography: Maree Homer



  4. A classic/contemporary upholstered sofa in blue velvet; seat cushion filled with a foam core and a down wrap. Seat back fully upholstered; single cushion for seat only. Photography: Maree Homer



  5. A classic/contemporary sofa in striped linen (needed pattern matching) with slip cover; two seat cushions filled with foam and down wrap. Back cushions filled with feather and down.  Photography: Lisa Cohen


    Curious about these hero pieces we’ve created? Contact us  so we can help you make a statement of your own.
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