We want you to be delighted with your new sofa – but that can only happen if it fits into your home! Follow our tips to make sure you have measured up correctly.
Make a note of your new furniture's largest dimensions and check that it will fit comfortably through any doorways, hallways and up any stairs, without damaging paintwork or windows.
The diagonal measurement (C) between the bottom rear corner of your sofa and the point where the arm meets the rear cushion is crucial, as this represents the minimum width of the doorway that the item will fit through.
If you are replacing old with new, measure your existing piece to check the difference in size. Mark out the area of the new piece on your floor with newspaper or tape (being careful not to use anything that may mark or damage your floor).
Will your furniture be hampered by stair banisters, low ceilings or a narrow hallway?
Does the access route to your room have any tight corners and is there space either side of doorways to turn?
Have you had any major building work since your last large piece of furniture was delivered? What fitted then, may not now.
Our delivery team cannot take out any windows or doors to enable delivery. Unfortunately, if they can’t get the piece into your house, they will have to take it away again.
If you are moving the item through a hallway where there is no space to turn, the door must be 100mm wider than either A or B.
If you are moving the furniture into a room where there is space to turn, the door needs to be only 100mm wider than C.
You need to allow extra space (on top of stated dimensions) for recliners that need 150-180cm in which to recline. Sofa beds extend to approximately 240cm when the bed is folded out. Allow more space at the end to walk around the bed.
Clean contemporary shapes
We have designs for every interior, from classic to contemporary, compact to super-spacious, so take time to think about what will suit you and your lifestyle.
Think about how the sofa will work with the other pieces in the room: if your style is quite traditional, you will probably want to consider a classic shape; if your room has a modern feel, go for a clean-lined design that will enhance the contemporary feel.
You may decide you want your sofa to be a true statement piece, such as a 1950s inspired shape or a glamorous button-back design.
Consider whether you want a matching three-piece suite or whether you prefer to mix different upholstered styles for a more relaxed feel. Another option is to have matching pieces upholstered in different fabrics.
Your sofa not only needs to look good, it has to be comfortable, too. If you need extra support for your back, you may want to consider high back cushions. If you like to lie on your sofa, check that it is the right length for you.
All our sofas have the same rugged frame that has been extensively tested, but other options vary depending on the price bracket you choose. Our more affordable sofas are perfect for people who are just starting out or for smaller homes, and offer good comfort with zigzag seat springs, foam seat cushions and blown-fibre back cushions. Our higher end sofas offer features such as shape-retaining foam or QuallofilTM seat cushions.
Spacious modular units
Think carefully about how many people you need to seat and make sure that your sofa and armchairs will comfortably accommodate the number of people you want to seat at any one time.
There is nothing worse than squeezing around furniture, so consider the layout of your pieces. Will two small sofas work better, or one large sofa and a couple of chairs, for example?
To get a proper impression of the size of a piece, mark out its area on your floor with tape and check how easy it is to circulate in the room.
Don’t think that a small room always requires small pieces: sometimes one big piece, instead of several smaller ones, can make the room appear larger and less cluttered.
If a space is awkwardly shaped, you might want to consider a modular sofa. These are brilliant for dividing up an open plan space, and are particularly useful if you have a large family or simply love to lounge on your sofa.
Free swatches to aid choice
From timeless chenilles to smooth leathers, our upholstery fabrics have been chosen to enhance any interior.
All of our upholstery fabrics are treated with Stain DefenceTM – our stain resistant finish – at no extra cost, making them resistant to accidental spills and giving you time to mop them up. The fabrics are also tested for resistance to wear and fading. A fabric with a luxurious pile such as velvet or chenille will be more delicate than a wipeable leather, for example, which deals well with the knocks and scrapes of family life and looks better with age.
Whether you opt for a plain or a patterned fabric is very much a question of choice. A pattern, particularly a large-scale design, will make more of a statement in the room so make sure that it won’t dominate other pieces in the space. If you are nervous about using pattern, consider a plain fabric for the sofa and team it with patterned scatter cushions, which you can change more easily.
Remember that a sofa is a big piece of furniture. If you want it to blend into the space, consider a neutral-toned fabric – but if you want this to be your ‘hero piece’, go to town with an eye-catching fabric.
Check that your fabric will work with other items – curtains, carpets and so on – in your scheme, and make sure you look at the fabric both in natural daylight and electric light. You can order up to 6 free swatches of any fabric by calling 0845 603 1603.
Bear in mind that you can also order additional matching fabric to create bespoke items in your room.
Velvet adds texture
How a fabric feels is just as important as how it looks. Chenilles and velvets are very tactile and are good for introducing texture to a room; if you prefer something that is smoother to the touch, consider a plain cotton or wool fabric, or one of our beautiful leathers.
To keep fabric looking fresh, brush down with a soft bristled brush and give it a gentle vacuum once a week. This is particularly good for lifting velvet and chenille, which can flatten with wear, but always brush in the direction of the pile.
This gives a clean, contemporary feel to a chair or sofa – ideal for clean-lined, understated designs with firm padded support in both the frame and cushions. We offer two types of leather:
Corrected/pigmented leather Though some natural characteristics may still be visible, the leather has a smoother, more even appearance and the colour will be more uniform, eg Plain Leather. The pigment finish protects the leather and makes it durable.
Semi-aniline leather This type has a more delicate finish, making the natural characteristics of the leather a bigger feature, eg Alaska Leather. Because it is softer and the colour can vary with the natural markings of the leather, it will require more maintenance.
Do note that leather upholstered furniture has more visible seams than its fabric covered equivalent. Bear in mind that you will need to position leather furniture away from radiators (at least 30cm) to prevent the leather from cracking.
To keep leather looking its best, dust weekly with a clean cloth or vacuum with a soft brush attachment. If you spill something accidentally, use a clean, damp cloth to mop up any excess. Don’t rub and don’t use too much water as it can stain. A damp cloth with a very mild soap solution can be used on everyday grime and dirt, but avoid household cleaning products as these can react with the finish and cause surface cracking.
We know that the details matter, and our service includes items you can order to customise your piece.
If you are worried about the fabric on the arms of your upholstered piece becoming worn, you can order armcaps to give added protection, on selected ranges.
We can make scatter cushions, either in matching fabric or a contrasting design – a great way to add colour or pattern to your scheme. Our fabrics are also available by the metre so you can add your own individual touches.
You can order online, in one of our participating stores or by phone. We will give you an estimated delivery date, which our carrier will confirm by phone. You can see our full collection of sofas and upholstery fabrics and leathers in our 6 dedicated Home stores and a selection of what is on offer in many more stores around the country.