Shopping for living room furniture? Whether you’re just after a new sofa to revamp your space or starting for scratch, our guide has you covered
We know they say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but come on, we all know it’s the living room! We spend so much time in our lounge, chilling out, watching tv, and now maybe even working from home – so our living room furniture has got to work hard. So how do you go about choosing furniture that looks stylish, suits your budget and is going to last? We cover it all in this guide, from how to choose a living room furniture style to more practical advice on what to look for when buying your pieces.
If you are after new living room ideas once to have got your living room furniture spot on, head to our gallery next.
WHICH LIVING ROOM FURNITURE DO YOU NEED?
Nikki’s elegant, light-filled extension took hard work, time, plenty of saving and attention to detail in the design
(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)
The furniture essentials for most living rooms? Seating, storage, a place to put the TV and home tech, and occasional tables. Homes blessed with separate television rooms or even home cinemas can skip part of the list, but most need to accommodate all of these elements when creating the best living room layout.
WHAT LIVING ROOM FURNITURE STYLE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Cabin decor ideas
The rigid formula of three-piece suite and a set of matching wood cabinets and coffee tables has given way to a more relaxed approach to putting together a living room furniture combination. Contemporary furniture, Mid-century designs and older pieces can all work beautifully together, so rather than sticking to one era, think of the overall look.
Check out all our modern living room ideas if you think that might be the vibe for you.
Cream living room ideas: cream living room with bold black accents through furniture frames and shelving
How to make it work? Consider opting for the same wood rather than furniture range throughout, with perhaps a hero piece in dark wood or a painted finish while the remainder is pale, for example. Think furniture outlines as well. Are curves the order of the day for sofa legs and overall outline, and for side tables and armchairs? Or perhaps the long, low shape of contemporary buys suit the room better. Repeated details of color or material can also help unite the selection.
HOW TO CHOOSE LIVING ROOM SOFAS AND ARMCHAIRS
Hanging chair in a statement living room
(Image credit: H&M Home)
Decide on the sofa and armchair configuration that best suits the space when you’re choosing upholstered pieces. A corner sofa can help zone the seating area of an open-plan living space and, if you incorporate a chaise end, create an in-demand relaxing spot.
More flexible might be a pair of sofas that can be placed at a right angle to form a sociable arrangement or give everyone a good angle on the TV. Arranging a matching pair of sofas facing one another, on the other hand, will create a formal feel that’s perfect for rooms used for frequent entertaining.
Check out our full guide on how to choose a sofa for more advice.
Sofa.com Snowdrop two and a half seat sofa in Slade Stripe by Zoe Glencross in Anchor £2740
Armchairs are ideal as statement pieces as well as solo seating, and can be used in corner nooks as a quiet space within a space. Consider, as well, pairs of armchairs if there’s room in a bay, or an unmatching pair to complete a seating formation around a coffee table.
HOW TO CHOOSE UPHOLSTERY FOR LIVING ROOM FURNITURE
Blush pink traditional living room
Whether it comes as standard or you’re given a choice, the upholstery fabric of your living room furniture needs to suit your lifestyle as well as delight your eye. Kids, pets, level of use and whether it will be exposed to strong sunlight are all key to the selection.
Leather is durable but can stretch and crease. Pigmented versions resist soiling, but don’t look as natural as semi-aniline, which is soft but has a protective finish; aniline is also soft but will show wear.
Good quality linen shouldn’t fade, but it can wrinkle.
Cotton blends are hard wearing.
Wool is, contrary to what you might think, comfortable year-round and naturally dirt-repellant.
Silk is opulent but prone to sun damage and needs to be cleaned with care.
Check the rub count of your preferred fabric – a higher number means it’s more durable. Note, too, that tight weaves, high thread counts and woven patterns rather than printed make for more hard-wearing furniture. Purchasing a protective treatment for the upholstery when you buy can be sensible, especially in homes with young kids and pets.