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Stylish and functional. A sofa that does it all.

Stylish and functional. A sofa that does it all.

Stylish and functional. A sofa that does it all.

Who plays the leading role in your living room? The star is almost always the sofa. The sofa you choose sets the tone for the whole room. Which is why some people find it harder to choose a sofa than they expected. Faced with a parade of sofas in a shop, they all look so stylish that it becomes even harder to pick just one. The key to finding your ideal sofa is being clear about how you plan to use it and the demands of your everyday life. So how do you choose a sofa that looks good and works hard for you?

Size matters

Everyone wants a magnificent corner sofa big enough to seat them all, right? A large sofa has space for everyone, no matter how many people come around, so it sounds like a wise choice. But when you think about it, you probably don't have a crowd very often. It only happens a few times a year, while the sofa takes up your family's space every day. So it's actually not such a good idea after all. The moral of the story is, size matters when it comes to sofas but not always in the way you think.

To get the right size, prioritise everyday use. How many people will use the sofa and for what? This question helps you narrow down the size and design based on what makes the most sense for you and your family. 

Family sofa: who uses it most?

The people using the sofa every day will of course be your family. So in most cases you won't need a sofa for more than the number of people who live with you. Next, think about how your family will use the sofa. Will they watch TV, read books, drink tea or stretch their legs and relax? Imagine your family at ease on a sofa in as much detail as you can, and then you'll see which one is just right for you. 

Versatile two-seater

If you go for a family-friendly two-seater sofa, how do you narrow it down to one design?

Imagine how many people will use it at the same time. If two or three family members sit together, a two-seater is good choice. You can always place a footstool or chair next to a two-seater sofa, which gives you more flexibility than a three-seater sofa. 

Versatile footstools and pouffes are the perfect sofa sidekicks. They can be footrests, extra chairs or somewhere to hold a tray for a makeshift table: whatever you can imagine. A small pouffe in a material and colour that contrasts with your sofa adds a designer touch to your living room. 

A sofa is a choice you have to live with for a long time, so you also have to take a long view on the design as well as ease of use. Who knows how your taste in furniture or prevailing fashions will change along the way, so the best choice is to keep it simple. A classic sofa is versatile and complements any room. If you want to keep up with styles or colours, choose a sofa with covers sold separately. Then whether you need something basic or full of character, just replace the cover to give your sofa an instant makeover. In constant use and prime position in your living room, your sofa has no choice but to stand out. But changing the cover can transform how it looks. 

Cushions are another easy way to add a touch of style. They're also essential when finding the perfect position to relax. Why not play around and have some fun? Collect as many cushions and cushion covers as your storage space and budget allow. IKEA shops also sell seasonal cushions, so if you love getting creative and redecorating there's something new for every celebration and season. 

A classic, simple two-seater sofa. Roomy enough for two at 165 cm wide, with wooden legs. A sofa with legs gives you the all clear to clean underneath. This one also has a removable cover, so you can wash it at home. If you want to keep your sofa spotless, look no further. Or you could choose a compact, low profile sofa. The low backrest makes it feel more roomy and the seat is flat and seamless, so you can sit any way you like. 

The rounded SANDARED pouffe works perfectly as an impromptu chair or substitute footstool, and rounds off the room. 

Have some fun with cushion covers with different colours and designs. Bring different designs together by choosing a single tone to create a stylish look with minimum effort. 

Couch or three-seater sofa to stretch out and unwind

▶If you have a big family or long for a sofa that lets you stretch your legs and fully relax, try a couch or three-seater sofa. They're perfect if you dream of lying down and enjoying film marathons on a big TV. 

▶Or if you like having a lie down on your sofa, try one with arms that double as pillows. 

▶Couches let you relax by stretching your legs forwards. 

If you're serious about relaxing, consider the SÖDERHAMN sofa with its especially spacious seating. The optional arms are a mere 6 cm wide, so they don't crowd your space. 

Make sure to look around before you position a big sofa. Check that a new couch won't block the usual routes your family takes through the room. And the larger the sofa, the more risk that it will be hard to deliver to the point of use. If that's a concern, there are modular sofas you can buy section by section.

The popular VIMLE sofa collection gives you the freedom to change the seats left to right and add more sections. Think of it as insurance against future changes in lifestyle or family size.

Versatile sofas for crowds

If your home is always full of guests, a big sofa can be a life-saver. And if it's a sofa-bed you can even have grandparents stay over or accommodate a sudden overnight guest. The downside is that a large sofa needs its space. Get the most out of it by choosing one large multifunctional sofa that does as much as possible, like reclining or storing bedding. But remember that there's no point in having functionality you won't use. If possible, put a display model to the test to see how it works. 

The FRIHETEN sofa bed converts to a double bed in a flash. Just remove the back cushions and pull out the underframe. Then reach for the bedding stored under the seat and you're ready to sleep. This sofa takes up space, but more than makes up for it in functionality.

Chair for one

If you live alone or want a chair of your own for your study, focus on what you want it for. 

The popular POÄNG chair is perfect for one when you want to relax. It's also handy in the living room if there are too many people for the sofa. There are lots of frame materials and fabrics to choose from, so there's bound to be one that suits you. 

An armchair has plenty of room for one when treating yourself to a drink or a good book in your study or bedroom. The STRANDMON wing chair wraps you in relaxation and comfort. Its elegant form makes it as nice to look at as it is to sit in. 

Fabric or leather? Each has its own character. 

▶Material can be as difficult to choose as size.

▶Choose a fabric or leather sofa based on their properties.

Choosing a fabric sofa

IKEA shops offer a wide range of fabric sofas, so there's plenty of choice. The same sofa may be available in different colours and materials, so you can have fun choosing the one you want. Fabric sofas have the advantage of soft texture and appearance. 

One point to bear in mind is whether a fabric sofa has a removable cover. You won't notice at first, but over time the sofa can collect dust and grease and become noticeably grimy over time. Cleaning is also a priority for families with small children. IKEA shops have many models with removable sofa covers, most of which can be washed in a home washing machine. The covers are also extremely durable and made to last. They fasten with zips, making them easy to put on and take off. So you can switch colours to suit your mood or the season.

The KIVIK two-seater sofa has covers with zips that can be taken off easily. The cover is machine-washable, so any cleaning can be easily dealt with at home. 

An even easier way to change the look of your sofa is throwing on a thin blanket to use as a substitute cover. The stretchy OFELIA can easily double as a sofa cover. Or spread a large throw or blanket over your sofa for a new look with almost zero effort. 

Choosing a leather sofa 

▶A key difference with leather sofas is that they're easier to take care of than fabric sofas. 

▶Leather has no fibres to trap dust, so wiping down the surface is quick and easy and nothing is disturbed when someone gets up or sits down. 

▶Leather can be a key ally in the fight against pollen or house dust allergies. 

Just wipe clean

Think leather sofas are hot and sticky against your skin? Not so for the LANDSKRONA sofa, with its dimpled surface that lets air circulate and also provides little extra cushioning.

Leather can look stern, but a bright colour like golden brown blends seamlessly with Scandinavian or natural decor. Legs counteract any heaviness from the leather, resulting in a sofa with clean, refreshing lines.

A sofa to love for a long time

How do you spend your days? When and why will your family use a sofa? Use the answers to those questions as your guide and you'll find it far easier to narrow down your options and make a choice. A bit of careful thinking will help you select a sofa you'll use day in and day out, for years to come, as the core of your living room. 

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