Here's a list of my personal preferences on looking for a sofa - those gathered from my obsession of collecting photos of beautiful rooms :-)
I like sofas with clean lines, no bulkiness and simplicity. Like the sofas featured in this room:
|Image source Velvet & Linen|
2. 3-seater or 2-seater?
While you can get value for your money when you purchase a set of sofas, I find that its nice to mix and match. If your budget allows, opt for a 3-seater with several wingback chairs in complementing colours and patterns.
3. Colour and Pattern
For your main sofa (usually the 3-seater), I would prefer a solid neutral colour with no patterns. That way, you can accessorize with pretty throw pillows. You can also mix and match with other chairs in the room.
One of Phoebe Howard's rooms. A neutral-coloured sofa dressed up with blue-gray and yellow throw pillows:
Patterns are also great in hiding stains and dirts. I'm not a floral-fabric kind of gal, but if you do like them, keep the pattern on your main sofa only.
Stripes are also making a comeback these days. But make sure your other seating doesn't go overboard with too many stripes.
I've recently become a fan of slipcovered sofas. I find that they are practical and convenient for families with children - they can be slipped off to wash and slipped back on. And, it could be an option for people who like their sofas white so you can easily put them in the wash every time they get dirty (though this might mean you'll need several sets of slipcovers!).
Linen is a popular material for slipcovers at the moment - if you like that crumpled, casual look. Just remember that linen must be prewashed before you get them made into slipcovers as they do tend to shrink.
Leather is also a good material that ages well. I'm not a big fan, but here is a photo of a pair of leather armchairs. I really like that fabric on that table, too.
5. What about L-shaped sofas?
Yeah, what about it? L-shaped sofas are quite popular here in Malaysia - I think mostly for it being able to accommodate more people on it and its practicality for falling asleep in front of the TV :-)
You can consider this if you have a big family. Here's a nice one.
Do share with me your personal preferences in getting a sofa! I'm sure there are more aspects that I have not covered! Love hearing from you!