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3 questions you need to answer when buying a couch

Buying a couch

Buying a couch should be easy, right? Walk into a shop, look at something you like and then sit on it to test if it meets your comfy requirements. While these are all important elements of the couch buying ritual it is definitely not that simple, in fact, it becomes even more difficult if you are looking to buy a new couch to fit in with an existing décor scheme.

Experts agree that there are three important decisions to make on your way to purchasing the perfect couch for your home:

#1 What role must my new couch play?

Leather couch


If you are redecorating the whole room then you can choose the couch you love and make other decorating choices based on the couch. However, if your space is already decorated it becomes more difficult. You now need to decide if you will be opting for a sofa in a neutral colour or a sofa that is the accent of the room.

Making the couch the accent of the room can be amazing but could leave you with limited options for future décor changes, making it very expensive to change the look of your living room. This is the reason neutral choices are popular in most homes; with the couch complimenting the other décor choices while leaving room for change.

Another option is to have the couch match your wall colour. This is a favourite of some designers but has its own cons, especially the fact that wall colour changes will be complicated in future.

This is how you to decorate your home with inherited furniture

#2 What shade am I going for?

blue couch



The next big question is the shade. Important factors here are practicality and the shade of your floor. A white couch could be a nightmare, and look worn much faster, with pets and young children. While a dark couch very easily disappears into dark flooring and can make your living room seem quite sombre.

A good trick is to use a throw or blanket in the shade you are envisioning over your old couch to see how it will fit into your space.

Designer tip: If you do decide to go for a dark couch with dark flooring opt for a couch with light wooden or metal leg details. Even a coffee or side table in a lighter shade will lighten your living room.

#3 What colour will the couch be, and how will I incorporate it into the room?

Couch and occasional chair


Once again, neutral colour choices like grey or beige is very popular since it is so easy to incorporate into any room and décor. If you decide to go for a showpiece couch in a contrasting colour, luxurious fabric or pattern then the key is to use similar shades, patters or the same colour as accent pieces in other areas of your living room.

Be careful though, the last thing you want is to have an overload of any one design element in your space. This is exactly the reason why designers are dead set against buying a matching loveseat for your new couch.

Experts believe that buying a set of upholstered occasional chairs to match your new sofa is much more flexible, as it leaves you with more options in terms of colour schemes and furniture placement.

The final touch to any living room is the scatter cushions and throws. Adding accent pieces with these accessories can really tie a room together. The added bonus is that it is much more affordable; you can change it as often as you feel the need for an update.


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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