Thur 5 - Sun 8 September 2024
Auckland Showgrounds, Greenlane

Sofa So Good

Winter- Ready Homes: 8 Tips for Canterbury Residents

Planning a lounge-room upgrade?  One of the biggest and most essential items is your couch.  Not as straight forward as it first seems – it takes time to get the best seat in your house sorted.  Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you…

As many interior designers will tell you, when you start updating your lounge room area, one of the biggest investments size-wise you’re likely to make will be your couch; and given how long you’re likely to be sitting on one throughout your life (approx. 17 years!) it pays to do your research before purchasing.

The right couch, sofa, settee or whatever you prefer to call it is going to be the lynch pin to the rest of your rooms décor.  Not only that, but as it’s something that you may be using every day, and may also be used by children or pets or friends; there are a couple of simple, yet essential tips to follow when it comes to sofa shopping to help secure the best seat in the house.

Size matters

Measure twice, buy once.  Look at where your couch is likely to go and then also measure the size of the couch in the store.  A couch that may look small on the showroom floor may completely overwhelm your lounge room area and vice versa.  Amanda Neill of top interior design company Designworx knows that when it comes to sofa buying – size is everything.  “You want to ensure you’re picking the right size sofa for your space.  I also like to recommend at least a 1 metre space around your couch so you’re able to move about it freely.”

Try before you buy

In the same way that measuring space is an essential item on your couch check list – so too is actually sitting or laying down on it before purchasing.  Again, if this couch is something you’re wanting to sit down on and relax at the end of the day, you want to ensure that you’re absolutely comfortable with how you feel on its cushioned surface space.

Fussy about Fabric

Don’t be afraid to be super picky when it comes to your couch fabric.  Think about how you’re living and whether this is a piece of furniture that’ll get used daily.  If the answer is yes and you also have kids or pets in the equation; chances are you’ll be wanting something that’s a more durable fabric and easy care.  Fabrics like cotton or linen are your friend – especially with patterns woven within will wear much better than their printed counterparts.  Or for something even a little more robust, go for a synthetic microfiber to battle against any accidental staining.  When choosing a fabric make sure you speak to a professional who can advise you on the best fabric for your lifestyle.


When it comes to couches you really get what you pay for; buying a well-made and a carefully constructed product may hurt your pocket initially, but the pay-off is that it will last you in the long run.  One tip is to pay attention to the framework; you’re looking for a hard wood frame held together with screws and dowels – not glued pieces of MDF.

For fillings sake

As well as having a strong frame that won’t collapse, the filling of your couch is also a consideration.  poly foam is an easy care, low cost option but can feel pretty hard.  HR (high-resilient) foam is a tad priceyer but will last and be more comfortable on your delicate derriere.  Goose or duck feathers are also super comfy but do have a tendency to clump.  Ideally if you can secure a couch with poly foam AND feather filling then you’re onto a long-lasting winner that looks as comfortable as it does stylish.

Dressing Up

Finally cushions and throws can really add something a little extra to any couch.  If you’ve got yourself a relatively plain hard-wearing fabric, then bring it to life with the help of various sizes of cushions and even a throw.  On trend colours and textures for Spring in 2017 include natural and comforting fibres in serene blue and green tones with pops of orange to create interest.

To see a range of furniture to suit your lounge room area upgrade, the latest colours and on trend textures; head to New Zealand’s largest home and renovation exhibition, the Auckland Home Show, September 6-10 at ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane.  Tickets available now at