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How to choose the right sofa for a small living room?

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Choosing the right sofa is one of the most important decisions you have to make when arranging a small living room. This task gets even more difficult if you live in a studio apartment, where you have to make the best of your space.

Our sofas are one of the biggest investments in an apartment since we spend a good amount of the day in our living rooms. The sofa must be comfortable, cozy, yet light in look and feel. The size of the couch is crucial because it will determine how the space will be perceived.

Sometimes, the wrong sofa choice can make the room much smaller, dark, and impractical. You will find helpful tips in our guide to choosing the right sofa for your living space.

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Sofa for a Small Living Room

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Seat Depth

Measuring the seat depth is not the first thing we do when looking for a sofa, but it is one of the most critical factors contributing to the sofa’s size. A typical sofa’s seat depth ranges from 21 to 24 inches, but there are sofas with depths outside this range. If you are tall, chances are you will be very uncomfortable with a 21” deep sofa seat. Instead, you should go for a sofa with at least 23” seat depth.

Suppose you prefer to sit upright, which does not allow for lounging comfortably but keeps you alert and creates a more formal environment. In that case, you can choose a sofa with a 20 to 22-inch seat depth. This will save you a couple of inches if you have a tiny living room where every inch matters.

Sofas with low seat depth should have balancing elements such as a high and slim armrest and high legs to avoid the rectangular box look. To figure out the depth you prefer, try a few sofas at a furniture store and measure the ones that feel the most comfortable for you.

Arm Style (or No Arm at All)

There are many different arm styles to consider when choosing a sofa. But when it comes to choosing the arm style for a small living room sofa, it is better if you limit your options to these types:

Small Track Arm: Track arms are easy to spot online, and they have a sleek and contemporary look. Thanks to their compact form, small track arms will help you save space. Many traditional sofas have plush rolled arms, which takes up space. Small track arm sofas will fit nicely into small areas and corners.

Curved Arm: Similar to small track arms, curved arm sofas look like the arms are opening outwards. The same contemporary and sleek look is achieved due to no ornamentation and keeping the form somewhat rectangular and compact.

Set Back Arm: These arms have little height, and they do not function as armrests, but they are a perfect choice if you are trying to maximize the seating area.

Wooden or Metal Frame: You can ditch the fabric arm entirely by choosing a wooden or metal frame, which comes with wooden or metal arms. This option works best for contemporary, industrial, or sometimes rustic spaces.

No Arm: Armless sofas are not known to be comfortable and cozy, but they can help you save at least a foot if you have a tiny living area.

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Sofa Leg Type

Choosing a sofa with visible legs will give the couch a lighter feel, open up floor space, and make the room look bigger. In addition, the legs keep the sofa off the floor and take the weight off. It is the perfect choice for smaller living spaces where you want a contemporary and elegant look.

If you choose a sofa with visible legs, select high-quality materials such as solid wood. It will not be worn easily over time and will give the couch an elegant and high-quality look.

On the other hand, if you choose a sofa with short legs and a base close to the floor, you will see less of the floor underneath, making the space look smaller.

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Storage or No Storage

Suppose you live in a space where you must utilize every piece of furniture and corner for extra storage. In that case, you may need to make the tough decision to get a sofa with storage. It is a tough decision because most of these types of sofas have a bulky look and short legs, which will take up floor space, making the room look smaller. But, on the other hand, you will be utilizing the area underneath the seat if you need extra storage.

Another type of sofa that fits under the same category is the sleeper sofa. Chances are you do not have a guest bedroom in a studio or a small space. If you have a lot of sleepovers, you may need to get a sleeper sofa to have guests. The same rules apply to these sofas as well. Ask yourself if you need a sleeper sofa or a sofa with storage.

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Choose Color and Pattern Wisely

Color can have a significant effect on how the room is perceived. Since the sofa is one of the biggest items in a room, choosing a color for a couch becomes a strategic decision you have to make.

Are you a fan of dark colors and big, bold patterns? This may not work well in a small living room since both dark colors and patterns tend to make something look more prominent than it is. This means you will darken the room with dark colors and tire the eyes with bold patterns.

Instead, choose light and neutral colors for the sofa and get pillows in dark colors and big patterns. This will also allow you to create accents and color schemes that you can complement with other furniture such as a coffee table, plant pots, artwork, etc.

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