How to select the right couch

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

Couches can make or break your living room and the right lounge suite will add elegance and beauty to a lounge.

Whether your fabric is out of style or not, you're moving to a new place and need something to fill a bigger or smaller space. Or you just no longer like your old couch so it's time to buy a new one.

Durban interior decorator Gale Smith says this year's colour range is essentially neutral.

Oversized white leather love seats and sectionals form the focal point of any lounge this year.

"White is making a comeback from the 80s and the sterile look of the all-white living room is broken by the addition of various shades of white and beige accented with bold red and black," Smith says.

The seats are big and comfy, allowing you to be swallowed up by deep cushions. The style is classic and graceful, with big armrests and high backs for comfort.

"If you don't like neutral colours such as cream, taupe, you could try coffee, camel or black," Smith says. "The rock hard sofas of yesteryear, good-looking but torture to sit on, are gone."

She says contemporary sofa trends have two things in mind: the ultimate in style and the ultimate in comfort.

Though white leather is the year's top trend in sofas it is acceptable to choose neutral colours splashed with colour.

Smith warns, though, that one should beware of choosing a couch simply because it is high fashion.

"Trends come and go," she says. "It is important to choose something that won't be out of fashion and tasteless within a year or so."

Buying a couch can be a challenge. There are many considerations to keep in mind.


If you're buying a sofa make sure you're buying a sofa that complements the style of your decor.


Consider the proportions of the room and determine what height, length and depth of sofa would look best in the space.

Number of cushions

Consider the number of people you want to seat? A three-cushion sofa is more likely to seat three people, while a sofa with a single cushion will fit as many people as can squeeze in on to it.


If you're short on space, consider buying an armless sofa, it'll make your room look larger.


Choose something that makes you feel comfortable. The depth of the seat and the angle of the back will influence how comfortable you feel.


If you've got kids or pets, remember that patterned fabrics will usually hide stains better than solids.