Interior Designer Candice Olson is host of Divine Design with Candice Olson on HGTV.
This "Oscar" sofa from Candice Olson for Norwalk Furniture shows the flexibility of sectional sofas.
An ideal sofa must look great and be livable, says Olson.
When selecting a sofa like the "Ollie" from Candice Olson for Norwalk Furniture, keep in mind that your sofa is going to be the centerpiece of your room.
Since what constitutes the perfect sofa is subjective, look for retailers that offer custom upholstery options. For example, the Candice Olson Collection by Norwalk includes more than 850 fabric and leather choices.
Candice Olson Helps You Pick the Perfect Sofa
Simplify the sofa shopping process with these tips from the host of HGTV's Divine Design with Candice Olson.
- by Candice Olson
The perfect sofa must not only look great, it must also be completely livable. Because it often serves as the character piece in a room and reflects your distinct personal style, here are some tips for selecting a well-designed sofa that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Set the Stage
If every room is a stage, your sofa is the star. A well-made, handcrafted piece will perform and last for years to come. When choosing your perfect sofa, first consider how it will be used in the room. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Should it be deep for lounging, reading and watching television, or more upright for conversation?
- How many people will need seating for these activities?
These questions will help determine if a sectional or even two sofas would be a nice solution for seating numerous people comfortably at one time. A sofa can also be versatile and serve multiple purposes: a sleeper for overnight guests, a daybed floating in the center of the space to separate zones, or sectional units for flexibility in room arrangement.
Next consider size. The sofa should be in proportion to the scale of the room and not overwhelm a small living area or appear miniature in a grand room. It should fit well with other upholstery and furnishings to create intimate groupings for conversation and interaction. Spend time sitting in various sizes and styles to find what seat depth and back height are most comfortable. Be sure to bring a floor plan and/or dimensions of the room. Measuring is the easiest way to avoid costly mistakes and ensure a perfect fit.
Add a Little Soul
Textiles are the soul of a room and are essential for creating spaces that are visually captivating and texturally engaging. You don’t just see fabrics; you feel them and surround yourself with them. For families with children and pets, choose a soft, textural fabric with a great hand (feel) and one that can withstand heavy wear and is easy to clean. For more formal spaces, make a statement through the application of innovative fabrics. The effects of light on fabric can be magically inspiring: Sheen, shimmer and sparkle can be achieved in an understated way through the use of luxurious embellishments to make your room pop.
Remember: Opposites Attract
I love the power of unexpected contrasts in one space. The sofa is a focal point of the room, and when it comes to styling, there is power in unexpected contrasts. Mix it up to create a space that defines who you are—classic design meets cutting edge, luxe meets rustic, formal meets playful. Do not be afraid to add visual interest with a unique frame profile or playfully patterned accent pillows. Introducing a bit of sophisticated whimsy gives your home an approachable appeal. When you’re as comfortable in your sofa as you are in your own skin, then you know you have chosen the perfect one. That’s how you can achieve one-of-a-kind design for your one-of-a-kind life.