Sofas anchor our living spaces. Get them right and the rest will follow. There are, after all, few pieces of furniture that you are going to spend more time with. So it’s essential to get what suits you. All you need to do is decide whether you plan to perch elegantly and nibble canapes on a tuxedo velvet upright number, (single sofas are ideal for apartment living, people who entertain and those who want flexible, versatile seating options). Or wrap yourself in a cashmere blanket and sprawl on a three-seater, (longer sofas and sectionals are for growing families where everyone can spread out together). Here is our pick of the best sofas on the market that fit the bill for all budgets.
Remember don’t skimp: if it’s not comfortable now, it never will be, and you’ll be spending hours every night with it. Choose something simple, subtle and well-built, with quality details (frame, stuffing, seams, fabric).
Almost every living design hero lists the Gervasoni Ghost as their favourite sofa design. It’s chic, low-key and perfect for relaxed, elegant living, (anibou.com.au).
Bigwig architects get their sofas such as the famous Hamilton here, seeking out brands like Minotti, the 70-year old Italian furniture maker who is a global company producing bestselling Freeman, Yang and Lawrence sofas designed by artistic director Rodolfo Dordoni who has been with the business for more than 20 years. We love the look of its 2018 Collection released earlier this month at Milan Furniture Fair including sofas that are like sculptures, such Alexander, Granville and Tate with clean soft contours which go with modern architecture. Repeat clients include Iain Halliday, Alex Tzannes, Alex Popov and Rob Mills Architecture. Dedece.com.au
Have a look at British stalwart, who makes fabulously deep sofas, such as Extended Mac and Extended Two Seater, a classic roll-top sofa, known in the trade as the Howard shape. The name comes from one of the most highly regarded companies of all, Howard Chairs, who has been making comfortable upholstered furniture in England since 1820, and was the down-filled choice of the Queen Mother. You can’t go wrong with a Howard sofa (around $4000) who ships internationally, which can be more expensive at auctions and antique shops. www.georgesherlock.com
The net-a-porter of Australia recently opened a store in Sydney’s burgeoning interiors hotspot Paddington, where you will find sofas that suit most needs from mod Italian styles to slinky luxe velvet upright affairs with curved arms and wooden frames and modular sprawling numbers. We recommend Pillow, Ademai, Vermont and Esmeralda. 180B Oxford St, Paddington, 1800 077 704, www.jamessaid.com.au
LIVING BY DESIGN
It’s contemporary sofas are one of Australia’s best kept secrets, (the celebrity’s fave), including the Elton 220cm slipcover classic in Cobblestone Ash or Fiint Smoke cotton blend, $2399, as well as the best-selling Antonio 240cm sofa in steel or light grey, $2999, the new Flynn four-seater 2600cm stunner in downpipe grey or moss green, $3999, or black Livorna modernist-style 198cm sofa in silver ash cotton blend, $1899. www.livingbydesign.net.au
LIVING EDGE HERMAN MILLER
Herman Miller does the best sofas in the world, loved by international architects, and backed by an impressive 12-year warranty. Our pick is Herman’s Rolled Arm Club sofa, a modern take on the trad Chesterfield with legs in walnut, white or ebony ash, 1092cm long, from $7780. Or the beautiful, luxe Bolster sofa: it’s high-end, but if you’re look is modern, you’ll love it, from $18,000 (livingedge.com.au)
A regrettable name, but the brand earns a place on our list as the place influencers are shopping like crazy according to a recent report in My Domaine. Around $999 will score you the most adorable Hampton sofa, or a classic two-seater sofa in a linen blend called Poppy for $1099. Discover luxe velvet sofas for $1799 with 10 year warranty on the frame. Look for Memphis, $1099 and Florence, $1599. Loungelovers.com.au
Sofas to suit Australia’s low-key relaxed lifestyle , from it’s best-selling slip-covered linen Joe to Lowlife with deep back and black powder coated skinny steel frame and Judd with with thick timber frame with leather wrapped linen filled cushions. We recommend Banjo with slender arms, low deep base in pure Italian linen and loads of back cushions for comfort as well as the armless Joe. For even more affordable versions we hear millenials are shopping James Lane for sofas such as Como with success (jameslane.com.au). mcmhouse.com
POTTERY BARN CARLISLE
This gorgeous piece competes well with Britain’s most famous sofa brands (like George Smith and George Sherlock), for a lot less, (potterybarn.com.au)
The American giant has one of the biggest and best ranges of Belgian-style sofas for modern or traditional interiors. Renowned for best-selling designs such as Belgian scroll-arm sofas and just as good for contemporary best-sellers such as its newer Cloud sofa which media personality Deborah Hutton has ordered for her new Sydney Hamptons-style house. www.restorationhardware.com
Verellen slip-covered linen sofas are the Cartier watch of interiors. Our faves are Duke, Camille and Logan : timeless classics made in solid maple hardwood, with down/feather filling and hand-tied coiled springs, (cavitco.com).
WILLS & SONS
We’ll get killed for revealing this wholesale outfit which leading Australian interior designers swear by. You’ll have to order through your decorator or upholsterer, but you won’t go past its sophisticated Brit-style Clivedon, or country-house classic, Adelaide, which Cameron Kimber uses them in his own residences. www.willsfurniture.com.au
A good place to find sofas for a fraction of what they cost originally. These pieces, usually classic shapes, frequently come from very smart interior-designed houses and apartments and are in great condition but upholstered in something dated. It’s where we source our sofas. Shapiro.com.au