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When it comes to sofa shopping , this may be the very first question you need to answer and there is no one size fits all approach in this situation. Fabric sofas has their own benefits and so does leather. Below are some points to consider when you make this decision.

Benefits of Fabric Sofas

If you don’t use too much air con you may prefer the comfort of fabric sofa. Some people find fabric softer than leather and overall a warmer material. A good quality fabric can last almost same as leather and can handle all kind of climates very well.

A high quality fabric withstand wear better .Generally fabric are better options for homes with pets as they doesn’t get scratched .Most of our Warwick and Charles parson fabrics have this inbuilt easy clean property, but some time the tough stains can be hard to remove due to porous nature of the fabrics.

When it comes to colour and feels , you get way more options in fabrics . There are hundreds of patterns , textures , colours that you can chose in a fabric sofa. So from design perspective you have more options when you select fabric as your upholstery material.

Compare to leather, fabrics generally cost less . Some fabrics can be very expensive , but it most of the cases you’ll find fabric sofa offer you great value for money.

Benefits of Leather Sofas

We have been using leather far longer than fabrics. You might have seen pictures of those thousands of years old leather bags that early humans used to carry water etc. Leather is still regarded as a premium upholstery material and is always in fashion. This main benefit of a leather upholstery is that it is very easy to clean and authentic top quality leather ages really well.

Leather is very practical and easy to clean and care makes it ideal for busy lifestyle. With good care ,leather sofas sometime looks better as they age.There are some good leather cleaning products in the market.

Even along the seam lines and stitching’s leather tend to hold up really well. Leather is a very flexible material by its nature so it can stretch and retains its shape without sagging. Leather is very breathable and it adjust to body and room temperature very quickly making it very comfortable.

Leather can be used for both traditional and contemporary styles. When it comes to the appearance , leather sofa will always look more elegant and premium
If you have decided that you want your new sofa in leather then you need to understand the different types of leather that are available.

Real V/S Man Made

Most leather manufacturers categorise their leather as genuine leather and other leather like material with different names. Other leather like materials may look like leather but they are no-where near when it comes to the durability.

Bonded , PU leather and new leather look fabrics can be a good value for money option. Most of the cases they look very similar to leather and cost far less. Some of these types uses leather scrapsand glue them with latex or polyurethane bonding agents. We suggest our clients to avoid these man made/ synthetic products as they can start peeling in Darwin’s tough climate.

Now let’s understand more about leather types

Full-Grain Leather: As the name suggest , this type is made from the best hides and may have natural imperfections. This types is most durable and natural type of leather.

Top-Grain Leather: This type is made from top piece of the hide and may come and corrected grain to alter the imperfections . This process to remove the imperfections is known as buffing .

Split-leather:Split-leather is made from bottom part of the leather after the top-grain has been removed. It can be hard and stiff and some manufacturer use it on the non-wearable areas where flexibility is not required.
For your new sofa to look great in your living room, the most important piece of the puzzle is to get the colour right. You need to be careful about how this new colour will interact with other items or colours in your living room

Most people in Darwin tend to have lighter colour walls ( whites ,creams etc) and this open up lot of options to play . Here is some information that can help you understand more:

Warm or Cool Colours:

Warm colours such as red, orange, and yellow that “advance” or “step out” into a space and let themselves be known.

They are the “extroverts” of the colour wheel, powerful and inspiring colours that can dominate the space if not controlled. With warm fabrics, a little goes a long way.

Light or Dark Colours: If the space is small then lighter colours can make the room look open and expansive . Light colours can also feel cooler in our hot tropical climate.

You can also get inviting feel with a darker colour and make a big room feel smaller.

How many colours ?

To make the room spacious and less cluttered , popular consensus is using no more that three colours. There are few different ways to get the proportions right. You can use 60-30-10 formula. This means 60% of room should be represented by dominant colour, 30 % by second colour and 10% by third colour. Please keep in mind that these are just guidelines and not set in stone. In some situations you may be able to achieve same with four colours.
Your plan should be to create a space where 5 to 6 people can sit and talk comfortably. The seating distance need not to be too close to give personal space but not too much that you can’t reach other person without shouting.

You should allow 1-1.5 meters walkways/ access pathway for easy in and out access. Then plan the arrangement centred around entertainment centre or bookshelf etc. This focal point set the theme of the room . In some homes it can be a window, TV or mantels.

As sofa is generally the biggest piece of furniture in living room, place it facing opposite to your rooms focal point.

There can be a few ways to arrange the sofa display. Most popular is U shape seating arrangement. You can start with U shape and then play around to reach your ideal arrangement.

If your living room is square then placing your sofa pieces like a triangle may look good.

Always remember that the goal is to create a space that is inviting, friendly and help create social activity at close distance.

You can use single seater or accent chairs to balance the arrangement but if overdone it can make room look cluttered and out of balance.

When placing the coffee table , keep a reasonable distance but still within reach . If you place it too close, it will hit your legs and if too far, you need to reach for your drink. 40-50 cm is a very safe distance between coffee table and sofa.

You can use a side table or lamp table within reach of our sofa to place drinks or books. The height of the lamp table should be same as the arm of your sofa.

Keep the sofa heights within five inches of each other for a nice visual line around the room.

If you like plants then you can use corners of the room to place small plants. Depending on the height , you can put them on the floor or on top a small table. You can layer plants behind furnishings to create depth.

You may like to add wall art and accessories to finalise the space.