Living room seating should be comfortable, practical and – ideally – something you feel proud of that works with the rest of your living room aesthetic. We find out what led these readers to pick their particular pieces.
Lara Rath, Indian
“We moved to our new home in 2016 and realised that we needed more furniture for our living room. In line with our personal value system and the ethos of my own brand (secondsguru.com), we wanted to do up the house with pre-loved furniture. We did the rounds to seek out used pieces that we liked, and we got lucky with some gems – however, I was still unsuccessful in my attempt to locate that ‘signature sofa’ for the family lounge area.”
“I came across Artful House while visiting the Tan Boon Liat Building, and as soon as I entered the store I saw pieces that I loved. When I walked further in, my eyes fell upon their single-seater fabric-covered sofas. After sitting on and trying few of them out, I knew they were the ones I wanted – both for style and comfort!
The next big task was convincing my husband that we should get two of these made to order, upholstered in a green and-blue batik print fabric. I succeeded and they now fit beautifully in our home!
We are delighted with the way our lounge area has turned out thanks to the sofas. Usually, we don’t buy new things; we try to secure pre-loved items when we can, but if I ever need a storage cabinet I will go back to Artful House as I love the ornate cabinets there.”
Ester and Rolf Gerber, Swiss
“Because we moved from a big house to a smaller apartment, we needed to downsize our sofa for the new space. We visited countless furniture shops in our search, but to no avail; however, when we mentioned to Felicia at Gallery 278 that we were looking for a sofa, she told us they could supply custom-made pieces. A tailored sofa was just what we needed!”
“Given that we are tall, we preferred to have the seating slightly higher and firmer than you might find in a regular sofa. Customisation also allowed us to choose the exact colour and size of the piece, to make sure it would be perfect for our new home.
We are very pleased with our sofa, and with the matching chair we purchased. In fact, Gallery 278 is making another custom-made piece for our apartment by converting an existing window bay into a seating area. Gallery 278’s advice and service is very professional and really tailored to your individual needs, and we’re really happy with our purchases.”
Andrew and Kellie Rooke, New Zealanders
“We were looking for something bespoke that we could be creative with and that would fit in with the other furniture we’d already purchased here or brought with us.
On arriving in Singapore, we initially stayed near the HomesToLife flagship store in Robertson Quay, and on my walk to work I would always be attracted by the window display. Once we’d found our home, I went back to look at what the store had to offer. It has a fantastic coffee bar, which allows you to browse while enjoying a latte.”
“We purchased a large, L-shaped sofa in grey with aqua buttons, and a single armchair in the same aqua colour. We liked the fact that we could customise everything, from the side the corner was on, to the fabric, the buttons and even the firmness.
We’re really happy with the finished product and the service we received from the HomesToLife team throughout the process. They were very good at giving us ideas to help us reach a decision, and I’ve already purchased from them again.
There are so many options when it comes to buying furniture; my advice would be to take your time, enjoy a coffee and use the expertise of the staff there.”
Rebecca Baker, Australian
“We were keen to reupholster an existing sofa, as the original chenille-type fabric was looking tired and dated. It hadn’t worn well in our house as we don’t use air-conditioning, and the girls were increasingly commenting that the sofa felt ‘slimy’!
The design of the sofa itself is classic and fairly timeless, so I wanted to update it with new fabric rather than purchase a new piece that mightn’t fit with our colonial house. Pure linen is tough and seems to withstand the humidity and general outdoorsy lifestyle-muck that constantly makes its way into our house, and I also like the relaxed and organic feel of linen.”
“I knew that owner Anne-Jean at House of AnLi would be able to bring in upholstery linen at incredibly good prices, and her husband Panagiotis managed the whole process from quote to delivery. I really appreciated the attention to detail in following up on and confirming the specifications, and in keeping me informed of progress. The turnaround time was also super-fast – it was less than two weeks from pickup to delivery of the newly upholstered piece.
We reupholstered the whole sofa with a removable cover in 100 percent pure Belgian linen, and had four matching back-cushion covers made. The sofa, with its new upholstery, now fits in perfectly with our home and lifestyle.
Don’t assume you can’t transform a piece of furniture you’ve grown to hate into something you will love again. I was very close to getting rid of my existing sofa in favour of just starting again with a new piece, but in reupholstering it I’ve ended up with a fully customised piece that I couldn’t get anywhere else.”
Claire Psilides, English, husband George, Greek Cypriot Welsh, and Freddie
“We had two old IKEA sofas that needed replacing. They’d travelled with us for the last few postings and were looking tired. I wanted quality that would last forever, so I was looking for a sofa that would wear and crease and grow old beautifully with us!
I had always wanted a Chesterfield, and my husband had fallen in love with the chairs in our local pub, so when we found out they were available at Locus Habitat, it was fate. We purchased a three seater chocolate Chesterfield sofa and two metal airplane chairs with leather seats. We all love the sofa – it’s big enough for us all and is so deep and comfy. I love the way it fits into the house – it has a strong personality but isn’t overwhelming.”
“The chairs have real character – George loves one of them in particular and can be found there most evenings when the kids are tucked up. We’re glad we saved, researched and invested in these beautiful pieces.
I always do my homework before buying something, as I’m really careful about the supply chain, the environment and workers’ rights, and I like supporting local businesses that are a bit unusual. I believe it’s important to check the supply chain of your purchases. Another tip: aim to buy something high quality that will last; don’t go for a fad. Comfort is a priority, too, especially in a sofa.”
Maharukh Dalal, Indian
“We wanted a pair of large, comfortable matching armchairs to complement our substantial sectional sofa. The sofa is in a pale blue-grey linen, so the new pieces had to be in a contrasting colour that popped.
We knew of Teak & Mahogany as an outdoor furniture supplier, and we had our eyes set on a swing we’d seen online. We went to the store to buy that swing, and three hours later we walked out having furnished most of our apartment! The owners, Suzan and Kristian, were helpful and extremely patient and took considerable time to understand our taste and budget.”
“We purchased a pair of rose-coloured armchairs for the living room, as well as a cognac leather armchair and a copper side table for our bar area, and an incredibly bright rug patterned with multi-coloured silk knots in a geometric design. We topped this with a solid round wooden coffee table with reinforced steel legs. Our home now feels complete, and our living room feels modern but comfortable enough for our two young boys to play around in without worry.
Finding owner-designers who are as involved as Suzan and Kristian is great, because you can tell they put their heart and soul into their work and their customers.”
Lovette Antony, Singaporean Indian
“When we moved to our new place we discarded almost everything we had except for our bright-orange leather recliner sofa set, as my husband refused to let it go. I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate it into the design as it’s a tough colour to work with, so I decided to paint two accent walls in my living room with the same orange colour and the rest grey.
Unfortunately, I messed things up more! My friend recommended WTP to me, and Naazli from the store was very supportive and willing to make it work. First, we picked out the coffee and side table. I loved everything in her shop but she told me to buy a few pieces at a time, live with them for a few days and then buy more if needed.”
“She came to our home to see whether what I’d picked worked well in our living room. She also sent me presentations with different looks and options that would work with the rest of the pieces. I had customised armchairs made too – they’re stunning.
To go from being embarrassed to actually feeling proud of my house is an amazing feeling. Naazli not only beautified my house but also boosted my self-esteem.”
Want more home inspiration? See our home decor section!