What do you use your sofa for? Perhaps second only to the dining table and/or kitchen bench, the sofa is one of the most heavily trafficked single items in our homes. Among the more family-friendly events, we do movie night on the sofa. We curl up with a book on rainy Sundays on the sofa. We indulge in our guilty cheeseball TV and fall asleep on the sofa. We put that last overnight guest on the sofa. Plus, growing kids like to use it as a trampoline. So all things considered, it might be time for a new sofa.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of sofas (or couches, chesterfields or divans) out there to choose from, so this list is by no means comprehensive. But you could start at Ulferts, and their new Limousine. The Limousine is 100 percent Italian leather (true, sticky in summer) with a smooth, comfortable finish. Hand stitched with an offsetting colour for the side lining, the Limousine’s simple design fits in with most existing design motifs. As an added bonus, the arm rest doubles as a storage compartment that unfolds like a wallet. For space-conscious Hong Kong, not all are blessed with a coffee table, so all those remotes that seem to linger despite these so-called single-device days there’s a handy slot for them to rest in when you’re not surfing.
For a no-nonsense bit of shopping, online retailer Decor8’s ultra-popular Henley sofa is a classic option. Customisable in a variety of fabrics and colours — from neutral greys and beiges to more vibrant pinks and purples — the Henley comes in one-, two- and three-seat configurations. This is an unfussy, malleable piece that fits with most décor themes, and the removable cover makes washing convenient. The idea of buying a sofa online may seem like a calculated risk (is anything the same colour in reality as it is on your computer?) so drop into the new Wanchai showroom and take a look before you buy.
On the sustainability front is TREE’s Curvature, whose name tells you all you need to know about its design. The modern Curvature has slim, rounded armrests keep fuss to a minimum, and it can be customised with different fabrics, colours and sizes. Available as an armchair, loveseat, standard three-seater or L-shaped (loveseat plus chaise) piece, it’s also a sofa bed (in sofa configurations) that doesn’t demand springs and push-pull contortions that can throw your back out to convert it. And in the L-shaped option the long side can be on either the left or right depending on your space — so if you move you can take it with you.
Another type of sustainability comes from reusing old stuff — otherwise known as vintage furniture. It’s well known vintage items are very often far from junk (that they still function 40, 50 or 60 years on is testament to that), and pop-up vintage retailer The World Beyond (TWB) has a bumper crop of sofas to choose from right now. The latest and greatest is probably the mid-century Italian Zanotta in brown leather. Founded in the mid-1950s, Zanotta was at the forefront of Italy’s industrial design renaissance, and the two sofas at TWB are exemplars of the brand’s modernism, clean lines and innovation. If you really want to get crazy TWB has a matching pair.
Last but not least for all you iconoclasts out there, Independent Label Patchwork Maniac furniture design is tailor made for you. Founded in 2010 by Ellis Lee and Henny Tjoa, Independent Label custom designs and builds furniture “that screams individuality, fun, style and attitude” for when chain stores are not enough. Creative director Lee was a commercial director by trade who was inspired to create unique furnishings after, “An experiment in making a prop … I recreated a vintage chair, using a mixture of colourful and exquisite fabrics and transformed it into a unique patchwork chair.” And so Independent Label Patchwork Maniac was born. Each piece is re-upholstered by hand with a mix of vintage (see!) and contemporary fabrics from around the world and custom-made pieces can be delivered in six to eight weeks. If you’re serious about finding the “perfect” sofa, this is the place to start.