Many aspects of gracious living can be traced to the Ottoman Empire. Not only did the sultans give us a handy footstool to put our feet up, they also gave us their version of how to take it easy. Used since the early 17th century, the original sofa was a raised platform scattered with rugs and cushions, to recline upon while engaging in conversation, reading or napping. The word sofa originates from the Arabic word suffah, meaning bench of wood or stone. Today, the sofa is a major component in most homes and lobbies, often taking centre stage as the key piece of furniture that every resident uses and where every guest is received. As it is designed to seat two or more people comfortably, sofas take up a significant chunk of a room’s space. It is no wonder that the sofa is a major choice for a home, and there are many options out there that are designed to reflect varying tastes, styles, budgets and applications.

Founded in Denmark more than six decades ago, BoConcept offers a wide range of contemporary and modern home furnishings and accessories. All of its products are imbued with a Nordic simplicity and clever use of natural materials. New this year is a softer version of the popular Osaka sofa. Designed by Anders Norgaard, Osaka has been updated this year with curving armrests for a graceful profile. Its tiny metal feet almost disappear, making it appear to float while its arms open to welcome the weary. It is scaled to suit Hong Kong apartments’ compact footprint and is available in a selection of fabrics and leather upholstery.

Indigo Living was established in Hong Kong more than 30 years ago and today operates shops here as well as the United Arab Emirates. It offers a wide range of contemporary home products that balances the fine line between fashion and modern classics. Its Malmo L-shape Sofa System is a clean and comfortable sofa that works with virtually any décor. The sofa’s gently curving lines and softly rounded shape invites people to sink in with a book or iPad. As a modular sofa, it comes with either a left or right chaise that can be used with no arms, left arm or right arm. Fully upholstered in oat coloured fabric, it features polished stainless steel legs.

New to colourliving this season is colourful Italian furniture company Paola Lenti. Its Mellow sofa designed by Francesco Rota was made for outdoor use, and features removable seat back and arm rests made from cold injected stress resistant polyurethane encased in a water repellent polyester covering. Its structure is made from cataphoresis treated varnished steel covered with a polyester net. The oversized armrests give Mellow its distinctive cloud-like appearance.

Meanwhile, B&B Italia’s Butterfly was so named as the contour of the arm and backrest resembles the wings of a butterfly. Designed by Patricia Urquiola, it is an outdoor modular seating system ideal for lounge lizards. Shaped around the ottoman, its core component, additional pieces such as backrests and armrests allow for an endless combination of seating arrangements. Butterfly also comes with small tables and consoles, allowing for further customisation.