BUILDING GUIDE

Choosing furniture for your home is an investment that needs time and consideration. There is a lot to consider, in terms of style, sizing, comfort, fabrication and colour. We have created this guide to help you make your decisions a little easier.

Take a look at these key points and keep scrolling for more detailed advice.

  • Decide on your sofa style
  • Measure your space for the perfect fit
  • Select a fabric that suits your lifestyle and complements your home
  • Select your finish, e.g. wood stain, colour or metal

What are the different styles of sofa?

Armchair. All Semper Fortis sofa styles can be made into armchairs ideal for sitting areas to go alongside a sofa or to tuck into a nook in a bedroom or study.

Two-seater sofas. A two-seater sofa is the ideal size for smaller spaces like city apartments. They can also sit alongside bigger settings. It can have two seat cushions as well as two back cushions, or one long bottom cushion with a fixed back cushion.

Three seater sofa. A three-seater sofa is ideal for two people who want to spread out on their sofa, or for seating three people in a more formal setting. Has three seat and back cushions, or fixed cushions moulded into shape.

Modular sofa. A sofa for everyone. Our modular styles can be rearranged to suit your particular space and needs. A modular sofa usually seats three people or more, so is best suited for bigger spaces and larger families.

Corner sofa. A corner sofa usually has two seating areas perpendicular to each other and will often come in an L-shape or symmetrical formation. They’re great for bigger families who want to save space in their living areas as they’re designed to tuck into corners.

Chaise sofa. A chaise sofa can be created in any size. Made by extending one end seat longer than the others. Good for those who like to lounge and stretch out their legs.

Chaise lounge. An occasion chair with a sense of decadence – ideal for lounging. The back of the chair scoops round to make a corner. A chaise lounge can be made with no arms or arms. It has an extended seat design and is perfect for a cosy reading corner in a home.

Sofa bed. This style is a sofa by day, bed by night. There are a few different ways a sofa bed can function – metal action and click clack are the two most common and refer to the mechanism used to change between setups. Most of our sofa styles (except for fixed seat styles) can be made into sofa beds.

How to measure for your sofa?

To measure for your sofa, make sure to clear a space in your living room where your new sofa will be placed. Measure the width and length of the space to give you an idea of the sofa size you need. Make sure the size and shape functions within the space and it’s not too large that you cannot move around.

Tip: make sure you measure the doors and ceilings and walkways to guarantee your sofa will fit once delivered. And don’t forget to add a little for the packaging.

What’s the best sofa for a small living room?

If you have a small living room or space, there are a few things you can do to create the illusion of space. Try a sofa style that has a low back or taller legs like our Mckinley Sofa. This will allow more light to flow around it, making your living room feel more spacious.

What are the different sofa fabric types?

Semper Fortis have a wide range of fabric swatches at our JHB and CT showrooms so you can match the look and feel and tones to your space before you commit to buying. There are a lot of options. To narrow down your choices, we’ve listed the most popular below:

Cotton - a natural fibre that is breathable and soft. On the more expensive side. Cotton upholstered sofas have a comfortable and relaxed feel. We suggest opting for removable cushion covers so that you can easily clean your sofa. This fabric is prone to wrinkling, so it needs proper care to keep it looking fresh and new.

Linen - another natural fibre, more durable than cotton – great for homes with children and pets. Linen sofas can have a lived-in feel, as the fabric has natural creases that soften over time. Linen is hypoallergenic as it has a neutral pH. Linen is breathable which means you’re more likely to feel cool on hot summer days lounging on your sofa. The linen surface might ‘fuzz’ over time, however, it is resistant to fading caused by sunlight. We suggest sofas with removable cushion covers for convenient cleaning.

Wool - is made up of woven fibres from a sheep’s coat. Even though wool is natural, it is often blended with synthetics. Wool can come in various colours, so it’s very adaptable. The thick pile creates a sense of cosiness while still being cool and breathable.

Polyester - is a synthetic fibre, manufactured to be durable and long-lasting. This fabric is great for families with pets and is available in a wide range of colours. It makes a great base for every sofa style.

Velvet - is known for having a very deep pile. It is woven, from cotton or polyester. Velvet can add luxury and warmth to your space. Velvet needs a little more TLC than other fabrics to keep it in good condition.

Leather – leather sofas are the easiest to look after, as leather is durable and long-lasting. Leather’s is a natural fabric that gets better with age. Great for people with children and pets.

What are the different types of leather for sofas?

Leather is treated during the production phase for different finishes. If you’re considering purchasing a leather sofa, read Semper Fortis’s guide to picking the right one to suit your needs.

Full-grain / aniline leather is soft, with a natural feel characterised by its visible natural marks giving it a more authentic look. This type of leather is dyed but doesn’t have a top coat, making it softer and breathable. Aniline leathers do age over time, giving them a beautiful weathered look.

Semi-aniline leather is dyed and a thin finishing coat is added to offer further protection, making it more durable than full aniline leather. It is soft with visible marks depending on the leather’s natural patina. Semi-aniline leathers do age over time, giving them a beautiful weathered look.

Corrected grain leather. This leather is treated and buffed to get rid of any natural blemishes, and then embossed for a more uniform look and feel. This process results in a smoother finish. Because this corrected grain leather is treated it is more durable long term and is resistant to fading.

Bonded leather is a man-made product: this fabric is composed of leather fibres bonded together to create a uniform texture. This is durable and fully fade resistant.

What finish do you want on your sofa legs?

All Semper Fortis sofas can be finished with the legs of your choosing. You can do a wood or metal leg/base, with metal you can go chrome or matt black, or you can opt for wood in a stain of your choosing from blonde wood to black.