Don't buy a sofa without reading these top 10 tips from interior designer Anne Tuohy.

So you’re about to buy a new sofa, but don’t know where to begin? Where to buy? What size, style, shape? Where to put it?

Award-winning Interior Designer Anne Tuohy (aka the Room Junkie) is here to help, with some handy tips you’ve probably never thought of before:

One – Size matters

The perfect sofa is 40″ deep, 60″ long, and 36″ high, with a 17″ seat height. However, sofa manufacturers will custom make a sofa, to your exact specification. This is something that I have been doing a lot lately, and it costs no more than buying off the shelf.

Two – Measure up

Place newspaper templates in position on the floor, to see how the size fits before you buy.

Make sure that you measure the width of your doors, to make sure that your sofa will actually fit through them.

If you live in an apartment, check that the length of the sofa is not greater than the ceiling height of the lift.

Three – Show the legs

This is an old Showhouse trick of mine.

A sofa on legs will make a small room appear bigger, as your eye will be drawn along the floor under the sofa.

Four – Make the ceiling seem higher

If you have a low 8 foot ceiling, go for a lower backed sofa which will give the impression that your ceiling is higher than it actually is.

Five – Slip Covers

If you have children or pets, pre-shrunk, removable, machine washable covers are your best option. Trust me on this, with three boys and two dogs, white slip covers have saved my life on many occasions!

Six – It doesn’t have to be new

These two sofas below were picked up very cheaply in a charity shop. They were in terrible condition, but their length and height were perfect for the room. They were re-padded, re-upholstered, the shape of the back cushions was changed, and a tailored skirt added.

Seven – Think outside the box

Don’t be afraid to place a round sofa in a square room!

Eight – Biggest rookie mistake

In a long narrow room with a fireplace on the long wall, do NOT put a long sofa facing it. this will only make your room seem even more narrow.

Instead, have two shorter sofas facing each other, perpendicular to the fireplace.

Nine – Keep things in proportion

Do not have your sofa so big that it takes over your room, and not in a good way.

Go for the maximum depth that you can possibly get away with.

There is nothing worse than a couch that feels as narrow as a doctor’s examination table.

Never be tempted to buy a sofa that is too low either. It will be so difficult to get up from it. My absolute minimum height is 16 inches.

Ten – Keep away from the walls

When you bring your sofas home, don’t feel that you have to push them right back against the walls. Instead, create a sociable grouping around a central rug like this.

And, if you would like some more interior design inspiration and tips.

Why not check out my Sharing the Secrets Masterclass in Letterkenny on January 26th?

There are only a few places still available, and the Dublin Masterclass is sold out!

All the juicy details are here.