When you are purchasing a sofa for your living room, consider how much time you spend sitting there every day. Be very realistic. You might watch television, or read, after dinner every weeknight for three hours. Say you binge-watch television for five hours on the weekends. You know how important the comfort of your bed is? How they say you spend a third of your life in bed? Think of the seating in your living room like that. You spend a good amount of time there! If you sit on your sofa for three hours every day, that’s 1/8 of your life on that sofa! The only things you are sitting or laying on more than that are your bed, your car, and what ever seating you have at work (if any!). No one wants to buy a new sofa every year, so make it count. Here are the three most important tips to remember when buying a sofa.
How To Buy The Best Sofa: Measure, Measure, Measure!
Please, please, please measure the space where the sofa will be. Don’t look at a wall, decide it is about ten feet long, and think any old sofa will fit there. You must measure. You need to determine if there will be enough space for items like end tables, a matching chair, or a coffee table. Think about what else is going to be around this sofa. Is there a window in that wall? Will you be able to hang curtains behind it? How deep will the sofa be? Does it leave room for the coffee table? Will there be room to walk around it? Draw a little mock-up floor plan to help you visualize the dimensions of the space. I often draw a quick floor plan, using one inch of a line as one foot of wall space. It’s not rocket science precision, but it will get you close enough to see what kind of space you are working with.
Next, measure the sofa you want. Measure length, width, depth, and height. Then go back home and make sure this will fit in your home. Does it take up more space than you imagine? Is it too small compared to your other furniture? Will you be able to fit end tables, table lamps, or whatever you want around it? Draw the dimensions of the sofa on your floor plan to make sure you have the right size. How does it compare to the other seating in the room? Will it work?
While you are at it, check the return policy. One can measure all day long, but it still might not look right when you see it in your home. Check before you buy.
How To Buy The Best Sofa: Consider the Upholstery
Consider what kind of upholstery your sofa should have. Some people with pets or small children think that leather might be the best way to go. It is beautiful and durable, that’s for sure. It allows for easier clean up in case of accidents and spills. I wanted a leather sofa at one time because of my pets, until I met a woman with pets and leather furniture. She had holes and scratches in the leather from her pet’s claws. Not a good look. Another problem with leather is that it can be very warm. If you live in a very warm or humid climate, leather can be uncomfortable to spend too much time on. Keep this in mind if you go with leather. I’m warm-natured, and I live in a hot and humid environment. No leather for me, not matter how beautiful it is.
Cotton and twill can be sturdy, provided the fabric has a tight weave. A looser weave fabric, such as linen, can get snagged and wear quicker where there is more contact. An excellent option is a synthetic microfiber. Liquids will not penetrate the surface right away and a quick blot with a towel will fix a spill. It’s also very easy to use a lint roller on microfiber to remove pet hairs.
Whatever you do, vacuum it frequently, and keep up a yearly scotch-gaurd treatment.
How to Buy The Best Sofa: Sit On It.
You heard me. Sit on it. Go to the store and sit on the furniture to see how it feels. I had a client who wanted a particular style of sofa he saw at Pottery Barn, but he didn't want to pay the Pottery Barn price. He heard that IKEA had a similar couch for much cheaper. He thought a $300 IKEA sofa would as good as a $2000 Pottery Barn sofa. He wanted to spend the least amount of money needed to decorate his living room. I took him to IKEA, where he tried out the Ektorp sofa. Nice enough, lots of slipcover variety, and it would fit his space fine. He sat on it, and thought, “This will be okay.” I reminded him that he worked from home, often on his sofa with his laptop. Is he okay with the way the cushions deflate and not spring back? Is he okay with the way the floor model looks worn down on the arms, and the pillows are flat? That could be your sofa in a few months. When it comes to upholstered furniture, you get what you pay for. That $300 IKEA sofa is not going to stand up to being sat on for close to eight hours a day, and still look good after a month. Of course, whatever he decided to go with was fine with me, but I persuaded him to go to Pottery Barn and sit on the one he originally wanted and feel the difference. Of course the difference was night and day. The construction, the fill of the cushions, and the feel of the fabric were far and away superior. I smiled when he called me later and said, “Go with the Pottery Barn couch.” I knew it!
Before you buy that bargain sofa at Big Lots or IKEA, test out sofas from all price levels and get the best you can afford. You will have it for a very long time compared to discount sofas.
So remember, when buying a sofa, or any upholstered furniture, remember to measure! Measure the space and the sofa for a good fit. Make sure the upholstery is in line with your lifestyle. A person with pets or toddlers might have different needs than a retired couple. And lastly, go sit on it. Go test out the sofa and make sure it fits your lifestyle and is comfortable. When it comes to upholstered furniture, buy the best you can afford. You get what you pay for.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I 'd love to hear from you!