Like everything else in this era of endless choice, there seem to be countless options when it comes to choosing a sofa. You might think you know exactly what you want, but once you walk into a boutique or browse images online, the styles, frames, and customization alternatives can become overwhelming. Save your nerves, money and time and read these tips.
1. Pick the right size
If you have a smaller living room, you'll need to decide specifically how much of the living room you require your sofa to fill. Do you want to include other chairs or seats? Do you want a sofa table? If so, a simple sofa or one with an L-shape is the best fit. If you're looking for a sofa that will be the main point of your living room, look for rounder couch shapes that take up a more room but also provide a lot of seating.
A strong frame means a long-lasting sofa. Soft timber, such as pine, is low-cost, but it may bend after four years. More expensive hardwood (kiln-dried oak, ash, or beech) is more durable. Avoid frames made of particleboard, plastic, or metal; they may twist and split. Legs should be part of the frame or held on with screws — not with glue alone.
Polyurethane foam is a low-cost, easy-care cushion filling. But the more durable type can feel hard, and softer, low-density foam deteriorates more rapidly with constant use. High-resilient (HR) foam is slightly more expensive but more comfortable and long-lasting. Polyester fibre is also inexpensive, but it flattens quickly. Goose- and duck-feather fillings are comfy, but they can clump. Top of the line: goose down (the bird's soft undercoat) mixed with feathers. A down-poly fibre blend is cheaper, but it flattens fast.
4. Upholstery materials
Aesthetic is important, but functionality is key when it comes to choosing a material for your sofa. A lot of us that would love to indulge in an elegant, white suede sofa —they're so gorgeous but so dangerous. Suede can be a poor choice if you have pets or small children who will cause some serious damage. Leather in darker colours is consistently in style, generally, wears well with age, and is easy to clean.
5. Colour: bright, printed, or neutral?
Re-upholstering furniture has become a relatively inexpensive option for anyone who wants to personalise a piece of furniture. Don't be afraid to choose a sofa with a fun or unique print! It can add a surprisingly personal touch and quickly transform the feel of the entire room. Urban Outfitters has a similar chaise in beautiful fabrics, at a perfect price point. If you're too nervous to experiment with bolder colours and patterns in your sofa, you can always opt for a funky ottoman that can double as a coffee table. It'll add a more complex sense of diversity to your living room while complementing more classic couches and chairs.