To me, buying a new sofa is more exciting (and a bigger deal) than buying a new car, and while they may not cost quite as much as a new car, new sofas can still cost a pretty penny! So today I thought I'd share a few tips to consider for the next time you're on the hunt!
1. What are you using the sofa for? Is it for lounging around watching TV, or will it be more of a formal setting? While comfort is important for both, consider things like how you watch TV. If you love lounging with your feet up, something with a chaise or ottoman may be a better suited than a firmer or more upright style.
2. What's underneath? Metal, hardwood and pine frames are all options these days. Ask questions about the construction of your sofa. A hardwood frame will last longer than pine and with good-quality frames, the joints are glued, dowelled and screwed.
Likewise feather, foam, cushions and springs are all important elements that will impact the overall comfort, support and durability. This one is a matter of personal preference though, so the best advice that can be given is to go try them out! Take everyone who will be sitting on the sofa (regularly) to try out different options and find a happy medium. But.... Keep in mind that showroom models will have been sat on dozens of times so it's likely that when you get your new sofa home it may be a little firmer to begin with!
3. Fabric or Leather? Both have their benefits, and if you're already a lover of one it'll be quite hard to convince you on the other. Leather is generally hardier and can last longer, but will require maintenance and doesn't like sharp claws or buckles. Fabric, on the other hand, is cooler in summer & warmer in winter, but is more susceptible to stains (make sure you get it scotch guarded).
4. Consider your space! An oversized sofa in a small room can look quite ridiculous, likewise a tiny sofa in a big room can end up looking lost. Consider whether a modular sofa or a couple of standard sofas would be a better fit for your space. Also, keep in mind that chunky arms will take up valuable seat space if your room is on the smaller side and you're trying to fit in as many seats as possible.
Also in this camp is one of the most important most but often forgotten space related elements - access! While I was working in a furniture store, I can't tell you how times people were convinced their sofa would fit up the stairs to their level three apartment, only to find it was too big to get around staircase corners or in the lift! Even getting down the side of a house can be tricky with bulky furniture, and unlike dining tables, it's not ideal to disassemble a sofa!
5. You get what you pay for: Sofas can range in price from a couple of hundred dollars to tens of thousands (for custom or bespoke models). So if it's a sofa you intend on enjoying for many years to come, go for the best quality you can afford! Wait for sales if need be - a great sofa on special will generally outlast a cheaper model.
Above all else, make sure when buying a sofa you buy something that you are absolutely in love with and it will always be the most comfortable seat in the house!
What do you look out for when choosing a sofa? Let me know in the comments!