Size it Right
Before you even head to the furniture store, decode what size sofa you really need. Bear in mind that a big sofa may not be what you need, even if you have a large living room. If you live in an upstairs apartment, for example, the size of your sofa may be dictated by the width of the stairwell, or the height of the lift doors. So remember to make note of the maximum width and height that will fit into your home, including door height and width.
Colour it Right
Remember how long your last sofa lasted? Unless you’re planning to replace your sofa on a regular basis, bear in minds that a colour that you find stylish today, may not be so fashionable or in keeping with your change of décor next year. Pick neural colours that can be highlighted with throws and pillows in brighter colours. It’s easier to change the look that way. If the sofa is going to be in a high traffic area, pick a pattern that will disguise stains such as a tweed or multi-coloured design.
Style it Right
Pick a fabric that will suit your life style. Leather sofas come in great styles and leather outlasts other fabrics 4 to1. It you have children bouncing around on your sofa you may want a hard wearing weave that can take a beating.
Of course you will want to sit on the sofa in the store. If possible have at least two other people sit on it as well.
- Is the sofa comfortable when more than one person is sitting on it? How about the centre cushion?
- Is it as comfortable as the outside cushions?
- How about the arm height?
- Do the back cushions allow you to sink in or must you sit with an uncomfortable posture?
- Is the seat the correct height for your leg length?
Check the Workmanship
Look at the body of the sofa. Make certain all surfaces are covered and padded. Unless it is part of the design of the sofa, you shouldn’t see wood under the seat cushions. Remove the cushions and unzip the covers. Be aware of how the cushions are constructed.
- Is the foam wrapped?
- Is there extra padding?
- What is used to stuff the cushions?
Stand back from the sofa and check the pattern.
- Does the pattern on the back of the sofa match the cushions?
- Does the pattern on the cushions match the skirt?
- Are the stripes aligned at the edges?
- The mark of quality sofa is the careful matching of patterns.
If it doesn’t match, don’t waste your money on it. Look at the trim. Does the cording fit flat and straight or does it curve? If you suspect shoddy workmanship, choose a different sofa.