Monday, December 9, 2013

Tips for choosing a sofa

In any living room, the sofa is usually the main piece of furniture. Often the biggest article, the sofa creates a visual anchor which grounds the space and provides a comfortable seating option. A good sturdy couch is a big-ticket item and a worthwhile investment. It’s only a matter of knowing what suits your home and looking out for the signs of a well-built sofa.

It’s important to test the sofa you’re planning to buy. Sit on it and consider these key features: the seat depth, the seat height, the angle of the backrest and the height of the arms.

A strong frame

Avoid frames that are made of plastic, metal or particleboard as these may warp and collapse in the long run. Kiln-dried solid wood is pricier but is a more durable option. Joineries also factor in the strength of the frame. Dowelled joints and corner blocks make for solid construction compared to joineries held only by glue, nails and staples. 

Well-stuffed with great stitching

One mark of a good sofa is ample padding. Squeeze the edges of the sofa’s arms to check for this. The wooden frame shouldn’t be easy to detect.

Be mindful of stitching problems too. The seams should be smooth and straight. 

Springs and fillings

Good sofas have tight springs. Some are only equipped with webbing and mesh, which might easily sag in the long run. Polyurethane foam is a common filling for sofa cushions but a better alternative is high-resilient foam, which is both comfortable and durable. 

Shape and style

There are many sofa shapes, from a modern sectional couch to a classic camelback chair and the more unusual curved shapes. The shape you choose will depend on your room size and style. Curved shapes are great for keeping the conversation in one area. These are also suitable for entertainment rooms, since the less severe angles will make a more comfortable viewing experience. Traditional shapes come in many period styles with different European and Asian influences. 

Comfort

It’s important to test the sofa you’re planning to buy. Sit on it and consider these key features: the seat depth, the seat height, the angle of the backrest and the height of the arms. A deeper seat is great for lounging but may be too informal for entertaining. If you want a sofa for both lounging and entertaining, you may opt for a deep-seated sofa, but fill it with stylish throw pillows for entertaining. You can just take them out to sit back and relax later on. 

Upholstery

Great upholstery is the final touch to a good seat. Durable options include leather, synthetic fibers and tightly woven fabrics. If you’re really looking for an investment piece, keep the color solid, neutral and flexible since you’ll be planning to use this sofa for many years to come. On the other hand, if you’re willing to splurge, a trendy print won’t hurt. It’s still cheaper to buy a well-made sofa in any fabric and then reupholster it later to match your changing style. - Aislinn Kee


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