24 February 2010

Preparing to Buy a New Sofa

Here are a few tips for preparing to buy a sofa.

Start looking online at major retailers that carry many different varieties. Look at retailers in different price points. You may be able to find varying qualities for the same price point depending on the retailer. Make a list of the things you love and the things you hate. That will help you narrow down your choices quickly. Read the customer ratings on the retailers you visit. These online hints will give you lots of information on which sofas & retailers to choose.

Take measurements of the space you need to fill. Furniture stores are gigantic, high-ceilinged caverns. Big pieces of furniture look small in a space that large. Lesson learned on my part. I knew this and still ordered a custom chair that once in my bedroom or living room looked gigantic.Make sure you know what size sofa you need for your space.

Take a look at how you will get a sofa into your home. Measure doorways and halls and consider how you're going to get a 6 ft. long sofa or sectional in and around the doorways and corners. If necessary it really is possible to lift a wrapped sofa up onto a balcony or drop it off a balcony with a big rope and some sturdy hands. I've done it before with help and the delivery guys I used to work with did if frequently.

But if you buy a sofa that will not fit into the elevator or stairwell to your apartment and you don't have a sliding glass door and balcony, you're in trouble. This happened more often than you would believe at the store. Returning a couch can be a big pain in the neck, especially if it's customized, so think before you buy.

Keep in mind that sofas are measured in several different dimensions. You'll need to consider how deep the seat should be. A short adult will feel 4 years old in a sofa with too deep or too high of a seat measurement. A tall, long-legged person will be terribly uncomfortable on a sofa with too narrow a seat depth or that sits too low to the ground.

Consider fabric options. There is a huge variance in the cost of sofa fabrics. If you are on a budget look for a durable, less expensive fabric. There are some amazing microfiber suedes out there that you can actually wash  ballpoint pen out of with dish soap. To keep costs down consider simple twills, cottons, or other simple, sturdy fabrics. If you have the money to spend there are some amazing chenille and linen fabrics out there. I still remember the really great $200+/yard fabrics I saw in books at the beautiful furniture store.

Once you've done your research you are ready to start visiting the stores. See the next post to learn what you should do once you get to the store and the one thing you shouldn't be embarrassed to do.

photo via

1 comment:

Sofas said...

Great Tips!
Leather Sofas are very popular. With routine care leather is a very durable upholstery choice on a sofa. You'll want to keep leather clean and moisturized. Another sofa option we will want to consider is whether we want a sofa bed, also known as a sleeper sofa, or a reclining sofa or a convertible sofa. Obviously a sleeper sofa or convertible sofa can come in very handy as an extra bedroom for someone who may live in an apartment or have a smaller home who still wants to be able to accommodate guests overnight.

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