Whoever invented the sofa deserves a gold medal. Because while every furniture item has its uses, a sofa offers a cushion for all activities. Take a table, for instance. It’s good for eating and working at, but it’s not very good for watching some evening telly. A chair does one job very well, but nothing else. And beds? Well, they’re great for sleeping and reading, but eating in bed smacks of 1970s rock stardom.
A sofa, on the other hand, can double up as a Monday night dining table. It’s a front row for True Detective and a dramatic arena for the new football season. And if sleep suddenly hits you, just sit back and doze off.
Which is why you need to build a good relationship with your sofa. And you can only do that by choosing the right one.
Style and substance
There seem to be infinite options when it comes to choosing a sofa. The amount of styles, especially, can be overwhelming.
First things first: aesthetics. A sofa isn’t some fashion fad which expires in one season. It is a major investment and you will not be changing it every year. Go for a style that has a long shelf life and which goes well with the style of your living room. The form of your sofa should also suit your habits. Do you like to sit on a sofa with your legs curled up and do you frequently lie on it? Also consider your body shape. If you are tall, then go for a sofa with a deep seat. And if you’re getting on and find it difficult to rise from a seated position, try a shallower seat and a more elevated sofa. The back of a sofa is also important: do you prefer a sofa with a tight back or one with loose cushions?
Your answers to all these questions will determine the choice of your sofa.
Your sofa needs to look good in your living room. A sofa which is too big will make your living room look smaller than it actually is, while a small sofa will be dwarfed by a large living room. Consider proportions. For a small room, for instance, a two-seater and plush chairs are a better option than a single large sofa.
Also, what other furniture will accompany your sofa? Will you be including other chairs or couches, will you want a coffee table, and do you need room for side tables? Make sure all pieces complement each other rather than looking like some random gathering.
When choosing your sofa’s material, you need to consider its purpose. Will your sofa be placed in a formal room which you only use on special occasions, or do you need a workhorse of a sofa which can stand daily abuse? Do you have pets and do they frequently sleep on the sofa? What about your children? Do they love snacking on the sofa?
A sofa’s material depends on its uses. If you are using your sofa on a daily basis and for various purposes, from watching television to enjoying an afternoon nap on it, then go for a hardwearing material which can be maintained easily and which doesn’t wrinkle or stretch. Good quality leather, for instance, is ideal: it wears well with age and is easy to clean.
However, if you will be using your sofa only on formal occasions, then you can afford to choose fashion over comfort and go for a more delicate material such as suede or even silk.
Fill it up
Comfort is very subjective. While some people prefer a firm sofa, others want one which they can sink into. Whatever your preference, choose a fill that best suits the level of firmness or softness that you like. Springs, for instance, offer a more stable seat, but are more expensive.
Apart from the fill, the construction of a sofa also determines its comfort levels as well as its durability. A frame made of hardwood will last longer than one made of cheaper wood. Also, check if the frame is put together with staples or screws and whether the joints have extra support.
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