When you begin your search for a new sofa for your home, you probably aren’t thinking about it in the same way as a long term relationship. Reality is: you probably should consider it just as carefully as you would a life partner. Did you know that most people hang on to a sofa from six to fifteen years before buying something new? The sofa may just outlive a family pet, car, or a trendy hairstyle! This means that it is very important to pay careful attention to the quality elements that give a piece its lasting power. When it comes time to purchase a new sofa, here are some tips to help you find a sofa that can stand up to a decade of sitting down.
Know What's on the Inside
There are a number of high-end standards that mean more than just good looks. Down, for instance, is a great indicator of quality and comfort. Down-proof ticking used in pillows and seat backs adds a desirable "crinkle" effect upon sitting. Choosing down-blend seat cushions will provide an even more luxurious sit. Firm and resilient cushions that fit snugly and spring back to the touch are important; they will keep the sofa looking new for longer. Soft padded outside arms and back also add to the overall comfort of the piece. The springs are important, too. An eight-way hand tied spring system will provide amazing and lasting support. With this system, each spring is connected by a twine that runs in every direction: front to back, side to side, and diagonally. In absence of an eight-way hand tied system, a sinuous spring construction will work well, too. Springs are S-shaped and run from front to back while smaller wires connect the springs from side to side. Finally, pay attention to that frame: you want it to be sturdy and made from kiln-dried wood. Kiln drying is a process that removes the water from the wood and prevents the wood from warping or cracking over time. If you sit down and the sofa wobbles and shakes around, that is a good sign that it won’t upstand much wear and tear.
Note What's on the Outside
If you want a sofa to make a great visual impression for years to come, look for the following cues:
• Deep decking is the fabric under the seat cushions. To ensure that only the sofa's primary fabric is revealed when someone sits on your sofa, six inches is ideal to make up for the lifting and movement of cushions.
• Welting is the cotton cord covered with fabric that is sewn along the seams of the upholstered frame and cushions. Make sure that is straight and free of puckers.
• Skirts that hang smoothly with crisp corners.
• Fabric patterns that are matched seat to cushion to back to frame. In poorly constructed sofas, fabric patterns won’t line up perfectly— this small detail will bother your eye for years to come.
Read the Fine Print
Before you buy, be sure to read all the details of the warranty. Note what is included and how long the company guarantees the product. For instance, many companies offer a 10-year limited warranty on the cushions, frames, springs and mechanics of their quality pieces of furniture. Other pieces may only guarantee a 2-year limited warranty; these sofas are likely to show wear and tear much more quickly. The duration of the warranty reflects the collection's quality craftsmanship.
Make a Statement
The more your new sofa speaks to your personal style, the more likely it will stand the test of time. We suggest starting with a classically designed frame and adding personal flair with custom touches. There are so many optional accents available today; your sofa can really be one-of-a-kind. Whether choosing contrast welting, amazing throw pillows, or fun castor legs for a vintage look—really be sure to ask the designer helping you what options there are when it comes to the unique details of your sofa.
Try Before you Buy
You should put your furniture to the "sit" test before you buy. This test is the best and simplest way to judge the overall comfort of any sofa or chair. If your at-home seating style includes sprawling, flopping and stretching out (and whose doesn't?) then these should be part of your test. Pay attention to how the frame responds to your movements; notice how the fabric and cushions react. These will all be great indicators that speak to the quality—or lack thereof—of a sofa.
As you can see, there should be more that goes into buying a sofa than blindly selecting one from a photo. While you can initially shop with your eyes, the final process needs to be done in person. Do you not know where to start? We recommend buying products with brand names you know and trust. Also, buy from a reputable furniture dealer, one that has been recommended by colleagues, family or friends. Perhaps this still all feels overwhelming and you prefer to have some help with this process? Give us a call at Curtain Call Creations—one of the designers would be happy to assist you!
Contact the team at Curtain Call Creations we will help with interior design CLICK HERE for a no obligation appointment in your home or office! 630.737.1510.