Buying a sofa, couch, or furniture suite is a major investment, so take more than just looks into account. Give size, comfort, construction, and the type of covering careful consideration, too.
The discomfort of sitting on a worn or badly made sofa or armchair is all too familiar. A sofa with broken springs or seat cushions that have so little padding you feel as if you are sitting directly on the base is uncomfortable and, if you sit in it for any length of time, can lead to troublesome aches and pains.
Comfortable and adequate living-room seating is therefore an essential purchase for your home. If your sofa and chairs are worn or uncomfortable, buying new ones should be high on your list of priorities when redecorating. As with most purchases, cost reflects quality and it is worth allocating as much money as you can afford.
Your reward is a sofa or suite that will give you many years of relaxing service.
One of the main considerations is whether to buy a suite, a unit system or sofas and armchairs separately. The advantage of buying a suite – consisting of a sofa and two matching armchairs – is that you can make considerable savings. Furniture retailers are usually able to offer suites at more competitive prices than buying the items individually. However, a suite may not offer the flexibility that you are looking for or suit the room, so it is worth taking the time to plan what arrangement and size of furniture best fits the space before making the final decision.
Before you even start looking for a sofa or couch, you need to decide on the size. Sofas tend to look smaller in a large showroom, so it is easy to make a mistake and be misled into thinking a large sofa will fit in your living room at home and, just as importantly, through your doorways.
To avoid this, measure your room and the relevant doorways and draw up a scale plan, including major items of furniture. Use the plan to determine what size and configuration of chairs and sofas best suits the room.
Consider the proportions of the room in relation to the height and depth of the sofa. There is a lot of variation in the height of different sofas according to their style, and if the ceilings are low, a high-backed sofa may dwarf the space just as much as a sofa that is too large.
Also use the simple rule that dark colors advance and pale ones recede – a light sofa makes a room look larger than a darker one. Always take a tape measure with you when you shop to doublecheck measurements.