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6 things interior designers look for when purchasing a sofa

Posted by Joshua Robbins

6 things interior designers look for when purchasing a sofa

Shopping for a sofa can be a daunting task indeed. There are many things to consider when doing so; brand name, cost, location, color, fabric, size, comfort, and durability (this list could go on forever). Due to these considerations, you may feel rushed, overwhelmed, and uninformed. Purchasing a new sofa shouldn’t feel like a chore. Whether if it’s for your first apartment or redecorating your home, you should feel comfortable and assured you’ve picked the perfect sofa. It should be an investment you can be proud of. With that in mind, what if you can think and look through the eyes of an interior designer when picking the perfect sofa? This blog will guide you to do just that! Here are six things interior designers look for when purchasing a sofa.

  1. Color: Most designers will inform you that you need to go with a neutral color so the piece works in a variety of areas. This is probably the best, rationale advice you could receive when purchasing any home good furnishings. We believe, however, that color is a good thing; it brings life and mood to any living area. The color of your sofa is a reflection of your taste and creativity! Go bold! Although playing it safe, in regards to your color selection, maybe the best route. But remember it only takes one piece of furniture to separate the everyday look from an outstanding living space.
  2. Size: When considering the purchase of a sofa, size plays a huge role during the selection process, as it should. Whatever sofa you purchase needs to be able to fit into your living space. The size of the sofa should overwhelm the room where it is impossible to live in that space. The sofa shouldn’t underwhelm the room either where is feels like the room is vacant, drafty, or mismatched. Remember that the average size of love seat range from 60-78 inches wide where the average size of a sofa ranges from 70-84 inches. It is always best to measure you space prior to any sofa purchase to insure your sofa is the best fit possible, thus plan accordingly.
  3. Design: While you are considering the size of sofa you want it is also important to remember shape and design of the sofa. Simply put: some sofas are very feminine while others are masculine. It is very important to look at the lines of a sofa as they are one of the most important elements when considering the design of a sofa.


    Jennifer Taylor Sofa Explanation
  4. Comfort: It is easy to get caught up with how a sofa looks and completely disregard how a sofa feels. It’s a great feeling when you find a special sofa that ties the entire room together; however, it is quite frustrating when no one wants to sit in it. This is why it is important to consider the level of comfort the sofa provides. Levels of comfort vary from person to person; that’s why it is difficult for furniture producers to standardize the levels of comfort (#1 biggest product hurtle Sleep Number Beds deals with). Due to this it is always best to visit a showroom and “test drive” the sofa that interests you. If this is not possible, the next best step it to research the item you are interested in purchasing. Look for product feedback or even better look for product reviews to get a general idea of what the response has been to the level of comfort.
  5. Fabric: How will your upholstered pieces be used in your home or apartment? Chairs, sofas, and ottomans that entertain reasonable use will do fine with less heavy-duty fabric. However, pieces subjected to daily heave wear need to be covered in sturdy, robust, snugly woven fabrics. Remember, when purchasing upholstered furniture, be aware that the higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric is, the better that it will wear. Types of natural fabrics that can be purchase are linen, leather, cotton, wool, cotton blend, vinyl, and silk. Types of synthetic fabrics that can be purchased are acetate, acrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, and rayon.
  6. Finally, when purchasing a sofa you need to consider that sofas durability. Items to check for are the following:

a) Legs: remember the style and material (wood, steel, or hard plastic) of the legs will add to the overall look and durability of the piece

b) Arms: all sofa styles are heavily influenced by the design and function of the arms

c) Frame: What is the frame made of? Is it heavy? Is it cheap?

d) Upholstery: Is the fabric durable for everyday use?

e) Is the sofa waterproof? Spill proof? Stain resistant? Fire retardant?

Although these six steps seem to be a no-brainer when searching for the right sofa, in the heat of selection and purchase you can rest assured that at least two of the six items listed here go completely unnoticed or unchecked. The top three items usually passed over during the buying decision process are size, comfort, and durability. The average consumer will not check the size of the item and whether or not the sofa fits with the remainder of the furniture in the room, skip comfort for design, and rarely check to see if the sofa will last longer than 12 months. These are costly mistakes that force the consumer to shop for a new sofa, on average, every 12-18 months. That being said, we think it is wiser and financially responsible to shop like an interior designer, don’t you? After all, purchasing a sofa is an investment you want to last more than a couple of months.