Perhaps no other piece of furniture defines a living area as much as a sofa. It’s one of the first things guests see as they enter your home. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the sofa you have. It can be a stunning focal point that all your other décor is built around. Or it can be a bit of urban blight in the home – looking like it would be better off in a dimly lit inner city alley.
If you have a sofa that clearly reflects your sense of style, personal taste and is perfectly scaled to the space you have so it doesn’t overwhelm or underwhelm, congratulations! You’ve managed to pull off a modern miracle. For the rest of us, our sofa probably came along with us when we moved into the place we live now. It may have worked great in our last home or even the one before that. But in our new home it doesn’t look right. It may be too big or too small. Worse, it may be the wrong color or the fabric may clash with the window treatments or the color of the walls.
You can always resort to the old standby strategy – a sofa cover. But these are rarely a permanent solution. They never seem to look right – they either stretch out of shape, contort, come loose or get wrinkly. And they can’t disguise a sofa that is past its prime, one whose springs are just not as springy as they once were. If that’s the case, it’s far better to spend your money on a new sofa than trying to breathe life into your old one. This is especially true if you’re considering recovering the sofa yourself. Quality fabrics can run $25 or more a yard. Hardly economical. If you decide a new sofa is for you, here are some shopping tips:
- Scale: Sofas need to fill a living space without overwhelming it. Be careful not to purchase a sofa that is too small or too large for the room you plan to put it in. A sofa can be on the small side, however, if you plan to add a loveseat or some occasional chairs to the grouping.
- Measure: A sofa in a showroom can be deceiving. It can look very small in a building with high ceilings and other furnishings surrounding the sofa you’re interested in. Get the measurements and take them home so you can double check the space you have available. You may even want to mark the area off with masking tape so you can see how this new sofa will affect your other furnishings and décor.
- Comfort First: We really can’t emphasize this enough. You may fall in love with a particular sofa style, but it may be horribly uncomfortable after sitting in it for an hour or two. Be sure the sofa is comfortable. Sit in it for a while. Try different positions. Don’t be shy about trying it out as if it were in your living room.
- Ask a Professional: If you’re unsure of your own interior design skills, consult a professional. There’s no point in laying out a large amount of money for a sofa only to find that it isn’t something you can live with for the next 10 or 20 years. Like other furniture, a sofa is a major investment. There’s no harm in getting a second or even third opinion.