But what if there was one thing to know about sofas that would change the way you think about them forever? Just one thing interior designers knew that could make or break your next sofa purchase? As most likely the largest piece of furniture in your living room, a sofa is integral to the overall look of your home and deserves a modicum of forethought. We’re here to tell you the most important criterion.
Styles change, however slowly. Upholstery is replaceable. What really matters in your sofa is longevity, because the average lifespan of a couch is much longer than you think. When you’re buying a new couch, you may think it’s a quick fix for temp digs. But then you get a better quality sofa, and relegate the old sagging one to the guest room. Another 15 years, and it eventually winds up in your kid’s dorm room, even if it creaks. What you thought would be around for only a few years dodges its expiration date and winds up following you throughout life, as it rightly should.
Since this thing is going to be with you for a while, better make it last the best way that you can. Make sure it’s durable. Look for craftsmanship and good-quality construction. You don't want your sofa to be creaking and squeaking by the time it's a year old. Check the springs, cushioning and overall build. Get commercial grade upholstery fabrics that won’t wear out so you don't have to worry about reupholstering. Fabrics with a higher thread count will help you avoid needing to reupholster as well. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight. Be in control.
Make sure your new sofa is a style that you can live with. Ultimately, if you don’t like the look, you wont be happy with it. Get it in a color that makes you feel good. Make sure it’s comfortable and easy to sit on. Removable seat cushions or built-in? What about back cushions? Arms or armless? Foam core or memory foam? Do you want a leather sofa or a microfiber one? Don’t forget your space and the size of the room it’s meant for and other home furnishings that you'll be placing it with. Will it have wood or metal details? Make sure they’re in colors that work with your other furniture.
Ideally, you should get a sofa that makes your heart soar, but don’t fret if your current couch isn’t the one you always dreamed of. There are accessories called accent pillows, slipcovers, blankets, artwork and even other furniture that will balance the room and complement the best parts of your sofa. Basically, as long as your sofa is clean and not breaking apart, you can make it work.
So what we’re saying is — your sofa is arguably your most important piece of furniture and should be treated as such. Even if it’s for the “short term,” this new piece has every chance of sticking with you for the “long term.” It carries with it the weight and center of your room. It’s going to influence the curtains, the color scheme, the shape of your space. In a word: Everything. And it’s going to be with you for a while. So put some intentionality into your next sofa purchase and make sure you find classic, durable, quality pieces that you can live with for a long time. Don’t let your next sofa just happen to you.