the ULTIMATE GUIDE to purchasing a sofa [part 1]


Do Your Homework

Everyone has been there, standing in a furniture store surrounded by countless sofas unsure of what’s good and what’s bad. Fear no more, we’re here to help. After reading our ultimate guide to purchasing a sofa you will be fully prepared to go shopping on your own and declare yourself a sofa expert to all unsuspecting sales people. However, before you reach this expert level you must do a little homework.  

Budget

Set a realistic budget for yourself. If you’re wanting to purchase a sofa that will last you the next 20 years you may have to invest some serious cash. When purchasing for the long run, invest in a timeless style. However, if you’re someone like us who likes a more trendy style, you can opt for a lower priced option. This way if it goes out of style in 5 years, it won’t be too big of a financial loss. When you go to a store with a budget in mind it will take some of the stress off the buying experience. 

Function

Before you even go near a store think about where you want the sofa to go. A formal living room? Family room? Basement? Can’t a sofa go anywhere? Certain sofas are best in specific areas. It all depends on how you want to use your sofa. If you’re wanting a cozy “watch Netflix and nap” type of sofa, that would be best suited in a family room rather than a formal living room. If you want a tufted tuxedo sofa, well that would be best suited for a lower traffic area where the tufting won't get ruined.

Style & Colour

When it comes to choosing a style for a sofa, we always recommend picking a timeless design. However, as we said about function, it all depends on where the sofa is going. Certain styles fit better in certain rooms. You also have to ask yourself what type of style your house is. Do you have a traditional living room? Mid-century? Knowing your home’s style is key to picking the right sofa. We also recommend narrowing it down to a few different styles you like before stepping foot into a store. When it comes to colour, neutral is always best. Think, beige, charcoal, light grey, etc. It will fit with any decor style and you won’t tire of it. If you want to add interest, add colour through accent pillows or accent chairs. 

Fabric

When picking out the fabric for your sofa keep in mind your lifestyle. Do you have pets? Children? Will this sofa be in your family room or formal living room? Here are some quick fabric points to keep in mind:

Leather, especially in darker colours is usually a safe choice. It’s pretty timeless and only looks better with age. It’s also a great choice for people with kids- it’s easy to clean! We recommend distressed leather when it comes to people with smaller pets and kids- small scratches add to the patina. Keep in mind that leather requires maintenance. 

If you have pets and children and are looking for a sofa that requires zero maintenance, opt for a synthetic. Whether that be a faux leather made of polyester & polyurethane, a microfibre or a ultra suede, these are all great options. Synthetic fabrics with polyester and nylon tend to be more durable than natural fibres. Another thing to keep in mind if you are a person with pets is to opt for a tight weaved fabric (you’ll thank us later). 

Slipcovers are also a great option if you’re wanting a white sofa but have children or pets. Most slipcovered sofas are made of cotton or linen. Cotton is the more affordable fabric and it’s easy to clean (soap and water!). Linen is a more luxurious fabric which usually ups the price point. Some linen can be washed but some may require dry cleaning; always find out before purchasing. Cotton and linen are prone to wrinkling, you’ll definitely have to invest in a steamer. If you want a slip covered sofa but don’t want to deal with wrinkling- look for a blend with polyester. 

To all you people who don’t have pets or children, you’re a free bird! Get whatever fabric you desire.  

Measure

Last but definitely not least, your last bit of homework is to measure your doorways and the room that the sofa is going in. There is nothing worse than finding your dream sofa and having to return it because it won’t fit through your front door or because it takes up the entire room. Sofas always look smaller in showrooms, ALWAYS. 

Blank Canvas

A great way to add interest and character to any space is through art. Whether you are a collector of fine art or are a parent who wants to showcase your child’s newest creation, there are many unique ways to display art throughout your home. When it comes to sourcing art work, think the unexpected. Go to the nearest thrift store, go on an adventure and take photos or pull a Jackson Pollock and throw some paint at a canvas. Art doesn’t have to be expensive to look good! It’s all about finding pieces that you love. Once you have found those pieces now it’s time to display them…

Art Ledges

This is a perfect option for those who love to constantly evolve their spaces. Art ledges can be found at places at IKEA or you can find an easy DIY on Pinterest. Art ledges work best when you mix different scales, orientations and types of art. An examples of this would be mixing vintage photographs with typography and abstract art. Art ledges are also great because you can layer pieces in front of each other. It also allows you to switch out pieces seasonally.

Gallery Walls

Gallery walls have become popular in the past few years. They are a great focal point in a room. Just like art ledges, gallery walls work best when you mix scale, orientation and different types of art. If you want to create a more curated look, we recommend sticking to the same colour of frame and keeping your art work within the same colour family. However, our favourite gallery walls are eclectic ones that mix different sizes, frames and colours. When it comes to actually hanging your art work, trace your frames onto pieces of paper, cut them out and then tape them onto the wall to help visualize the layout you want. This is an easy way to make sure your pictures are hung at the correct level. Nail through the paper so you have a precise spot.

Grids

Grids are a great way to showcase family photos. We recommend sticking to the same size and colour of frames for grids,this helps give it a more polished look. Choosing the same colour of pictures also helps it look more cohesive (think black and white family photos in gold frames- thats what we like). When it comes to hanging pictures in grids, a level, painter’s tape and measuring tape are you best friends. Use painter’s tape to create an even grid on your wall and always double check your measurements. If you have not yet heard of Gorilla hooks- they may be your new companion in the process of hanging art work in your home! They can be picked up in bulk quantities at your local hardware store. 

Last but not least we leave you with one request! We challenge you to think outside the box and display your art in a new fun way. Whether you are an expert at hanging art work or have never used a hammer in your life, you too can create a beautiful wall.