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.