Before you go out and buy the best deal you can find at the local consignment shop, it’s important to take some time to consider your furniture needs to ensure you find the best match that you’ll love for years to come. While you’ll find plenty of helpful furniture purchase guides online, today we’re going to narrow down our focus to help you find the perfect couch when the time comes.
If you love your current couch but it’s in need of a facelift, you might first consider professional furniture restoration, refinishing, or reupholstery. But if you’re ready to replace an old couch or furniture set entirely, check out our residential showroom to browse customizable, made-to-order options for your living space.
Not sure where to start or what to ask? No problem. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the search.
What to Ask
Depending on who will be using the couch and how it will be used, there can be a huge difference between a swing and a miss and a home run. For example, you may want to avoid a leather couch if you anticipate the family dog may be on it. Will your couch need to hold upon against potential popcorn spills during family movie nights, or do you want a cozy personal fireside retreat to sip some whiskey while reading? What works for one may not work for all, so with that in mind, consider your specific needs and intended uses. Once you settle on a few critical points, it’s time to get to the fun part: picking out the style you want!
Though it may seem obvious, you’ll want to make sure that the couch will fit through your front door and that it doesn’t jut out into the walkway and block the entrance to the living room. More nuanced than that, however, are the size and “weight” of the couch, which can either give the impression of the room being much larger or much smaller than it really is.
What influences the perception of more “weight” to a couch? It all starts with the color scheme and thickness of its various parts. If your couch is a dark color, this can appear “heavy.” This is especially true if the couch is placed in a lighter setting, as the couch may be perceived as more imposing by contrast. The same effect happens with thicker legs and cushions.
A thick and heavy appearance in furniture can be fabulous when working together with other aspects of a room, but if all of the pieces don’t come together and balance one another, it can feel awkward and out of place. For a couch that gives the impression of a room being larger than it is, consider one that features lighter or neutral colors and thin, exposed legs.
In general, leather is a good investment for a couch (unless, for example, it’ll double as your dog’s nap spot!). There are a few variables to consider to make sure you are getting the best quality for your money.
The most important thing to consider with leather is the grade. This is a direct indicator of the leather’s durability. Top/higher grain leather is taken from the outside of the hide, while the lower layers originate from further inside the hide. The reason high grade is preferable is because of how much more likely low grade leathers are to result in split grains that are weaker and more susceptible to tears.
Other Fabric Choices
You’ll come across several options besides leather that are still great choices. As mentioned before, not everyone can or should go with leather — pets, kids, and other lifestyle factors can make all the difference. It’s all about what works best for you and your intended use.
With that said, a few other options to know about include:
- Vinyl: Easy to clean, but also easily torn if anything sharp drags across the surface.
- Cotton: Cotton couches are extremely comfortable and look fantastic, but they tend to wear down faster. If you won’t be using it in a high-traffic area, a cotton-based couch can make a good show piece.
- Cotton/Polyester Blend: A solid middle ground for just about any need. Strong enough to withstand a bit of wear, but still visually appealing with the natural colors of the cotton.
- Microfiber: As soft as suede or velvet, easy to clean, and generally less expensive than other options. Because it is tightly knit, it also lowers the accumulation of dust, making this a popular option for people with significant dust allergies.
- Nylon: Rugged, but not as visually appealing. You may see furniture made from this material in a high-traffic yet casual setting such as a rec room lounge.
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