4 tips on how to choose the perfect sofa

It’s that time of year again! Where most of your days will be spent outside tending to the gardens or floating in the pool on an inflatable flamingo. Spending all this time outside really makes you take notice to the old, faded lawn furniture that you’ve considered replacing. But don’t forget, although Canadian summers can be amazingly beautiful, they are still awfully short and soon again we will have to deal with the cold front of a blistery winter. So go buy that new patio set, but don’t forget about the raggedy old sofa you’ve been dying to replace in your living room that, as we’ve become accustomed to, you’ll be spending the rest of the cold Canadian year on.

1: Measure! When considering purchasing a new sofa, the first thing to do is measure the room and consider how much space you will need to comfortably move around once the new sofa is in. I have mentioned in previous blogs that the easiest way to do this is to grab some of your kid’s graph paper that they probably never use for school anymore (because calculators, that’s why), and draw a mini version of the room with semi-accurate measurements. Then when you’ve found a few sofas that you really like, plot those measurements on the paper along with the other furniture in the room that you plan on keeping. Make sure there is enough room in the main walking paths (approximately 3 feet is sufficient) so that you can comfortably move through the room without knocking your knees off the furniture. I can’t stress measuring enough! I’ve had countless impulsive friends come back to me after buying a new set and tell me it doesn’t fit because they didn’t take the time to measure beforehand. In the event you are unsuccessful, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals! That’s why we’re here.

2: Style! What kind of style are you looking for? You want the sofa to match the style in the room. For example, you really like a chic Victorian era looking sofa, but your room is far from traditional or chic. In fact, your room might have more of an industrial loft feel. Mixing the 2 styles wouldn’t look the best. If you really like the detailed sofa and can’t live without it, it might be easier to change the décor in the room based on that piece of furniture. If you’re open to new sofa ideas, an industrial style would suit a modern or modern/vintage leather sofa for the win.

3: Fabric! This is probably the 2nd most important user friendly tip next to measuring of course. Fabric is extremely important when choosing a piece of furniture. You must consider what the sofa is used for, how often is will be used, and who is using it before purchasing just any fabric. I’m not suggesting that you go to the expensive luxury furniture store over the box furniture store because cost isn’t the issue. Each furniture company will have fabric grades, double rub tests and should indicate whether the fabric is synthetic or natural. Grades will be entirely different from one company to the next (some companies will begin their lowest grade at 1 working their way up to 10, and others begin at 10 as the lowest grade) and you should ask the salesperson how the fabric for each company is graded. Grades are super important when it comes to choosing fabric as they indicate the price and overall quality will be higher the higher the grade.

Double rub tests will appear on the fabric samples showing you a number usually from 25,000 to 250,000. A double rub test is done by a machine to test the durability based on the traffic that fabric received before it was no longer adequate and needed to be replaced. This is an important consideration if you know how often the sofa will be used. A fabric with a high score will benefit you more in the long run in any circumstance but it is especially important if you are using the sofa vigorously every day and if you have children.

The type of fabric should also be taken into consideration if you have children or plan on using the sofa every day. Natural fabrics not only cost more, but they tend to wear and stain easier (excluding leather; natural leather is always more durable than synthetic). However you can now purchase fabrics that are a pleasant mixture of both natural and synthetic which look amazing and are more affordable than plain naturals. Make sure to check the double rub test regardless! It will indicate how durable the fabric is. You might be surprised by the durability of some synthetic materials these days! They’ve come a long way.

4: Colour! This one is simple: Do you want the sofa to blend or pop out in the room? A nice neutral colour can look amazing but if your room really needs that POP, a bright accent coloured sofa can really do the trick. Some colours that are rapidly growing in popularity these days are pastel blues, bright reds, deep greens, mustard yellows and even purples. If you’re too afraid to buy a bright coloured sofa but want a similar effect, I recommend purchasing some sofa pillows or throw blankets in that accent colour instead.

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