Having a hard time deciding on a new couch? Purchasing new home furniture is fun and exciting, but for many homeowners, it can also be a time of frustration. This is particularly true when it comes to purchasing a high use item, like a new couch.
Your couch is more than just a key focal point in the room. In a living room or family room, it’s also the spot where friends and family spend the most time. This means that when you choose your couch, you not only have to think about the way your it will look in a room, but also how it will feel.
A few things to consider when you choose a new couch
Destination and use
Where your couch is intended to go may be the biggest deciding factor. That’s because its location often dictates its use. A couch in a media room will need to be extremely comfortable and generally stain-resistant, since snacking and movie watching go hand-in-hand.
If the couch is intended for a room that is partly used as office space and partly as a spare bedroom, then you may wish to settle on a daybed as on option.
Of course the style of décor in the room receiving the couch will probably be in the forefront of your thoughts. Chances are it’s the look of the room that really drives your decision.
Definitely opt for something that speaks your room’s design language; however, it pays to opt for a couch that suits several styles (or can be slip covered), rather than one that conforms rigidly to a particular style. Because, today’s homage to all things mid-century modern could easily become tomorrow’s Moroccan casabah (ok, perhaps that’s a bit extreme).
Choosing the ideal couch size
Many a room has been made minuscule by the presence of an overly large couch. Fact. So, try not to let it happen to you.
Unfortunately, seeing a sofa surrounded by loads of space in a large furniture store, doesn’t always translate to how it would look in a small to mid-size living room. That’s why it is so important to know what your room’s dimensions are.
However, let’s rewind for a moment, because the size of your room is less important than the size of your doorway.
If you have double front doors and a large doorway into the room in question, then this is less of an issue for you. For everyone else, there is nothing like the disappointment felt by anyone who has tried and failed to force a lovely piece of furniture through a doorway that refuses to accept it. So, get out your measuring tape and take some doorway measurements.
Determining the perfect couch size takes so many factors into consideration that you could probably write it out as some sort of algebraic equation. Here are the elements to consider:
Room size – Because it needs to fit in the room, natch.
Number of people to seat –Is the couch a family gathering space, or will it be used as overflow seating when guests come over? Figuring this out can make the difference between a small couch and a sectional.
Couch depth –Depth is an often overlooked, but very important factor to consider, because it translates to your overall sitting comfort. A couch that’s too deep can make a shorter person feel like Loonette from the Big Comfy Couch (remember that show!!?), while a long-legged person on a shallow couch can be extremely uncomfortable.
Couch heights –The average couch is about 37 inches high, with some contemporary couches coming in at 33-34 inches. Variations are possible but unlikely.
Perch or Sink?
When testing out new couches, ask yourself how you imagine it will be used? Do you envision a place where visitors perch, politely sitting upright to chat and sip wine or tea? Or will your couch more likely be something you and your family will sink into to watch TV, nap, and generally live on?
Again, looks are typically the deciding factor here, but when it comes to choosing what type of material your want your couch to be made of, there are other things to consider. These things are feel, cost and care. If you have kids, you might not want something too high maintenance? Is the couch going into a space that tends to heat up? If so, you might not enjoy the feeling of sweaty legs against hot leather.
A word about bonded leather – This may be a good place to explain what bonded leather is. While bonded leather is made with real leather, it is not 100% leather. It’s like buying apple drink vs apple juice. There may be some real stuff in the mix, but there’s typically more of a lot of other stuff. In the case of bonded leather, you’re typically looking at about 20% ground up leather confetti mixed in with polyurethane.
Cost and Quality
Ensure that the cost of your sofa and the quality of its construction go hand-in-hand. If you’re planning to spend a substantial amount of a piece of furniture, definitely make sure that you’re getting a high-quality product. By the same token, don’t sacrifice quality in order to save a few bucks. If you low-cost sofa wears out or falls a part in a short amount of time, it can actually end up costing you more, due to having to replace it.