………..about that new sofa that you need to buy!

****Before you begin your search, A WORD of CAUTION!  ALWAYS MEASURE THE SPACE where the sofa will be placed.  As well as ALL of the DOORWAYS, HALLS and CORNERS it will pass through on its way in.  All too often, a are sofa is purchased and the delivery team can’t get it into the home or makes it in the house but it doesn’t fit through the passage ways!  DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

So, you need to buy a sofa and you truly don’t have a clue where to begin.  You are inundated by all kinds of choices and after a short hunt you are quite simply overwhelmed and exhausted!  Feeling frustrated you decide to quit and hang on to the old one because “it really isn’t that bad…”  I get it.  You are not alone in your frustration.  I too feel overwhelmed and frustrated at times. 

Here is the good news!  There are specific skills to use when buying a sofa.  I have them listed below for you to keep at your fingertips.  They apply to all brands and styles and will help you to select what works best for you.  Remember, that you do get what you pay for and buying quality always saves you money in the long term.   Having said that, it also reduces the waste in our environment and allows you to enjoy your sofa for years to come!  Think of it this way, we seek out organic & healthy food choices to put into our bodies so why not approach your home in the same way? The old adage, “Buy once, cry once!”

Need to Buy a New Sofa?


Here is a short list of what to look for when on the hunt.

WEIGHT: How heavy is it?  Lift one end.  If it is well-made, it will feel heavy and be constructed of hard-wood, springs & down which is what you want.

FRAME: The frame should be solid, kiln-dried hardwood with rails that are at least ¼” thick.  The joints should be double-doweled glued & screwed with corner blocks.  NO NAILS.

SIT IN IT: Seek out a showroom that has it on the floor to do a “test sit”.  When you sit down, the piece needs to draw you in and fit your body.  The front of the sofa cushion should fall in the crook of the knees and your back should fit nicely up against the back cushion.   Once you are sitting, get up!  Can you easily get up or do you have to “roll out” of it!  Try it out in the way that you intend to use it!  Recline in it as you would when reading, or watching a television.  How about napping?  Lay down in it, how does it feel?  When you have guests in, how would you use it for conversation?

BENCH CUSHIONS: Sit on one end to be sure that other end doesn’t “pop” up and you don’t tip or sink!

SPRINGS: Remove the cushions and check the deck.  Are the springs 8-way hand tied, spaced even, close together and feel equally resistant to pressure?  Less expensive options, which are still comfortable, are drop-in spring units.  These are cone springs  and flat sinuous springs which are tacked to the frame rather then tied to one another.

SOFA BACK: Firmly press the back & arms to be sure they are well-padded and you can’t feel the wood frame poking through.  Put pressure on the arms and back by wiggling to make sure you don’t feel much movement.

CUSHIONS: Be sure the cushions fit the frame well with no gaps or overcrowding.  Unzip and look inside the cushions.  Down/feather cushions should be incased in a tightly woven fabric so the feathers don’t escape.  Loose cushions should have feathers or fill contained in stitched channels or baffles to minimize settling.  Often times they may be a favorite among some individuals but they are simply “too soft!”  A great compromise is a spring/down cushion.  These have a series of springs encased in a high-density foam with an encased ticking bag of feathers and synthetic fill wrapped around the foam (20% down 80% feathers).

BUYING OFF THE SALES FLOOR: Check to be sure the patterns are lined up at the seams and the skirts are weighted.  Is it showing wear on the arms or on the welting?

FABRIC SELECTION: The fabric is what you see, be sure to select a quality fabric that compliments the quality frame.  An average sofa takes 15 to 18 yards of fabric.

HOW LONG MUST I WAIT TO RECEIVE MY SOFA IF I ORDER IT?   Typically, a sofa takes 8-10 weeks if the fabric is in stock.  Should it come sooner, fantastic for you!

Need to Buy a New Sofa?


Make this an small adventure and have fun “on the hunt”.  Yes, it takes time but once you found what you have been looking for, it will bring you relaxation and great style everyday!


*Information compiled from my own years of experience as well as from Southern Accents, magazine.