Choosing a Sofa to Suit Your Lifestyle and Your Design Style

By: Catherine Olivia

So it's time for you to buy a new sofa. Is it something that has to be more difficult than going to the furniture store and pointing to one and saying, "I want that"? Yes, or no. When you make any purchase, and something as big as a sofa, you want to do some homework and put some thought into it so that you get the best you can for your hard earned money. Most people have the same sofa somewhere between 5 and 8 years. That's longer than some people own a car. If you're going to be best friends with your sofa for that length of time put a bit of consideration into your decision so you'll be happy with it.

How much do you want to spend? How long to you intend to keep the sofa? How will the sofa be used? Who will use the sofa? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Of course, everything hinges on your budget. But, wouldn't it be nice to find out that you don't need to spend as much as you thought? Well, if you're looking for a sofa to keep 2-3 years, don't buy the best. If the sofa is going to be used by your kid in his or her college dorm room absolutely don't spend a fortune. Look into a wood futon for this purpose.

Consider what options you may want the sofa to have. If you live in a small home or apartment and if you entertain guests overnight you will definitely want to invest in a sleeper sofa, or a convertible sofa. Perhaps you don't need a sleeper sofa for your room, but the size of the room your sofa is going into isn't large enough to accommodate many pieces of furniture and you'd really like to have a reclining chair also. The good news is that today a lot of sofas come with one or two reclining seats.

From a design style sofas are broken down into two groups, contemporary and traditional, that's fairly standard. Within each of these two categories there are hundreds of styles. Some people like to mix it up a bit and put a more traditional sofa within a modern setting. There is no firm set rule.Of course it's you home and you should mix and match the sofa with furniture that suits you. Some people put two sofas in a living room or family room or use a sectional sofa.

Speaking of fabrics, it's another choice you need to make! Do you want a casual style or something a bit more dressy? The use of fabrics makes it easy to personalize your design style. Of course if you have young children at home you'll want a very heavy duty fabric and one that repels stains easily. Make sure that you take whatever stain repellent application is offered when you purchase your sofa. Some people say it isn't worth it, but once the sofa is delivered you won't be able to have it done. It may be a good idea for you to purchase a fitted slip cover to go over your new sofa for extra protection.

So what type of fabric will go with your design? The options are endless. If you already have good furniture, say arms chairs or a recliner in your living room or family room that you are planning to keep you may want to go with a fabric for your new sofa that goes well with the furniture you have. Most people choose bright bold geometric fabric patterns to use on contemporary (modern) sofas. Floral fabrics are usually seen on more overstuffed casual sofas.

Perhaps you should consider leather. Leather is an extremely popular fabric choice for sofas, traditional or modern. Leather now comes in a wide variety of shades from rich teal greens to ruby reds, to white and black and every color in-between. Leather sofas don't need much upkeep, just a good wipe down with a leather protectant every six months and an occasional vacuum in between. The prices of leather sofas are dependent upon the grade of the leather. Unflawed leather will be more expensive than leather with flaws, although both will wear well.

The most important consideration is comfort. You need to sit on the sofa, lie down on the sofa and see how it feels to you. After all, it's going in your home and you're going to be spending a few afternoons on the weekend taking a nap wont' you? We suggest that you never purchase a sofa out of a catalog. You don't know what type of seat you're getting. Seat depth varies, as does the height of the back of a sofa. Each sofa feels different and you want to make sure that you choose a sofa that's comfortable for you.

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About the author: Catherine Olivia is a sofa expert. To learn about sofas and contemporary sofas visit her ultimate sofa site.
This article is available as a unique content article with free reprint rights.

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