Rules for Choosing Perfect Sofa Style
A sofa is one of the biggest investments you will make for your living space. It will set the tone for your décor style and will be expected to provide lots of comfort and durability for you and your family. That is a lot to ask from one piece of furniture. Hence the importance for making the right choice up front — do not make this an impulse buy.
The quality of the structure will certainly determine the price point, and as with any item which can be either mass produced or bespoke, you will get what you pay for. A quality sofa will feel sturdy and heavy. It should not feel wobbly when lifted on one end. The frame should be kiln-dried hardwood with double dowelled and fitted corner blocks that are both glued and screwed … not stapled! Though the signature of quality upholstery is eight-way hand tied springs, sinuous S-shaped springs will provide you with high quality and super comfort.
After the structure, your other consideration is the filling which determines the comfort level of the seat and back. The denser and heavier the polyurethane foam, the longer it will last. Wrapped around the foam should be either Dacron or a Down and Dacron mix. It is a personal comfort choice which will determine how much down you use if any at all. I personally want a sofa to be soft and cushy on the surface, yet firm with some bounce back; this is achieved with a poly-foam and Dacron-down wrap.
After the technical aspects are considered, you can deal with the fun part which is determining which sofa complements your style and functional needs. Decorium, a Toronto store in Summerhill, is my go-to place to find and discover all the various styles of sofas from which to choose. Whether you are a Traditionalist, which is reflected in rolled arms like a classic William Birch or one with some tufting or whether you lean more to the Contemporary, which is more linear like a Tuxedo style sofa. Consider the proportions of the room for height of seat, back and width. Do you plan to do some napping? In which case the arm should be about 6” from the seat for comfort. The legs of the sofa are also a ‘tell’ when determining the style of a sofa. Metal sinewy legs or turned wood legs will set the style tone.
Now to consider the fabric … this can completely confuse you for sure, but if I can give one piece of advice, choose a neutral slightly textured fabric which is rated at a minimum of 50,000 double rubs. This will ensure that your sofa will last long and offer you various decorative options with the addition of colorful and patterned pillows if you wish.
The sofa really does set the tone for the style in your home; it should be comfortable, the correct size and shape for your space and most of all, the best quality you can afford.
Tips for selecting the best sofa for you and your family:
1. Tight back cushions offer less maintenance and looks neater, but tend to have a stiffer feel.
2. The perfect sofa is about 37 inches deep and 84 inches wide with a back height of 34 inches and a seat height of 18 inches with a square arm about 24 inches off the floor.
3. Sectionals are excellent for tight spaces, they will offer you maximum seating in a small area.
4. Skirts on a sofa will make it look more traditional and formal.
5. Consider getting your sofa treated by a company that will professionally seal the fabric and offer a resistance to staining and soiling.
Toronto-based accredited Interior Designer Evelyn Eshun
Principal of Evelyn Eshun Design
For Over 15 years has concentrated on and known for her custom designed residential projects throughout the GTA.
Known for making your space showcase and bring out the very best in you