Scouting out the Perfect Sofa


Looking for the perfect sofa?
Designer tips and tidbits for thought before you buy...

Fit for Size
Find a sofa proportionate to its space and also to your size.

"If you're 6'-5", you'll pick a different sofa than me.  I'm only 5'-2".  You'll want a much deeper seat for a taller person." (our very own, Jennifer Butler)

"Cut a template from brown paper (or tape the outline) in the size of the sofa you're considering, place it on the floor, and see how it looks before you buy." (Chandos Dodson Epley)

Style - Traditional, Transitional, Contemporary
Generally, more traditional sofa styles tend to have more pattern, whereas more modern styles will not.  You can go strong or subtle with color and pattern, depending on your preferences.  Note that for some, the bolder you go, the more likely you'll be ready for change sooner than later.

"Stripes, florals, you name it, I love pattern! But using a [bold] pattern isn't for the faint of heart - it says, 'I'm bold, fearless, and not afraid of commitment!' " (Schuyler Samperton)

Legs and Skirts
An open leg in many cases gives a more casual look than a skirt, which can appear more formal.  Pick accordingly.

"I prefer sofas with skirts because it allows me to introduce other lighter pieces with exposed legs into the space without the room becoming too leggy. (Kevin Isbell)

Arms and Cushions
Arm style and cushion style should relate to the overall style of a room.   

"An English roll arm is the little black dress of sofas.  It goes with everything." (Chandos Dodson Epley)

"Lately I've been making all my sofas with tufted backs.  I use diamond tufts for traditional living rooms, and tight, square biscuit tufts for more contemporary settings." (Eddie Lee)

"For a traditional sofa, I like a scroll arm, and for modern, I love a square arm." (Mary McDonald)

Stay Sturdy
A quality sofa is defined by quality construction.  Poor quality quickly shows and looks cheap and sloppy.   A quality sofa has greater durability and longevity, and proper ergonomic and structural support.

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like.  Design is how it works." (Steve Jobs)

Versatile and clean.  If you go for showy/trendy and/or low-quality fabric be prepared to reupholster or replace sooner than you may have hoped.

"I never use big patterns or trendy colors for large upholstered pieces.  The punch of pattern or hot splash of trendy color should come from the throw pillows so they can be easily substituted when you need to change." (Tom Stringer)

At the Moment...

"I'm a big sectional fan right now.  I like how they fill space and work as a family oriented social piece.  It can be casual and still sophisticated." (Jennifer Butler)