Thursday, May 6, 2010

Have a Seat!

My Mayfield Sofa, a style available though my line of furniture on my website. Although not a typical style, this sofa references classic design, which makes it timeless. Done in a cocoa brown with nailhead trim, this sofa can have a whole new look with different pillows or throws.

This is the same sofa in my own house upholstered in a billiard green linen velvet. This may be a bold choice for some, but I loved this fabric immediately and knew that I could live with it for a long time....if my cats don't succeed in shredding it first.

A sofa may be one of the higher-ticket items you choose for your home. I find that many people become paralyzed when presented with the myriad options available. If you take the time to think about what you are looking for in a sofa before you start to shop, you can make a decision that will, literally, sit well with you through many moves. I've conjured the four S's of sofa selection to help you.

Buy the best sofa you can afford. A well made piece can last you a lifetime. Look for a frame that has been screwed, not stapled. Also look for sofas made from kiln dried hardwoods.

I have a theory that no more than two people ever sit together on a sofa unless there are no other options. Therefore, I'm not a fan of long sofas. I think an 8 foot length is a good general size that fits in most living rooms. Choosing the proportion of furniture is one of the crucial things that a good designer can guide you on, which leads us to the next S.....

I recommend sticking with variations on classic styles like the tuxedo, the English, or the Knole. Each of these styles can be made to look more modern or more traditional with different fabric choices, but will still stand the test of time. Big oversized arms or wonky proportions will date a piece of furniture. If you are someone who changes your mind often, then choose a durable neutral fabric that you can personalize with pillows as the whim strikes. If you have a strong sense of your own style, then choosing a unique color or print can make a big decorating statement that will make you happy each time you look at it. Remember, you can always reupholster in a few years...have some fun!

Seat depth and cushion fill are highly personal. What will you use your sofa for? Is it in a formal living room, or will it be a napping spot? I like a sofa that looks inviting and squishy, so I am a huge fan of down cushions. The idea of having to fluff up down all the time may be repellant to some of you. In that case, there are lots of great synthetic options...even eco-friendly down alternatives. Eight way hand-tied springs can add another layer of springy comfort to a sofa, but those with springs can be just fine. A tight-back sofa usually has a more formal look, while one with loose back cushions may be a bit more casual and comfortable.
Good Luck!