Purchasing a Sofa
Sofa designer Mitchell Gold discusses what to look for when buying a sofa.
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Sofa designer Mitchell Gold discusses what to look for when buying a sofa:
- One of the first things someone looks for when buying a sofa is the arm style. There are three basic classic arms including the Charles of London (also known as English traditional), roll arm and straight (or square) arm.
- This roll arm has a little extra finesse to it with pleated arms, welt cording and a front panel for a very traditional feeling.
- Another option is no arms at all. A tight seat and tight back construction works well for this style because all the cushions are attached and don't need to be fixed after each use. What's important to know about buying this is that the cushions are not easily replaceable.
- Once you decide on the basic sofa shape, the next option is fabric. While solid colors are easier to decorate with, patterned sofas don't show wear as quickly. Gold says the most durable and practical material is leather, which he says wears in not out. The longer you have leather, the more patina it gets whereas a fabric, no matter how good, will get worn out.
- After you decide which look you like, the next step is finding out what a sofa is made of. The most important thing is the actual frame for the whole piece, which should be made of a kiln-dried hardwood like maple, poplar, beach or oak instead of pine.
- When thinking about support, look for durability. One option is coils that are tied together and another durable and less expensive option is wire springs.
- The cushions are what really make a sofa comfortable. The least expensive option is high-resiliency foam, which compresses during use and comes back to its natural shape. For real luxury, all goose down filling is the most expensive option, but it doesn't offer much support and must be fluffed up often. A good compromise between comfort and budget is an inner core of foam topped with cotton batting surrounded by a cover filled with goose down. The foam center provides support for the soft feathers.
- When shopping for a sofa, sit in it the way you will at home or lay across it to test its comfort level. Finally, measure the sofa before leaving the store to be sure it will fit in the front door.
Mitchell Gold sofas (ABC Carpet and Home)
Follow these tips on what to look for when shopping for a sofa, including comfort, support and style.