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Sofa Shopping Guide: 4 Insider Tips

Finding the perfect sofa for your living room is no small feat. Keep in mind, this is where you’ll be doing a lot of lounging, TV watching, gathering, reading and sometimes napping (whether you intend to or not!). This is also where you’ll entertain many a guest, so you want to choose a sofa that you not only love, but love to share and show off.

As you begin your sofa shopping journey, allow us to help you navigate through the most important steps with our 4 insider tips. You can thank us later!

1 | Know Your Style Preferences: 

modern sofa

Modern/Contemporary

To determine whether your style points in a modern/contemporary direction, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like clean lines?
  • Do you like simpler designs?
  • Are you a fan of mid-century styles?
  • Are you a fan of minimalism?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider any of our modern/contemporary sofas. Many feature track arms and tapered legs or block feet, as well as grid-tufted cushions and tight back designs, all of which contribute to that sleek, streamlined look.

transitional sofa

Transitional

To determine whether your style leans transitional, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like more casual looks?
  • Do you prefer larger, deeper sofas?
  • Do you prioritize comfort over style?
  • Does your taste fall somewhere in between modern/contemporary and traditional?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, take a peek at our transitional sofas. These designs are often characterized by silhouettes that are neither modern/contemporary or traditional. The lines are pretty casual and so are the details. The emphasis is on comfort, flexibility and practicality rather than a specific look.

traditional sofa

Traditional

To discover whether your style is traditional, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like antiques?
  • Do you like designs with refined details or rich colors?
  • Do you like classic pieces?
  • Do you want your home to feel more formal and graceful?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, check out our traditional sofas. These designs often resemble what you grew up with - whether in your own home, your friends' houses or in your grandparents’ dwellings. However, they’ve been refreshed with color palettes and fabrics that are suitable for today’s interiors. Rather than have a dated look, traditional sofas have a sense of timelessness.

2 | Know Your Size Needs:

small sofa

Small - Under 80" Wide

The size of your space will most often dictate the size of your sofa. So, if you have a living room that’s lacking on square footage, all you have to do is narrow down your sofa options to those that measure under 80 inches wide. Fortunately, we have plenty of small space-friendly choices for you.

medium sofa

Medium - Under 90" Wide

If your living room is not too big and not too small, a sofa under 90 inches wide will be just the right size. There are other details that can contribute to your sofa’s overall proportions, including the thickness of the arms, the depth of the cushions and the height of the back. All are important elements to keep in mind.

large sofa

Large - Above 90"

If you have a generously-sized living room, go ahead and get yourself a generously-sized sofa. A design that measures over 90 inches will have the right scale to properly fill your space. If your living room is truly expansive, then you may even want to consider searching our selection of sectionals.

3 | Know Your Construction Basics:

sofa frame

Frame

Every piece of upholstery - including sofas - have 3 basic construction elements that determine the quality of your piece. The frame, the suspension system and the cushions are the foundation of your seat, and how they’re made/what they’re made out of will tell you if your seat is good, better or best.

Frames are often made of Kiln-dried hardwoods and engineered woods, and they’re assembled with glued and screwed or stapled joinery and corner-blocked to ensure extra strength and reliability.

Suspension

Your sofa’s suspension system determines how supportive it is. Typically, a sofa will have 8 gauge sinuous springs that are bound by cross wires. These springs give it the bounce you feel when you sit down. The “best” suspension system is eight-way hand-tied springs (pictured above) because it provides the most balanced, long-lasting support.

Cushions

Your sofa’s cushions are what make it comfortable for you, whether you prefer a firmer or softer seat. Firmer seats will feature high-density foam cushions, often wrapped in Dacron or batting that adds extra padding. Softer seats will feature a blend of foam, fiber and down feathers. Down is exceptionally plush and is responsible for that luxurious, sink-in, cloud-like feel.

4 | Know Your Customization Options:

At Living Spaces, you can customize many of our sofas through our Special Order custom upholstery program. Which means if you find the absolute perfect sofa, but want it in a different color and/or fabric, we can make that happen at no extra cost. Plus, you would receive your Special Order sofa in as little as 2 weeks in select areas.

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