Category Archives: Home and Garden

The Best Upholstery Fabric

The first thing that comes to mind when you are thinking about buying upholstered furniture is usually what color to pick. It’s usually the single biggest factor in fabric selection. But while color is important, other factors are equally important.

 

Fabric Durability

The importance of fabric durability varies depending on the piece of furniture, which room it is used in and personal aspects of the family, such as if children and pets live in the house.

Your fabric selection should reflect those issues.

  • Woven patterns hold up longer than printed ones, as do higher thread counts and tight weaves. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric, and denser fabric lasts longer.
  • Choose a fabric based on who will be using your sofa. If your pets will be sharing your sofa with you, consider a microfiber fabric or leather because these can withstand extra wear and tear.
  • Fabric durability is important if your sofa or chair will get daily use.

 

Fabric Style

Choose a fabric that complements both the piece of furniture and the interior decor of your house.

  • Your fabric choice should be harmonious with the style and character of the piece it is covering. For example, a traditional fabric is the go-to choice for a traditional-style frame. That said, if you have an adventurous sense of style and know how to merge two seemingly different styles together, go for it. This approach adds originality to your space. An example of that unexpected choice might be a geometric design on a wing-back chair. This example works best in a room that is contemporary, with the wing-back chair an accent in itself, so that the print connects to the rest of the decor.
  • Some fabrics appear casual, while others look more formal. Choose a fabric that echoes your own style and the mood of the decor in that room.
  • Consider the scale of the pattern. It should be appropriate to the size of the furniture it is covering as well as the room size. A large bold, pattern might work better in a larger room, while a more muted or smaller one might be a better choice for a smaller space.

 

Fabric Color

Color of the fabric is very often the first choice you make when buying furniture, and it has significant impact on your decor, especially if the furniture piece is a large sofa that will dominate the room.

  • Make sure your color choice is one you can live with happily for a long time. For instance, it might be best to avoid a very bold color for a smaller room, especially if your sofa is also large. Neutrals are generally the safest route since they tend to satisfy over time.
  • Avoid delicately colored fabrics if you have children and/or pets.
  • To strike the right mood, consider the color temperature. Warm and cool colors affect the mood of the room and that aspect should be part of the decision.
  • Avoid trendy colors, unless you really like them. They can look dated long before the sofa or chair needs recovering.

 

Special Considerations

There are some other factors that you should consider before you make a selection. These have to do with the environment in which you’ll be placing your couch.

Does your room get a lot of sun or is there any dampness? Are there pets who share the furniture with you? Does anyone suffer from allergies?

  • Fade resistance: This factor is important if it will be placed in a room that gets plenty of sunlight or close to a window.
  • Mildew resistance: Look for fabric that is mildew-resistant if you live in a humid climate.
  • Allergies: Consider fabric such as microfiber for certain allergies because it is lint-free and does not attract dust.
  • Pets: If you have pets avoid using delicate fabric such as silk or any fabric with lots of texture. Select pet-friendly upholstery instead.

Furniture Solutions For Small Space Living

For the past several years, living in small spaces has been the growing trend in American housing markets. From micro-loft apartments to entire houses that consist of no more than a few hundred square feet, small spaces offer a streamlined, minimalist approach to life and possession along with the added benefit of a much smaller carbon footprint. And while the micro-lifestyle might seem at odds with the American tradition of big homes and wide open spaces, the fact is, we kind of love these tiny spaces. We’re fascinated by them and the thought that it might be possible to fit our entire lives into such small spaces. The challenges that such a life offers haven’t only sparked the imagination of the design-loving public, they’ve captivated the minds of furniture designers as well. The key, it seems they’ve found, is to find ways to create things that are also something else. And as expected, what they’ve come up with is pretty incredible. So if you’ve ever thought about making your own foray into the world of micro-sized living, or if you’ve got a small space at home that could use some customization, here’s a look at 8 transformable pieces that will make it possible for you to live big while living small.

Any of us who have ever lived in a studio apartment are likely familiar with the constant struggle of deciding whether we want to allocate what little space we have to either the living room or the bedroom. To say nothing of the time it takes to get used to the fact that visitors are constantly trying not to sit on our beds. Enter Resource Furniture, which is pretty much the go-to for anything you might need when it comes to transforming furniture pieces for every room in the home. To help clear up this age old conundrum, Resource offers the Nuovoliola 10 Murphy Bed. Hidden away in a cute little 3-seat sofa, this queen-sized bed not only disappears seamlessly into the decor, it also transforms with a minimum of hassle. The shelf that sits above the sofa even transitions smoothly into becoming the foot of the bed, offering additional nighttime storage without any extra attachments or transformations. Now the space where the bed used to go is the perfect place for some additional seating, and you can have a complete living room as well as a full bedroom without an inch of extra space. 

If you’ve got more wall space than floor space, yet you still find yourself in need of extra seating whenever company comes, Studio Dror has just the thing for you. Just one of a number of transforming miracle works by the ingenious designer, Dror Benshetrit, the Pick Chair takes just a second – and only one hand – to morph from captivating wall art to comfortable seating and back. And if you feel like you need just as many transformable pieces for when you’re leaving your apartment as you do when you’re in it – don’t worry, Dror’s got you covered. The rolling Tumi suitcase expands by stages, ending up twice as large as its original size. And in just a few snaps, you’re back where you started – with a modestly-sized carry-on that’s easy to store without taking up too much extra space in your micro-loft or tiny home.

The great thing about an industrial loft space, even a small one, is, well, the space. The floor plan is completely open, you can arrange your rooms however you’d like, and with their nice high ceilings, you’re sure to have an amazing amount of space overhead. The issue with that last part, of course, is that you can’t really use any of it. But that’s about to change. The Vancouver, Canada-based brand, Expand Furniture, specializes in transformable small space solutions of every sort. But perhaps their most intriguing offering is the do-it-yourself loft space that not only promises open plan denizens everywhere more space in which to live, it offers them more floors on which to enjoy it. Now it may not turn your loft into a duplex, but one or two of these in a loft could add a home office, a bedroom, or even just extra storage space, all while helping to give definition and separation to the rooms beneath. Pair one of these with the right size of murphy bed on the ground floor and you could have a multi-bedroom home in no time – and with room to spare. 

Turn Any Room Into a Bedroom

You can turn any room into a bedroom or guest room by furnishing it with a quality sofa bed. A sofa bed by any name — sleeper, sleeper sofa, sleep sofa — is one of the most versatile and hard-working pieces of furniture you could own. It has come a long way from being the uncomfortable, insomnia-inducing nightmare it used to be. As a matter of fact, some sofa beds are as comfortable as a regular bed.

When shopping for a sofa bed, it helps to remember that it will most often be primarily used as seating. So, it makes sense to look for the same features you would in a regular sofa, such as a design that fits your needs and style preferences. The only difference is that you will be looking for a comfortable mattress and efficient operating mechanism as well.

 

Look for a Hardwood Frame

The strongest and most durable frames for any type of sofa, including sofa beds, are those made of kiln-dried hardwood or a combination of kiln-dried hardwood and furniture-grade plywoods. Avoid buying frames made of softer woods such as pine.

 

Look for a Good-Quality Open-and-Close Mechanism

The mechanism in a good sleeper should lift up and out in one smooth motion without squeaking or sticking. Look for units designed with a lock-down bar to ensure proper closure as well as easy opening. Inspect closely to make sure the opening mechanism is put together well, and parts will not break or come loose easily.

Feel for Smooth Edges on All Inner Mechanisms

All parts of a sofa bed’s inner mechanism should have smooth edges so that sheets and blankets don’t snag or catch and rip as a result. When you are using a sofa bed in your own home, and even on ones with the best operating mechanisms, it’s always a good idea to remove sheets and blankets before closing the unit.

That way it will not cause the alignment on different parts to shift.

Check Mattress for Quality

A quality mattress makes for a good night’s sleep and will comfortably support the body at the shoulders, hips, and lower back. A thicker mattress is not necessarily better; a thinner, better-built one might offer better support. You can also consider using a comfortable mattress pad on top when you use the sofa bed for sleeping.

 

Test It

It’s always a good idea to test a sofa bed before you buy it. Try opening and closing it to see how it feels. It should be easy to operate, and you shouldn’t have to strain to open it. Open it and lie down to see how the mattress feels.

 

Measure It

Always make sure that you measure your sofa bed before you commit to buying. Don’t neglect to find out what the measurements will be when it’s opened all the way. Remember that it needs as much room as a bed or more when fully opened. If you are planning to place any pieces of furniture in front of it, be sure they are light and easy to move so that you can easily lift them out of the way before opening the sofa bed.

Furniture can impact your health

Because furniture can impact your health, your comfort, and your efficiency, it can literally change your life. While this realization can make buying furniture a bit challenging, it is essential. You want to buy furniture that fits, supports and enhances the way you live.

If you are new to buying furniture, or have discovered that the furniture you have isn’t helping you, here are some suggestions:

Furniture is essentially a functional commodity and is used for solving problems related to how your home functions for you. It is important to determine your needs before you buy furniture, and for that there are some important questions you need to ask yourself before buying any.

Along with your needs, there are also constraints when it comes to furnishing. These constraints could relate to space, health, budget, or any other special need. Knowing both your furniture needs and constraints, can help you explore furnishing possibilities better. Make this the first and most basic step of your buying process.

Knowing how to find your style will help you buy furniture that is truly your own.

Knowing your style gives you confidence to buy just the right piece. Furniture that is in keeping with your own style or complements it successfully, makes your space not just comfortable, but attractive as well.

Knowing your style also gives you greater flexibility because then you are likely to find it in even the unlikeliest pieces of furniture. You have the ability to tie in seemingly disparate pieces to create truly unique and personal spaces. You also have the ability to find other furnishings that complement your furniture in a way that is all yours.

Buying green furniture seems like the best thing to do to protect your own health and that of your home. With the raised awareness about the plight of our planet, buying green furniture seems even more important.

Along with the raised awareness, there are so many misconceptions about buying green that even the most well intentioned buyers can get confused. Sometimes it is the manufacturers who like to confuse through misleading advertising or greenwashing.

Quality is important for any discerning buyer of furniture. Sometimes two sofas can seem almost identical, but you will notice a huge price difference. When you explore further you will almost always find a great difference in quality, and the quality comes from what is inside, and how well it is constructed.

Quality determines how long your sofa will last after you buy it and how long it will be able to retain its looks. Quality also determines the level of comfort you can expect to get from your sofa. Make sure you know what to look for so you can buy the best sofa you can afford. You will not have to replace it in a hurry.

Buying Furniture Tips

Before buying furniture, you should know how to find the best match for your needs. Every piece of furniture has certain elements or features that determine whether or not it is a good fit.

There are some general rules that apply to all furniture purchases, but sometimes you have to consider more specific parameters. And let’s face it, furniture is such an investment that understanding how and what to buy makes sense. Otherwise, the process can become confusing, intimidating and ultimately frustrating.

A sofa is one of the most important furniture purchases for your home, so before you buy a sofa make sure you are getting one that fits your needs.

A sofa that is perfect for your living room could be a terrible idea for your family room. First, figure out how you want to use your sofa and who will be using it. Determine whether your sofa is a good fit for your space and since there are sofas to fit any style of room, look for one that satisfies your own personal sense of style. The fabric you select for your sofa contributes immensely to its usability and beauty.

Just as when you buy any furniture, you should be confident that you are buying the best quality sofa for your budget, and that it offers you the comfort you need from it.

A sleeper sofa is a great multifunctional piece of furniture with the potential to turn any room into a bedroom. You can fit a sleeper sofa in so many places – a child’s room, an office or even an appropriately sized alcove.

Almost any sofa can be bought as a sleeper sofa, and sleeper sofas come in all sizes. If you only have room for a twin bed, find one in a chair. A slightly bigger room might be able to accommodate a full-size sleeper sofa, which could function as loveseat when not in use for sleeping. A sofa that seats three people easily can be transformed into a queen-sized bed.

Buy furniture that functions both as comfortable seating and a comfortable bed in any size, and what’s more many sleeper sofas come with hidden storage.

Create an Allergy Free Home with the Right Furniture

Living with allergies is challenging, but you can furnish so that you alleviate some of the challenge. Some common allergens in the home are pet dander, dust mites and pollen, and while it is not possible to get rid of them completely they can be minimized to mitigate the sufferings of those who are allergic to them.

Maybe keeping your home clean and dry is the most important step to take when you need to minimize allergens inside a home.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends aggressive cleaning as a step to keeping your home allergy free.

Dehumidifiers and air purifiers have a role to play as does temperature control. Another step you can take is discouraging pets from sleeping on your bed. Additionally, any mold should be promptly removed, by professionals if need be.

Some common sense precautions include avoiding water stained carpets, ceilings or tiles in a home, and removing them as soon as possible to get rid of pollution sources.

In addition to these steps, the furniture and decor you select can play a big role in keeping a home allergy free.

 

Go for a Clutter Free Look

Avoid overstuffed furniture and prevent crowding furniture in any area. You should be able to go around the furniture so that you can access all areas of the room to clean it. It is important to get rid of all dirt and debris on a regular basis, and frequent cleaning is essential to keep allergens to a minimum.

Make sure to have enough storage in a child’s room where toys can be stored to protect them from collecting dust. You may also want to avoid keeping books and collectibles in a bedroom because these can collect a lot of dust. Keep nightstands free of objects so that the air around the bed is clean.

 

Choose Upholstered Furniture Wisely

Leather and vinyl are probably the best upholstery choices for allergy sufferers.

These materials can be cleaned easily, and today you can get leather in a variety of colors and looks. Buying a good quality leather sofa can be expensive, but the investment pays off in the long run.

If you must have fabric upholstery be prepared to clean more often than you would with leather. The idea is to get as tight a weave as possible so that particles don’t travel through it. Vacuum thoroughly to keep it dust-free. Also remember, organic fabric is not necessarily hypoallergenic. Some materials such as organic wool can still cause allergies.

 

Bare Floors Are the Best

It is best to have bare floors as they can be cleaned easily and thoroughly. Carpets and rugs, on the other hand, can be the greatest repositories of dust. Dense or high piles on rugs and carpets are the worst. Dust settles into the fibers making it impossible to get rid of it completely.

If it is not possible to remove the carpet, use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter frequently.

Throw rugs and dhurries are better than carpets, especially look for those with a low pile or those that are washable. Also, make sure any rugs or underlays are low VOC products.

 

Avoid Heavy Curtains and Drapes

Blinds could quite possibly be the best window treatment for an allergy free environment inside the home but avoid accordion pleated ones. Metal Venetian blinds are better than wood, as wood can also harbor mites.

If you must have curtains, use light cotton ones. These have the advantage of being easily washed to get rid of any dust that may settle on them. Completely avoid heavy drapes or ones that pool on the floor.

 

Protect Your Bed

Beds need special attention because pillows and mattresses are also a breeding ground for dust mites. Besides the obvious, which is laundering bedsheets and pillowcases at least once a week, it also helps to encase pillows and mattresses in allergen-proof covers. These covers are available in fabric and also as airtight, zippered plastic coverings that prevent a person from coming in direct contact with them.

Better still, you can find mattresses and pillows that are made from hypoallergenic material. It still makes sense to find out what is in your mattress and make sure that you are not allergic to it. Many mattresses do contain latex which could be a source of allergies for some. If you are not allergic to latex, then it might be a viable choice as it doesn’t encourage dust mites.

Furniture Makeovers You Need To Pin

This formerly blue and white bamboo dresser was refinished to be more vintage glam with white oil paint and by stripping the paint off the existing hardware to return them to their metallic finish.

 

It is hard to recognize after the beautiful transformation, but originally this blue burlap panelled dresser was just the regular 6 drawer Tarva chest from Ikea. With the addition of some decorative burlap, moulding, paint and some extra wood to thicken the legs the end result is absolutely stunning.

Add a glam finish with this easy Ikea Hack for the Vittsjo Nesting Tables by using gold spray paint on the frame and white spray paint on the bottom shelf to give the tables a new chic look.

Often it can be hard to find the space in a bedroom for a vanity to get ready in the morning in front of, but using Ikea’s Alex Shelf as a base, you can add wood legs and additional wall brackets for extra support to create your own narrow vanity that can fit even in small bedrooms.

A long black second-hand tv unit was beautifully updated with white paint and gold paint on the legs to give it a stylish new finish without spending much money.

Every creative needs a moodboard, and Thompson showcases a colorful one in her home office. It’s a true reflection of the color and pattern that she brings to her online boutique. With pieces from artists like Andrea Pippins and framed prints like the popular, “Keep Calm and Carry On” adage, the moodboard is true expression of the Interwoven aesthetic.

Get Rid of a Used Sofa

It is no secret that getting rid of a used sofa or sleeper can be difficult. Upholstered furniture may not find many takers, especially when it is damaged, torn, or stained. It can be frustrating to think about the fact that you once paid good money for a piece of furniture that now seems to be of no interest to you or anyone else.

Unfortunately, with the exception of leather, upholstered furniture can depreciate greatly with use.

It is difficult to get rid of it, even when you’re not looking to make money.

So, what is a sofa owner to do other than abandon his unwanted furniture by the road? As it turns out, there are plenty of options.

 

Hold a Garage Sale

While it is difficult to sell used upholstered furniture, it is not impossible. To a great extent, it depends on the condition of the piece. Only consider selling if it is in reasonable shape. Here’s a good way to gauge the condition: if the tables were turned, would you want to buy it?

If you feel your sofa is in good enough shape, get it cleaned professionally. It may not fetch big bucks, but it will sell more easily.

If you’re holding a garage sale, your sofa can simply be part of it, making it potentially easier to sell.

Read more about selling used furniture here:

  • How to Sell Your Used Furniture
  • Tips for Selling Your Old Furniture

 

Place the Sofa in a Rummage Sale

Consider placing your used couch in a church, community center, or school rummage sale.

Your participation could be limited to hauling it there, which eliminates any worry about organizing a sale on your own. Consider this if your sofa happens to be the only item you need to sell, as just one piece does not warrant holding a garage sale of your own.

Place an Ad Online

There are numerous online resources that can help you get rid of your used sofa.

Craigslist, eBay, and www.freecycle.org are some of them. You can try either selling it or giving it away for free. Don’t forget to mention whether you will deliver, or whether the buyer will be responsible for pick up.

Old Sofas for New

Some stores will take your old couch if you are buying a new one from them. It’s always worth asking.

 

Pass it On

Ask friends and family if they have any use for your used sofa. Chances are someone might, especially if they are heading to college soon.

 

Advertise to College Students

If you live in a college town, college students might be your best takers. Students are always looking for furniture that is cheap or free.

 

Donate to a Charity

Charities like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or St Vincent DePaul may be eager to take your furniture off your hands. Most charities will arrange a pick-up from your home and even give you a tax receipt.

Check to see if you have any furniture banks in your town. They will also haul away your sofa, give you a tax receipt, and find a new home for your unwanted piece.

You may also consider donating to a shelter for the homeless, your local theater, or school.

 

Have Your Used Sofa Hauled Away

Try everything you can to prevent any furniture from going to a landfill, but if your couch is badly damaged and beyond repair, have it hauled away. Consult your city before you dispose of it on your own. Many cities will have services for hauling away your items, often for a fee.

 

The Moral of the Story

While it might be too late for the sofa you are trying to get rid of right now, here are some steps you can take in the future to make things easier for yourself:

  • Buy a good quality sofa, which should lessen your need to get rid of it anytime soon. If you do need to sell it for some reason, you will be able to find more takers due to its high quality.
  • How to Judge a Sofa for Quality​
  • Top 13 Tips for Buying a Great Sofa
  • After bringing your new furniture home, take good care of it. It will last longer and should be easier to sell when you need to do so.​​
  • How to Clean and Care for Upholstered Furniture
  • Caring for Leather Furniture
  • Consider reupholstering. This may not work for everything, but if you have a good quality sofa with a sturdy frame, reupholstering is definitely an option.
  • Use slipcovers. They often end up being less expensive than re-upholstering and can be custom-made or bought ready to use.​
  • Slipcovers as a Budget Solution for Tired Furniture
  • How to Choose Sofa or Chair Slipcovers

How to Choose the Right Sofa Color

A sofa is one of the top three furniture expenditures at home, so choose your sofa carefully. Like other major furniture purchases, your new sofa will be with you for many years. Whether you call it a couch or a sofa, that large and (hopefully) comfortable piece of furniture in your living room can make a big impact on your color choices for the rest of the room.

If you’re starting a decorating project from scratch, a sofa can be chosen first so you can decorate around it.

A showpiece sofa as inspiration for a room could be upholstered in a vibrant luxury fabric, or covered in a colorful print. It is a focal point of the room.

If you are adding a sofa to an already decorated room or if you’d prefer the sofa play a supporting role, then choosing color becomes very important. Choosing a new sofa for an existing color palette means that you’ll have to decide if the sofa will be neutral, or if it will take on an accent role.

There are designers that favor a sofa that matches the wall color to unify the room and make the room look larger. This is a creative idea for a harmonious color scheme. If you are buying a sofa to match your wall color, then changing the wall color in the future could be complicated. The most common approach is to choose a sofa that complements the other decor and is not the center of attention nor camouflaged into the wall color. This is why neutral sofa colors are the most popular for most homes.

 Should You Choose a Light or Dark Sofa Color?

Once you decide if your sofa will be an accent or neutral color, you’ll need to decide if your sofa will be light or dark. Your floor color has a big effect on choosing the right sofa color. If you’re considering a potential sofa sitting on your floor, will it float on a sea of dark wood flooring or carpet or will it blend into it?

Because a sofa is traditionally large and upholstered, and most fabric absorbs light, it can darken a room considerably. A trick I use when considering a new sofa color is to find a sheet or blanket in a similar color and drape it over the existing sofa. This gives you an idea of how the color will look, and if the sofa will be too dark or too light for the room.

If you’re putting a dark sofa on a dark floor, it will appear to disappear into the room. If you would like to use a dark sofa on a dark floor, you should try to make it more visible. A dark sofa with metal or light wood legs can create visual space between the sofa and the floor. The use of a lighter rug under the front of your sofa can separate the dark colors and make the sofa color pop. A light wood or metal coffee table could also help to define the sofa from the floor.

A light-colored sofa has different challenges from a dark one. The biggest challenge of a light sofa is staining and wear. Before selecting a white or light sofa consider how the room is being used now, not how you hope it will be used.

If your dog is like mine and believes that a sofa is just another large dog bed, then you would probably not want to put a white sofa in your living room without some serious retraining. If your sofa will be used by kids and pets, and you still love the idea of a light sofa, then washable slipcovers are a stylish compromise.

Things You Should Know About Sofa Colors

Once you’ve considered the light and dark of your new sofa, it’s time to think about color. If you’re not working with a showpiece sofa, then a sofa in a neutral color is a popular choice. Neutral sofas are easy to decorate around, and can easily keep up with your style as it changes over the years.

Neutral sofa fabric includes beige, gray, taupe, and cream. A matte beige sofa fabric can appear dull around other colors, but a textured beige fabric with flecks of monochromatic color can create interest without adding new colors. Gray sofas can range from pale to charcoal colors. Considered a style chameleon, gray can be sophisticated, comfortable, cool or crisp. Neutral sofas can quietly complement your other decor, but still be stylish and attractive.

A sofa of any color can be beautifully integrated into your space if you treat it as another color from your color scheme. This means adding accessories or prints in the same color as the sofa, to spread the color around the room. A sofa is a large expanse of fabric, by repeating pops of the same color as an accent, it can balance your room.

All about seating and cushions

If you want to judge the quality of a sofa, go beyond what it looks like. Quality goes deeper than looks, and that is why two identical-looking sofas can vary so much in price. What lies inside determines how your sofa rates for quality.

The frame, seating support and filling not only determine your sofa’s level of comfort but also its ability to retain its shape and stability in the years to come.

Here’s a closer look:

The Frame

How long a sofa will last and retain its shape depends largely on the frame, and a high-quality sofa always has a strong, sturdy one.

  • The best frame is made out of kiln-dried hardwood. The process of kiln drying removes all moisture from the wood, enabling it to retain its shape and stability over a long period of time. A frame made of green wood can shrink or crack as it dries. Soft wood can bend and break easily, while knotted wood is prone to cracks.
  • In a good-quality frame, the joints get special attention. They are glued, dowelled, and screwed. The corners are further strengthened by the addition of reinforcing blocks for extra support and strength.
  • Generally speaking, plywood and particleboard frames are inferior, especially if they are held together with staples. However, additional layers of plywood can help reinforce the frame, so as you can see, construction matters as much as material. If you must choose a sofa with a plywood frame, make sure it has at least 11 to 13 layers of plywood.
Seating Support

The seating support is also an important component in determining the quality of a sofa. It works in tandem with the frame and the filling. A sturdy frame provides an anchor for good seating support and filling augments it. You should always test the quality of seating support by sitting on a sofa before you buy it.

It shouldn’t sag, and it should provide good support in the seat and in the back.

  • The eight-way hand tied springs system is one of the best support systems. The craftsman connects each spring to the adjoining one with a strong twine. The twine passes front to back, side to side and then diagonally in both directions, thus tying each spring securely.
  • Another method is sinuous spring construction. Sinuous springs are “S”-shaped and run from the front of the seat to the back. These springs are supported by additional wires that cross from side to side. This also makes for a strong seat, and it might be the preferred option in a sleeker style or smaller frame because it requires less space.
  • The third option is web suspension, in which bands of webbing cross the seat and back. These are then attached to the frame to make a platform for the cushions. Webbing can be made of either natural or man-made fibers, and if it is used alone doesn’t make for very strong support. However, in better-quality sofas, it is used with a tensioner that fastens the webbing securely to the frame. The web suspension is the least preferable of the seating support options.

 

Cushion Filling

Now that you have considered the frame and seating support, it is time to look at what kind of filling is used for the cushions.

  • The most common filling is high-density polyurethane. Obviously, the higher the density, the firmer the cushion will be. Foam can be wrapped in softer material or cotton to make it softer. Dacron-wrapped foam is the cheapest option, but it won’t last as long.
  • Make sure that you are getting high-density foam because lesser-quality foam can start breaking down pretty quickly, causing sags, and the fabric does not stay taut when that happens.
  • If you want a really soft seat, consider down cushions. These are considered to be the premium choice, and as you might imagine they are also among the most expensive. High-quality cushions have down-proof ticking under the upholstery fabric to prevent feathers from poking through. Cushions filled just with down are high-maintenance and can need daily attention.
  • Down used in combination with other materials is also a good option but also another expensive option. Pads made out of a Dacron polyester fiber and down, known as Blendown pads, are wrapped around high-density foam.
  • These pads can also be used with springs that have been wrapped up in foam. High-density foam surrounds the springs, which are then wrapped in down pads. The result is a soft surface with a strong, resilient support inside. This is a good option because the cushions do not lose their shape easily.

Bottom line: Quality doesn’t come cheap, but a good-quality sofa will stay more comfortable and retain its looks for a long time. So consider buying the best quality that you can afford.