Consider style, shape and size to find your perfect sofa

  • Your sofa's design should reflect the size of your room and combine with the rest of your decor. And before you start shopping, you should determine how the sofa will be used.

    Your sofa's design should reflect the size of your room and combine with the rest of your decor. And before you start shopping, you should determine how the sofa will be used.

 
By Joseph Pubillones
Posted2/25/2015 6:00 AM

Sofas are the piece of furniture where you will spend endless hours: watching a movie, chatting with friends or taking a nap. So choose well. It's too large an expense to make any mistakes.

The design should reflect the size of your room and combine with the rest of your decor -- and of course, you must love it. The style and shape of your sofas are important, too. Sofas with rounded edges or carved wood frames are generally softer and considered to be traditional and more feminine; whereas, sofas with boxier or rectangular lines are considered to be contemporary and more masculine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Do you use your sofa to lie down, watch TV or just hang out with your friends and family? This will give you clues of the shape, size and form of sofa you need. Is a sectional sofa, a sofa bed or a simple three-seater your choice? Perhaps this is the one issue you should settle before you go sofa shopping.

In an average-sized room, the sofa can range from 79 inches to 84 inches; however, if your room is a bit larger, you can opt for a 96-inch sofa or larger, such as a sectional. Most manufacturers produce up to a 96-inch sofa without getting into custom sizes. It should not overwhelm the space, and if your space is tight, then perhaps a love seat is a better solution for your room. Love seats can range from 60 inches to 78 inches. Sometimes a pair of love seats facing each other and a coffee table will do just fine, or try a grouping of four club chairs for a comfortable and intimate seating arrangement.

Comfort is a must. Try it before your buy it, if possible. Take note of the height of the back. Is it high enough to accommodate your 6-foot-4-inch husband? Perhaps you are looking for a low, sleek contemporary sofa, but is it comfortable only when lying down? Sofas with higher backs are more conducive to sitting up straight and reading or watching TV. Sofa beds are the answer to compact condo living rooms or secondary bedrooms that must do double duty as an office during the day and a guest room from time to time.

When firmness matters, be sure to select a sofa that is filled with good memory foam and wrapped coils. Although down-filled cushions are seemingly the ultimate in soft comfort, they continuously require to be fluffed for a neat appearance and repeated seating. Using down or feathers for your decorative pillows instead is a good designer's advice to keep your housekeeping to a minimum.

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Ergonomics are important to recognize in selecting a sofa. Technology has also conquered upholstery goods, and not unlike a car seat, there are sofas that can memorize different seating positions for each person in the family. Just be careful not to press the eject button -- you might get launched into orbit.

Don't forget the most evident elements when deciding on a sofa, namely color. A neutral sofa can be elegant and luxurious; on the other hand, it can also be too safe and boring. Buying a colorful sofa can make an impact and give your room some pizazz. It's your choice -- just think into the future and consider whether it's a color that you will still love in five or 10 years. Or is it just a trendy color that you will outgrow?

• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla.

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