View Full Version : Opinions on Sofas

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03-24-2010, 09:58 PM
I am looking for a new sofa and am bewildered by upholstery. What do people look for in a sofa? Prices range from $500 to $5,000 in the stores. I found a Rowe sofa that I liked for $800 with really cool fabric choices but then I checked reviews on line that noted the cushions started to deteriorate after 3 years. Are the $3k models really that much better? Also, I have a hand me down boring beige sofa now. I am thinking about something with more pow but would you get tired of that pretty quickly?

03-24-2010, 10:20 PM
Personally I like slipcover sofas, because you can wash the cover. I mean how many of you dry clean your sofas? Just think how many *sses have been on them and what people might have done while sitting on them. Eewwwwwww.

I live a sofa that you can sink yourself into. If I'm paying 3k for a sofa then it better be made up of top grade cow hide leather :)

03-24-2010, 10:20 PM
Do you like the hand me down sofa? If you do get it re-upholstered. You can choose your favorite fabric. Saves you a ton of money. They can also make new cushions for it and fill out the arms ect.
There is not much difference from the cost of the sofas. Pick one that the upholstery will hold up over the years (I try to stick to beiges) You can use pillows to change the effects to go with color of the room or buying a new chair. If it has wood on the arms, remember if you go with a dark wood, you won't be able to choose an oak table to go with it.
Comfort and sturdiness is the number one things. Longevity is the other thing you need to look for. Will it go out of date 5 years from now. Style is another thing you want to look for. Do you like country, modern, traditional ect. Can you add onto a couch for a later date when your looking for chairs. I had a pretty paisley coach but never could find a chair to go with it. It went out of style a few years later and I couldn't give that thing away.
Look for one with a warranty. Look at the terms. If your paying over a 1000.00 for it then they should offer to pick it up and repair or replace it for free for at least 5 years.
Are you getting a sleeping sofa? Make sure the mattress is comfortable. That your able to open it easy and put it away easy.

03-24-2010, 10:23 PM
I think sofas are an investment. Really, how often do you buy one?

I got my first sofa about 12 years ago and it's still going strong. It could probably do with a reupolstering, but the frame is still great. I got it on sale for just over $2 and really, it was based on comfort more than longevity. After sitting on about 50 sofas, I could tell the difference between a $1k sofa and a $2k sofa right away.

I also went with a beigy color. IMO unless you have a real minimalist place, so much is going on, the sofa doesn't need to add a lot of visual stuff. And if it's dull, throw pillows are a great way to add color and/or pattern.

03-24-2010, 10:30 PM
I second the slipcover notion. I know IKEA is considered cheap to many, but a few of their sofas have removable/washable covers, and you can always replace it with a different colour in the future.

I don't suggest a bright colour for a sofa. I had a bright red one which was :swoon: at first, but I found any defects (and there were MANY) showed up immediately on it, whereas my friend's cheap neutral one hid many more. And if you have a pet, consider their hair and what will show up more, etc. etc.

03-24-2010, 10:38 PM
I'd spend a little more on a brand that covered the fabric and cushions under warranty. Kincaid makes really nice sofas with a 7 year warranty on the frame, fabric and cushions and the prices aren't nearly as high as a place like Pottery Barn. I think I paid just under $1800 for my sofa 3 years ago.

03-24-2010, 10:39 PM
A different opinion.

I hated all the square, blocky, "metro" style sofas I saw at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel and all the other mid-range chain retailers. I looked and looked, and finally found a reproduction of a 30's camelback sofa with a really pretty swoopy back and a single cushion and swoopy roll arms. (I think I hate right angles.) Took me a month to find the perfect blue upholstery to set off my ocean-tones rug. The sofa plus upholstery was maybe $3000, but really, how often do you buy a sofa?

OK, it's possibly not quite as comfortable as one of the blocky ones but I just love looking at it. It's not like stuff you replace every few years. So try to find one you love so you can live with it a long time and amortize the cost.

03-24-2010, 11:03 PM
Rowe is a pretty good line overall, but in general, there's a reason that the more expensive sofas are more expensive.

There's some good info here: http://www.patmcnees.com/how_to_buy_upholstered_furniture_32626.htm

My dad sold furniture for many years before I was born, so I took him with me when I went to buy furniture. I cringed over the bill, but I still have all that furniture nearly 25 years later and it's all still in great shape. One couch needs to be reupholstered soon, but that frame will outlast me.

03-24-2010, 11:10 PM
The couches from Pottery Barn are actually really good. They're made by a company (whose name I forget) who gave us excellent customer service. Our first sofa squeeked when we sat on it - they replaced it. Our second sofa, I spilled nail polish remover on the first month we had it. They REPLACED IT.

We bought from their PB Basic line, and we went with Pottery Barn and a more expensive sofa, because we sit on it how often? And our old sofa was so uncomfortable we decided to invest a bit. This is the one we got:

It's a basic, classic style, and we got it in a neutral color. I add color with things that are easily changed out - pillows, for example. But the sofa is pretty neutral.

I purposefully bought one that is slipcovered, so I can wash them when I need to (think kid, cat, and husband). These slipcovers hold up well to washing.

The rest of our stuff - the chairs we got to go with it - are Ikea, cheap, because we don't sit in them as often. But the sofa, which gets heavy use? PB.

One word of advice - sit on the couch before you buy it. Different sofas "fit" differently. I'm not tall, and many sofas didn't fit me at all - they were obviously scaled for larger people. And if being able to clean the sofa is important to you due to your lifestyle, make sure it's got a slipcover on it, and that you can actually wash and dry the slipcover rather than having to either hang it to dry, or dry clean it.

03-24-2010, 11:11 PM
I moved a couple of years ago and bought my first reclining sofa for my home. It's my favorite piece of furniture :swoon: . More comfortable than my bed sometimes.


03-24-2010, 11:14 PM
Tons of people love those marshmallowy reclining sofas. My brother in law has one of those pillowy reclining sofas. He loves it. Me? Not so much. It's too big for my body - my feet dangle so far off the floor, that in order to sit on it, I actually have to kind of hop up. And I have a hard time getting out, because I'm short, it's big and puffy, and I swear, I get lost in that thing. :lol: But he adores it.

It's also not my style. I like more classic looking furniture, and those marshmallowy sofas look very "dude" to me. Just a personal taste thing - my husband loves them, as do many people I know, women included. My sister-in-law adores hers, because for her, it's so comfortable. She also says it holds up well to dogs.

03-24-2010, 11:20 PM
I moved a couple of years ago and bought my first reclining sofa for my home. It's my favorite piece of furniture :swoon: . More comfortable than my bed sometimes.


That's what my boyfriend wants eventually. I house sat last October and the owners of the house had them and he LOVED them :lol: I must admit they were pretty comfy for kickin back and watching a movie.

03-24-2010, 11:20 PM
There are probably non-pillowy reclining sofas out there, too.

My previous sofa was a queen-sized sofa bed in a small apartment. The mattress itself was only used a handful of times over a decade. And I noticed I didn't sit on it properly. I always wanted to prop up my feet, so I sat sideways or diagonally with part of my lower back awkwardly pressing against the hard arm. No mas! :)

03-24-2010, 11:34 PM
When I bought my house, I worked with a designer to get advice on furnishings and color. (It was actually a good investment, because I otherwise would have spent several months arguing with my very opinionated mother about every piece of furniture I bought.) Generally, the designer was not a big fan of most chain furniture stores and urged me to look at a furniture shop in Los Angeles that sold Italian-made furniture. Interestingly, after telling me to never go near La-Z Boy or Wickes, because their furniture is poorly made, she did say that if I could only afford furniture from a chain, I should go to Crate & Barrel (www.CrateandBarrel.com). She also liked Design Within Reach (http://www.dwr.com/home.do).

I like modern design and sleek lines, so I am definitely not a fan of slipcovers. My furniture is made with ultrasuede, which is extremely easy to clean and quite durable, even when the dogs jump up and down on it.

03-24-2010, 11:51 PM
Our furniture right now is an amalgamation of his and mine so we have a ton of it and none of it matches and it kind of drives me crazy. Right now we're focusing on getting at least the coffee table and side tables matching. I have a brand new dark brown side table that I got from Ikea and he has a coffee table and side table that is a light brown wood. We're gonna order the matching coffee table and side table to my side table and get a couple of dark brown CD shelves so we can get rid of all our CD racks that are cluttering the floor. Our kitchen table set is dark brown as well.. which was also mine.

I would love to be able to get new couches and what not but it's just not in the budget at the moment *sigh*.