Opinions on Sofas

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by snoopy, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    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?
  2. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    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 :)
  3. mysticchic

    mysticchic Well-Known Member

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    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 Will it go out of date 5 years from now.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.
  4. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

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    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.
  5. Andora

    Andora Well-Known Member

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    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.
  6. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

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    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.
  7. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    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.
  8. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    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.
  9. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    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:
    http://www.potterybarn.com/products/pb-basic-sofa/?pkey=call-sofas

    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.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  10. deltask8er

    deltask8er New Member

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  11. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    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.
  12. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

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    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.
  13. deltask8er

    deltask8er New Member

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    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! :)
  14. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    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. She also liked Design Within Reach.

    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.
  15. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

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    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*.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  16. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    The Restoration Hardware store close to where I live has this big leather couch in its show room. It's the most comfortable couch ever. The price is quite steep as you can imagine, but leather is probably easier to clean than fabric covered couch, and it should last quite a while. If I ever have the money to buy my own house and create an entertainment room then this would be the couch I buy.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  17. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    None of my stuff matches. A lot of it is hand-me-downs. IMO, tres chic, because I choose to see it that way. ;)

    Actually, I don't love the matchy-matchy "Oh look, I bought all these things at once at this particular store" look. That's too much "got married young and set up house" of a look for my taste. Too much like my mum, I suppose. :lol: I prefer to look old money, rather than new money. Nothing matches, everything a bit used...

    Oh, please, I am so full of crap. :lol: My house is full of old stuff that doesn't match, and I love it. Others prefer matching things. It's all good.

    Amusingly, one of the "hot" new items at Restoration Hardware is a kitchen table that looks like it's been in a barn for 100 years, all worn, stained, etc. See? See? My stuff isn't worn down, old and crappy. It's fashionably "antiqued"!
  18. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

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    Well.. the frame in the back of my couch is actually broken. It was a hand me down from my friend's mom and dad and I'm not sure if it was broken already or if I broke it :shuffle:. Actually all of my furniture was from them. I'm really into the dark woods. Luckily so is my boyfriend, so selling him on the idea of getting the matching coffee table and what not wasn't hard. Our tastes in decor are quite similar, which makes life easy :)

    As far as the matching sofas, love seat and chair.. maybe match was the wrong word. It would be nice if they at least looked like they went together. Like the colours and stuff. Right now it just looks like a bunch of random crap :lol:
  19. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I don't like it when the living room has a matching sofa, loveseat and single seat. It's very boring that way.

    Distressing new furnitures, especially dining tables, cabinets, etc. have always been popular. You see it done all the time on those design shows on HGTV.
  20. redonthehead

    redonthehead New Member

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    There are plenty of reclining sofas that aren't pillowy. You just have to try them and see what fits you personally. There is a company names Southern motion that has an awesome bonded leather set that is great for short people (I love it and I'm 5'2). Most of the taller people don't like it.

    As someone that's in the furniture business right now, I just tell everyone that they need to sit on and try out every sofa/living room group that they're looking at. You don't want to spend tons of money and hate it because it's uncomfortable to you even if you pick it because you like the color/style etc.
  21. slicekw

    slicekw Poster of Pet Vines

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    I bought a big leather sofa when I lived in my old house. It's in my much smaller apartment now. My sister think it fits. I like good-sized but not squishy. I also like modern and I'm considering a very modern ergonomic chair plus a modern loveseat. I love leather and my cats don't damage it. Plus, I can invite allergic friends over, move the filter nearby and wipe it down before they come over. So far, it's helped. Not an easy option with cloth.
  22. immoimeme

    immoimeme having a nice day

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    I have never owned a sofa in my life. I always said, if you want to take a nap, lie down on the bed. :p

    I prefer to have club type chairs with various thingies you can rest your feet on.

    BUT... if I did ever get a sofa I would get one covered in a zebra print. It would never go out of style nor I would ever get tired of it. YMMV.
  23. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    About 10 or so years ago, we bought our first sofa and love seat. We wanted something reasonably priced, so we went with FlexSteel. We still have them and they are in great shape. We use them as our every day couches and they've held up really well, despite our two kids and traveling back and forth across the Atlantic. The cushions are particularly amazing in terms of resiliency.
  24. mysticchic

    mysticchic Well-Known Member

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    I've never liked leather. My cats would scratch the heck out of it. On a humid day your legs stick to the seat. But that's just my 2 cents.
  25. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    All of my upholstered furniture is Flexsteel. Two salesmen told me that I would hate it because young people like squashy furniture and only old people ever buy Flexsteel, but I hate squashy furniture and I figured I'd still have all of the furniture when I am old, so why wait?

    We have replaced the cushions on the family room couch, but they held up a long time before we had to do that.

    My grandma bought a sofa when I was about two. It sat in her living room until she died, and then it moved into my parents' family room. I was 18 then. When I got married, I inherited it, and it sat in my living room until we bought new furniture, at which point it went back to my mom's. My aunt reupholstered it for my mom, and it sat in her family room for years. When my mom died, no one wanted it and it didn't sell at a garage sale, so my husband decided to tear it up and throw it away. It took him and two other people, all armed with sledgehammers, three and a half hours to get that sofa apart. I wish I knew who made it, because that sofa could have survived a nuclear blast.

    Never buy a sofa for the fabric. Always buy a sofa for the frame. Fabric is cheap; a good frame isn't.
  26. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    After the expense of buying a new sofa every 3 -4 years (because of wear and tear to the fabric, the difficulty of keeping the fabric clean, etc.,) we finally bought a leather sectional two years ago. It has been the best money we have ever spent, and well worth every penny.

    Even with grandkids and three dogs crawling all over it, it still looks as new now as the day we bought it. Spills and dirt wipe right off of it. There's no fabric to wear out/rip/stain, and with three dogs shedding, I can just wipe the hair right off. Also, the cushions are strong and don't get lumpy and/or squashed down over time. I luuuuv it !! :respec:
  27. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    When you have pets a sofa can be a liability rather than an asset. I'd love a leather sofa but that wouldn't be a good idea with a cat.

    So we've settled on a futon sofa and wash the cover regularly. The good things about futons is that they are relatively inexpensive and go with almost everything, depending on your choice of frame, pillows, and cover.
  28. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

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    In over 30 years of marriage my husband and I have owned many sofa's, chairs etc.

    NOTHING I have bought has been comfortable or worth the money!

    Good luck!
  29. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    :lol::lol::lol:

    My living room right now does at least look like things go together in terms of basic overall style and vibe, but my bedroom... not so much. Still converting over from the "using milk crates for furniture" design scheme that we've had for so long in our lives. My bedroom - I do have a real, adult bed, so that's a step up from the futon on the floor I used to have (and which now serves as a couch in my daughter's room - we bought a frame for it, so it at least looks like furniture if you also cover it with a cloth so you can't see the ugly 1980s torn print cover.) But what we're using for nightstands...

    The thing I use is actually 1/3 of an old desk. My grandfather, for some reason, had cut it up into thirds back a million years ago, and I have one of those thirds, with drawers. It would look okay - it's quite ornate and antique looking - if only the sawed off part wasn't what you saw when you first walked into the room. My husband hates it. I just laugh, because...

    My husband's night stand is a plant stand - yes, a plant stand - that we got for free. It's ugly as all get out, and thus the "free". I tried covering it with a cloth, but that actually, if you can believe it, made it look stupider, so we just go with it.

    Eventually, we'll upgrade. I'm thinking by the time I'm 90, maybe. ;)
  30. deltask8er

    deltask8er New Member

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    Does that mean you have no furniture in the living room now? You prefer to sit on the floor?

    (That may explain a lot of your posts.)
    milanessa and (deleted member) like this.
  31. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

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    I have the nightstand and matching dresser that I've had since I was a kid. I used to have the matching bed too but it started falling apart when I moved it to my apartment two years ago so I bought a new one. The whole set used to be my mom's and I painted it cream with chocolate brown trim and replaced the knobs and it looks really good. Boyfriend has some plastic black stand as a nightstand that is tolerable.. I guess :lol:

    The bedroom is actually decent.. we bought a bookstand (dark wood of course) and everything kinda goes. The livingroom is a mess though and unfortunately that's what people see :lol:
  32. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

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    My parents have leather furniture and they have a cat. He lays on it but he's never scratched it.
  33. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I still have my bureau from when I was little. For my husband, I found a bureau on the street (my old town had the BEST trash, I swear) and that's what he uses. It's an older, masculine looking piece, very nice, and I have no idea why whoever was throwing it away.

    Of course, I get it home, and I'm cleaning it and what do I find inside? A bong and hash pipe. Which I wrap up in a plastic bag, and return to the porch of the house from which I got the bureau. ;)
    jamesy and (deleted member) like this.
  34. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

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    lmao!

    My boyfriend's dresser is actually pretty nice. It has a marble top which is something I've never seen before on a dresser. I like the bedroom.. especially the huge walk in closet :)
  35. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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  36. Ania

    Ania Active Member

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    It depends on the kind of the sofa. We have 2 leather sofas and 2 leather love seats; all of them have no single mark on them from our cat. Our leather bar stools and dining chairs, on the other hand, are completely ruined (can you tell that we really love leather :)).
    My theory is that it has to do with how tight the leather is: it's very tight on the bar stools and more squishy on the sofas. I got the sofas for pretty cheap at Value City (around $800; Value City was all I could afford at the time) and they look like new 4 years later (with a cat and a toddler in the house).

    Since we are on the topic of furniture - does anyone have recommendations for a patio table? I've been searching for several days and can't find what I'm looking for. Part of the problem is that we need a medium-sized table and all websites I found seem to have small (~ 40" by 40"), large (over 70" long), and very large (over 90"). I need something that's approximately 60" by 40" (preferably oval and/or expandable, made of wicker or wood; but size is still the main factor). Any ideas for places i should look at? I noticed Hardware Restoration recommendation upthread and checked out their outdoor tables - gorgeous but humongous :(
  37. mysticchic

    mysticchic Well-Known Member

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    My Mom always says that you should pick furnature that will last a life time. She has a lot of pieces that she has owned for 52 years. A lot are antiques. But her dinning room set is dark work and classic. She has changed the chairs and cushions over the years. She took upholstry classes back in the 60's (it's really not that hard. Cushions are the hardest things), and over the past 50 years the sofa and chairs have changed colors and prints. But she still has the same ones. They just look new.
    I love micro suede. Cleans up well. I've spilled stuff on this couch and it comes right up. Since mine is a very light beige, I switch out throw pillows to create new looks. Right now I have brown and red to match my curtains.
    I have a really cool dinning room table. It's like a bar height and has a green glass top. It seats 8.
  38. immoimeme

    immoimeme having a nice day

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    Craiglist.

    I lurve the patio stuff my aunt left me even tho I have no patio on which to use them. :( But sell them? NEVER.

    http://www.woodard-furniture.com/catalog/products/3077003/1/page:all

    They don't even sell what I have any more, only the barrel dining chairs and the high back rockers come close. I have 4 chairs, a matching umbrella table, 3 side tables, and two rocking chairs. The chairs are ultra comfy, even without cushions. I keep trying to figure out how to use them all in the house, but alas, this 50's house is too small. In my old 60's house they would fit! :)

    I don't see what's so wrong about using a plant stand as a night table. I am using a wicker one. It's all that would fit-the queen size bed takes up most of the bedroom :p
  39. immoimeme

    immoimeme having a nice day

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    I discovered I have this bookmarked re: sofas

    http://www.homereserve.com/index.cfm

    I think I bookmarked it because it said "pet proof" and it has built-in storage in the base.

    But I don't think I would actually buy any. For a sofa, I want a more elegant design. Elegant as in one I can't afford :lol:
  40. Aimless

    Aimless New Member

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    I have a houseful of This End Up. I bought my sofa frame and cushions in 1983. I've been through one set of cushions and am on my third set of cushion covers. The advantage is you just order up the replacement pieces you want and when they arrive you put them to use. No troubling with reupholstery,getting a sofa off to the shop, and being without furniture. It isn't a staggering expense either, although it isn't exactly cheap. They may not be the cushiest seating but I like the way they look, they take a beating, and they last. There's a lot of choice in fabrics or you can supply your own. http://www.thisendup.com/