I recently went through the process of choosing a sofa for my family. I walked through countless furniture stores, looking at endless amount of styles and fabric options, fringe, roping, nail heads or no nail heads, premium down fill or deluxe down and on and on! What an exhausting process! The day finally came when the sofa was delivered… and no one liked it (including me)! UGH!!! So I sent it back and went through the entire process all over again. This time my husband weighed in his opinion much more than the time before. It was a double edge sword. On one hand, I liked that he wanted to get involved and come with and help. On the other, we couldn’t agree on ANYTHING! Now this exhausting process became much more stressful! The sales lady working with us offered me a glass of wine while we shopped, at 11:00am – Haha! But in the end, we now have the most amazing couch and everyone is happy!! Let me offer some advice that I learned from my experience.
First off, if the sofa will be in the family room of the home then the sofa is intended to be used by the family, right? So ask your family what they want in a sofa. If everyone uses the sofa to sit, watch tv, take a nap and lounge after a long day then you will want to focus on comfort. This is where taking my husband to the furniture store helped. I would walk around while he jumped from couch to couch. He would lay down, stretch out, slouch down; just like he would at home. Then he would give me the verdict. Then the argument would come in, a sofa would be comfortable but ugly! Where is the balance? Here is what I suggest: Get a classic style, that is long and deep with comfortable cushions. He will be happy with the comfort, and you can personalize it with fabric and pillows.
Which brings me to fabric. This is something I turmoil over! I want it warm and cozy feeling, but not to dark and the fabric must be soft, while durable. If you go to dark you will see every lint, dust and hair and the sofa will look like a big dark hole in the room. If you go to light you will see every spill and spot of dirt and light fabric gives a feeling of formal. I suggest going with a neutral fabric that is solid with a little texture or movement in it. Pick something that is not trendy and you won’t be sick of in 3 years. During this step I made 5 different trips to the furniture store and brought home a total of at least 30 fabric samples. And don’t be concerned if the sales person thinks you’re crazy for looking at so many samples. It’s your sofa in your house. In a week you probably won’t see that lady again anyway. Take your time and don’t choose something until you are in love.
Now it’s time for fun! The pillows and accessories! This is where you really get to let your personality shine through. Go ahead and get that bright chartreuse pillow with silver sparkle, or the turquoise flower shaped one, or something with a huge peacock on it. When you purchase a good sofa, you should have it for 10 years. With pillows, go crazy! In a year if you are sick of it then rotate them out for something different. Pillows are the inexpensive fun part, so have fun with it!
Another great place to have fun and show personality is a side chair. A chair is so much smaller than a sofa, so a bold fabric looks great. The compromise? Let your hubby choose the sofa and you choose the chair, pillows and accessories. That way you each have something in the room that you love.