joy of nesting

joy of nesting
California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

The Story on Sofas














 
May I be permitted to have an opinion or two about sofas?  There is a perfect sofa choice for every living room, family room, and den and there are few purchases as important as a well chosen sofa.  The sofa pictured above is for a Land Park client who had minimal floor plan options.  It will be placed opposite her wonderful fireplace flanked by two red dragonfly print chairs.














Sofas come in many widths and styles ranging from 80 inches wide to over 100 inches wide.  They come with skirts or without.  Some have three seat cushions, some have one.  Fabric choices are endless.  Cushion's can be solid foam core or wrapped in a down blend.

For larger rooms go with a 90 inch wide sofa or wider.  Adding skirts to the design will make a large room feel cozier.  Conversely speaking, a smaller room benefits from no skirts.  The space under the sofa allows light to flow through and gives the illusion of a more spacious room.













I almost always sell sofas with one or three seat cushions, leaving the two seat cushion styles for love seats.  The reason for this is no one wants to sit on the seam.













Tufting is not the most comfortable sofa feature but in a room where you will mostly be entertaining they can be quite beautiful.  Personally I like sitting up straight at parties so the tufting doesn't bother me. 













A solid foam core with a down blend wrap represents the best of both worlds.  The core provides a good, firm long lasting foundation while the down wrap adds a soft finishing touch.  The weight of the sofa, combined with the quality of it's cushions and it's fabric comprise the overall quality of the sofa.  A heavy, kiln dried wood frame is a must for longevity.  To replace good cushions it is $150 and up per cushion so buy a sofa with good cushions to begin with.













 To choose the proper sofa you first must identify the type of room it will be in.  Large or small. Square or rectangle.  What are it's uses?  Do you have children or pets?  What kind of wear do you expect from it?














Better upholstery fabrics generally cost $80 a yard and up and with most sofas requiring 17 to 20 yards of fabric it can be almost half the cost of the sofa.  Cheaper fabrics can be had if you purchase "program" fabrics which are the fabrics being sold by the sofa manufacturer but in my experience, unless you are purchasing slip covered sofas the fabric quality isn't up to par.  It's much better to order sofas COM  which stands for customer's own materials. 













While this adds to the cost, it ensures a good looking, superior quality finish.  There is no need saving $500 on fabric if you have to recover the sofa in 4 or 5 years.  A good quality fabric should last at the very least 10 years if not 15 years or more.












Sectional sofas are often purchased for rooms that haven't enough space.  My theory is that a customer walks into a furniture store and tells the sales person he or she wants a sectional sofa.  The sales person doesn't wish to risk losing the sale and does as the customer asks: sells them a sectional. Albeit one that doesn't fit or suit the room.













The sofa above is one that would work in a small room or a room with delicate features.  It's contemporary and will mix with many styles.  The curved back blurs it's outline making it a good apartment sofa.













Modern looking sofas are very popular right now but some of them aren't comfortable.  And that's okay, providing it won't be going in a room where television viewing or reading is expected.














Pottery Barn is one of the most popular places to buy a sofa and I find this dismaying.  Their prices are relatively high and the quality just doesn't represent the tag.  I call them disposable couches because you can only expect about 6 years use.  The quality sofas you see on this blog entry are in the $3500 to $5000 range and they can be reupholstered repeatedly.













Another little trick I picked up is warm color fabrics make sofas and chairs look larger.  That's because they advance.  To keep your sofa fabric from looking dirty quickly be sure to choose fabrics with texture in a medium shade (not too dark and not too light) and choose fabrics with a tone on tone pattern or better yet, a print.   

Sofa's available through Shiree Hanson Segerstrom.  Lead time is about 8 to 10 weeks.  

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