Do you need new seating…a new sofa, or lounge chairs perhaps? Most people start their sofa search at a large furniture store and come away overwhelmed, frustrated and confused. To make matters worse, decisions are typically made based solely on appearance. However, when you work with a professional interior designer, here are just some of the seating features we consider on behalf of our residential or commercial clients.
Function – What is this sofa’s purpose? Will it hold families, pets, waiting patients, or hotel guests? Is it a focal piece of the room or purely functional?
Size – Outside and inside dimensions are critical. Does it work in the space physically and visually? How does the seating work with all other room
Shape – Does the shape fit the overall aesthetic of the space? Does a loveseat sofa combination function better than a sectional? Is rearrangement important? Is a sleeper desired?
Frame – What type of wood is the frame constructed of? Where is it made? There is less quality control in foreign made seating, i.e. wood species, kiln dry percentages, glues, bugs, and off gassing products. How is the frame constructed?
Comfort – Are my clients tall, needing a deeper seat overall? Will guests curl up in it, or sit up straight? Is a soft or hard seating experience preferred?
Cushions – Is an all foam, foam with Dacron wrap, Spring Blend Down, or all down cushions appropriate? Are the cushions loose, attached, or semi-attached? Are the cushions welted?
Spring system – What is the difference between “No-Sag” or “S” springs, and 8-way hand-tied springs?
Style – What is the preferred style aesthetic? Traditional, transitional, modern, contemporary, rustic, minimalist, retro/vintage, and eclectic are all represented in seating styles.
Arms – Will the client be sleeping on the sofa? If so, a “ratchet” arm will not work. Overstuffed rolled arms don’t work well in small space either.
Skirt – What type of skirting is best? Perhaps no skirt is preferred.
Legs – The style, shape, and color of the legs on a non-skirted seating piece are visible.
Swivel – Swivels allow for versatility but you have to have a workable turning radius.
Recliners – Recliners are comfortable but they consume a lot of room, and they have weight limits for warranties.
Budget – There is no substitute for quality ingredients. Either make the purchase knowing the piece is “disposable” or invest in quality knowing that you will reupholster it, and pass it on to your family.
Fabric – What fiber is the fabric made of? What is the weave structure? Can it be treated with a stain resistant application? What color, pattern, pattern repeat, and style is most appropriate?
Perhaps now you can see why professional interior designers take their time selecting seating pieces for their residential and commercial clients!