Not sure how to navigate the vast sea of details you should consider before investing in a high quality sofa? We know just how to help! Read on for the top five design factors you should consider.
You’ve been living with the same sofa since you moved into your first home. It does the job, it’s comfortable enough, but it hardly adds any spark to your space. In fact, your sofa is so forgettable, you begin to forget just what an eyesore it is, as it sits there taking up the most real-estate in your otherwise stylish living room.
Finally one day, a good friend from college comes to visit. She spends the first few minutes catching up with you, gossiping about the old collegial gang, and everything is going well, until she glances down at the sofa she’s been sitting on and gasps, “This isn’t the same one from your college apartment, is it?”
That’s when you realize the truth – your sofa is sad and even a tad embarrassing. It’s time for an upgrade. You go on Pinterest as soon as you bid your visitor farewell, and begin scrolling through an endless feed of inspiration. You’re hit with hundreds of sofa styles, dozens of retailers, and a virtual sea of options.
You’re overwhelmed by the task ahead. A sofa is not something that you can simply switch out each season, it’s an investment. And this time around, you want to do it right. You want to find a sofa that can be with you for the long haul and still hits the mark on sophistication and comfort. The next time you have company over, you want them to be impressed, not shocked at your sofa choice.
You have an idea of the style you want, but you’re unsure how to navigate all the specifics. What are the important things you should consider before making the plunge?
If this story sounds familiar, we’ve got you covered. We sat down with Joybird co-founder, Josh Stellin, to get a crash course in what design aspects you should consider when choosing a new sofa.
What is the number one structural thing people should consider before deciding on a sofa?
JS: The skeleton of a sofa is more important than the design. If the bones of the sofa are bad, no amount of styling will keep it together over the years. You want to be sure you look at frames using kiln dried hardwoods, corner blocked corners and good quality engineered plywoods. Frames containing OSB, soft woods or other lower quality items will not hold up to the day in and day out use of a sofa. A lot of manufacturers will cut corners on frames, since you don’t see it, and dress it with “higher end” fabrics to cover it up.
Does back height make a difference in comfort?
JS: Not really. Comfort is subjective. It really depends on how you sit in a piece – some people sit on furniture, while others sit in it. We try to maximize both in all our sofas by using time tested measurement ratios, taking into account seat height, depth and back height.
Joybird Measurements to Consider
How should seat depth play a factor into one’s decision making?
JS: Honestly, the most critical aspect is the overall depth. You want to make sure it fits in your space, first and foremost. Then you can make a decision on seat depth just based on your personal preference.
How does one identify the softness or firmness they’re looking for?
JS: Our seat and back cushions contain a high-density foam core wrapped in a softer plush foam, so the overall cushioning is both very comfortable and offers excellent support. The high-density cores help the cushions remain strong and durable over time, while the plush outer layer provides the comfort and composition. If you’re looking for something to sink-into, look for keywords like “plush” in the product descriptions, likewise for firmer options, tufting can give extra support and negates that sinking quality.
What are some of the earmarks of good upholstery?
JS: Tailoring. The devil is in the details. A lot of mass producers will just slap fabric on a frame. We make sure the fabric is actually tailored to the frame. Like a good suit, if it doesn’t fit right, it doesn’t matter how expensive it is, you’ll still look sloppy.
Do you have a personal favorite design from the Joybird collection?
JS: Personally, I’m a big fan of the Winslow sofa. I think the arm is truly unique and has so many angles, the photos don’t do it enough justice.
With those nuggets of design wisdom, we hope you can better begin your search for the perfect sofa for your space.