It’s crazy, right? You need a new sofa. You walk into the furniture store to make your purchase, and BAM! You’re in sofa decision overload. There are so many choices and things to think about. Things that never really crossed your mind before. How do I choose the best sofa for your family? “What fabric should I pick?” “What style of arms do we want?” “Do we want a skirt or feet?” “What size is the best fit your our family room?” Add to this the fact that furniture is so hard to get right now. Items that used to have a 4 week delivery time are now taking 30 weeks. There are so many factors that feed into your decision making. And the bottom line is that you need to make the best decision for your and your family.
These are questions that I see clients stumble over all the time. And because I see the same questions pop up time and time again, it’s best to start at the beginning with a few of the basics to get off on the right track.
Often we want what we want NOW! We don’t want to wait. Maybe you’ve found something online or even in a local furniture store. You’re tired of what you have and you’re not willing to wait 6 months for the perfect sofa. I can totally relate because I’ve been there myself. Our 25 year old sofa HAD to go! It was too dark and dreary for our new home. So when I found one locally that fit our space, was a color that worked for what we already had, and in a price point that was reasonable, I jumped on it! But before I made the final purchase I went online and checked all of the specifications, not just the ones listed on the tags at the furniture store.
Most furniture tags are marked with the overall dimensions of length, width/depth, and height. This lets you know how it will fit in the room. Please don’t stop here! There are other important dimensions that will help you decide if this is the best sofa (or chair) for you and your family. You need to know the inside dimensions because this will tell you how comfortable it will be when you sit on it depending if you’re tall or short.
Always be sure to check the length and depth of the cushions. When you know this, you can easily compare it to what you already have at home. If 24″ deep has worked for you, and you’re considering a sofa that has 30″ deep cushions, then you know that you will need to have pillows behind you to sit comfortably
Arm height is also an important dimension to know. Do you like to nap on your sofa? You might need a sofa with a higher arm height. Again, compare this dimension to one that you know and love before making your final decision.
Cushion height (or seat height) will tell you how high you’ll be sitting from the floor. Typically, 18-20″ is what you will find. But if you’re buying from an online website you might find a 17″ height. So please make sure you check this dimension. Measure the height of your most comfortable sofa or chair so you have a dimension to compare it to. I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had who have made online sofa purchases and been disappointed when they arrived.
Back height is the measurement from the seat cushion to the top of the back cushion. If you’re a tall person who likes to rest your head when you sit, 30″ might be too short.
Always remember to look at both the inside dimensions and the outside dimensions before making your purchase. Check the amount of space you have in your room. Last of all take into consideration how many people you want to sit on the sofa at any given time. A rolled arm sofa that is 88″ overall will have a smaller inside dimensions than the track arm sofa in the photo below.
Some people love a sofa with only one long cushion. What I find is that people are more comfortable when only two people are sitting on a sofa. So a one cushion or two cushion sofa is a good choice.
In the end, follow this motto: Measure twice, purchase once! And ALWAYS, ALWAYS do your due diligence and read all of the specification details before you make the final purchase.