Are you one of those people who store your coffee table books under your sofa cushions to prop up the seats? Do you have a sheet to cover your sofa even though you do not have any pets? Is your floor more comfortable to sit on than your sectional? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is probably time to go shopping. When I specify a new sofa or sectional for clients I always keep the following three things in mind – frame, cushions, and fabric.
First and foremost I use furniture companies that use 8-way hand tied springs in their frames. This system is more labor intensive using individual coils each tied front to back, side to side and diagonally built into the bottom deck of the frame to prevent sagging. I have seen machine tied springs and suspension springs but they are generally not as comfortable nor are they as durable. Also important are kiln-dried hardwood frames in which the moisture is removed from the wood prior to assembly which helps stability. Lastly look for double doweled reinforced corner joints that use screws not staples.
Next consider the cushions on your sofa. Solid down cushions are an investment but make you feel like you are sitting on a cloud. Make sure you are receiving down cushions not feathers. Spring down cushions are my favorite because they have a layer of down on each side and fabric covered coil spring cores wrapped in a foam box. Check to make sure that you are not purchasing shredded foam cushions unless you plan to purchase a new sofa in a year because it has denigrated. Most cushions need to be fluffed and rotated just like a mattress. The more often you do this the longer you will have your sofa.
Lastly as hard as it is, don’t be swayed pretty fabric. Even as a professional, I have to remind myself to research the fabric content and durability of each fabric that I specify. I routinely search out family friendly and cleanable fabric such as Crypton and/or Sunbrella fabric. Make sure the patterns are lined up on sides and seats. This detail takes more time to manufacture but is worth it. Some blended fabrics pill naturally due to abrasion but they should not look fuzzy and ready to pounce after just one year.