so·fa /ˈsōfə/ n. definition: a long upholstered seat with a back and arms, for two or more people
I’ve had bit of (lounging) time this winter to think about what it means to find a good sofa. And please, friends, let us not confuse this with a couch. The true meaning of a couch has one arm higher than the other.
Before we get ourselves comfy on the different styles of sofas, there are two critical things that I think should be considered when looking for the perfect sofa. Scale and depth. Sounds logical, I know, but the options can be overwhelming and taking these things into account will help narrow down the contenders significantly. Seriously, we need not waste precious lounge time looking for the wrong landing pad.
Take first the height of the room. If you have tall ceilings, you need to consider filling some of that vertical space with a taller sofa back. Makes sense, right? Same goes for a room with shorter ceilings, you don’t want to crowd or cut off that space by having a sofa too tall for the room. Proportion is everything.
Depth is equally as important. Take me, for example. I’m a tall human and prefer a deeper sofa. Think in the 38-42” depth range. A petite person, however, may be much more comfortable in the 35” depth range to keep their feet from dangling.
Ok, those are kid feet and don’t really apply….but how cute!
Once you get those two things in check, there are some decisions that need to be made. Now, this is where we could part ways, but hear me out. I feel very strongly that this is a purchase where you get what you pay for, especially with the upholstery. Also, sofa’s that are not 8 way hand tied simply will not last as long. Fact. So, if you are looking for a spot for your family to gather nightly and you want it to be a statement piece, you should absolutely consider those things.
But I hear ya! A great looking $500 sofa may be in your comfort zone. Kids are gonna do their kid things, pets are gonna completely disregard your ‘no pets on the furniture’ policy and it’s going to be a bit abused. I get it. As long as you go in knowing that the sofa is going to serve its purpose to the best of its ability and be a bit disposable, go for it!
Now what about style? The fun part, right?
Want something a little more formal? Dressy? A tight back sofa is probably your go-to. It’s a wee bit less comfortable, but it definitely respects a dress code. You can also achieve a more formal look with a skirt or sofa leg.
Is mid-century modern your thing? Clean lines, the simplest beauty?
Maybe comfort is your priority? I’m a big fan of a loose back pillow sofa for that. I also like a low saddle arm. It gives you a place to throw a pillow and rest your head. The ‘guts’ of a sofa are very important in this category. My preference is feather down wrapped cushions. Ahhhhhhh
I also want to take a quick sec to talk about legs and skirts. My philosophy? Mix it up! I mean, anything with moderation, right? I don’t think you have to stick with one or the other because there’s a lot of personality, your personality, in what you like and how you do it. It’s your space. You do you!
Is all this too much? Come sit on my sofa….we’ll figure it out!