Create Your Dream Living Room, Starting with the Perfect Sofa
With dining rooms, the table is always the focal point of the room. With bedrooms, it’s the bed. Though some would argue that it’s the TV for living rooms, you couldn’t watch a movie or the game without something to sit on. That’s why you need a sofa. But with so many different types of sofas out there, what is the right one for your living room?
The first thing you must do before you start shopping for sofas is measure the space it will occupy, including doorways, stairwells, and hallways. Unlike tables and beds, which often arrive unassembled so they can be easily moved into the right room and built there, sofas generally arrive pre-built. There are some that ship with detached backs or arms, so if you’re unsure about the sofa’s dimensions, you might need to get a little help from a sales professional. The perfect sofa will not be so perfect when you can’t fit it through your doorway.
Now that you’ve properly measured the floor area and doorway, what kind of living room arrangement do you have or want to have? Will everything face the TV or will it promote conversation, or both? Sofas come in so many different shapes and sizes, so your possibilities are endless when arranging your new living room. You have the option of the tried and true sofa, loveseat, and chair arrangement, or a new and popular sectional sofa arrangement. Fortunately for you, sofa options don’t just stop there.
Sofas with Beds - You and Your Guests Will Both Appreciate One of These
Do you frequently have guests that spend the night, or find yourself in the dog house and sleeping on the couch a few times a year? (Of course not!) You might want to invest in something comfortable that you can sleep on. Futons have proven themselves to be a dependable choice over the years and remain the most well known for sleeping furniture. Futon frames are made of wood and/or metal with stationary arms, where just the back folds flat into a bed. Most futon mattresses are completely separate from the frame, and in some cases sold separately. If you’re interested in purchasing a futon, always make sure to know whether the mattress is included or not. What seems like a great deal might not be if you have to buy things in pieces. When it comes to comfort, avoid futon mattress pads filled with ‘fibre’ or ‘cotton’. Look for futon mattresses made with pocket coils and a durable foam.
Another option for a living room sleeper is a Convertible Sofa, which is gaining in popularity quickly thanks to their versatility and modern-contemporary style. Some also refer to convertible sofas as sofa beds, klick klacks, klik klaks, or click clacks. Many convertible sofas are more than just a couch and a bed. Many can recline on one end to form a lounger for ultimate comfort. The back folds down as well as the arms to create a flat sleeping surface. Unlike futons, convertible sofas come as one piece so there’s no need to worry about a separate mattress. One of the great features of convertible sofas is that they come in many different styles, shapes, fabrics, and colors so you can find one to suit any design taste. Look for extra features like cup holders and storage under the seat.
A Sleeper Sofa, also known as a Hide-a-bed or Pull-out Couch, is a sofa with a mechanism that unfolds from the couch to create a bed. They provide a larger sleeping surface, most often with a queen size mattress. Sleeper sofas do require their own mattress to work properly, however it is possible to replace them. You may have found sleeper sofa mattresses to be quite thin and uncomfortable if there is a lot of weight on the support bars, but they are always being improved and a new sleeper mattress can be quite comfortable.
To add comfort to any of the above options, add a mattress topper.
Entertaining Sofas - Enjoy with the Whole Family
Perfect for any living room or man cave with limited space, Reclining Sofas combine two popular seating options. Kick your feet up on a comfortable recliner, or stretch out along your sofa cushions. You can also find matching reclining loveseats and chairs to complete a set. Most reclining sofas have easy to pull, recessed handles that don’t stand out to keep the piece attractive.
For a large entertainment room where it’s all about the big screen TV, consider a Theater Seating Set for your family and friends to enjoy while watching the big game. Theater seating sets are individual seats attached together in a straight line or curve with arm rests between them similar to seating in a movie theatre, but so much more comfortable. They often recline for superior comfort and come with cool accessories like cup holders and storage spaces for movie time.
Sectional Sofas - Trendy and Functional
Sectional Sofas are undeniably the most popular sofa arrangement you can buy, but they’re not just two sofas together in an angled shape. Sectionals come in many shapes and sizes that allow you to seat as many or as few people as you need.
The definition of a sectional is a sofa composed of independent sections that can be arranged in various combinations. Though most sectionals are made with a certain arrangement in mind, many are still only limited to your imagination. Modular Sectional Sofas are designed in such a way that you can configure any sofa shape you want by only having individual seats. They come in different shapes like a corner wedge, armless chair, or one-arm chair so you can create a fully functional seating arrangement. These are perfect for people who re-arrange frequently and simply like to change up the layout of their rooms often.
Types of Fabrics - Choose What’s Right for You
When it comes to choosing the upholstery for your sofa, it mostly comes down to personal taste. However, there are some things to think about before making your selection, such as cleaning ease and wear and tear. Microfiber is commonly used with sofas because it mimics suede at a fraction of the cost and repels liquids so it’s difficult to stain.
Genuine Leather looks great and is extremely durable but can be very expensive and has a significant environmental impact. There are leather alternatives which are often cheaper and have both good and bad points. Leather Match is a combination of real leather and dyed-to-match vinyl, which looks identical when new but may not match after years of heavy use. Bonded Leather is comprised of pieces of genuine leather that have been left over from production and have been pressed together and adhered. Bonded leather should look, smell, and feel like genuine leather but the texture may not be quite as pronounced. Faux Leather or Leatherette is a leather substitute made from plastic, but it’s not all the same. Be aware of what type of plastic your leatherette is since Polyurethane (PU) is breathable and washable where as Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is not as breathable and more difficult to clean. Read any and all care instructions that come with your sofa. Contact a sales professional or manufacturer if you are unsure.
Have you been enticed to update your living room with a new sofa? Start your search online. There you can educate yourself on all the different looks, styles, brands, fabrics, and prices without running from store to store, dealing with pushy sales people. Plus as a bonus, many online companies offer free shipping which will save you money.
If you don’t find any sofas that match your decor or will work with your family, find sites that offer customizable sofas where you can pick your own frame, design, and fabric, but be prepared for it to take longer to manufacture and ship to your home.
| Contributing Expert
Alaina Young is a content writer for Wholesale Furniture Brokers, an online retailer of beds, mattresses, sofas
, and dining tables. Alaina writes and edits product descriptions, blog posts, reviews, and articles.