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How to Select a Sofa

Published on NewsOK Published: November 19, 2012

The final “hidden” element of a sofa is how the corners and edges are wrapped. The hard wood frame needs to be well cushioned under the exterior fabric. Check the side corners, the back wall and the arm rests for any hard edges. If you can feel a sharp, hard edge it means that there isn’t sufficient wrapping. This is more than just a comfort issue. The wood frame without sufficient wrapping will eventually wear down the outer fabric fibers from within and cause fraying and eventual tearing.

In addition to the interior aspects of a sofa, it’s important to note that size does matter. The sofa should be long enough to comfortably seat three or four average sized adults without overwhelming the room. When at all possible, it should have prime placement for viewing of the focal point of the room, which could be either a fireplace, television set or view, or perhaps a combination thereof. Select the depth of the sofa for comfort of all those who will be using it. If you’re a tall family, then a 40-45” deep sofa will be very comfortable (space permitting). Those who are not so tall will find a 36-40” deep sofa the most comfortable. Finally, always measure the space you want to install your sofa. If it’s going on a wall, be sure to measure, both for width and depth, how much space you have available for the sofa and make sure to use the outer dimensions of the piece when checking on size. If space is tight, purchase a sofa with a straight back and arms. Rolls and curves at size to the outside of the piece. To paraphrase “This Old House’s” Norm Abram, measure twice, buy once.

Linda Merrill is a Boston-area interior designer who works with Boston painters and flooring contractors

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