Sofa Buying Guide

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Choose Style


the happy medium: sofas with clean lines & traditional accents: some examples include:


Ornate frames, usually tufted, curved lines.
some examples include:


Simple design, typically firmer cushions, angular 
lines. some examples include:



When buying a sofa, the first thing to do is to measure your space. You want to make sure that your sofa doesn't take up the whole room or that the room doesn't swallow your sofa. Use painters’ tape to map out the right spot, and factor in door frames, walkways, and other clearances to be sure you can get it in there. If you have narrow doors or stairs, shop for models with removable legs.

**Keep seat depth and sofa length in mind. You may like to lie down on your sofa, so make sure you have enough room! Overall length is good to consider, but what's really important is what's between the arms!**


Pick a Material

The right one suits your routine, pets, kids, and wine preference. Remember these details when you’re lost in a sea of swatches.


Plush, bold, and opulent. Mostly-cotton varieties are ideal all year in formal rooms. Polyester or poly-blend ones fend off stains and wear well; they’re also pet-friendly.


Luxurious, traditional—and dry-clean-only. A nice match for the Bridgewater or Chippendale. Martha has it on sofas at her Maine home, Skylands.


Gloriously stain resistant—most can be thrown straight in the wash. Perennials and Sunbrella make indoor/outdoor fabrics that look practically like linen.

Wool Blend

Beautiful to the touch; highly versatile. A bit of polyester makes wool more durable, but it’s still dry-clean-only. To avoid pilling, try not to vacuum too vigorously.


Pretty and relaxed, and best for casual sofas, like the Lawson. The downside: wrinkles. Heavy weaves are less prone to them.


Spendy but durable; pet hair brushes right off. To get the look with less upkeep, try ultrasuede.

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