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Sofa Buying Guide

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Sofa buying guide


Choose Style


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

Contemporary sofaContemporary sofa setsofas with clean lines


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

Traditional sofaModern sofa setSofas with curved lines


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

Modern sofaTraditional sofa setAngular lines sofas



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.

velvet fabric for sofa


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.

damask fabric for sofa


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

stain resistant fabric for sofa


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 fabric for sofa

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.

Linen fabric for sofa


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

Leather fabric for sofa


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

Shop by brands

bernhardt Interiorscaracole LexingtonNuevo

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