When we started house hunting last year around January-ish, we had a budget set aside to buy new furniture.
At the time, we were living in my husband’s bachelor pad.
I got rid of most of my furniture when I moved in because it seemed silly to move my stuff into a house that was already furnished.
And after making the decision to buy a new house, we agreed that new furniture would really make our house feel like our home.
We found our dream home, a cute little cottage on a nice street, and started shopping a few weeks before closing.
After giving many couches the “sit-test” we picked an extra comfy, extra cozy, extra versatile sofa and piled it up in our storage building.
Fast forward to move-in day.
New sofa gets unwrapped.
I LOVE IT!
All of our pets are black so a nice neutral color was key.
It’s oversided and super squishy (do people still say squishy?) and the armrests are like giant pillows.
This is going great.
Fast forward one year later.
Uh…so we need another new couch.
We (meaning I) were (as in, just I was) crushing on the sofa so hard that we (I) didn’t really take time to weigh some important factors.
I knew I didn’t want another microsuede couch because they are frustrating to clean and start to look a little rough after a while.
So I found this one in a great thick fabric and thought my problems were solved.
Turns out, this one’s not that easy to clean either.
The back cushions sink a little because our cats perch there, and there’s no zipper to fluff the stuffing inside.
And my thirteen year old dog that dribbles when he gets startled doesn’t help either.
So what should I have considered when we were Couch Hunting last year?
Well I’m older and smarter and now I think I’ve got it down.
I’m assuming you probably have kids and pets, too.
And you probably fall head over heels in love with furniture in the showroom like I do, too.
Let me teach you what I’ve learned from my mistakes.
Follow these simple tips to help you choose the right sofa for your home.
1. Consider your family. First and foremost, think about everyone in your home, including pets. Kiddos and Fidos can destroy a sofa faster than you can swipe your credit card at the Furniture Store. If you have these little sweeties in your family, you’ll need something durable with removable everything. Removable cushions, removable armrest fabric, removable backrests, and maybe just a removable slipcover altogether.
2. Be realistic about colors. Sure, that bright red sofa looks awesome in the showroom, but would it really go with your current decor? Or what about that dark chocolate leather? Looks nice, huh? Would it look nice with your white carpet, white walls, and white painted furniture? Yikes, never mind. Buying a new couch shouldn’t mean you have to redo the entire room because of it. You want something that’s neutral enough to go with what you already have, but can also transition if you decide to switch things up later.
3. Weigh pros and cons with materials. Ok, here’s where it gets tough. You love the look of a white canvas couch and loveseat set. It looks A-Mazing on Pinterest in all those bright, crisp rooms. You know what you don’t see in those Pinterest photos? The quilts and blankets draped all over the seating like the fabric department of Hobby Lobby. If you’re going to actually use the furniture, you shouldn’t have to live in fear of messing it up.
4. Think about upkeep. Leather couches and chairs require conditioners and strengtheners to keep the material from dulling, thinning, and tearing. And sometimes this will happen over time no matter how well you take care of it. Those little toenails of a furry friend are a leather sofa’s worst enemy. And microsuede needs cleaning and fluffing often with alcohol and a baby hairbrush (and about four stinkin’ hours of your day off from work).
5. Break out the tape measurer and the painters tape. Sometimes sofas seem smaller in the store than they do in your house. There’s nothing worse than buying the furniture of your dreams only to realize you can’t fit it in your room (or the front door!). So here’s what you do. When you find that perfect angel and you’re ready to bring it home and love it with all your heart, before you write that check, take measurements and write them down. Then wave goodbye to your new crush and go home. Stick some painters tape on the floor where you plan to put the new furniture. Walk around the room and see if there’s enough space for a good traffic pattern. This will help you decide if you need to go bigger, smaller, or back to the store to schedule a delivery.
6. Decide on a budget. Let’s be real here. Living room furniture is expensive. If it wasn’t, we could just switch out that cream colored canvas sectional whenever we needed or wanted to. You’ve got to decide on a budget, stick to it, and don’t go over. Can’t find what you want in your price range? Take a few extra months and save a little more. It’s totally worth it. And shop on holidays for maximum savings. Those Labor Day and Memorial Day sales are no joke. You can get an awesome deal! Just remember, you get what you pay for. Those cheapo’s at discount stores are exactly that. Cheapo’s.
So what is your favorite sofa material? And why does it work well for your family? I’d love to know!