There are several factors to take into consideration when purchasing a sofa, but more often than not we get caught up in the color and fabric choices. Forget the frills — this is what you should really be paying attention to when you buy a new (or new to you) sofa.
1. How Big Is Your Room? This seems the most obvious place to start, but it can be easy to forget when you find a steal of a deal on Craigslist or at a garage sale this summer. Keep your measurements in your purse or wallet for impromptu shopping.
2. How Many People Do You Want To Seat? Now, this isn't to say that if you want to seat seven people in your living room that you should look for a sofa that seats seven. Decide how many you'd like to seat and then see where you have space for chairs in addition to your sofa. You might want something smaller than originally planned to make better use of your space so folks aren't snuggling on top of one another.
3. Will It Be Doomed To One Location? Smaller spaces quite often really only have one way a room can be styled, but large spaces can often be changed up or moved around. If you purchase a longer sofa or something with a permanent L shape to it, will you be limiting yourself to only one floor layout for the rest of eternity (because that's how long sofas last, right)?
4. Visual Height: By now, we're probably all trying to pull furniture away from walls to create a better traffic flow through a room. Even if you're still not fond of the idea, you're probably at least trying it. When doing so, quite often your sofa can block the view into another space. Even though you can still walk around it, having furniture blocking essential views can make a space feel smaller without your intending it to.
5. How Are You Going To Use It? Sofas can see all kinda of use and abuse. Maybe you're into movie marathons and could use something that won't have a permanent butt groove after just one weekend. You could plan on getting frisky on it, or have eight kids, six dogs or all sorts of other couch-abusing situations. These are all factors to take into consideration to help you choose the best firmness, fabrics, wood styles and craftsmanship.
The best advice we have to give about buying a sofa is buy the best you can afford (which doesn't always mean the most expensive) for how you use it. A great sofa is only great if it doesn't stop the traffic flow of a room and allows you to have a social conversation when the time arises!
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)