It is easy to assume that buying a sofa is a straightforward matter that neither requires, nor deserves, a great deal of forethought. However, when you consider how much time the average family will spend sitting on this particular item of furniture, coupled with he cost of the average sofa, it should be obvious that a little more time and consideration should be given to its purchase. There are, in fact, several very important considerations when buying a sofa, which can make the difference between acquiring a comfortable and safe piece of furniture and the exact opposite.
The biggest mistakes that can be made when buying a sofa is a failure to ensure that the sofa complies with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988/1989, 1993 and 2010. These regulations were designed to ensure that household furniture and upholstery are manufactured to a particular standard in order to make them fire-resistant. All reputable furniture dealers will comply with these regulations. However, if you are buying a sofa from a less scrupulous dealer, who may have imported a cheap product from overseas, or you are making a second-hand purchase, you may be risking the safety of you and your family unless you are satisfied that the sofa is made from fire-resistant materials that comply with the current regulations.
Not everyone considers the issue of accessibility when they buy a sofa but it is crucial to look at it in the context of the age and mobility of the family members who will be using it. An elderly person, who may find it difficult to raise themselves from a low seating position, would not appreciate a sofa that is both short in height and substantial in depth. They would simply find it impossible to get up without assistance. If the sofa is to be used only by a younger, more mobile family this will not be an issue. They may prefer the comfort of a low-based, plunging model instead. Either way, failure to take the matter of accessibility into account is a real mistake when deciding on the right sofa for your family. Taller, shallower sofas are better for less mobile family members
It is also important, before embarking on the purchase of a new sofa; to take careful measurements of the dimensions of the room in which it will be placed and, equally importantly, of the doorways that it will need to fit through. A sofa that is too big or too small for the room in which it is situated will detract from the overall appearance of design and decor, whilst a sofa that will not fit through the doorway is one that is not worth buying at all!
Colour and Design
Unless the sofa is the first piece of furniture that is to be acquired for the room, it is important to ensure that its design and colour match the room’s existing décor, curtains and carpeting. Because the sofa is often the focal point of a room, it is essential that it also blends in well with the overall interior design. If you feel it might help, take some photographs of the room to give you a better idea, when you are in the showroom about how a particular sofa might blend in. It may help you to avoid buying a major item of furniture that looks entirely out of place. Make sure that your sofa blends in with the decor of the room
If the sofa is likely to undergo heavy use – perhaps because you have young children or animals – the fabric that the sofa is made from is a crucial consideration. Failure to take this into account is another major mistake, which may result in the need to renew the sofa far sooner than you would have wished. If the sofa is likely to suffer spillages, scratches, and the effects of dirty shoes (or paws) it should be made from durable, easily washable material. The cushion covers should, ideally, be detachable for easy washing. Darker colours are to be preferred and it may be prudent to invest in a slightly less costly sofa.
As this article demonstrates, there is a lot more to buying a new sofa than meets the eye and there are mistakes to be made that can adversely impact upon how it fits in with the rest of your home and, more importantly, with the comfort and safety of the people who are to use it. When you are thinking about buying a sofa, you should always give it the consideration it deserves in order to avoid these mistakes.