Tips for Shopping for a Quality Sofa

Know What to Look for When You Buy a Sofa

A sofa is likely one of the ten biggest purchases you will make in your life. In addition, you will likely only buy a handful of them during that same span. So doesn’t it make sense that you would want to get the best quality possible for your dollar? It seems a lot of people do not know how to shop for a quality sofa, or they simply think that you get what you pay for. That is not always true, and if you know what to look for in quality you will know what is worth your hard earned dollars and certainly what is not.


When shopping for a quality sofa, there is one thing you should check before you even get into a quality check. As you approach a floor model that looks good to you, before you do anything else, make sure it will fit in your home. That doesn’t necessarily have to do with the quality of the sofa, but it will influence whether or not you are wasting your time looking at it. Measure your room, measure your space, and then check the measurements on the sofa before you do anything else.

The Sofa Frame

Once you know the sofa will fit, it is time to decide if it is a well made sofa. The most important factor is going to be the frame. The frame is the wooden “skeleton” of the sofa. You want to first make sure that it is made of a hardwood. Oak and alder are common frame woods and are both fine. This should probably even be the first question you ask to a sales person when you are shopping for a quality sofa: what is the frame made of? Once you confirm that the frame is made from a hardwood, find out if it is kiln dried. A quality sofa should have a kiln dried hardwood frame. The drying keeps the wood from warping or cracking during seasonal changes as well as changes in the humidity.

In addition, the wood should be thick and heavy. To check this yourself, you can reach under the front of most sofas and feel the front of the frame. Make sure that this area is at least 1” thick, but preferably about 1-1/4” thick. If everything checks out, then you have found a quality sofa frame.

The Spring System

A Comfortable Sofa For Your Home!

A Comfortable Sofa For Your Home!

By Mike Yeager

A soft, plush sofa can be so inviting...even if you're visiting in someone else's home. Sofas can really make a home comfortable and relaxing. Sofas come in a variety of styles such as sectional sofas, leather sofas and sleeper sofas. One of the first things both you and your guests will notice, each time they come into your home, is how comfortable and relaxing the furniture looks. Well chosen sofas will help to give your home furnishings the elegance and style you want.

Sofas are generally referred to as stuffed, padded, and spring-cushioned furniture. Sofas are also defined by the decorative materials and fabrics that cover them. The first furniture upholstery was probably leather, stretched on without padding. Italian Renaissance chairs were cushioned with leather, velvet, or embroidery; the French made ornate chairs covered with tapestries and embroideries; England developed upholstery in Elizabethan and Jacobean reigns. The use of springs is comparatively modern. Hair, fiber, flock, foam rubber, down, and kapok are used for padding in modern upholstery, and woven fabrics, plastics, leather, and synthetic leather serve as coverings.

There are thousands and thousands of sofas, sectional sofas and other home furnishings to choose from over the internet. Choose from only the best sofas representatives who offer quality, elegance, quick delivery to your home and, of course, great prices!

Tips for Shopping for a Quality Recliner

Shopping for furniture is not exactly routine. Aside from a home, there are few things you buy with less frequency. When you add in the factor of moving parts, shopping for reclining furniture can be that much more intimidating. Your best bet is to know a little bit about reclining furniture going into the process. To help you go onto that furniture show-floor properly prepared, here are some tips for shopping for a quality recliner.

1) Look for a Quality Frame

Whether you are buying a recliner, a reclining sofa, or a simple loveseat with no reclining mechanism, the quality of the piece of furniture starts with a quality frame. In furniture, the frame is the skeleton, and you want one that is strong and supportive.

Start by talking to the sales person. Ask what the frame is made of. What you should be looking, or listening for in this case, is a hardwood. Alder is a common hardwood frame, but Oak or even any of several Asian hardwoods (parawood or rubberwood for example) will work.

Next, ask to make sure that the wood is kiln dried. This is especially important with imported pieces of furniture. Many a retailer can tell stories of Brazilian or Asian furniture pieces cracking in the warehouse because the wood dries after coming from humid weather.

Also, ask about the frame warranty. Many manufacturers will offer lifetime warranty on the frame and most will offer at least 10 years.

Finally, reach under the front of the recliner you are looking at. Grab the front piece of the frame to get an idea of how thick it is. Anything over an inch is fantastic, but just remember that the thicker it is the stronger it is.

2) Test the Mechanism

If you are looking at recliners or any other type of reclining furniture, the mechanism is of the highest importance. As the part of the furniture that is going to move, it will also get the most wear. Test it out. Recline it and close it several times. Additionally, ask to see what it looks like. The sales person should be able to tilt the piece back and let you see the way it is fastened to the frame of the recliner.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Top tips for choosing a sofa

Top tips for choosing a sofa

Buying a lounge suite is a sizeable investment, and as such, it not only has to look good, but it also has to be comfortable, durable and long lasting. 

The problem is, however, if you don’t know what to look for, it is often difficult to distinguish between a good quality couch and one of an inferior quality. 
Anton Odendaal from Rochester says a cheap couch will never hold up the durability that a top-end couch will offer.
A good quality couch on the other hand, he says, will not only retain its good looks for longer, but it will also offer years of enjoyment and comfort.

The covering
Odendaal says it is important to focus on the sofa’s covering.
The covering is what you see, and it is also the part of any seating that will receive the most wear and tear. Therefore, in order to keep a sofa looking good for longer, it is imperative that it has a good quality covering. 

When choosing what kind of covering you want for your couch, Odendaal says it is essential to consider aesthetics, as well as durability, stain-resistance and maintenance issues.
Chenille fabric for example is soft and durable, while leather lasts longer. Velvets and faux suede on the other hand, look lovely and offer a wonderful textural quality, but may quickly appear worn out if placed in high traffic areas. 
Plain canvas or drill fabrics are hard wearing, but easily stained.
Stains and dirt are especially important considerations for parents and pet owners, as both children and pets are well-reputed couch destroyers. 
Patterned fabric and fabric in dark colours have the benefit of being able to hide stains better than plain and lightly coloured fabrics.

Odendaal says alternatively, you can pay a bit extra and opt for an industrial-strength commercial grade upholstery fabric, which has been specially manufactured to withstand the wear and tear of high traffic areas. 
Some commercial fabrics even have the ability to deter bacteria, he says. 
He explains that special treatments can also be applied to your couches, such as Masterguard for example, which keeps fabrics looking newer for longer. 
Opting for couches with slipcovers is another great option, he says.
“Slipcovers are a fantastic choice, as you can take the slipcovers off to wash them when they get dirty, and you can also easily change the colour and look of the couch by fitting it with a new cover in a different fabric when you tire of the old upholstery.”

All about leather
Leather couches are by far the most popular, and it is easy to understand why – they are beautiful and durable pieces of furniture that offer superior comfort, conformability, longevity, and cleanability when compared to their fabric counterparts.
However, Odendaal says they are also, by and large, considerably more expensive, and as such, it is essential to know what qualities to look for when making your selection to ensure that you make the optimum choice. 
The most important thing to do is to determine whether the sofa is upholstered in genuine or faux leather, he says.
Your first point of reference should be to examine the furniture tag and see if it identifies the materials used in the manufacturing of the sofa. 
Faux leather can be identified in a number of different ways, including pleather, leatherette, naugahyde, corfam, ultrasued, fabrikoid, permeable leather, artificial leather or leather cloth, By-Cast,  and Bonded Belisima. 
Genuine leather, however, should always be identified with a genuine leather symbol or the term ‘Genuine Leather’.
Odendaal says the next thing to do is to ascertain the quality of the leather used to upholster the sofa.
Leather comes in a variety of qualities that can serve different purposes. Bonded leather is made of leather scraps that have been glued together – although it is inexpensive, it is not as durable and so it should be avoided. 
Full grain leather is as durable, or perhaps even more durable than top grain leather, but since it doesn’t have a protective layer, it will take on more character from wear and tear over the years, but ultimately, it will last longer. 
You can also consider thickness as a function of price – the thicker the leather, the longer it will last, and the more expensive it will be.
Split grain leather is made from the inside of the hide, which is considered less desirable than the outer layer because it is it not as durable. 
Top grain is made from the outer layer and is the most durable type of leather because it is specially treated to increase its longevity. 
Full grain leather is the most expensive option – like top grain leather, it is made from the outer layer, but it is not treated. It is the most expensive because of its beauty, but is not as durable as top grain. 
Some couches will offer leather match, a combination of vinyl and leather, which is less expensive than most genuine leather sofas, explains Odendaal.
Frame and construction
What the sofa’s frame is constructed from is also important. 
In South Africa, pine is used for the construction of seating; however, there are different grades of pine. If you are looking for quality, you should make sure that the frame is constructed from A-grade industrial unknotted pine, which is the strongest and most durable material on offer, explains Odendaal. 
The interior construction is another crucial consideration when it comes to quality, he says.
Inexpensive furniture is usually stapled together and has poorly constructed corner bracing, while more expensive furniture should be securely screwed together and well-constructed and hardy corner bracing. 
With regards to seating, one of the most durable seating constructions comprises eight-way tied springs, however, there are other types of wire coils, and of course, some seating comprises only wood and foam constructions.
Trusted brands
Of course, Anton says that opting to choose a trusted brand is another way of ensuring that you are buying a quality piece of furniture.
Homeowners should look for a company that has built a good reputation for offering top quality furniture over the years.
Investing in motion furniture
Recliners and motion furniture are by far the most popular forms of seating that people are investing in nowadays, says Odendaal.
Motion furniture and recliners are a major trend in the world of seating – so much so that as from November 2012, Rochester will be stocking a full selection of La-Z-Boy recliners, along with their standard ranges of reclining seating that they have always stocked.
Odendaal says the popularity of motion furniture is mostly a testament to their comfort.
Today, people are spending increasingly more time at home than they used to in order to save money. They are choosing to 'hang out' at home instead of taking a vacation or having dinner at a fancy restaurant, and if people are going to spend most of their time at home, they’ll need a comfortable chair to sit in. 
Sales of reclining chairs are also getting a boost from the growing popularity of high-tech TVs, home theatre equipment, and video games.
New, modern designs are also boosting sales of motion furniture, explains Odendaal.
In the past, when it came to seating, it was often accepted that you had to sacrifice on good looks if you were going to opt for comfort. However, this is certainly not the case anymore – today, you can truly get the best of both worlds – seating that is durable and comfortable, as well as being aesthetically good looking.” 
Colour choice
To ensure that your couch doesn’t date too quickly, it is advisable to choose something that is as neutral as possible.
Choosing a neutral palette will prolong the longevity of your seating, as it will match a variety of different styles and in this way it can be easily adapted to the ever changing décor trends. 
A neutral colour will allow you to change the whole look of a room by simply changing its décor accessories, such as scatter cushions, rugs, light fittings and so on, without having to invest in an entirely new lounge suit. 
This is one of the reasons why leather is such a popular choice of upholstery – it is durable, long lasting, and it is neutral enough to go with any type of décor – from the über contemporary to the most classical styles.


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Six Tips for Buying the Right Leather Furniture for You

There's nothing like the feeling of sinking into a plush leather sofa or kicking up your feet on a leather recliner. Once you experience the rich color and luxurious texture of real leather furniture, it's tough to go back to anything else.

And with good reason: Leather is the strongest upholstery material known to man, and its natural strength makes it much more difficult to tear, puncture, burn or melt than fabrics or vinyls. Leather also constantly adjusts to its environment, so it won't become hot and sticky in the summer or cold in the winter. This natural product also breathes and ventilates, wicking away body heat, and ages gracefully.

But before you start planning on giving your home the posh, natural look of leather, think carefully as you select your furniture. Whether you're dreaming of a sectional grouping or just a chair, leather furniture is an investment that requires you to give it the proper treatment it deserves.

So before you splurge, consider these basic tips.

1. Think Second Best

When you're shopping for leather furniture, it's easy to think that the highest-grade, most expensive leather equates to the best option. But this rule isn't accurate. For many consumers, the middle grade is the option of choice, as it can better withstand normal wear and tear while looking attractive.

2. Don't Expect Perfection

Oh, those scars, those veins, those stretch marks! Just like humans aren't all airbrushed perfection, neither are the cows used for leather furniture. But these characteristics aren't flaws, but rather are the qualities that give leather furniture its distinctive, natural appeal. If you look very closely, there's a slight chance you might even spot a brand, which is usually hidden in an out-of-the-way place.

3. Order Big

hose characteristics and differences in texture can be an issue if you're planning on purchasing more than one piece. Since leather is a natural product, it's difficult to predict whether your furniture's color and texture will match perfectly if you order several items over a longer period of time instead of all at once. This is especially important to consider with sectional pieces or matching ottomans. It can be a little easier on the pocketbook to build your leather furniture collection one piece at a time, but understand that this method might affect the overall look of a room.

4. Avoid Cat Scratch Fever

If there's anyone who should think carefully about their decision to purchase leather furniture, it should be pet owners. Pets do a number on leather furniture with their claws, so keep this in mind when deciding where your furniture will be safest in your home. Warranties on leather furniture don't cover animal damage, either. And manufacturers actually do extensive testing on materials, so forget about pulling one over on them by passing off Fluffy's scratches as a mysterious defect.

5. Sun Protection is a Factor

Just like you, leather furniture doesn't age well if it's exposed to the sun. So while you're mentally arranging a room around that leather sofa, look at whether it will be soaking up direct sunlight for extended periods. If so, search for alternate places to put it before you even bring it home, or consider another type of furniture.

6. Maintenance Matters

As you look at different leather options, imagine how much time you ideally want to spend on upkeep. Most varieties on the market only require frequent light dusting and the occasional wiping with a warm and slightly damp clean cloth. Take note if you find nubuck appealing, however: This higher-grade variety requires you to use a suede brush.

Now that you're enlightened about nature's most beautiful material, get ready to live the leather lifestyle. With these simple tips, you'll be lounging on luxurious, long-lasting leather in no time.