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HomeWorldA First-Time Buyer’s Guide to Sofa Shopping

A First-Time Buyer’s Guide to Sofa Shopping

A black couch in a room

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Amid the housing demand, 50% of all home buyers are first-timers. This represents the highest number of first-timers actively looking to buy homes since 2010. As a result, it’s safe to assume that many of these homeowners will also be shopping for many furnishings for the first time, especially as their new homes may afford them space they’ve not had before.

Among all the home furnishings that one might need, sofas are undoubtedly among the most important. According to Clever by Architectural Digest, sofas can significantly shape the vibe of a home. Moreover, a survey found that the average American spent a whopping 448 hours in a 32-week period sitting on a sofa. Of these respondents, 70% said their perfect night involves lounging on a sofa. That said, not all sofas are made equal. With polled sofa owners saying that they tend to keep sofas for up to seven years, it’s important to make sure your own sofa can hold up to the test of time, stylistically and functionally. With these in mind, if it’s your first time to buy a sofa, here’s a handy guide.

Look for versatile models

It’s natural to want something that’s currently popular, especially if it’s your first time shopping. However, considering that a big-ticket item like a sofa should be good for several years, you’re better off buying something that will not look dated or that you’ll end up tired of. In some cases, trendy sofas also run the risk of no longer being practical should something change in your life, like having a baby or a new pet. Of course, this doesn’t mean going for bland. Instead, look for a sofa that targets versatility rather than being trendy. One model that you can reimagine in several different configurations is an L-shaped sofa. Characterized by its modular sections that typically include an armchair, an ottoman, and a chaise, these sectional sofas can be reworked to suit various needs and spaces. As seen on Living Spaces, these sofas can be adjusted to provide foot support, become a makeshift daybed, and much more. As such, they can easily keep up with your current lifestyle and whatever else your future may hold.

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Choose manageable upholstery

If you think about it, your sofas are among the most used furniture since everybody in your home will use it. Unlike beds and dining tables that are only used by those invited to stay over or for a meal, sofas are the go-to even for short-time guests. With this in mind, you need to pick an upholstery that is durable and reliable. This means textiles that are less prone to staining and tearing and can work well in your climate are ideal. For example, cotton sofas are great in warmer homes since they’re highly breathable. Meanwhile, homes with pets might want to use a leather couch since these will not pill and require little cleanup. If your living room is an extremely high-traffic area, you can even invest in upholstering using performance fabric. Retailers such as Crate&Barrell use these on their sofas, making them highly resistant to UV fading, rips, and more.

Think of the features you need

Finally, look at what other functions your sofa needs to fulfill. Since you’ll presumably be spending a lot of time on your sofa, you might as well choose a model that can support your needs. To illustrate, if you have back pains, you might want a sofa with a reclinable back like those from West Elm. On the other hand, many homeowners can never have too many storage solutions to improve organization and cleanliness. As such, you may benefit from one of IKEA’s sofas with built-in drawers. These may cost you a bit more, but they are worth it, considering the comfort and convenience they’ll bring. Plus, having these in your first sofa eliminates the need to prematurely swap it out later on when you realize you do need these functions.

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