Things to Consider when Choosing a Family Sofa

Colour, comfort, durability and style all come into play when picking a couch for the entire family

Credit: iStock / mediaphotos

A family sofa

A comfortable, durable sofa is important when children and petsa are in the mix

Q: I’m ready to invest in a good-quality sofa, but I find the number of style options overwhelming. How do I know what the best choice is for my family?

The crucial factors to consider when buying a sofa are size, style, comfort, maintenance and colour.

Before you check out sofas, establish the best size range. Take green masking tape and mock up the outlines – including coffee tables and chairs – on the floor. You will quickly recognize a good flow.

Ask yourself some key style questions: Do you like an overstuffed, tailored, contemporary or traditional look? Are you formal or more relaxed? Do you want to use the sofa for overnight guests?

The style of the sofa has an impact on the comfort level. Do you want to sink into the pillows or sit more firmly? Be sure to consider mobility issues of family members.

Keep Children, Pets in Mind when Buying a Sofa

Small children or pets can be hard on furniture and scratch marks and spills are to be expected. Leather, suede, twill or linen will not only feel different on your skin, but will stand up differently to daily use (and abuse).

Slipcovers or a settee frame with loose pillows are less formal than upholstered furniture, but allow you to change the appearance of the sofa frequently.

And while most people go safe with a neutral upholstery colour, there is a lot to be said for a bold colour statement. If that’s not you, a colourful splash of throw pillows is a great alternative.

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.