Pick Your Next Sofa in Five Easy Steps

couple on the sofaBeware: Your next sofa may outlast your next relationship...

It's true. A sofa is the biggest and most frequently used item in your apartment. If unwisely selected, your sofa can ruin everything from the general enjoyment of your apartment to even wrecking your reputation. (Your choice of beds is also a major concern, but that's a different post for a different day)

You think I'm joking? No way. Take a lesson from my former neighbor, "Ben" who, even though long departed, is still referred to as "the idiot." His new sofa didn't fit into his apartment. So, he left the plastic-wrapped sofa partially blocking the single stairwell. Not just for an hour, but for days as he unsuccessfully tried to sell the sofa for full price on Craigslist! He successfully he brought a building of people against him as public enemy number one! Don't be that neighbor.

Five Ways to New Sofa Bliss
Evaluate sofas on these five metrics to determine if it's the right one for your apartment.

Size Matters
. But don't be a fool and, like the aforementioned "idiot," neglect to consider the measurements necessary to actually get your new sofa into your apartment. Measure the stairwell, elevator, doors, gates, and any other potential tight squeezes from store to home. Don't forget, there are a few ways to add to your door spacing.

Choose a sofa that will be the proper scale for your apartment, too. A gigantic sectional sofa may seem like the solution for entertaining multiple guests, but, in reality may take up too much functional space, even if you have a large apartment.

Design. Are you shopping for a sofa that you'll discard when you move, or something you plan to use for many years? Shorter time horizons can mean cheaper and trendier styles. So-called "investment" furniture should lean toward more classic designs for the greatest use. Also, in planning the layout of your sitting space and you plan to put the sofa in the middle of the room, does it look nice from behind?

Consider the color and texture of the sofa's fabric or covering. Textiles should be easy to clean or patterned so they can withstand occasional spills and the consistent need to conceal pet hair.

Quality. Look for the design details that reveal overall craftsmanship (or lack thereof). Does the fabric pattern align? Is the stitching tight? The pillows fluffy? Do the joints feel sturdy?

Test it out. Don't be shy about sitting and laying on sofas as you shop. If the sofa looks great but is uncomfortable you'll regret it.

Choose wisely and sofa bliss will be yours...
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