The living room is the main room in any home, this is where the whole family gathers in the evening. In this, usually the most spacious room in the house or apartment, people gather guests and arrange receptions.
The interior of the living room should be ready for any test. And one of the most important roles in creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for everybody plays upholstered furniture. Sofas and armchairs, footstools and soft modules create not only a soft living zone, but often serve as a focal point around which is built the whole concept of your living room. That is why the choice of upholstered furniture is the special care for all homeowners.
At present, the range of upholstered furniture in the stores is so high that anyone can be lost. You can have a vertigo from the abundance of variants of models, textures, upholstery and decoration. But in addition to the aesthetic characteristics it is necessary to take into account the strength, durability, complexity in service and maintenance of the furniture.
Having come into the store, almost 100% of buyers first of all pay attention to the appearance of furniture: its quality, upholstery colors and decor. That is quite logical, because the soft furnishings must comply with the chosen style, in which living room would be arranged or decorated, it is important to take into account the combinations of colors and textures. But beyond the trappings, there are many pitfalls, hidden from the eyes, but with no less important when choosing a durable and reliable furniture that will last many years for your family and will enjoy you with pristine appearance, no matter how much it would be exploited.
Let’s try to deal with the complex issue – how to choose comfortable, practical and beautiful furniture for the living room and did not ruin the family budget at the same time?
The choice of material and framework design for living room furniture
The carcass of any piece of furniture is considered to be construction, designed in a certain way to carry the main load of the product. There are several types of furniture, depending on what material and how does its frame manufactured:
The most cost-effective, accessible and popular among our compatriots is furniture with a frame made of chipboard. Unfortunately, cost advantages of this type of material ends at an affordable price. The strength of this furniture is poor, environmental friendliness is low: elements of adhesive substances involved in the manufacture of chipboard and fiberboard are exhaling to the atmosphere during exploitation. It is desirable that when using such materials for the individual parts of furniture (or back pallet sofas, armchairs) its main part (supporting elements) were still made of solid wood of a sufficiently dense and high quality type.
More quality, durable and presentable option is the furniture frame which is fully made in solid wood. Of course, the cost of such furniture will be much higher. It will depend on the type of wood used for the frame and the quality of the upholstery, decoration.
An alternative to expensive furniture made of solid wood frame is considered to be made of metal. These pieces of furniture are reliable and durable, do not lose their properties during active operation (this is especially important for furniture with sliding mechanism).
Frameless furniture (or with a hidden frame) is not suitable for every interior, but its cost is very democratic. These bean bags (they are also called “pears”), ottomans and sofas that are filled with a special filling – particulate filler (usually in the form of beads of polystyrene or Styrofoam).
Armchairs and footstools with similar filler usually pressing down with time and lose their elasticity, but this problem is easily solved. It`s enough to fill up the filler ( which is sold in any construction store).
To the frameless furniture can be attributed armchairs and sofas from a single piece of polyurethane foam (PUF). Due to the property of the material to take any desired shape during solidification into a dense substance, it can be used for manufacturing of different furniture. Typically, such furniture is upholstered with fabric, and apparently it seems that there is no frame in this interior item. But we must take into account that the chairs and sofas from the foam should not be too soft, otherwise the construction will sag very quickly, will remain some dents etc.
Choose upholstery material
Quality, texture and color of the upholstery are not the last arguments in the choice of upholstered furniture (and even the first one for many homeowners).
Among the major upholstery is currently the following:
- textiles – tapestries, jacquard, flocking, velvet, chenille;
- different types of leather tanning and thickness;
- synthetic skin analogs;
- furniture fur.
Whatever information about quality of upholstery material you have been told by advertising or consultant, you must personally check the veracity of this information. Try to check the quality of the material not only by the density but also to track how much the tissue is wrinkled and stretched after you sat or snooze on it.
If you are considering the purchase of upholstered furniture of bright colors, then the question of its cleaning arises very acute within the first month of operation. The best type of upholstery for such furniture in this case will be flock. It does not lose its appearance, color and texture even after repeated cleanings. In contrast to flock is usually used a jacquard. It is easy to care for this fabric. Consider this if you have small children or pets (or maybe both).
In addition to the quality, density and color of the fabric, it is important to consider its discoloration when exposed to direct sunlight. This situation is not immediate, but it can spoil the impression of buying upholstered furniture, which has lost the original color after a few months of operation. High resistance to sunlight have chenille tissue, preserving the original look of the upholstery for a long time.
Choosing furniture upholstered in natural leather, pay attention to the size of the pieces and the connecting joints. The fewer of such compounds, the stronger and more durable upholstery material will be.
The cost of furniture upholstered in leather imitation is much cheaper and thus may look like that only an expert can determine the origins of synthetic fabric. But it is important to remember that the synthetic analogue of leather has a very low air permeability and it is not so durable as natural material.
Determine the filler
The filler is any synthetic substance that provides softness sitting or lying down on the piece of furniture. The life of the piece of furniture depends from the type of filler. Among the main types of fillers include the following:
- polyurethane foam (PUF) in the form of multi-layered “sandwich” or cast billets;
- polystyrene (usually in the form of beads);
- Strutto fiber (“Periotec” in Russian-spoken countries);
- springs in combination with different types of filler.
As it was mentioned above, when using a filler of polyurethane foam, it is important to choose a dense material. The soft foam will not last a long time.
Under the conditions of the store it is difficult to check the quality of the springs manufacture (metal processing, from which they are produced, the quality of each spring fastening), but nobody prevent you from asking a consultant for a furniture certificate.
The most strong and durable material for a filler (but unfortunately also the most expensive) is currently considered natural latex. It is expanded and frozen juice of Hevea rubber tree. Such a filler is recommended for allergies, because it is absolutely hypoallergenic material.
Once you have decided on a suitable option for you frame filler and upholstery, you can go to the most interesting: the choice of models of sofas, chairs, ottomans and canapes.
The most popular in the living rooms of our countrymen are corner sofas. Such models are not only roomy, but also able to save a considerable part of usable space. Among other things, most of these models can be decomposed into a very roomy bed, which is very convenient when guests stay overnight.
When selecting the corner sofa model that is able to transform into a bed, pay special attention to accessories. The quality of manufacturing and mounting sliding mechanisms will affect not only on the life of furniture, but also ease of use.
Among other things, such as sofas often have a fairly roomy compartments for storage of bed linen, blankets and other home textiles.
Slightly less popular are modular sofas. Their advantage is that by moving the modules you can not only equip a comfortable place to sleep, but also to diversify the atmosphere of the room using the simple and effortless actions.
Soft island for living
The special group of upholstered furniture would like to highlight the “island” for living – it can be a big soft pouf, which can be used for seating or as a footrest, a sort of coffee table, but with soft upholstery, which can also be a seat place or a storage for magazines, books .
An alternative to the usual couch in the living room
Here are some design projects of livings in furnishings of which was not involved a sofa (in the most common sense). There are interesting and nontrivial interiors, which despite the absence of the main party of soft furniture, provide enough space for comfortable seating.
Corner location of soft cushions as seats and backs of improvised couch, placed on specially constructed wide bench, can not only save a lot of space, but also bring originality and creativity to the interior.
Ottoman instead of the usual sofa may suit to not every interior. But for fans to read in half-laying positions in the living room, it`ll be a “me gusta” thing. In addition, such piece of furniture keeps ease of the atmosphere, does not load the interior of the room.
Living room upholstered furniture arrangement: overall advice
And finally, some practical tips that can help you in selection of upholstered furniture, both for living and for any other room:
- acquiring a soft furniture, pay close attention to the connection joints. Inspect the seams, not only for the strength of the filaments, but geometrically – the seam should go on one line;
- sit down or even lie down on the desired item of upholstered furniture, to evaluate not only the level of comfort, but also the consequences for upholstery fabrics, after your actions;
- before buying a sofa bed or chair repeatedly disassemble and reassemble it. These actions are necessary not only to ensure good condition of the mechanism, but also to assess the level of comfort during work (especially if you intent to move the furniture often);
- inspect the furniture for completeness and presence (or absence) of external defects. Remember that signing a paper on the purchase of furniture (they usually say that when viewed by the buyer vernal defects not detected), you agree with the fact that quality of furniture production and in case of possible future disputes you will not have the right to make arguments about the failure of purchased piece of furniture;
- Receiving the furniture, open or inspect all parts for defects, cracks, exfoliation of upholstery or filler, other faults;
- When transporting the furniture it is better to use the services of the seller company, in this case the responsibility for the safety and integrity of the furniture will be on your seller. Remember that the damage caused during an independent delivery of furniture can not be covered by the warranty.