If you’re not in the business of sourcing products and designing interiors all day long like we are, you might not have any idea how much products for your home cost these days. It is common for our clients to hire us without having a clue about how much furniture REALLY costs.
For example, how much should a sofa cost?
We often ask our clients a common analogy – are you interested in good, better or best (think Ford, Toyota, Mercedes or Ikea, Pottery Barn, Henredon)? How much do you want to
spend invest? Think about it – your sofa is the workhorse of the house. Big people, little people, pets, crumbs, spills, clean feet, dirty feet and more will spend time on this particular piece of furniture. Comfort is Queen. Quality is King. As Magnus Breitling, director of product management for Emeco chair company, puts it, “They say only rich people can afford to buy cheap stuff.”
So where to begin?
Photos courtesy of Houzz.com
Personally, I cannot in good conscious advocate going out and buying ANYTHING for your home that is new and cheap (i.e. poor quality). Can you buy a sofa constructed of stapled plywood and foam cushions for $500 that might last a year? Sure – but why? If you are going to do that, go to a thrift shop or consignment shop, reduce your carbon footprint and get a better quality, more interesting sofa.
Photo courtesy of vintage revivals.com
If you are willing to spend $1,000 – $1,700, you want to be on the hunt for poly-down or spring down cushions and a frame constructed of a hardwood like ash or maple.
This sofa from West Elm is a good example.
Since you won’t catch me recommending crap (just keeping it real) to ANYBODY – EVER, let’s consider this a “good option”.
On to BETTER. Let’s spend $1,800 – $3,500.
The “better” sofa will be constructed with a sturdy frame made of a kiln-dried hardwood, such as oak, maple, and poplar. Kiln-drying removes moisture, helping guard against warping and cracking. High-quality frames are screwed and glued at all the joints, to doubly protect against anything coming apart. Sofa corners should be reinforced with blocks connected with double dowels or staples and screws.
(Boring I know but how the frame is constructed is as important as the materials from which it’s made.)
Look for “8-way hand tied” springs – a hallmark of fine furniture.
Here’s a great example from one of our favorite manufacturers – C.R. Laine.
Now let’s spend $4,000 + on a “Best” Sofa.
The construction won’t vary too much from the “better” sofa but the cost will increase due to the quality of fabrics used and many times the name and reputation of the manufacturer. Names like Baker, Hickory White and Century will command a higher price.
I took this photo of this gorgeous sofa by Lillian August for Hickory White while at the Highpoint Furniture Market last October.
The bottom line? Buy the best QUALITY sofa that you can AFFORD. You won’t regret it!