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Friday, 18 January 2013

Couches…..So Many Choices

The color, size, style and comfort of your couch will greatly impact both how your room looks and how well it functions for years to come. With all the options, where do you begin?

Size of Room and Layout

Your first step is to determine the size of the couch you want. Using the design rule of scale, you’ll be safe if you base the size of the couch on the size of the room – large room, large couch; small room, small couch. However, the style of the couch also matters as overstuffed couches will be visually larger than tightly tailored versions.

In a large room you could select matching couches to face each other. This will create a formal sitting area. In a very large room don't be afraid to pull the couches away from the walls or place one across the open room as a divider and add a coffee table behind it.

In a casual setting, or for watching TV, you may consider the extra lounging space of a sectional or lounge. The L shaped sitting area can easily break up an extra long room or can be tucked neatly into a corner of an average sized room. In a small living space consider one couch – or an apartment sized version – and two chairs for extra seating. This option keeps the arrangement versatile and still provides sufficient seating for guests.

Couches…..So Many Choices

How you use the room

The second step is to consider the use of the couch. Will it be a lounging couch for the whole family to watch TV, or a formal lounge for cocktail parties and coffee? Do you have pets or children?

Pet owners consider the color of their pet when selecting the main color of furniture. Obviously, dark haired pets do better with dark furniture and light haired pets on light furniture. But the most practical recommendation is for a mixed texture or print that can disguise pet hair and stains.

This advice is equally practical for consideration with children (or messy mates!). A smooth surface such as leather or vinyl makes it easy to sweep off crumbs or mop spills, but they can be uncomfortably sticky in hot weather and chilly in cold weather.

Quality of Construction and Price

Obviously couches and lounges come at nearly all price points. In many cases you can find the style you like at any price, but if you’re looking for quality it will cost a little more.

Furniture Style

Choosing a couch is such a big commitment that you would be wise to go with a neutral, classic look and play up your personal style in accessories and smaller furnishings. Going for a clean lined tuxedo lounge will appeal to traditionalists and minimalists alike. A comfy rolled-arm couch will work with country decors or traditional while a vintage couch may appeal to historical purists or the modern designer.

In any case, when you find the couch you absolutely love, make absolutely sure you measure your room, the couch AND the entrance to your abode – a perfect couch doesn’t look so great when it’s wedged in the staircase or stuck on the lawn!

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