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For sophisticated couchpotatoes: Our designer sofas

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GUIDE: A sofa – which is the right one?

Jochen Bähr, manager of Büroforum, Wohnforum and onlineshop www.einrichten-design.de answers the five most frequently asked questions when buying a sofa in an interview.

Step 1

How do I recognize a high quality sofa?

Everyone can distinguish a quality product from a less high-quality sofa. The following criteria should be tested by sitting on it or checked when buying:

frame construction: Are the weight-bearing parts made of shape-retaining solid wood or only laminated fibre? Check that the parts are connected securely with one another, in the best case the wood is mortised and not only screwed, as bolts can be removed more easily.
supporting springs: The supporting springs are located directly on the frame construction and is responsible for seating comfort as well as the basis for the cushions. Are steel shaft springs uses for the seating area and elastic belts for the backrest? Are the springs covered with a mat made of natural material such as linen, cotton, felt, coconut or cork? A covering mat does not only prevent damages of the cushions but also prevents sounds and extrusion of the steel springs.
cushioning: a cushioning is normally made of multiple layers. First is a cushion frame or chamber, then a breathable foam material in different densities if needed. Last a polyester fleece is added between the cushioning and the cover. 
cover: whether leather or fabric, synthetic or natural fibre, it is up to you. Should you like large-scale patterns or colour combinations then only a fabric can be used.
environmental safety: Only contaminant-free materials have been used for production? Also scrutinize glue and impregnation?

Step 2

Which sofa suits me

A sofa is a purchase for a long period of time and is the centerpiece of every accommodation. To decide which sofa suits you, you should answer the following questions:

use: who uses the sofa? Should it be presentable or easy to care for sofa for your whole family? Do you need a sofa bed, a corner sofa or a chaise lounge or a two- or three seater for watching TV? Question the use, think about who uses the sofa and how many people will sit on it normally.
seating height and depth: which seating height do you need? Older people tend to higher and firmer seating furniture with low seating height. Young people often like a comfortable lounge area. At best seating height and depth are adjustable and thus offer both.
cover: one of the most difficult decisions when buying a sofa ist he cover. Fabric covers are offered in many colours and patterns. Covers is natural fibre like wool or cotton or synthetic fibre are an alternative. Ask for the life period of the tissue regarding wear of friction, light resistance and rub fastness. Normally fabric covers are less expensive than leather or micro fibre.
colour: A rule of thumb is: small sofas can be more bright as a colour touch and bigger sofas should be in a neutral colour. You can also create eye catcher with cushions or blankets.
available space: how much space do you have for the sofa? Measure the area and place chairs and boxes on the intended place to simulate a sofa.

Step 3

When should I buy a leather sofa and when a fabric sofa?

This is entirely up to you. As already mentioned patterns are only possible with fabric covers. A leather cover is temperature-regulating, which is good in the summer and less in winter. In the winter season a blanket is a must. You can choose between natural or synthetic fabrics and between faux and real leather. Just decide according to your preferences.

Expert advice: should you decide to buy real lather, then do not take the cheapest category; the more high-grade a leather is the less it has been treated and is much more natural. It is more long-lasting and breathable and absorbs body warmth quicker – in short, you do not have the feeling that you sit on a cold cover.

Step 4

<h4>What should be considered when buying a sofa bed?</h4>

Whether folding couch or convertible corner sofa, a sofa bed is perfect for living as well as study, guest room or children´s room. The proof of quality is also like normal sofas the frame, supporting springs, the cushioning and the cover. At best the sofa bed has its own slatted frame.

Sleeping sofa

Step 5

How is a sofa to be cared for correctly?

You have to differentiate between a sofa with leather and fabric cover.

A sofa with leather cover should not be placed next to a heater, and should be protected against oily hair, hand lotion and coloured jeans, zippers and studs.

Dust your leather sofa with a soft fleece or cotton cloth. One or two times a year a thorough cleaning is needed with a special leather cleaner which cleans and impregnates the sofa at the same time.

Sofas with fabric cover are cleaned from dirt and dust with a vacuum cleaner. Use the nozzle for cushions. Should „pilling“ appear remove it carefully with a fabric shaver.

Do you have further questions?

We are glad to assist you. Büroforum has interior trends and designer furniture in its showroom. Take your time when buying and maybe a chair to try out at home.

You can call the team phone: +49 (0)931 46798-28 or info@einrichten-design.com