There are many things to know about a sofa before buying it. You can’t base it on looks or a thirty-second sit in a furniture store. You have to start with its skeleton. Really, you do – if you want a quality piece of furniture that won’t sag or squeak in five years or less. I’m avidly researching sofas because it’ll be the first we’ve ever bought new as a married couple (yes, we’ve been married for 11 years but have only had hand-me-downs or bought used ones before) and I don’t want to drop a grand on a sofa that is sub-par. I have found this site very helpful in learning how a sofa is constructed. If you are thinking about buying a piece of furniture, you really should take a look at it.

Yesterday I dragged Huz to about 5 furniture stores and we have two contenders at this point. One is a sofa I have lusted over for several months now (even though it’s not leather, though I would die to have one of the leather club chairs to go with it). It’s from (you guessed it) the mecca of great quality and much coveted household beauties: Pottery Barn. The other contender is from a local furniture store and is a leather sofa that isn’t quite up to snuff with Pottery Barn quality, but is still a nicely built sofa with decent imported leather. The quandary remains, however, how much will Neville’s wrestling around (which he does on a daily basis with his sister) scratch the leather? I don’t know. I’m thinking of ways to protect this investment – get him declawed or try these plastic claw cover thingies.

I’m not in a hurry. There is no sale that is awesome enough to make me rush into this decision. So many questions. Leather? Microfiber? There are some things I know for sure though: 1. It has to have a kiln-dried hardwood frame with double dowel and glue/screw (not nail) construction; 2. it’s best if it has non-detachable feet otherwise the integrity of the frame isn’t as good; 3. it should have springs (either 8-way hand-tied or S-spring) as opposed to webbing, otherwise it will likely sag in five years; and 4. the cushions should be made with high-resistant foam (1.8 minimum) surrounded by a poly/down wrapping.

That’s probably WAY more than you wanted to know about sofas, but if you’re thinking of shelling out that kind of money, you need to know it’s for the long run.

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