When you walk into a furniture store to look at couches, or shop online for them, do you ever wonder why there are so very many options? And what makes one differ from all the others? Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices? Well don’t despair, because it’s all in the details friends. I’ll show you some little things to look for so the next time you go shopping you’ll be a detail spotting pro! You might even be able to pick one and take it home! Imagine how much time you’ll have to do other things, like shop for pillows or carpets or chairs.
The elderly generation (seasoned sofa purchasing experts) tell me stories of the days when you could walk into a furniture store and pick one frame and choose from four colours and voila your room was done. How quaint. Today’s options are far more exciting! Furniture is like fashion. New fabrics and leathers come out each season, there are trends, things get discontinued to make way for the new, and some things stay the same.
Let’s take a look today at six different details that define a sofa, and give it character and personality. Each of the sofas I have chosen here emulate their details with style and grace like any good model should.
Furniture should make you happy! Have fun with it!
Nail Head Trim– One of my favourite details of all time. Nail heads are like jewelry for your sofa. I love the shiny silver ones, but there are frequently choices for the colour, depending on the manufacturer. Sizes of the actual nails may vary as well. The nails are applied to the finished frame one at a time, along the edge of the arms, the base or the back. I have also seen this done in unsuspecting areas like the outside of the arms and in unusual patterns. If this is not your thing, sometimes they can do piping instead. What is piping? Read on to find out!
Tufting– Ok, so I am a huge fan of tufting. In fact, my current sofa is tufted and has nail head trim. It’s a little glamorous. Sometimes the tufting has buttons and sometimes it does not. The buttons are usually the same material as the sofa. How can I make a tufted sofa more glamorous you ask? For an additional charge you might be able to order glass buttons. You will see sofas with a tufted back and the seats may or may not be tufted. Or the tufting can even be done to the outside of the arms and wrapped around the back (this is usually done without the buttons).
Wood Trim– Old school and traditional frames have ornate carved wood features, but today’s wood trim can be pretty straight and basic or a little curvy like the frame shown here. If the manufacturer offers colour options for the wood, this is a lovely way to make a statement. The combination of the sapphire blue with the white trim pictured here is dynamic and fresh.
Skirt– This is not something I see all the time, but the sofa with a skirt is a classic profile. The cream one pictured here is simple, elegant and classic. If you would prefer a skirt to an upholstered base, the manufacturer may offer this as an option not shown in the showroom. It is always worth asking.
Piping– Most of the time piping will be the same colour as the body fabric or leather on the couch. But every now and then you will see one with contrast piping that will pop! When done right, this is a beautifully tailored look. So elegant. You might wonder what I mean when I say ‘done right’ and I’ll explain. The colour combination needs to make sense. And you’ll know when its right because it will make you so happy and excited, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.
Bench Seat– A typical sofa has three seats, which means three seat cushions paired with three back cushions. I see more and more two seat sofas (I have a two seat sofa), but there is also the bench cushion. One long seat cushion. It creates more of a linear effect with less lines. I love this look, but one draw back you might not readily think of is that you can’t rotate your seat cushions for even wear, but you can still flip it over, which is good too.
Now that you have a visual on a few common details, your next trip to the furniture store will be so much fun. I can just hear you now…’Look Oliver, that sofa has the nail head trim I’ve always wanted!’ The real magic happens in the combination of these details. Imagine a tufted sofa with nail head trim and a bench seat. Now we’re talking! What details do you love? Have I missed any you would like me to explain?
Happy furniture shopping!