Keeping with the theme that you don't have to spend a fortune to create a beautiful house, I thought I'd do a daily post dedicated to the best, easy to find, good quality classics.
First up: Sofas, the foundation of a room.
Here are my affordable favorites.
Restoration Hardware. A classic roll-arm sofa. Great in leather or fabric. The scale is just right and the nailheads and legs add an upscale detail.
My favorite sofa offered through a specialty retailer. The proportions of this english roll arm from Williams Sonoma Home are perfect! Most of the others on the market don't have the right legs, the right height of the arms, and too much of a slope on the back. Plus, this one has eight-way hand tied springs which means it will hold up to years of use. (I believe this is made by Lee Industries) This sofa shape can work with almost any style. It's timeless if done in a neutral fabric.
Another English roll arm, a little less expensive than the Williams Sonoma version. This is much larger than the WS option - with the length being 96" and the depth being 45". The proportions aren't as good as the WS option but if you have a big room, this may work better for you.
Great modern, clean shape from Crate and Barrel. It's also made of sustainable hardwoods and cushions for the eco-conscious consumer. I think this is made by my favorite mid-price point manufacturer - Lee Industries. You can't get better quality and customer service for the price.
Ballard Designs Slipcovered sectional. The proportions and fabric selections are great. It's an incredible value.
Ballard Designs Slipcovered Sofa. This is the same as the sectional. Great shape, great choices, great value.
A couple tips for purchasing your sofa:
1) Make sure the shape and size work in your room. If necessary, take a newspaper and cut out the overall dimension to make sure it's not too small or too big.
2) Love the shape. Can you look at the shape for the next 7-20 years? Most people don't replace a sofa any sooner than 7 years, if ever. If the quality is good, you will just want to recover the sofa if your takes change instead of replacing it. I have some sofas that were purchased in the sixties and have been re-done into new shapes because the quality of the hardwood was better than I could purchase today.
3) Make sure to get a swatch of the fabric before you place your order. Look at the swatch in your room during various times of the day to make sure the fabric is the color you want.
4) If you are going to purchase a sofa from a mail-order or specialty retailer find out who manufacturers the sofa for them. Find out their policy on warranty and customer service. One of the reasons I love Lee Industries is they will replace cushions if they break down. You can also order a new slipcover if something happens to yours or you simply change your look. I've been to their showroom in North Carolina on numerous occasions and their product is beautiful. They also have a line from Bobby McAlpine which has incredible, modern shapes. Okay, I'll stop pushing Lee Industries...... But, my point is, you wouldn't by a car without knowing who made it would you? The sofa is a big purchase and you want to make sure it's right.
5) Buy the most expensive you can afford. Don't skimp on quality or fabric.
Hope that helps. Check back tomorrow for another post on affordable foundations.