How to buy a Quality Sofa Part IV : Guarantees

Today’s post is the last in the series on “How to buy a  Quality Sofa”  so if you have missed the first 3 posts go back and have a read.  You are spending some hard earned dollars here, so it is worth it!To recap it should have: A heavy frame + heavy elephant foam cushions+ car tyre webbing = good quality sofa.  i.e you cannot kick it around with your foot.  A good quality sofa will need a couple of man mountains to lift it.  If you are a weakling and can lift it on your own, please walk away!

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Linens ex Warwick Fabrics

Finally ask does your chosen piece of furniture have a Guarantee? Has the piece got a 10 year guarantee on the frame and foam?  A workmanship guarantee of 5 years?

Quality manufacturers will stand by their product.  Buying locally is safer for this very reason. (New Zealand Made in our case).  It is more eco-friendly as you are not shipping across the world, you know what is going into the product and you have local guarantees.  You are also providing local jobs and local income.  This is good for all of us isn’t it?

New sofas and chairs need to be worn in a little just like a car.  Think of them as your new favourite pair of designer jeans. Specialist designer furniture gets more comfortable with age, conforming to your body and becoming uniquely yours.  Yes, it does cost more, but buying quality, from a local manufacturer  but you are buying an antique of the future, a modern heirloom, not landfill.  You will be able to have it recovered in years to come. Think of how often you sit in your sofa, and for how many years you will have it, and the price doesn’t work out too badly does it?

View our website for more details of what to look out on a piece of furniture: http://www.roomserviceinteriors.co.nz/Our-Furniture.html

If you would like help selecting a new piece of furniture or interior design click here to contact us .  

Related articles:

http://cocoandcashmere.me/2013/11/18/cozy-rustic-chic-design/

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How to buy a Quality Sofa II: Foams

On Wednesday night we had the pleasure of talking to the Stage 2 class at the Nanette Cameron School of Interior Design which  has been the inspiration for this 4 part post on what makes a quality piece of furniture. First off it is the frame which we talked about in our last post. However Foams are equally important for supporting your body through their structure and how they shape a piece of furniture.  Then finally Cushions are the true source of comfort in a piece of furniture and the foam that goes in them is very important.

 

Be wary of a sofa that is super soft and squishy.  If it is soft on Day One  it will be positively saggy & offer no support by Day 365.  Your knees will be up around your ears when you sit down!  Equally be wary of a sofa that is way too firm.  Hard foam is not dense, and it is the density you pay for in a foam. Poor quality furniture has very little upholstery padding and the foams are cheap, cheap, cheap, light and offer no support. Look for lots of padding across the back and arms.  Look underneath the cushions.  You should not feel any sharp edges, staples, or the wood that lies beneath.  The piping and stitching should all be straight and not crooked.  Park your bottom on the seat.  Can you feel the front rail underneath your thighs? Can you feel any part of the frame beneath the foam? No?  Good, this could be the sofa for you then as it means lots of padding has been used and the seat foam is of decent quality.

 

Look for the use of Elephant foam, it is the heaviest, densest and most resilient.  It will give you years of firmness and stability which is good in a cushion. Memory foam and Luxura foam are used quite a lot but we wouldn’t recommend it to provide you with years of service.  Memory foam is lovely and soft and squishy for your sofa, but has no structure.  It was developed fas a topping foam for mattresses, and really should not be used in furniture.

Some manufacturers make a foam sandwich with their cushions.  But think about it – If you have a cushion that is 100mm thick you will get good structure by using all Elephant foam.  However, if you then make a ‘sandwich’ with Memory or Luxura foam (using 50mm of it for comfort) you will be taking away 50mm of structure and good support for your dear self in years to come.  So, it is a compromise.

 

In our next post we will talk about the cushioning on your sofa, and how elephant foam is used there along with feathers and other goodies.  Please come back to continue reading.

If you would like help selecting a comfortable, quality piece of furniture, we’d love to hear from you!

How to buy a Quality Sofa 1- The Frame

Most people struggle to know what is a good quality piece of furniture these days and what isn’t. Because you can’t actually see what you are getting and what lies beneath that gorgeous shape and fabric. A lot of quality has disappeared off the market due to cheap and nasty imports and quality local manufacturers have had their margins so squeezed they have been unable to survive.

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Warning! If you pay a few $1000 hard earned dollars for a matching 3 piece lounge suite from a chain store on a Saturday morning, you can almost guarantee that it will not stand the test of time. Most of them are poorly made and are just ugly- extremely bulky and have no style what so ever.These pieces are, sadly lacking and are landfill and will not provide you years of good comfortable cushioning for your derriere.

(Refer our earlier blog-https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/mitchy-matchy-breaking-up/ )

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When looking for a new piece of furniture, you need to be prepared to invest some time, effort and yes,  money!  A lot of people replace their car before their sofa and spend more on their wardrobe annually, so invest because it is something that you will have for a while.  You must also love, love, love it. And your new sofa needs to be something you are truly comfortable in and for me nothing too hard edged, sleek, or funky as it is going to be around for a while so you don’t want it to look out of date next year!

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The first thing to do with a sofa or chair is to give it a little nudge with your leg.  If it moves easily, then walk away.  No, I’m not joking. A light sofa/chair is a rubbish one.  It has probably got a balsa wood frame which will break and bend under the slightest bit of duress.  Next pick it up in one corner.  If it flexes and creaks like an old house there is not a strong frame in there.  Walk away!  Also knock three times along the side of the arms.  Does it sound like a drum?  It probably has cardboard in the arms and not solid wood.  Walk away again!

So what how do you know what is quality?

THE FRAME

The frame construction is a vital key to lasting strength & durability so:

  • Internally the frames should be made of export quality eco friendly Pinus Radiata,or Beech, box sectioned to add strength. These woods are very heavy.  We make houses out of them!  It should have inserted spreader rails (front to back) to provide optimal strength.  For added  solidity all joints should be corner blocked, glued & high pressure stapled.
  • The frame sides are all routed to remove hard edges to avoid the possibility of the foam & webbing being damaged and cut.
  • The outside backs & arms are fully lined with polyester & hesssian.
  • Depending on the furniture design, Pirelli-type webbing (like split car tyres) should be used.  Not just tape.  Super heavy duty tread is the way to go.  The webbing should run both ways on the frame. Front to Back, Side to Side like a basket weave.  No gaps in the corners that you can sink down in.
  • Alternatively tension sprung seats & zigzag sprung backs are used for the seats & backs of the frames.

So, heavy frame + heavy cushion foam + car tyre webbing = good quality sofa. i.e. you cannot kick it around with your foot.  A good quality sofa will need a couple of burly blokes to lift it.  If you a weakling and can lift if on your own, please walk away!

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For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles:

http://abigailahern.wordpress.com/?s=sofas+furniture&submit=Search

http://www.interiors.co.nz/Article.aspx?id=234

Felix Chair

The Felix Wing Chair in an updated Wing Chair from Room Service Interiors that is able to cross many style bridges. The one shown here was chosen by designer Nadine Storm from Storm Design for an apartment refurbishment. Nadine felt the curves on the wings of the Felix Chair worked well with the curved shapes of the other furniture she had chosen for the apartment. Even the fabric design on the chair is circular. Note also how Nadine has worked with the colour too – the fabric in the curtains ties in with the lumbar cushion on the Felix Wing Chair & it’s fabric. The fabric is Mulberry Magic Circles in gold available from Warwick Fabrics. The circle has a little aqua colour in it that has been cleverly picked up and used again in the other circular chairs in the apartment. Nadine has shown how to tie a colour scheme & theme together really well. The Felix Chair with matching ottoman is made to exceptional standards of quality and comfort in New Zealand by Insight Furniture.

Harlo Occasional Chair

The Harlo Occasional Chair from Insight Furniture was chosen by Interior Designer Anna Cuthbert for her client.  Anna chose to make a feature chair of the Harlo by covering it in this stunning Kravet Fabric available through Warwick fabrics in New Zealand. By using a feature fabric you can add a real punch to any interior and the colours can then be picked up and repeated through out the room and house providing a flow and link between each room.  Well done Anna.