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and for me nothing too hard edged, sleek, or funky as it is going to be around for a while so you don’t want it to look out of date next year!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

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Mixing it Up Style-Wise

Over the weekend we were lucky enough to visit a Mediterranean styled house on the shores of Lake Rotorua.  Superb views over a misty lake made us realise (yet again) what a gorgeous place New Zealand really is.  Could have actually been Lake Como in Italy which I guess is where the Mediterranean styled house came from.  Inside was luxurious and comfortable, styled with antiques, original fittings from a 1920’s house.  All good so far, but then the elephants started popping up, then the tigers on the cushions, then the leopards in the pictures, more elephants peeking around the corner of the terrace outside our room and the African animal themed sheer curtains. Somehow that didn’t work…..how does African relate to Mediterranean to New Zealand?  Short answer, It doesn’t.

What had happened here is that they had added too many themes/styles into the mix. Mediterranean styled on the exterior is very common here, and again that is all good, but inside it didn’t really relate with the African animal thing. 1920’s antiques and decoration does, as that relates to the original and hints at our past.  More appropriate would’ve been to continue the Mediterranean style and add more antiques-Mediterranean style so the place had a cohesive whole. Something like this would have been ideal:

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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.