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!


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:

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

Related articles:


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!

Get the Furniture Moving

Another other big no,no is having all the furniture shoved against the walls. Am not sure why people do this – do they think it looks spacious?? Because, no it doesn’t! It just looks, well, weird!  Walking straight through a room is so dull & there is no interest or focal points.  One of the easiest ways to reinvent your space is to move furniture (sofas and chairs) off the walls.

“Yikes!” we hear you say, but remember how we said you have to have courage and need to be daring to be different. (It also doesn’t cost anything to try does it?) This can seem a little scarey, but please start by pushing  all the big pieces into the middle of the room. (You can play around with this by drawing different plans first if you want to save your back.)  Perhaps you could try the plan below?


Have faith and just try this: Place sofas and chairs like they are talking to each other, because that is what you will do when sitting in them! Make conversation areas in L shapes or  U shapes- with sofas and chairs, whatever arrangement suits your space best. Then add in the area rug, coffee table or ottoman.  The side tables place in between to put your drinks, books, lamps.

Hey presto! With a little bit of imagination your room could look like the wow space below. Re-pinned from Abigail Ahern. The yellow sofa just says Kapow and that shot of colour totally lifts an otherwise monochrome space. Like the touches of whimsy with the cat cushion and sheep skin throws – all giving warmth and textural contrast too.


Often our rooms are open plan so use the big pieces of furniture as walls,get the orientation right with the sofa and chairs & then add the smaller bits. Last up is the art and accessories, and the cushions can tie it all together.  Image

This could then be translated into this interior below:


Here on you can see a similar seating arrangement to the plan above.  Shown in a blog written by Live Breathe Decor. Great combination of colours, with the tangerine warming up the cooler blues.  There is seating and comfort here for everyone, including the cat! Side tables positioned exactly where you need them for drinks, books etc.  Note the layering, layering, layering & repetition of the colours.

Feeling cold on a wintery day? Well, warm up by getting that furniture moving!  Will post again tomorrow with more notes from tonight’s talk at St. Heliers Library, 7.30pm.  See you there.