If you read the first article in this series, you will remember that the most important aspect of your couch depends on your lifestyle. No one can decide this but you. The following suggestions will help you define this. Your life defines your style. This begins with the arm of your couch-to-be.
Once you have measured your space, its time to decide what arm best suits you. First take into consideration how often you will be using this couch.Here is your first questionaire:
- What is the length of you couch?
- How many people will use this couch at the same time on a daily basis?
- How many people will use this couch at the same time on a monthly basis?
- Are you going to lie down on this couch or drink tea as you read the paper?
- Is this for a formal room, living room, parlor, bedroom, den, office, screening room, dressing room, bonus room or is this the only couch in your house or apartment?
Yes! All these questions will help you decide what ARM STYLE to get among many other factors. Don’t get overwhelmed. Its sounds more complicated but once you answer the questions, you will define the style of your life.
Here are a list of reasons as to why you are answering these questions.
- Remember the size of your arm defines the seating space. A larger arm gives you less seating space.
- Consider NO LESS that 24 inches of space per person. For example if you have a family of three and only enough room for a seven foot couch and you go with a six inch arm (which is pretty average) this will leave you with six feet of seating space. Now divide this buy your three family members and you each get 24 inches of your very own. Sometimes a more flamboyant arm can be eight or twelve inches. This might be beautiful but not practical.
- If you plan on entertaining often, consider purchasing more than one couch or a couch and love seat, a spare chair, or at the very least an ottoman. It’s very hard to have a discussion with a group of friends when everyone is facing the same direction. It’s why it’s hard for more than two people to sit at a bar. See future articles for SECTIONAL shopping!
- Are you going to lie down on this couch or drink tea as you read the paper? Yes and YES? Well pick one! Here is why: A tuxedo style sofa is one where the arm is the same height as the back. These sofas are not ideal for sleeping on but have a more formal appeal that is nice to rest your arm on as you sip your tea. A low arm will act as a natural pillow for your neck when you lie down for your favorite TV show or movie.
- You can design a couch for almost any room in your home! Each room has its own character. The style of the arm actually defines whether your piece is MODERN, TRADITIONAL or TRANSITIONAL.
A Modern Arm is usually angular. Squarish. A modern look can very well not have an arm at all! Having a modern sofa, is NOT necessarily wrong for a traditional space. A simple couch can highlight a beautiful LOUIS XV chair by not pulling focus. Modern generally refers to something with clean lines.
A traditional couch is usually defined by the rolled arms. Also tuxedo style frames give that traditional formal feel as well. These arms have some sort of curvature. Sometimes it very subtle but its definitely not angular. For example a traditional “English” arm curves slightly and has three sewed pleats. Of course a rolled arm can definitely go with a modern space just as the Modern couch can go with a traditional space. It will be the warm an inviting piece in a space filled with lines. Try it!
A Transitional Couch is very often a piece that combines both modern and traditional elements.
When you are choosing your couch, decide what direction you want to take the space. For example, a super chic armless settee with tufting and studs would look fabulous in your bedroom but your two year old might find himself falling off without arms to hold him in the couch while watching cartoons.
Now that your arms strongly define your lifestyle take out those pictures you took of the “AWE FACTOR” couches. Remember from the first article: The “AWE FACTOR” photos were pictures you took when you went out and took pictures of any couch that made you say “AWWWW!” You might like the style, feel, fabric, quality or it just struck you and you don’t know why. This is the most important part of couch buying because once you become overwhelmed with particulars, you forget all of this!
Once you answer the questions, start weeding through those pictures you took of your “awe factor” couches. Do not throw out any of your pictures because they may have other factors you really like that can be included in your final masterpiece.
*** Money Saving Tip: A Square Arm is the easiest for furniture makers to make and yet “modern” styles can be offered at thousands more than they are worth because they are a trend. If you fall in love with a $10,000 couch that has square arms, go to an inexpensive custom furniture maker and ask them to copy it! Its just NOT worth it!