3 Tips to Find the Perfect Couch

When my husband and I moved late last summer, I already had a plan for where I wanted all the furniture to go. Some things were easy, like the crib and master bedroom suite. The piano had to be in the entryway because oh-my-goodness-it’s-heavy. In the bonus room, the couch we’ve had since we got married, freeing us up to get a new couch for the living room.

Let’s talk about the old couch for a moment, shall we? When we bought that couch we had no kids, no dog, and a house full of second-hand furniture. This was our chance! The couch I’d had my eye on went on clearance, and we bought our very own, brand new, beautiful creamy linen couch. Fast-forward ten years, two kids, and a black-furred dog – that beautiful creamy linen fabric is now, well, somewhat brown. With black fur. And milk stains. So when we moved into our lovely new home, top of my list was a new couch.

Allow me to share with you some of the things that I have learned, so that you can love your couch as much as I do mine.

1. A performance fabric is your friend.

We’ve come a long way from a “performance fabric” meaning the plastic-y, outdoor marine-grade fabric. If that’s your jam? Awesome, they still make it. Prefer to sit on your couch and enjoy a comfortable seat? Welcome to the new performance fabric world, my friend. There are patterns, solids, colors, whites, grays, velvets, linens, all sorts of variations that feel amazing but will not absorb that splash of red wine. Check for Crypton or Revolution Fabric – the latter of which you can even bleach!

2. Double check your measurements.

It’s easy to take an open floor plan where the living room flows into the kitchen into the dining room and think “Sweet! I have all this space, let’s just get a sectional and our seating problem will be solved.” Before you buy, pull that tape measure out and make sure length, depth, and height will all work in your space. If you’re spatially challenged, block in out with blue painter’s tape on the floor to see it better. And please don’t forget to double check the width of your door, to make sure you can get it into your house.

3. Don’t be afraid of color.

Our house has base cabinets that are painted a fun color, while the rest of the kitchen is white. This may seem bananas to some, but I pulled a performance fabric that compliments that color to put on our new couch. There are now two big elements in the room that tie together within the same color palette, which allows everything else in the room to be free to be different.

Does your couch have good bones but is perhaps starting to feel worn down? As in, the pillows are lumpy, the seat has no support, or the cat shredded the fabric all up? Reupholstering is also a great option. It’s the next step for our bonus room couch, and I can’t WAIT to break up with beige.

Catherine French Design is a team of interior design consultants based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We have provided residential and commercial services in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and beyond.