Must Have: Sofas

Think of this piece of furniture as an investment you sit on.

By Geraldine Stal

I KNOW THE EXACT MOMENT I first felt like an adult: I was in my early 30s and my then-fiancé and I bought a sofa that cost as much as our monthly mortgage payment. I thought it the most gorgeous sofa I had ever seen, and when I sat down in it I didn’t want to get up. It swallowed me in the best way possible. It replaced a sagging, stained sofa I had bought at a furniture warehouse sale in Idaho Falls ten years prior that guests had been giving the stink eye to for about five years. Still, a sofa that cost as much as the monthly payment for the house it was in? 

“Yes,” says Kathy Reedy, who founded ek Reedy Interiors in 1990. “A quality sofa that will last is expensive.” (My experience supports this: My sofa celebrated its fifteenth birthday this summer and remains as comfortable as the first time I saw in it.) Glenda Lawrence, founder of the boutique upholstery studio and interior design firm Matterhouse, agrees. “Sofas just have to be made by hand. There is not a lot of factory production that can be done. And then you get into fabrics that can cost hundreds of dollars a yard.”

Because the idea is to have your sofa for a while, “go for something timeless and a neutral color,” Lawrence says. And, of course, pick something comfortable. Cushion firmness is a personal preference, “but you need to make sure the sofa is the right size for you,” Reedy says. “Your knees should bend at the end of the cushion.” Finally, choose function over form. “Get a sofa that fits your lifestyle. Don’t change your lifestyle for your sofa,” says Alex Nye, a designer at the design store/firm Home Again. “You might really want a velvet sofa, but if you have pets, that’s not the best choice. We sell a lot of sofas with Crypton kid-proof fabric.”

Here Reedy, Lawrence, and Nye share some of their favorite sofas for Jackson Hole homes.

 

The Character
“It has character,” Lawrence says about Thayer Coggin’s Spaced Out sofa. “When you look at it, you know that it was finely designed and put together.” Unusual for the back cushions that don’t fill up its entire backrest, Lawrence says it “could work in a house that has a modern or classic feel.” From $7,800, available through Matterhouse, 150 Scott Lane, 307/699-7947, matterhouse.com

 

The Family Guy
Neval’s modular sectional is “where style meets lifestyle,” Nye says. “It is comfort to the max. It manages to hold its beautiful shape without sacrificing comfort. It is so lounge-worthy and perfect in every way. Paired with a kid-proof fabric, it is a slam-dunk for any Jackson family.” From $5,500, available through Home Again, 890 S. U.S. Highway 89, 307/739-2232, homeagainjh.com

 

Affordable Good Looks
The Brenna convertible sofa from Urban Outfitters “is the perfect small-space solution without comprising on style,” says Home Again’s Nye. Its tufted cushions provide structure and balance, and we love that it converts from a sofa to a bed. “Plus you can’t beat the price,” Nye says. $479, available at urbanoutfitters.com

 

Ultimate Flexibility
“All of Kravet’s pieces are great quality and well designed,” Reedy says. “They have a lifetime warranty and offer clients the ultimate flexibility.” There are hundreds of fabrics and leathers to choose from. Reedy likes Kravet’s Lehigh sofa because it is extremely comfortable and is available on a quick ship program, which means you can get it in two weeks instead of the usual ten to twelve weeks. From $6,000, available through ek Reedy Interiors, 140 E. Broadway Ave. #2, 307/739-9121, ekreedy.com

 

Plush & Comfortable
“Designing a sofa is not for amateurs,” Reedy says. “It requires talent and skillful fabrication for a sofa to emanate style and provide comfort.” New York City-based Dmitriy & Co uses traditional techniques like hand-tied springs and materials like down fill in cushions. The company’s Chelsea Square sofa with one cushion is a favorite of Reedy’s because “no one has to sit on a seam or joint line, and when you lay down you have an almost bed-like experience rather than three cushions all moving at one time.” From $9,800, available through ek Reedy Interiors, 140 E. Broadway Ave. #2, 307/739-9121, ekreedy.com

 

The Conversation Starter
Nye admits this Australian-designed custom sofa isn’t for everyone, but “for someone looking to make a statement, this could be the sofa. It is both rustic and mid-century in style, which you don’t usually see in the same piece, and it has super details.” While the front is upholstered in leather or hide that you get to pick, the back is entirely wood. From behind it looks more like a sculpture than a sofa. “We learned of this sofa by word-of-mouth and we’re so glad we did. It brings a totally different perspective to the store than anything else we have.” From $5,985, available through Home Again, 890 S. U.S. Highway 89, 307/739-2232, homeagainjh.com

 

 

Summer Lovin’
Polywood’s Hudson settee “is the top-of-the-line situation for enjoying the few months of summer we get here in Jackson,” Nye says. Made in Syracuse, Indiana, from recycled milk jugs, all of Polywood’s outdoor furniture is resistant to stains and isn’t prone to splinter, crack, chip, peel, or rot. “We vetted so many outdoor lines before picking Polywood,” Nye says. “This furniture will withstand our weather, although we do recommend bringing the cushions inside. And it looks so lux and is comfortable.” Settees from $1,995, available through Home Again, 890 S. U.S. Highway 89, 307/739-2232, homeagainjh.com

 

And, yes, IKEA
“We recommend people invest as much as they can in a sofa because it is something you’ll likely sit on every day,” Nye says, “and sofas are something that you get what you pay for.” Still, most people don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a sofa. For its price, IKEA’s Vimle sofa is a good option. Yes, its cushions are polyurethane foam and its frame isn’t solid wood (it’s a mix of solid wood, plywood, fiberboard, and particleboard), but we like its clean look, and it doesn’t cost as much as a car. From $649, ikea.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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