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.