by Courtney Banks

A graduate of University of San Francisco and originally from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Courtney Banks joined Kindred SF Homes in 2020, as a Realtor with Jamie Comer and Associates. For her full bio and contact information, please follow this link.

Reading time: 3 minutes 38 seconds

In the era of never ending choices, from coffee flavors to nail polish shades to indoor plants, we can add couches to the list! 

I recently embarked on an unexpectedly long journey to finding my perfect sofa. It’s not a small purchase, and I’m finally at a place where I want to graduate from IKEA (although I thank them for all the years of support) and put some money into a good couch that will hopefully last me until I decide I’m unreasonably bored of my current style and want to change it all. (Am I the only one who does this?) 

Ideally, I would be able to head to a store, sit on a pretty couch and call it a day, but that’s not how this played out for me. With a busy schedule and SO many new online companies and Instagram celebs promoting products via Instagram, I chose to go the online route. 

The first step was deciding what kind of shape I wanted. I work from home and – often – that means I work from my couch. So, a sectional, or a model with the extra chaise lounge on the side was appealing. Also, since I have a 70-pound pit bull who enjoys the finer things in life, the sectional/chaise style gives us more room for sharing. 

Once I had a shape in mind, I took to Google, searching endlessly through different sectional styles: Super modern, farmhouse/cozy, extra soft and overstuffed, really structured, clean lines, etc… Like I said, never ending choices! Cozy and comfy is definitely important for me, since the couch is where my friends gather, wine gets drunk and cuddles happen with my dog. Yet clean lines and a minimalist feel are also important and I didn’t want my home to feel overfull or cluttered. 

Then it hit me! One of my favorite Instagram designers had bought a couch a while back that I knew would be perfect for me! (Thank you, social media.) I hunted down the post and was directed to ID aka Interior Define. I thought, “Perfect, the search is over!” But then the “choose your fabric” dropdown menu appeared. 

So many choices: That blue is pretty. Green might be fun? Velvet? Weave? Leather? Ahh! Step One was removing lighter colors and leather, since I would have dog scratches all over and I don’t want to deal with constant cleaning. For Step Two I had it narrowed down to the final eight candidates! ID, continuing to be awesome, will send you all the swatch samples you want, for FREE. Woo hoo! 

Samples came within 2 days (thank you again, ID), and now I could really see how these colors looked, felt and how they flowed with my things. I did some more research on how their fabrics clean (I’m a little bit of an OCD clean freak and, with the dog, I need to know the fabric can withstand a good wash every now and then). 

I put the fabric finalists all together in a lineup and looked at them for days trying to decide. With so many beautiful hues and fabrics, I wanted to take my time. Once I found the finalist – a really beautiful, rust-colored velvet that plays off all the pops of blues and greens throughout my home – I finalized the order. 

Now we wait. We wait 17 to 22 weeks. I know, that’s FOREVER. But I’m crossing my fingers that my Instagram celeb and Yelp didn’t steer me wrong. The final result is TBD.

Ultimately, my advice to those on the hunt for the perfect sofa is:

1. Do your research. If you’re buying online, make sure to really do a deep dive on quality. Check the reviews, check multiple sources, and CHECK RETURN POLICIES! This is important when buying something you’ve never tested in person and some of these companies can really scam you!

2. Take the time and measure. You don’t want to go too big or too small, and you’d be surprised how wrong your “eye” can be. Tape measure = necessary. There are endless options out there so keep looking until you find the perfect shape, size and style. 

3. Choose the right fill for you. A lot of these online companies let you pick your fill style. ID had 3 options and I chose the one that would hold its shape the longest since I use my couch so often. I picked a style that allows me to rotate and flip the cushions, thus prolonging the sofa’s shape. (Yes, they have options for this!) 

4. Fabric choice is a reflection your lifestyle. Pick something suits you. Look into how it can and should be cleaned. Is it stain resistant? Is it kid/pet friendly?

5. Have fun choosing the color. I’m in favor of a bold color choice. Be sure your selection delights you and adds spice to your home. Your couch is a staple, so I recommend making it your focal piece. 

Photo Credit: Hayes Potter

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