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Why are we spending so much time thinking about our new sofa?

two little boys playing baseball

Well, I’m glad I did. I thought I wanted something with seat cushions and back cushions. But ever since we got Coco, I noticed that the back of our all-tufted sofa is her favorite place to be! How could I take that away from her? This all-tufted sofa is a keeper. This was a custom sofa from a workshop in Long Island City back in 1993. Yes, that’s right, 30 years ago. Did you know you could own a sofa for that long? When they’re made well, you can!

Here are some things to think about when purchasing a new sofa.


A sofa located in your Living Room may provide an opportunity for you to choose a luxurious fabric if it gets less use than the one located in your Family Room or Basement! If there is a sofa going into your Den / Guest Room or Home Office, maybe that sofa wants to be a sleeper.

If you’re watching TV from your new sofa, install your TV at 51"-55” off the floor, as it is a comfortable height for viewing. If the center of the TV is higher, you may want a sofa with a taller back to support your head.

If your sofa is for reading, consider the arm height. You’ll want about a 5" to 6” difference between the seat height (20” or so) and arm height 25" or 26” allowing a comfortable spot for your arm to rest. Some dramatic looking sofas have arms, ‘Tuxedo style’, the same height as the back. This provides a very cozy corner to nestle into.

green velvet tufted sofa

The sofa seat is 18” high and 25” deep. Notice that the arm is the same height as the back making it just right to get cozy in.

This Taylor King Sleeper is very user friendly and a comfy sofa. Seat height of 20.5” and depth of 23".


The majority of sofas have an 18” seat height, although they will go as high as 20”. More modern furniture will often have lower seat heights, around 16”. Be mindful of the height of all the seating in one room since you wouldn't want too much variation. It would be awkward to chat with someone seated 2” lower or higher than you. If you have an elderly family member or friend, know that it may be difficult for them to get up out of a sofa with a low seat height. Designer TIP; Aim for a uniform seat height throughout a room.


A typical seat depth will be between 22”-25”. Depending on the user’s height, the taller the person, the deeper the sofa wants to be. Sometimes that added depth is welcome for curling-up and cuddling! Designer TIP; If two people of different heights are sharing a sofa, get the deeper sofa for the taller person. Throw pillows can always make up the difference in the depth.

rust velvet moder style sofa

The Verellen Sofa, above, Seat is 18.8" high and 25.9" deep.


For sofas that will be used daily by you, your family, guests, and don’t forget your pets, consider ‘performance’ fabrics. There are gorgeous weaves, outdoor (sun and weather resistant) fabrics and an endless array of velvets in every color imaginable available from many resources.

Neutral woven fabric from Kravet

This fabric from Kravet, left, has a wonderful texture with a Crypton finish or stain resistant.

Perennials Fabrics have developed superior 100% solution-dyed acrylic fabrics that are fade resistance, mildew and mold resistant and easily cleanable and maintainable. They pay attention to every detail from the fiber technology to industry-leading design concepts.

I love "Mesh Around" below left and this neutral fabric, "Tisket-Tasket", below right, both from Perennials.

On our endless quest for the most comfy sofas and chairs, we’ll be at HighPoint Market in North Carolina this Fall for the “100 sit downs.” Stay tuned!


Need some professional guidance? Please contact us, we'd love to help.

Gretchen Reinheimer Design

Creating extraordinary spaces together


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