Living room is a place for you to sit back and relax either on your own or with the company of family and friends. With that, it is important that you get the best quality furniture available to ensure that your living room is always a place of comfort to yourself and your guest.
Run your hand on the upholstery fabric, from the front of the arm to the back of the piece of furniture and if the fabric stretches or shifts; it has not been applied well. If you sit on the seat, the cushion should bounce back quickly after you stand, and there should be no indentation or fabric discoloration where you sat. The exception to this rule is the down-filled cushions, which hold the shape of a seated person until you fluff the cushion. Check any sewn seams for evidence of fraying or seam separation, and ensure that the pattern matches between the pieces on the seams, this should apply to the entire sofa, all the way to the hidden parts.
- CUSHION FILLER
Open a zipper on one of the cushions and pinch the foam filler. It should bounce back quickly and not break apart in your hand. If the cushions are down-wrapped foam, look closely at the down casing and you should not see any bits of feathers poking through the casing.
- SPRINGS & JOINT
The joints on good furniture are screwed together, never nailed or stapled. If you can’t see any joints, check with the retailer on the reason why. Upholstered pieces should have springs that are hand-tied. Best deck spring system is represented by a “8-way hand-tied”
- WOOD & WEIGHT
If you can lift the corner of the furniture with one hand, indicating that the furniture is light, you can be pretty sure the piece is not made of kiln-dried hardwood. Kiln drying is a process that ensures that the product will not warp, accept parasites and is resistant to mold and mildew. Hardwood, stronger than softwood, is used in frame construction. The label on the piece should list this information, including the type of wood used. Quality pieces tend to be heavy and do not squeak or shift when you use them.
- WOOD FINISH
The finish on wood furniture should be clear and free from any cloudy or broken spots. It should feel smooth, with no residue or stickiness. To check on the thickness of the furniture, look at the side of a drawer where possible. A thin layer of wood laminated to a less-expensive wood or composite product is never good news. Any wood grain should be straight, or parallel to the edge of the piece, and reasonably free of knots.
A chair with arms out of proportion to the rest of the chair, a sofa with legs too short or tall, or a table with a delicate top and a chunky base is not indicative of a professional designer. It is therefore, important to note that the overall design of a piece of furniture can also be used as an indicator of quality.