A luxury sofa is an investment, and who doesn’t dream of putting their feet up on a huge expanse of plump, comfy cushions? Before you get carried away, however, you do need to make sure that the sofa you have set your heart on will fit in your home. Follow our step-by-step guide to avoid making a costly mistake.
At Juliettes Interiors, our luxury sofas are usually delivered to your home. However, if you intend to arrange your own transport, follow these guidelines to make sure your sofa will fit in your van or truck.
What are your sofa’s measurements?
Find out the dimensions of your chosen sofa. You will need Height (H), Width (W) and Depth (D). If buying your sofa from Juliettes Interiors, these are clearly displayed on our website. These are the actual measurements of the sofa. Our sofas are always packaged in sturdy boxes, which we remove on arrival to make installation easier. Your sofa will remain in a protective, plastic wrapping until it is in situ.
Transit Van, Minivan or Cargo Van
If you are using any type of enclosed van to transport your sofa, first measure your sofa (see above). Then measure the height and width of the opening when your van doors are open. Also measure the depth of inside of the van. The depth needs to be greater than the width (W) of your sofa. The door measurements need to be greater than the height (H) and depth (D) of the sofa. If your van is not deep enough, it may be possible to fit the in sofa at an angle (with one end higher than the other, or flat but diagonally) but you may need something to support the higher end to reduce any risk of damage.
Pickup or Flatbed Truck
Measure the width and depth of the bed of your truck. The depth must be greater than the width (W) of your sofa. The width of the truck’s bed must be greater than either the height (H) or depth (D) of the sofa. A pickup or flatbed truck often has the option of leaving the tailgate down, which will extend the depth of the flatbed. However, your sofa will be less secure and it is not something we would recommend.
Unfortunately, sun and leather are not the best of friends. Sunlight will damage leather by either fading or drying it, or both. Fully-finished or semi-aniline leathers have a protective top coat that will resist fading to an extent but all leathers will fade if exposed to sunlight – in as little as 4-6 months if the light is strong enough.
The heat from sunlight (and radiators) will gradually dry out the moisture and natural oils in your leather furniture, causing it to dry, stiffen and crack if it is not looked after properly.
The answer to both problems is to protect and maintain your leather sofa regularly. A well-maintained leather sofa will last 3 times longer than one that is ignored:
Invest in conservatory blinds to reduce sun damage. Keep these blinds closed when you are not using the conservatory.
We recommend that you use a good quality, gentle cleaner specifically designed for leather. Follow that with a specialist leather protector. This needs to be done at least twice a year – or up to 4 times a year on areas such as the head or armrests.
Will a fabric sofa fade in a conservatory?
The simple answer is yes. Exposed to sunlight, fabrics will fade – some more than others and the darker the colour, the more noticeable it will be. The answer is to protect your luxury sofa from the sunlight. Invest in solar protection blinds and keep them closed as much as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to sit in the dark but try to close them whenever the conservatory is not in use.
Will my sofa soften?
A luxury sofa from Juliettes Interiors is made using layers of variable density foam and padding to provide a superbly comfortable feel. All sofas will soften throughout their life but if yours is too hard to begin with, there are a few things you can do to help soften it. However, you must be careful not to damage the fabrics and fillings.
Sit on your sofa as much as possible when it first arrives – and try not to always sit in exactly the same place. Sit towards the edges of the cushions as well as in the middle. You can enlist the help of the whole family to do this.
Flip the cushions periodically, and swap them between seats if that is an option, so that they soften evenly.
It is often possible to replace the filling in sofa cushions. However, a Juliettes Interiors luxury sofa should never require such a drastic measure. And, if you start out with a very soft foam, it will become saggy and unsupportive. Always give your new sofa time to settle and soften before making any rash decisions.
Can sofa covers be washed?
We are only talking about fabric covers here. For information on leather sofas, see ‘How to look after a leather sofa’, below.
If your sofa has removable covers, they can be taken off and either washed or dry cleaned. Simply follow the instructions on the label.
If the covers are not removable, you will still need to take steps to keep your sofa clean on a regular basis, as well as tackling any spillages and stains promptly.
Before doing anything else, ALWAYS check the upholstery label. If it says do not use water, or detergent, or any other products, do as it says. A luxury sofa is an investment. If necessary, consult a professional.
There are many branded upholstery cleaners available. Again, always check the labels on your sofa and on the product to make sure they are compatible. Even if you think they are, always test any product on a small, hidden section of upholstery.
Vacuum your sofa at least once a week to remove crumbs, dust and dead skin cells. Always use the upholstery attachment (it usually has red felt pads around the edges to protect your fabrics).
To freshen up your sofa, remove seat and back cushions and place on a large bed sheet. Sprinkle the cushions and the body of the sofa generously with bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Leave for at least 20 minutes before vacuuming thoroughly to remove all traces of the soda. Start at the top and work your way down to avoid dislodging any of the powder onto a previously-vacuumed section. Any soda left behind can have an abrasive action which may damage the fabric.
For a deeper clean, mix bicarbonate of soda with an equal quantity of dry carpet cleaner, brush gently into the upholstery with a soft brush (a clean dustpan brush is ideal) then continue as above. Check the sofa label first.
To deal with spillages and marks, firstly blot the spill with plenty of kitchen paper. You will then need a very mild liquid soap or detergent, preferably colourless. Use one tablespoon of detergent to 500 ml of water and agitate until you have a foam. Using a clean, white cloth (this is important – it must be white), use the foam and dab it firmly into the fabric. Use a second white cloth to remove any moisture. Repeat 3-4 times until the mark has gone.
If using the foam is not enough, dip your clean, white cloth into the soapy water and pat gently onto the mark. Do not soak the fabric as it can lead to the formation of mould inside your sofa and can also spread the stain. Repeat several times, blotting well with kitchen paper between each go.
For more stubborn marks, add one tablespoon of white vinegar (again, white is important) and repeat the step above.
If using any form of liquid, do not soak the fabric and never rub. Rubbing may remove some of the colour and leave a paler patch. Using a white cloth will show you immediately if any colour is coming out. If it is, stop immediately.
If your sofa is upholstered in velvet, rubbing will damage the pile and can lead to a bald patch.
Avoid sitting on any upholstered furniture in new blue jeans. They are notorious for leaching colour. Make sure your jeans have been washed several times to remove any loose dye before sitting on your new luxury sofa.
How to look after a leather sofa
We recommend that you use a good quality, gentle cleaner specifically designed for leather. Follow that with a specialist leather protector. This needs to be done at least twice a year – or up to 4 times a year on areas such as the head or armrests.
Never use baby wipes or other household cleaners and chemicals. You may think baby wipes are gentle but they contain chemicals that will damage your leather sofa.
Never use olive oil or any other oils to wipe your leather sofa. Leather is very porous and oils will be absorbed into the lower layers, emerging in the future as spots or stains.
Some DIY websites recommend a whole range of everyday products for cleaning or protecting leather. These include hairspray, beeswax, nail polish remover, shoe polish, window cleaner, waxes and oils. We recommend that you avoid any product that is not specifically designed to clean or protect leather. All the products listed above can damage your leather long term.
Try not to sit with bare skin in contact with the leather (the same holds true for nubuck and suede). Your body’s natural oils will be absorbed into the leather and will attract dirt. Again, these oils may cause spots and stains in the future. This is particularly important if you use body lotions, moisturisers or sun creams.
Can sofa covers be dry cleaned?
If your sofa covers can be removed, check the label to find out whether they can be dry cleaned or not. If they cannot be removed, they cannot be dry cleaned. See ‘Can sofa covers be washed?’
Can sofa cushions be washed?
If the cushion covers are removable, it is possible that they may be washed or dry cleaned. Check the label to find out. If covers cannot be removed, they are not washable.
If you mean the filling of the sofa cushions, whether foam or feathers, the answer is almost certainly No. If you need to freshen the filling, there are many fabric and furniture refreshers available. Alternatively, you could try using bicarbonate of soda or soda mixed with dry carpet cleaner. Sprinkle generously onto the cushions (with their covers on if they also need freshening or if they are not removable), leave for at least 20 minutes, then vacuum thoroughly to remove all the powder.
Many online articles say that you can wash feather cushions. However, it is difficult for water to penetrate bulky seat pads. Even if water gets through the outer, down-proof cover, washing removes the natural oils from the feathers, which is what makes them loft after they’ve been squashed. It will make your cushions flat and is something we do not recommend.
Can sofa cushion covers be washed?
If the covers can be removed, check the label to find out whether they can be washed or dry cleaned. If the covers cannot be removed, they are not washable.
Can sofa cushions be dry cleaned?
If the covers are removable, it is possible that these covers may be dry cleaned. Check the label to find out. If they are fixed covers, they cannot be dry cleaned.
If you mean the fillings of the seat or back cushions, the answer is No. Certain types of foam may dissolve in the cleaning fluid. The natural plumping up of feathers is destroyed if their natural oils are removed.
Can sofa cushions be replaced?
If your sofa cushions have removable covers, it is relatively simple to replace a cushion pad. If the covers are not removable, any new cushions will have to be re-upholstered. Of course, a luxury sofa from Juliettes Interiors is designed to give years of durability and comfort. We would suggest that, if your sofa cushions no longer provide the support and comfort you need, it may be time to consider a new sofa. However, if you are intent on replacing the pads, take your time when choosing a replacement.
You will find a whole range of options, from cheap, low density foam to polyurethane foam and high end memory foam. There are many companies that will make new feather or fibre cushion pads. The finest cushions are often a combination of variable density foams, often with a fibre or feather top or wrap. What was the original filling of your sofa cushions? Were you happy with it when it was new? If so, search for something similar. If not, was it too soft, too hard, not plump enough? When choosing a replacement, bear in mind the properties of the different fillings available. Polyurethane foam holds its shape with frequent use. Layers of memory foam provide the ultimate in comfort and resilience. Feather cushions are plump, with that lovely sink-in feeling.
We would suggest that you look for a local company that offers a range of fillings and is happy to discuss your options and offer advice. Better still, ask family and friends for a recommendation.
Can a sofa be dismantled or taken apart?
At Juliettes Interiors, we cannot imagine why you might want to take your sofa apart. A Juliettes luxury sofa is a thing of beauty and is designed for years of family life and comfort. However, if you feel a burning need to dismantle your sofa, homeguides offer the following advice:
Take off the cushions and turn the sofa on its back. Unscrew the legs to remove them. Alternatively, unfasten the screws that hold the legs to the sofa frame, using a screwdriver. Remove the legs.
Pull out the staples holding the covering under the sofa, using a flathead screwdriver and pliers. Roll the covering back to expose the sofa frame. Pull out the staples that hold the upholstery that covers the arms. Roll that upholstery up far enough to expose the fasteners holding the arms to the base.
Remove the bolts or screws holding the arms, using a screwdriver, spanner (wrench) or Allen key (Allen wrench). Remove the arms when they are loose. Undo more upholstery to reach the bolts, if necessary. If you plan to reassemble the sofa, undo as little upholstery as possible.
Look for the bolts holding the seat and back together. Undo whatever upholstery necessary to separate these two parts. Unscrew the bolts, using the same tool you used to remove the arms.
Can sofa springs be replaced?
They can but we would suggest that, if your sofa springs have gone, it really is time to think about a new sofa. If the springs have reached the end of their useful life, the fabrics and fillings will also be well past their best. However, for those of you who can’t resist a bit of DIY, click here for a useful guide.
Can sofa fabric be dyed?
Most dyes require you to fully submerge your fabric in the dye solution to ensure even coverage. Obviously, this is not practical for a luxury sofa unless you have fully removable covers. If not, you would have to remove the fabric very carefully, dye it (using the correct dye for the fabric – check the label), then re-upholster the sofa. Another point to bear in mind is that, as fixed sofa fabrics are not designed to be soaked in water, your covers may well shrink, making it impossible to get them back onto the frame. Unless you have extensive experience of upholstering luxury furniture, we would recommend that this is a job best left to the professionals.
Which sofa is the best to buy?
This will depend on the size of your room, your décor, your taste, your budget and who will be sitting on it. A family of five with all their friends and a menagerie of pets will need something far more substantial than a single person or a retired couple. A sectional sofa will give more versatility, whereas an exquisite, baroque-style two seater may be perfect in your entrance hall.
We would always recommend that you go for the best quality sofa you can afford, even if it means compromising on size. It will be a better investment and, if cared for correctly, will last longer. Before making a choice, investigate the fillings, the fabric and, if possible, look closely at the finishing to make sure it has been well made. Test out a range of sofas with different fillings and firmness levels to see which you prefer.
Every luxury sofa at Juliettes Interiors is made to a world class standard. We use only the highest quality fillings, chosen for their comfort, resilience and durability. Our extensive library of fabrics means you can choose the fabric that fits the needs of you and your household, whatever they may be.
Which sofa cushion filling is best?
The most popular sofa filling is foam but this is not as simple as it sounds. High density foams are springy, they provide firm support and keep their shape throughout years of extensive use. They are low maintenance and do not need constant plumping, although cushions should be turned and swapped around to give an even level of wear. However, you may find it just a bit too hard and unforgiving. Low density foam has more give but will not last as long.
Fibre fillings are often made of polyester. Blown fibre gives a super soft feel, and pocket fibre offers a fluffier, bouncier feel. Fibre fillings take more maintenance than foam to preserve their appearance. They are often used for back and arm fillings. Both foam and fibre fillings are a good option for anyone with asthma and feather allergies.
Feathers provide the softest of sofa fillings. Duck and goose feathers are most commonly used. They give a wonderful, sink-in feeling and the natural properties of the feathers mean that they regain their plumpness with a little fluffing. Feather fillings give the most luxurious feel but involve the highest level of maintenance.
The majority of our sofas at Juliettes Interiors are filled with a combination of fillings to provide different levels of support and comfort. We use layers of varying density foam to give a durable, supportive core. These may then be wrapped with softer foam or feathers to give an extra level of comfort.
What sofa fabric is best for cats and dogs?
Various fabrics have their own advantages when it comes to pet-proofing. Unfortunately, there is no one fabric that is completely pet-proof so you have to weigh up their advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.
Leather is durable, easy to wipe clean, it doesn’t collect hair, and does not tend to trap odours. It is, however, prone to scratch marks. Distressed leathers work better as the odd scratch may simply add to their patina. However, they will not stand up to continued use as a scratching post.
Microfibre (also known as microsuede, ultrasuede or faux suede) is one of the most popular materials used on sofas and chairs. The density of the material gives it the ability to stand up to a cat’s abusive claws, which also tends to make it less appealing to scratch on. They are generally more tightly woven than many natural fabrics, making them easier to clean – and pet fur is easier to remove. They can, however, collect odours so you need to be prepared to clean and freshen on a regular basis.
We would avoid most natural fabrics – silk, wool, linen – as they are not durable enough to withstand the constant wear of cat or dog claws. The lovely textures of wool and linen seem to be irresistible to cats and also trap pet hair. They will absorb odours and are more difficult to clean and freshen than synthetic fabrics.
Others to Avoid
Velvet, chenille and tweed would certainly not be at the top of our list of pet-friendly sofa fabrics. Their structure means that they trap pet hair easily, and the effort taken to remove the hair may damage the fabric. They also absorb odours, which can be difficult to remove.
Protect your sofa
To minimise the risk of stains, you may consider using some form of protective spray for your sofa. Alternatively, you could use a throw to protect the back and seats. If you want to protect the arms as well, you may need to think about a slip cover – but this then covers up the sofa that you originally fell in love with. As is so often the case, it is a case of weighing up the pros and cons.
What sofa fabric is easy to clean?
Microfibre is stain-resistant and comes in a range of different textures. Some microfibre weaves are smooth, like suede, and others are denser, similar to corduroy. You may clean most microfibre with a minimal amount of water, but always check the manufacturer’s label because a few types of microfibre may require cleaning with a compatible solvent.
What sofa fabric is most durable?
If your sofa is for everyday use, it needs a durable fabric. Leather, cotton and linen are all natural, breathable and hard wearing. Those with a woven pattern tend to wear better than printed patterns. However, be careful of loose weaves as they can snag, particularly if you have pets.
Another option is synthetic microfibre, which can mimic most fabric finishes and is resilient and stain resistant. Wool is luxurious, strong and provides interesting texture. Nubuck is a type of leather with a hard-wearing finish, whereas suede is more susceptible to damage, and both will mark if exposed to water, food, etc.
Silk and satin are exquisite but fragile and should only be considered for occasional furniture.
What sofa is best for a bad back?
Although there is no perfect answer, in general you will do better with a sofa that has firm seat cushions and a seat height of around 50 cm, so slightly higher than normal. A firmer seat cushion gives extra support and doesn’t allow you to sink in. The higher seat makes it easier to stand up without putting a strain on back or leg muscles. If this is important to you, check the seat height carefully before making any decisions.
Many sofas say they have lumbar support. However, many just have a a ridge of cushions along the bottom of the back. For many people, these fall in the wrong place to provide any lumbar support and, in fact, tilt your back into a position that could make your back worse. The best advice is to try out different heights and styles of sofa until you find the one that makes you most comfortable.
What sofa to choose?
Your choice of sofa will depend on your own taste, your décor, the space you have, how it will be used and who will be sitting on it. However, these are our tips for choosing a sofa:
Try before you buy
With so many shapes, sizes, fabrics and fillings, you need to go and sit on as many different sofas as you can. Find out whether you prefer a firmer or softer seat cushion. Do you like a higher or lower back? Will the whole family fit? Do your research before spending your money.
Check the frame
The frame is just as important as all the paddings and fabrics. This is what supports all the people sitting on the sofa. Try lifting up one corner of the sofa – if the opposite corner also lifts, the frame is strong and sturdy. If the opposite corner is still on the ground, there is too much give in the frame and it will not stand the test of time.
Choose your fabric
If your sofa is for occasional use, you can choose your fabric for its looks alone. If it is for heavy duty, everyday use, you need a heavy duty fabric. For advice on durable fabrics, see ‘What sofa fabric is most durable?’ above.
When to replace or change a sofa?
This will depend on the quality of the sofa when you bought it and how much use (or abuse) is has encountered. At Juliettes Interiors, we only sell the highest quality, luxury sofas made of the finest materials. If they are cared for correctly, we would expect any of our sofas to last from 8 – 15 years. Occasional sofas should have an even longer lifespan.
A cheaper sofa will not last as long as a good quality one. The frame is likely to be less sturdy, the fillings will be less resilient and the fabrics will be less durable. We would always recommend that you buy the very best quality sofa that you can afford. It will be a better investment.
When is a sofa too big for a room?
When there is not enough space for life to go on around it. There should be enough empty space around the furniture in your living room to create movement and facilitate flow. A small room demands a small sofa, no matter how much you’re craving a massive sectional to lounge on. Buying a sofa that is too big also forces you to push it against the wall. In a small room, this may be inevitable but wherever possible, we always prefer our luxury sofas to float within the room.
If you have a sofa in mind, we suggest that you mark out the footprint of the sofa (width x depth) in the space you would like it to go. We use masking tape. Is there enough space to walk around your template? Will doors and drawers open properly? Will your room still function as you would like it to? If the answer to any of these questions is no, unfortunately the sofa will be too big. Try adjusting your masking tape template to a more comfortable size and search for a sofa that fits within these new dimensions.
How a sofa is made
All sofas start with a shaped frame, giving the overall structure. This may be made of wood or metal, with some parts possibly in particle board, depending on the quality of the sofa. Layers of padding are added and usually secured with a canvas cover. The sofa is then upholstered in a top fabric, with back and seat cushions added. These cushions are filled with varying densities of foam, fibre, feathers or a combination of fillings to provide different levels of support and comfort.
Are sofa and couch the same thing?
Sofa, couch, settee, divan, futon, davenport, chesterfield. Call it what you will, they are all the same thing; a seat for two or more people.
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