Entrepreneur Nidhi Kapur, the brand’s founder and CEO (formerly head of development at Birchbox), gives her pro tips to select the best style that’s right for your home. “Start by thinking about how you’ll live with the sofa and which room it will live in,” says Kapur. Ask yourself questions like: Is it primarily for formal entertaining or everyday use? Do you see yourself lounging, working, eating and/or sleeping on it? “We’ve found that for most sofa shoppers, the answer is yes to all of the above. The lines between formal sitting rooms and casual living areas are blurring, with every room in the house made to be lived in—so customers are looking for pieces that are stylish and comfortable,” Kapur explains.
“For a truly versatile sofa, look for clean lines, generous seat depth (23 inches or more means an average height person can curl up their feet) and plushly filled seat and back cushions,” says Kapur.
“Your sofa gets more wear than any other piece of furniture in your home, so a quality foundation matters,” explains Kapur. “Ask about how your sofa’s frames and springs are made and whether there is a warranty covering these parts. For pieces you’ll live with three years or more, look for 100-percent hardwood frames (kiln-dried so the wood will never twist or warp) and eight-way hand-tied springs, the gold standard for a lifetime of seating comfort.” Maiden Home’s Carmine sofa features both hardwood frames and eight-way hand-tied springs, with a lifetime warranty covering both parts so you can rest easy.
“The style and fill of your sofa’s cushions are most important to its comfort. In general, loose seat and back cushions offer the most casual look and feel and are well-suited for high-traffic living areas,” says Kapur. “If you really want to sink into your sofa, choose down and feather over fiber fill.
“Don’t be afraid to go bold,” says Kapur. “Your sofa can be the statement piece in your room. When venturing out from neutrals, blues and greens offer the most versatility. Be sure to order swatches to understand a fabric’s appearance in your home’s light, and check pairings with other items in your room. Place the fabric swatch where your sofa will be—view it in natural and artificial light, and make sure you still love it after a few days.”
“Performance fabrics are an excellent choice for households with kids or pets–or anyone that wants to live a bit more stress-free,” suggests Kapur. “So you can choose a light (or even white!) sofa fabric with no fear.”
“If you’re living in a small space or host often, consider a sofa that does double-duty as a guest bed,” offers Kapur. “The latest styles don’t force you to sacrifice design for function—the piece will spend most of its time as a sofa, so make sure you love its lines! The most comfortable sleeper sofas feature real mattresses—innerspring, air-coil or memory foam. Make sure you understand the type of mattress and folding mechanism before you buy and if possible, give it a test drive.”