[This is a guest post by one of our contributors and interior decorating enthusiasts, Natalie Wilson]
The excitement of stepping foot into your home for the first time is a memorable one.
As you mentally put together a list of to-dos and decorating plans, there’s no doubt that furniture choices are also at the forefront of your mind.
A recent survey has shown that a quarter of us make a decision as to whether to put an offer in on a house in just 10 minutes of the viewing, but how about once you’ve got the keys?
Surprisingly, the interior design decisions, such as colour choices and which sofa to buy take almost three times as long.
When it comes to your living room, you want it to be a warm and welcoming space in your home, where you can both relax and welcome guests, and comfy sofa where you can lounge or sit and chat is likely to be the centre point of the room, so you want to get it right.
Before browsing for your dream sofa, it’s vital that you have the right information in order to make the choices which will be right for you. Your sofa is an investment piece, and on average, it should last anything between 7 and 15 years, so you’ll want it to look good for that period of time.
With that in mind, here’s why your sofa is an investment piece and how you can make it last for all those years ahead.
Why you should invest in a high-quality sofa
The most important pieces of furniture in your home are the ones that you use the most and on a daily basis.
Living room furniture, and your sofa especially, are worth investing in as they will likely receive a lot of wear and tear.
Your sofa should, ideally, be the first piece of furniture that you buy as it will have the biggest impact on the rest of the space in your living room.
Its shape, design and colour will go on to influence the rest of your living room furniture and style choices, so you want to make sure that it’s a perfect fit.
This means picking a sofa that’s strong and durable both in build and fabric choice to ensure you get the maximum use out of your sofa for many years to come.
Consider your sofa’s uses
Before you purchase your sofa, take some time to consider how you plan to use it.
For many homeowners, the sofa is likely to be a huge investment piece, so you need to think about what you want from it, from both an aesthetic and functional point of view.
Choosing a sofa is about style and substance, so you want to ask yourself what, who, when and where: What will your sofa be used for (watching TV, formal use or lounging)? Who’ll use your sofa? When will you most likely be using it? And where do you think it’ll work best in your living room?
Choose a fabric for longevity
The fabric you choose for your sofa is vital when it comes to just how long it will last.
It’ll require regular maintenance and cleaning, and you may even need to get it professionally cleaned every now and then, but for the everyday spills and bumps, your fabric choice will play a huge role in just how long your sofa will last.
If you have pets or children, then it might be best to choose a long-wearing fabric, such as leather or cotton, in darker colours so that stains are less likely to show up. If you are using your sofa in a more formal setting, then luxury fabrics, lighter colours or even a designer sofa might be better for you.
Make your sofa last longer
Knowing the ins and outs of caring for and keeping your new sofa clean on a daily, weekly and yearly basis will naturally help to extend its life.
Daily: Your sofa works hard to keep you feeling comfortable, so after some time, they can start to look a little ‘tired’. If you have fibre-filled cushions, be sure to plump them up every day to help them keep their original shape and form as well as swap them around so that one cushion doesn’t get used more than the others. If you drop or spill something on your sofa, it’s best to clean up the mess straight away with a clean, dry cloth then dabbing to spot clean the affected area.
Weekly: Wipe down your sofa once every week with a clean cloth (depending on the fabric of your sofa, this can either be a damp or dry cloth) to remove dust and dirt that’s built up. If you can, remove the cushions and hoover underneath using a low setting and soft brush attachment and do the same for your sofa cushions. Avoid using fabric sprays if you haven’t tested in an inconspicuous area first, as some chemicals can stain.
Monthly: If your sofa sits in direct sunlight, then it is best to check very month or so that there is no discolouration on its fabric. If you want to protect the fabric of your sofa, the easiest way to do this is to give it a removable, machine-washable slipcover that also lets you have fun with different fabric textures and colours.
Looking for the best insider tips on buying an IKEA sofa? Have a free copy of our Everything You Need To Know About Buying An IKEA Sofa Guide delivered to your inbox:
Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer and avid decorator and interior designer. She loves discovering home renovation blogs and Instagram accounts and spending her free time shopping for home accessories and furniture pieces. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.