How To Buy a Living Room Furniture Suite

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How To Buy a Living Room Furniture Suite

The living room is where families will spend the majority of their time relaxing. Whether it’s a lounge, a front room or a living room, in all likelihood one of the main features is comfortable seating, upon which to collapse after a difficult day in the office. Living Room Furniture Suites offer a co-ordinated and comfortable approach to leisure.

About Living Room Furniture Suites

A living room suite is a collection of furniture pieces designed to complement each other and carry out the functional needs of the user. Furniture suites are most regularly two piece or three piece features including sofas, chairs, footstools, and more. Whilst a lot of people will buy similar pieces and call them a suite, a true suite is made by the same manufacturer and designed to be used together.

The Main Features

The main part of a furniture suite is normally a sofa or settee. Sofas began life as benches over a thousand years ago and slowly became indoor seating when the rich and royal decided to bring comfort into their homes. As early designers began to understand textiles and materials, benches began to be padded with natural materials like horsehair, hay, greenery, and feathers. It wasn't until the late 1700s that furniture suites became affordable and lost their status as wealthy luxuries. Nowadays there are few living rooms without furniture suites in one form or another. There is a wide array of choices to make when looking for a furniture suite, new or used.. The materials involved can make a drastic difference on the impact of a furniture suite, as can the type of seating, the filling, the cover, and more.

Choosing a Living Room Furniture Suite

Choosing a living room furniture suite can be a long and exciting process. Be careful not to go into the journey without prior knowledge of the product and where to find it. eBay is a great way to find a whole variety of living room furniture suites, from brand new cellophane wrapped sets to rustic antique pieces. The first thing to ascertain is the type of seating within the furniture suite, most suites base their style around the largest piece in the set; the sofa.

Type of Seating

Type

Description

Sectional

Sectional sofas are built to be detachable. Most of the time this is because they are large and do not fit through doorways and openings in one piece, but sometimes they are made sectional to offer a degree of customisation. A base of two seats can be fixed with an additional seat, two seats, a corner unit or just an end or arm.

Chesterfield

Chesterfield sofas are a classic design dating back to the early 1700s and are often found in real leather. They have deep set buttons, arms, and back of the same height and a low seating level.

Knole

Knole sofas are also quite expensive and can be the largest of all types. They feature a very high and straight back, almost always above seated head height. The arms are of equivalent height but are attached to the back with ropes or cords, allowing them to be angled and lowered to suit.

Tuxedo

The tuxedo sofa always has arms and back of the same height, but they sit much lower than others. Tuxedo sofas have a minimalist and cuboid design, often made in block colours with all matching cushions. Most tuxedo sofas have shown wooden legs, though this can be covered with hanging fabric on some models.

Lawson

Lawson sofas are of a similar design to the tuxedo, though their arms are lower than their back.

Wingback Armchair

The armchairs in a living room furniture suite are normally singular replicas of the sofas, though some have special designs altogether separate. Wingback armchairs have also been called club or easy chairs. The wings of the chair are designed to encompass the user in a protective embrace, trapping in heat and excluding draughts. Wingback chairs were predominantly leather with wooden legs, though modern varieties have changed to other materials.

Reclining Armchair

Reclining armchairs are those which lower the back and head of the seat for added comfort. Normally controlled by a wooden lever on the bottom right of the chair, the foot of the chair can also rise to flatten the user in an almost laid down position.

Material of Living Room Furniture Suite

The material of living room furniture can designate where and what it can be used for, not to mention the design impression and the longevity of the furniture.

Material

Description

Leather

Leather has been used for centuries in furniture and withstands the test of time very well. The tendency of leather to grow softer over time and take on an attractive distressed look appeals to a lot of people, whilst its level of maintenance can discourage some. Treated properly it can be the longest lasting and most robust of all materials.

Linen

Linen is a very comfortable material which also becomes more attractive over time, as the threads start to weave together. The lines on linen are very aesthetically pleasing, though can stretch and make the material look off-kilter. Many design houses combine viscose and linen to produce a much stronger material.

Cotton

Cotton is a very cheap and reliable material, accepts fabric dye well and is long-lasting. The thread pattern of cotton may put some people off with its criss-cross texture, though the slightly expensive brushed cotton can overcome this problem.

Velvet

Velvet is an expensive commodity in any function, let alone in every day seating. The texture of velvet sells itself, with a silky smooth feel that belies its strength as a fabric. Whilst it can be prone to friction fading, in general it is resistant to tearing and stains.

Wool

Wool used on furniture is very different to that of clothing, with its soft-feel breathable fabric being a far cry from hairy and scratchy woolen jumpers. Wool is a luxurious material that manages to retain warmth in the coldest mornings.

Fixed or Loose Cover on a Living Room Furniture Suite

The material that sofas are made from can either be made by stitching it to the padding, or by producing an envelope of fabric and slipping it over the padding. Fixed covers give a tighter appearance and are more aesthetic, though can be monstrously difficult to clean and often require professional help. Loose covers can be removed and are often designed to be machine washable, but lose their fitting after a while and can begin to appear creased and baggy.

Fillings for a Living Room Furniture Suite

Depending upon the desired effect of the furniture and how much time can be dedicated to its upkeep and maintenance, the choice of filling for the cushions will likely come down to a case of functionality. The two main types of filling both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Filling

Description

Foam

Foam is the modern approach to filling living room furniture suites, offering firm resistance which slowly contours to the shape of the user. Inexpensive foam can become squashed and flattened over time and can lose its shape, whilst the more quality foam will remember its original form.

Feather/Down

Feather filling of furniture is considered far more comfortable as the cushioned areas can flex in any directions with loose material, but requires continual plumping to avoid a flat appearance.

Conclusion

A beautiful living room furniture suite can transform a house into a home, bringing with it the essential comfort and relaxation but also changing the design of a room. Living room suites will likely be the largest piece of collective furniture in the house, potentially the most expensive, so it’s paramount to be armed with the knowledge to find the perfect set. Living with unsuitable furniture can be uncomfortable even with the softest of cushions.

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