There are three ways to look at buying upholstery: How it's made, and how it looks get the most press, but let's discuss the third-how it fits.
Which is why buying upholstery is a lot like buying underwear: Simply-seriously-you spend a lot of time in it, and it needs to provide the right amount of function, intimate comfort and support to your unique body.
I will leave you to your own decisions on the former, but whether a client is re-working, or replacing-helping them have fun while making their own best decisions is what I do, so here is the first of two posts on how to road-test upholstery.
Close your eyes. Sit in it. Do not be distracted by the fabric, the toss pillow with weird fringe, the price tag (for now), or the argument the couple across the room is having. Sit all the way back.
For the record-women tend to be proportionally leggier, and men tend to be more torso in their height. BUT there are leggy men, and long-waisted women. And regardless of gender, leggy can be lower-leg leggy, or more-upper leg leggy. So listen to the Decorator.
If you are short-do your feet touch the ground? If you are taller-does the cushion hit the back of your knees? Ideally, your knees should form a right angle, showing the height and depth of the seat match your proportions.
Is your posterior at the same height as your knees? Teeny bit higher would be ok, but if it's lower/severely angled, you will always struggle to overcome gravity and get yourself out of it.
Now lean back (still keeping your eyes closed). Now is the time to think about how you are going to use this: will you be reading, watching TV, napping (tell the truth, it's for your own good-this Westchester County Decorator will already know the answer, anyway!) socializing, or all of the above?
How is the pitch? Are you comfortably upright? (Important for reading) Can you relax, or is your midsection tensed, holding your torso upright? Are your shoulders supported?
Is the back wide enough? How about tall enough? Backs with steep pitches should be high enough to support your neck and head, especially if TV watching is high on your list.
Is it the right amount of cushy? Take more than .87 seconds to think about it, remember, there are no wrong answers!
Part Two: Arms, filling materials, recliner/motion furniture.
Marie Graham is an Interior Decorator, an Accredited Stager and owner of The Refreshed Home. Specializing in common-sense ways to make any space the best it can be, she can be reached directly email@example.com or 914.607.2895