The Best-Kept Secret: Taking the Guesswork and Frustration Out of Furniture Buying

Bobby Huber of Oskar Huber Furniture & Design tells us what to look for in a sofa:

staff of Oskar Huber FurnitureAfter 86 years of helping people buy the right home furnishings for their needs, we have learned a few things about what the most-common mistakes are.  Buying furniture can be as overwhelming as shopping for a car. Being prepared with the right questions and insider knowledge will help you avoid making costly mistakes.

It’s your life; live the way you want to

Before heading out the door, sit down and think about your lifestyle. No matter what room you are shopping for, it is important to know how you live. It sounds funny, but buying furniture should fit your lifestyle, and you should not have to adjust to your furniture. Think about the space you are buying for; take measurements and know where the doors and windows are. Know how the traffic patterns of the room flow. Ask yourself: Do I do a lot of entertaining or have guests stay over frequently? Knowing the basics of your room and thinking about your lifestyle before shopping can go a long way toward making your buying experience more productive.

How to buy a sofa

When comparing sofas from store to store, your head can spin. There are so many options, and sometimes things tend to look alike. This is why it pays to be a savvy consumer. At Oskar Huber, we started in 1927 by making our own furniture, so we understand the many quality features that go into furniture. We use this knowledge to select the products we sell in our store. We only sell products that have met our quality standards and that we feel confident standing behind.

In life, you always get what you pay for. There are good sofas in our store for $800 or $900, and there are great sofas in our store for $2,000 to $3,000. What is important is that you know what you are getting, and we can help you understand the differences. Investing in a few key items will make your room come to life and will take the headache out of having to replace them in a couple of years.

“Pop the hood, look inside, and kick the tires.” Because some sofas look alike, it’s important to know what you are getting. So ask your sales associate these important questions:

1.  What are the cushions made of? Do they have a warranty and, if so, what is it? Many better-end companies allow us to offer you a lifetime warranty on your cushions against manufacturer defect and sagging. You can’t go wrong with a plush down-and-feather combo cushion, but a high-density foam cushion is just as comfy with a different feel and will last just as long. What is important is that the cushion moves and fits your body and springs back when you get up.

The back cushions on a sofa should be bagged and channeled, which will allow the filling used to stay in place over the life of the sofa. A blown fiber back can settle and look lumpy over time and will only continue to get worse, but back filling using a soft foam and fiber or down-and-feather blend is best.

2.  What kind of fabric is used? As with a great dress or that must-have purse, the fabric makes up the beauty of the sofa and is the first place you will see wear. You want to make sure you are getting a fabric that you can count on for its longevity and durability. Oskar Huber offers many fabulous fabrics that will stand the test of time, and we can help you choose the right fabric depending on your needs and wants.   It is also important to see how the fabric is tailored. Make sure the seams are tight and straight. Sometimes welting accents the edges, or maybe a French seam or top stitch is used.  On some lower-priced products, the welting and seams are loose, sloppy, and very wavy.

3.  How solid is the frame and structure? As with cushions, many better sofa collections will come with a lifetime warranty against defect. You want to look for a sofa that is built with kiln-dried hardwood and reinforced with corner blocks that are glued and screwed. Don’t be self-conscious about giving the sofa a “test drive”. Make sure the frame is solid, pull on the arms, feel down the side of the sofa, or sit on the arm. Today, many inexpensive sofas are made with cheap low-grade particleboard and dense cardboard to give shaping to the arms. You don’t want the sofa arms to feel loose or the sofa to rack (twist) when you tug on it.  The final part of the “test drive” is to sit on the sofa the way you will use it at home. Curl up in the corner or lay across it and put your feet up. You need to make sure that it’s comfortable for how you will use it at home.

Bobby Huber: Bobby Huber is a fourth-generation member of the Huber family. Not surprisingly, he has been around the business since he was a kid and worked in various parts of the business through college. Bobby is now sales manager of our Southampton, PA store and has the privilege of working with six women every day!
 

Great info to keep in mind when shopping for a sofa!

Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
215-721-0645
http://www.buckscountywomensjournal.com
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