When it comes to buying furniture, a sofa can be the most difficult to shop for. After all, it's the first thing people see once they enter a space. It's easy to scoff at the prices of sofas out in the market today but beyond their price tags, however, are furniture pieces that offer unparalleled luxury and comfort.
What exactly makes a sofa worth the price tag? Here, we delve deep into what sets, say, a one million peso sofa apart from the rest.
It all starts with the design.
To design furniture, it takes a whole lot of time and effort to create a piece that is both visually appealing as it is functional. Additionally, there are factors such as sustainability, ergonomics, and practicality that designers have to keep in mind to produce something that would be up to par. And for the most notable furniture manufacturers, experience comes into play.
Another thing that adds to it all is the fact that leading furniture manufacturers work with internationally renowned designers and artists to produce sofas. Notable examples include B&B Italia's Moon System Sofa by Zaha Hadid and Poltrona Frau's Dezza Sofa by Gio Ponti. French designer furniture company Roche Bobois has even enlisted the help of several fashion designers through the years such as Kenzo, Missoni, Ungaro, Jean Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel, and Christian Lacroix. It's this exchange of ideas that ultimately produces a unique piece of design that will go down in history.
Once the design is over and done with, the sofa really begins to take form. Here is where the difference between a P50,000 couch and a P1,000,000 sofa shows up.
From the type of leather down to the colors, most top-of-the-line sofas are offered to be completely customizable according to a customer's preferences. On the inside, you'll find solid wood. One such is beechwood, a common material that has a high shock resistance making it a favorite of manufacturers. Other features of a luxury sofa include feather-filled cushions (as opposed to foam in lesser quality pieces) and leather that's been dyed through and through to make surface scratches virtually invisible.
What's more, top notch brands use leather from premium sources that apply ethical and responsible methods. According to the New York Times, this includes making sure cows are treated kindly.
The process of making a sofa is one that involves painstaking detail and quality. Most established luxury furniture manufacturers have each step done by hand. To do so, they rely on skilled artisans that use age-old techniques to deliver quality furniture. For instance, foam that shapes the overall sofa is formed by hand. It's here that brand heritage also comes in: Poltrona Frau sofas are completely made by hand with simple tools as they were over 100 years ago when the company was founded.
How Long Does It Last?
With furniture—sofas especially—you get what pay for. A typical sofa may last anywhere along the lines of seven to 15 years but a quality sofa will last for decades, making it a lifetime commitment.
To make sure your sofa lasts, manufacturers create numerous prototypes and subject materials and tests to make it more resistant to wear. Ligne Roset, for example, works closely with official organizations such as AFNOR, the Centre Technique du Cuir, and the Institut Textile de France to identify if a fabric or textile should be considered.
According to Ligne Roset, these tests allow the brand to determine how a material will wear. Results are categorized from one to three (with the three being the highest score) for physical resistance to wear factors like fading, staining, and the like. Another rating using letters A to C (with C being the highest score) is used for its appearance as a result of other factors such as abrasion and general wear and tear. With this, the brand is able to make sure it avoids using textiles with lower ratings.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.