Buying the perfect couch

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Tuesday 7th February 2012

The lair, the lure, the key to your success. While everyone wants a great looking place, few have the money and creative juice to make the dream bachelor pad a reality.

Fear not, dear readers. Here, we'll walk you through the steps necessary to turn your place into the apartment your friends - and more importantly, your dates - want to hang out in: clean, uncluttered, reasonably hip.

Follow these design tips and you will not go wrong.

Where we’re going. First, you must grasp the philosophical thrust of your efforts. You're not getting a new place, you're simply turning your existing place into your place's better looking, more comfortable cousin. This means creating inviting public (living room) and private (bedroom) living spaces that function in a comfortable, if not luxurious way. This will be all the chick magnet you need.

Let's Go. With this guideline in mind, begin with your common area. In most cases, this area will be the focal point of your home often than not, the first image presented to your guests. As such, this area should look great, be relatively neat, and again, combine function with comfort. This guideline focuses on the first step in any common room overhaul - buying the perfect couch.

Step One: The most important piece of furniture in this room is the couch - it defines the entire space. If you have a great couch, the rest will follow. If you don't, then you will require a great deal of designing skill to create an attractive common space.

What is a "great couch"? The first element to a great couch is that it must feel great - your couch must be comfortable and inviting. Don't forget, a bachelor's couch is the throne from which he rules his domain, serving as bed, dining chair, desk and barstool. Choose a couch that you want to sit on - a lot.

The second element to a great couch is visual appeal. You want a couch with a frame style and upholstery that look fashionable, but not so "hip" that you have to buy all new furniture to make the couch work. A couch that is both attractive and comfortable is a great couch.

So, if you own a futon, get rid of it now and read on.

Ok, welcome back. Now, of the millions of attractive couch style, which one do you choose? For the sake of clarity and beginner's ease, we suggest you ignore every style but one: the black leather couch - a perennial classic. Few black leather couches ever go out of style. With limited care, the age well and compliment nearly all masculine-decorating style.

So, buy a simple, reasonably priced black leather couch. If you have the good fortune to find a used leather one, you're golden, but otherwise, you could even go with a good leatherette (vinyl) one. Now, note that an attractive, comfortable, yet "inexpensive" leather couch can be more than you thought you'd ever spend on an expensive couch. Think of it as an investment in your future - or at least your future in-home office. Remember, this will be the focal point, everything else will be relatively inexpensive from here on out.

SharpMan Tip: When shopping for leather couches, remember to ask about quality of the leather you're buying. Leather in expensive, and when you pay big bucks for durability, you don't want to find your new purchase splitting and tearing. High-quality leather couches must be made of "top grain, non-split" leather.

Place your new couch against a wall that faces a great window, a fireplace or other attractive focal point. You say your home has no innately attractive focal point? In next article - Choosing and Dealing with Furniture, we'll take you through the steps necessary to create one.

This article last updated on Tuesday 7th February 2012
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