Buying sofa can be a daunting task, there are many choices, many price points and sometimes it is hard to understand what the quality of the item is. Most people know what a nice-looking made in China sofa, bought for $700 – $800 will last only 2-3 years. And perhaps that is OK, provided that you know that. When we, as the customers, want cheap, that’s what we get; the manufacturer must use the cheapest materials to achieve the price point. To compare, just to reupholster your own sofa here, it will cost around $1000 just for the labor; add at least 10 yards of the quality fabric, high quality foam, and you will get $2000-$3000 sofa. Clearly, not every vintage or antique sofa is worth to reupholster.
One of the most important factor in the quality and longevity of the sofa is its frame; however, in most cases customers do not get to see it. What you want is a hardwood frame. The good upholsterer will dismantle and strip the old sofa to bare frame, fix what required (usually there is something to fix), check and change the springs or webbing if needed, refinish exposed wood parts, and will put new upholstery.
There is much more to consider when buying sofas. Danish designers made a lot of efforts to make their seating ergonomical, which you should feel immediately - their backs and seats envelop and support your body perfectly.
Besides construction, you want high quality foam and, of course, fabric that will last. Thankfully, these days one can find stain repellent fabrics, so it is much easier to look after your white sofa. The most known brand name in so called Performance fabrics is Crypton, but there are plenty of less expensive choices.
Talking about soft furnishings, it is great to pick up the upholstery color from the rug or favourite painting. If you already have sofa and chairs that are not matching, look for the rug that will have both these colors to tie- in everything.
There are different kind of vintage Mid century Modern sofas – some are made from beautiful expensive wood, like teak, walnut, rosewood that is completely exposed – here you can see every detail and will see immediately if something is broken.
Other sofas have upholstered backs and seats, sometimes sides as well; they also have springs or webbing as well as cushions made of foam on top. These are usually the most comfortable.
There are more kinds of vintage MCM sofas, like fibreglass ones. The most know example in Canada is iconic Scoop series (tufted sofas and lounge chairs), manufactured by R. Huber & Co. Circa late 1960's. They are incredibly comfortable. Due to the increased demand, it is getting harder and harder to find one. They are also expensive to reupholster (count at least $1000 for the sofa, just for the labor).