It goes without saying that a living room set up is incomplete without a pleasant seating. An aptly designed couch makes for a complete interior experience. Comfort seating and loads of aesthetic value are big plusses that go with a well chosen sofa. A seating system that complements the decor is truly a must while decorating the living room.
Cane sofas, carved wooden couches, white metal and black iodised sofas, solid wood based sofas with fabric and leather upholstery, textile sofas and leather sofas are commonly in vogue. Spreading across all budgets from a modest, 15,000 to a whopping 3 lakh a set of sofa systems are available as sets in the ready made market and as customised pieces at sofa makers. The patterns available are countless and the combinations, variable. One needs to look into individual needs, space availability, colour of the living room, the decor theme et al while choosing just the right sofa. A hurried decision on buying sofas can at times lead to a frustrating experience. Additional seating like modas, bean bags and Mona Lisa deewans can go well with sofas of all shapes.
Javed Tajjuddin Qazi, a sofa maker from a city suburb, says, "The patterns available with sofa makers are much more than what is available at leading showrooms. Made to order sets are much cheaper, use better material and are at times even sturdier than what might be sold off as branded pieces. Plus, tailored sofas can be matched with any decor as per the need."
Ready made branded versions, however, supposed to add an `oomph factor` apart from comfort angles for seating. Avers Smita Thite, an interior designer says, "I recommend the use of ready made branded sofas to my customers as they look elegant and are high on style quotient too". Smita feels the Pune customers are an aware lot and have no hang ups on outlaying big budgets for sofas. "The ready made branded market offers a wide range of `affordable` varieties," she says.
Whether branded, ready made or tailor made, a sofa needs to be taken care of properly for longer life and added value. Small embellishments like contrast cushions, matching matting at the centre, decorative foot rugs at all individual chairs might just be some options elected to make a sofa look more elegant. Maintenance is as important as looks, if not more.
Javed says, "One must never use sofas without maintaining them." This expert further elaborates, "Cane sofas must be dusted with vacuum cleaners from time to time and a polish treatment is given once in five years. These can last forever if taken care of properly. What`s more, they go with any kind of decor, modern or traditional. Polishing is a must for wooden sets of all types. Re- cushioning and repairing the loosened seats of sofa are best done before it starts sagging. A small investment of 5000 on reconditioning every four years can go a long way in using the same set forages. In this process, one can change the fabric too".
Javed further informs that leather sofas are best cleaned with a mixture of coconut oil and a mild detergent. He says, "Leather should be cleaned with a mixture of oil and water, never water alone as leather chips and peels off with water. For fabric sofas, the best care comes from periodic vacuuming and an annual sofa shampoo from professional cleaners. Fabric tends to get murky too soon and a regular wash is a complete must." Special conditioners and polishes are available for artificial and pure leather sofas and is an investment worth it.
As for the colours in vogue, Smita adds, "Black is an all time favourite in Italian designs. It goes well on any background. Other colours in rage are beige, off white, light mauve, light crimson, sandy brown and olive green. These go well with any background. People are also trying bold colours like yellow and pink, but they have to be carefully displayed, lest they look gaudy."
Box type sofas, C-shape seating, L-shape sets are all the current favourites. Pine and rubber wood benches are added as an accessory if space demands. Wood goes well with any background and a generous display of this material lends style quotient to any design. Floor pillows, Indian seating that is at a lower level than a sofa and a set of broad chairs can mingle well with any sofa system in a large living room. The right sofa material for individual need, the correct texture of the fabric for every decor and the apt shade for any living room can add magic to an otherwise boring ambience. One has to make a learned decision before buying the right sofa. Otherwise, hurry can lead to worry later.
BDST: 00 HRS, Oct-00, 2013