written by:
May 20, 2013
Originally published in The Furniture Issue
Down cushions? Hardwood frame? New York City interior designer Timothy Brown gives us a quick tutorial on what to inspect when you’re inspecting.
Murphy 81-inch sofa by Room & Board, $1,399
Cushion the Blow

I prefer foam-wrapped cushions with some down. The down is soft, and the foam retains the shape of the cushion. With pure down, the cushion needs to be fluffed every time you get out of your seat and it looks sloppy.

Murphy 81-inch sofa by Room & Board, $1,399.

1 / 9
Grant XL sofa by Thrive Home Furnishings
Grant XL sofa by Thrive Home Furnishings, $1,949.
2 / 9
Atwood sofa by Gus*Modern
Frame Game

Skip plywood or particleboard and look for a hardwood frame with eight-way hand-tied springs (all the springs are tied together, more evenly distributing the weight of the sitter).

Atwood sofa by Gus*Modern, $1,999.

3 / 9
Bergen Sofa by BoConcept
Bergen by BoConcept, $2,286.
4 / 9
Narrow Arm sofa by Calvin Klein Curator Collection
Going Vintage

The shape is what really matters here. The fabric, in 99 percent of cases, will be changed, and the insides will be replaced with fresh down and foam. If the shape is good, a little work and the sofa is like new.

Narrow Arm sofa by Calvin Klein Curator Collection, $4,400.

5 / 9
Favn sofa by Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen
Favn sofa by Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen, $10,522.
6 / 9
Hi-Bridge 97.5-inch sofa by Ferruccio Laviani for Molteni & C
Up with Upholstery

Natural fabrics are best, and I also prefer neutral fabrics on sofas. This purchase will stick around for years, and the last thing you want is to be saddled with a pink floral sofa to work around.

Hi-Bridge 97.5-inch sofa by Ferruccio Laviani for Molteni & C, $11,294.

7 / 9
Powell sofa by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti
Powell sofa by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti, $13,260.
8 / 9
Victor sofa by Paul Loebach for MatterMade
Victor sofa by Paul Loebach for MatterMade, $16,000.
9 / 9
Murphy 81-inch sofa by Room & Board, $1,399
Cushion the Blow

I prefer foam-wrapped cushions with some down. The down is soft, and the foam retains the shape of the cushion. With pure down, the cushion needs to be fluffed every time you get out of your seat and it looks sloppy.

Murphy 81-inch sofa by Room & Board, $1,399.

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