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How to choose a couch...is finding the perfect one possible?

Let’s settle the debate once and for all, shall we? Is it called a sofa or a couch? Whatever you call it, we all likely need one at some point in our lives. And every once in a while, we need a second or a third. 


This is a photo of a living room with white board and batten on the lower wall and a playful wallpaper hung above. There are green leaves, toucans and pineapple on the wallpaper. There is a green couch sitting in front of the wall that has toucans on it. Sitting on the couch are two orange pillows.
Why is choosing a couch for your living room so difficult?

Buying a new couch, however, is NOTHING like buying a new shirt. With new shirts, you already know the size you need, have a general idea of whether it fits your style and will meet its purpose easily. It doesn’t take up too much room in your closet and it doesn’t (depending on where you shop) take away too much from your bank account. Shirt decision making is a relative breeze. 


Couches, however, are a different story. Once you decide you need (or you’d like) a new couch, there are SO many factors to consider. Stopping by your local furniture store won’t elicit the same results as it would if you were shopping for a shirt on a whim. Going on-line seems like an easier route, but buying something THAT LARGE, both in cost and size, feels like a mistake in the making. 


Buying a couch without forethought, careful planning and consideration to your overall aesthetic, spatial requirements and budget can be (cue the dramatics, but hear me) like handcuffing yourself to a BIG, FAT, BULLY. 


Why? So glad you asked. 


Imagine this scenario. 


You and hubby start the conversation over Taco Bell carryout one evening about the idea of someday, potentially, maybe getting a new couch. You get all excited about the idea because FINALLY, he’s on board. Lord knows you’ve been ready for years. I mean - have you seen that thing? The next day is Saturday and you and hubby are strolling through the aisles of Costco getting only the items on your shopping list and definitely not grabbing those bags of chips because they’re on super sale and the sample was so yummy, when you stroll down the couch aisle ‘just to take a peek.’ But oh dear…the price on that sign can’t be right, can it? You get out your readers, cause girl, you now have them in every color and stow them away in every bag like you once did with treats for your tots. You look closer and YUP…you confirm that the price you see there is the real price. You knew Costco had deals on super-sized things, but this?! You couldn’t beat this deal if you tried. But here’s the thing...


You haven’t tried yet. 


So, what do you do? You buy the couch, cause…DEAL! You wrangle it into your van, take out the old couch, unpack the new one just to realize…CRAP…the color you liked so well in the store is not quite the right color. And the size you thought wasn’t too big in the store is like Clark Griswold's Christmas tree and now takes up most of your living room. 


But…you got the good deal. What else did you get? You got an enormous bully that’s hanging out in most of your living room for years on end because it’s too expensive of a purchase to do anything but live with it…even though you hate it. Oops.  


So what do you do the next time you want a couch? How do you choose a couch?


This is a question that I asked founder and CEO of couch.com, Alex Back. Couch.com is a new site that helps you do the preliminary work of selecting a new couch for your home. Filtering your needs, your price point, your location, the size, style, and color of the couch are all part of the experience at couch.com, but so are design tips, truths about chemicals found on furniture, comparison guides, shopping strategies and SO much more. 


In a nutshell, this site is like matchmaking for couches. 


You can listen to our full interview here.




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