Purchasing a modern sofa is a big decision. What are some important factors people should consider?
Americans spend an average of five hours a day watching television, presumably on their sofas. We sit in the same place day in and day out. Even in my own home, my wife has her corner and I have the side. We all have very different comfort tastes, but we all choose sofas primarily for their color, style, and how they will match other pieces in a room. Exterior looks aside, it’s also important to learn how your sofa came to be, what’s inside that piece of furniture, and how comfortable it is, since that’s where you spend so much of your time. It’s worth it to do some extra research to know the quality of the material that’s being used to build your sofa. I imagine that most people will want their sofa to last for a long time.
What are some important factors you consider when designing a sofa? What is the process to make your design come to life?
A lot more goes into a well-designed modern sofa than wood, fiber and nails. Long before I put pen to paper, I evaluate our current collections for the right mix of cozy sofas and more defined, streamlined designs. After sketching a new design on paper, I translate it into a digital format using a CAD program and fine-tune it with a 3D rendering. This gets me very close to the design the customer sees. The best part is taking the new design from the screen to the sample room at our Los Angeles factory.
It typically takes us three samples to get a piece perfect, or as close to perfect as possible, because each attempt requires tweaks and adjustments, and the sample is always different from the drawing. I find with my detailed drawings, and with the 3D rendering, I can get the factory to develop something close to what I want, most of the time.
TrueModern sofas are very high in quality. Can you tell me a bit about the history behind the material used to develop these sofas?
At TrueModern, our modern sofa frames are made of strong, sustainable grown alder wood sourced from Pacific Northwest forests. Hundreds of pieces of wood in random sizes arrive wrapped in black plastic on giant pallets from our Los Angeles wood supplier. We cut the wood into usable sizes, and begin assembling the frame, starting with the 4 – 7 inch wide front rail, which is the flat piece that under the seat cushion by your feet. This creates the height of the sofa. From there, we follow each order’s custom specifications. We use a true webbing support system, which gives the cushion a bit of bounce and support. I like this method much better than steel springs, which can end up squeaking over time.
What is the most important interior part of a sofa that separates itself from a bad versus good sofa?
I take frames seriously and so should anyone buying a sofa. They’re the start of your sofa’s life. Some US manufacturers use soft woods like pine (cheaper sofas made overseas have fir, elm or poplar). I guess you could say they like to use this as an area to cut corners, which translates to lower price points to the customer. If they use soft woods, I can assure you they’re not using very good materials throughout. Look for sofa brands that offer a lifetime warranty on their frames. That just about says it all.
What are the final touches after the framework is complete?
Once the frame is finished, it’s off to the fabric cutters and sewing room. The sewers begin sewing the covers for the cushions and stuffing them with foam. For down sofas, a secondary down-filled baffled bag slips over the foam. This feather blocker keeps you from being poked by sharp quills. The sewing crew assembles the fabric to cover the body of the sofa, using a variety of methods and stitches. Because of the variations in every sofa, Dacron fiber is cut to size depending on the body, the seat, and the back cushions.
What is it about TrueModern that sets itself apart, compared to other modern furniture companies?
There are differences from factory to factory, but staying within our price range, you can expect a similar process from one place to the other. Price, of course, translates directly to materials and quality. “You get what you pay for” is surely true in the world of upholstery. Our goal is to make a high-quality modern sofa, at a reasonable price that reflects your style in a contemporary world, but we’re not necessarily expecting your grandchildren to inherit it.
Faustine is a Site Merchandiser for YLiving and has years of experience working in online retail. Growing up in the Bay Area and spending some time in Orange County, she is a true California native. She has a passion for interior design, social media, and technology. In her spare time, she loves spending time at Barre classes, window shopping at Tiffany's, and chasing after French Bulldogs.