Did you know that the average life span of a couch is 11 years? And over that time there is a lot of living that goes on. Consider this, according to research commissioned by Furniture Village, a sofa will see families sit down to watch 3,135 films, 2,299 hours of phone conversations and 1,430 hours spent playing computer games. The sofa is also home to one of our favourite leisure activities: reading, which will log about 2,728 hours – the equivalent of more than 16 weeks – over its lifespan. Now that’s a lot of activity!

As one of the most used pieces of furniture in a home, the sofa deserves to be carefully considered when it comes time to replace the one that you perhaps bought cheaply and treated poorly. With all that living going on in your living room we think it’s worthwhile to find out what goes into the design and construction of a high-end sofa as opposed to a budget model, and whether it’s worth investing the money.

With that in mind we asked Laura Farge-Lowe, owner of Island Trading, to give us her advice about the sofa brand, Rowe and her top tips for buying a quality couch.



1. Invest in Frame & Foam
If you want to judge the quality of a sofa you need to go beyond how it looks. That means understanding the frame and the foam. A well-constructed, sturdy frame and seating support foam determine not only your sofa’s level of comfort, but also its ability to retain its shape and stability. With Rowe’s sofas, each frame is made with solid hardwood, handcrafted in the USA. This means each piece is constructed from the best materials and is guaranteed to be free from manufacturer defects for its entire lifetime! Seating support is also important in a quality sofa. Carefully look and feel the density of the foam by sitting on a sofa before you buy it. If you “sink” into the cushions right away, that’s a bad sign, there should be good support in the seat and in the back. Rowe’s cushion cores are made with eco-friendly, high-resiliency foam and are wrapped with a polyester fibre wrap to ensure surface softness and shape. When buying a new couch, remember the two f’s: foam and frame!



2. Measure Twice (or let Island Trading help measure!)
One very important tip that is often over looked is measuring your new couch before you buy. And measure your entrance too! Many a couch has been returned because it does not fit the space it is bought for, or it can’t fit through the door!

And, it may sound obvious, but it is also essential that the couch fits well in the space of the room. You do not want the couch to be too large and completely overpower a room and impede the flow. Whether it’s Rowe’s 84″ Cindy sofa or the Sylvie sectionals you’re interested in, the knowledgeable sales associates at Island Trading will help you through the process of finding the perfect couch for you, and your living room.



3. Focus on Fabric
Choosing a fabric for your new sofa is arguably THE most important factor to consider so you are going to want to get it right. Knowing how you plan to use your sofa will partly dictate the choice of sofa fabric and, when selecting a fabric, keep in mind that the tighter the weave, the better it will wear over time.

So, if you have a busy family and the couch is going to see a lot of living then you need to look for stain resistant, durable fabrics. Will a pet be sharing your couch? If so think about smooth, synthetic fabric blends that won’t trap pet hairs. Alternatively if your couch is only going be used by you, say in your library or home office, then you can opt for more luxury, like a high-thread-count cotton or a velvet. Need to kid-proof a couch? No problem with Rowe’s Kid Proof performance fabric line. Made with the modern family in mind, the Kid Proof line of fabrics are durable, stain resistant, liquid-repellent and odor resistance. Now your family room can be enjoyed by everyone in the home without the stress of spilt milk, crayon stains, sticky fingers or generous pours of red wine!



4. To Slip Cover or Not to Slip Cover
One of the most popular Rowe items at Island Trading is the Nantucket slipcover sofa. Buying a slipcovered sofa makes it very easy to clean in the washing machine or if you ever want to change the colour or design of your sofa. Slipcovers come in many looks ranging from loose and flowing to very tailored. Decide on a look that fits your room. You can choose a loose or relaxed look for a casual effect, or a more tailored look for a more formal look.


For more information on Rowe’s line of couches at Island Trading contact Laura Farge-Lowe at 292-0400 or email info@islandtrading.bm.


Island Trading
Store Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
93 Reid Street Hamilton
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(441) 292-0400