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What Makes a Good Sofa? And How Much Should You Pay?

October 26, 2017
What Makes a Good Sofa? And How Much Should You Pay?

A great sofa is one of the key pieces of furniture in a house. It’s the place where you relax, catch up with friends, chat, laugh, watch your favourite TV shows, maybe even grab a nap. So it makes sense that you want to find a really good sofa.

We caught up with Kimberly Fogarty to learn about the quality you get at different sofa price points.

Kim introduced us to the three key ranges in the Kimberly James Furniture (previously Classic Timber) sofa line up:

A sofa should be seen as an investment piece in your home. And while price is an important factor when comparing which sofa to buy, it pays to understand what you are saving on.

$ Couches Under $1500

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If you are in the market for your first couch, or something that is kind on the budget, couches from Ashley furniture are really worthwhile looking at. Most of the Ashley range are priced under $1500, and even better they are generally in stock and ready to be delivered to you when you buy.

So how does Ashley create a quality product for a very competitive price? Well Ashley Furniture Industries are literally one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the world. They are a global brand that mass produces. So they bring all of the expertise in design, buying, and manufacturing to every sofa they build; which generally means that you get a very well made product for a very good price.

As Kim explained, “Ashley’s sofa designs are on the traditional side, but they still work really well in a contemporary home”. While you won’t find a cutting edge designer couch style in the Ashley line up, what you will find are tried and tested designs, that look great and wear well. The range at Kimberly James is available in a limited number of designs and ontrend fabric colours. But the real beauty of the Ashley sofas (other than the price!) is that you don’t have to wait for delivery. When you find what you want it can be delivered straight out of the warehouse ASAP.

$$ Couches $1500 to $5000

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If you’ve got a little more room in your budget, opportunities and choices in the range of couches and sofas available begin to open up.

In particular, you can look at getting something custom designed to suit your room and individual requirements. “We work with incredible furniture manufacturers right here” says Kim, “they have beautiful designs, but because every sofa is made to order, you can tweak them to create your perfect sofa.”

Beilby’s is a local brand popular with Kimberly James’ customers. Beilby’s sofas are locally made in Adelaide. There are no compromises – they choose Dunlop foams, Warwick fabrics, and importantly the frame is glued, screwed and corner blocked so there is no problems offering a 10 year structural warranty. ;. lower lead times, because they are

Being Australian made they are highly customizable – your choice of fabric, custom sizing and configuration flexibility are all easy. Options include adding a chaise, an extra seat, or getting an ottoman built to match. Plus you can choose your colour from the huge range of Warwick fabrics.

If that sounds overwhelming, it shouldn’t – Kim and her team have narrowed down the range to the 5 Top Colours for Australian homes, and they even have swatch booklets for you to take home so that you can be 100% confident in your decision.

$$$ Couches $5000 plus

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If you are ready for a really beautiful couch – an investment piece, lovingly designed and hand crafted, then take a look at the pieces from Alexander and James. These are quite simply forever couches.

As Kim explained to us, ”Alexander and James couches are made in the UK. Their designs span contemporary and traditional styles, but it’s the quality of the materials used in the making of the couches, and the attention to detail that really set them apart.”

Alexander and James start with beautiful leathers and fabrics, and then their skilled craftsmen and women create beautifully detailed pieces that are luxurious to touch, super comfortable, look incredible and will last a lifetime.

Alexander and James sofa’s really are statement pieces.

Couch Choice Summary Table

Brand Foam Fabric Frame Value
Ashley – Mass Produced Heavy Foam Padding to protect fabric and maintain shape Limited Ontrend Fabric Choices Mass produced Value for Money. In Stock and Ready to Go
Beilby – Australian Made Australian Made Dunlop Premium Foams. Fibre wrapped seat cushions add comfort. Any choice of fabric to fit with your home décor. Adaptable – choose, size, number of seats, configuration and leg shape. 10 year structural warranty
Alexander & James UK Designs Highest quality material selection Premium soft leathers and fabrics Craftsmanship Investment Piece


Want to know more about buying a sofa? Read on as we discuss some of the key questions to ask your retailer when you are in store.

What makes a sofa comfortable? Or what materials are used in making your sofa?

It’s without doubt that your sofa should be comfortable, after all its the place you relax, rest and recharge, so it needs to do more than just look good. So there are two key elements in the construction of a sofa that are going to influence how comfortable it is –the foam and the suspension system.

To find out more ask you retailer:

  • How are the cushions made? What foam is used? Are the cushions feather wrapped?
  • What’s the suspension system? Is it springs or webbing? And how is it attached to the frame?

What makes a sofa durable?

If you want to understand how durable your sofa is going to be, here are some good questions to ask instore:

  • Start with the frame – ask what the frame is made of? How is it joined?
  • Ask if your sofa has been upholstered all round
  • If your sofa has detachable cushions ask if the cushions have zips fitted? A zip means it’s easy to refill a foam cushion, or wash a cover.
  • Ask about the upholstery – if it's fabric check the weave, and the fabric wear rating
  • Its probably worthwhile asking if its been stain protected

To sum up – when you are in the market to buy a new sofa, remember, a good rule of thumb is that the more you pay, the better quality product you’ll receive. Kim’s tip is to ask about the frame, foam, fabrics and warranties to really understand what you’re getting for your money.


We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your new couch wish list of products, then be sure to check out the range from Kimberly James.


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