This may surprise you that chair and sofa throw pillows are necessary elements for your family room or living room. You probably think I am going to say because they bring accent colors to your room’s décor or you can coordinate your throw pillows with other fabrics. Wrong! I encourage my clients to provide throw pillows for small, petite people (like myself)—guests, kids or even the homeowner. If you are short and have been to someone’s house where sofas or chairs are perfect for someone who was at least 5’8” or taller, you know what I mean!! There is nothing more uncomfortable to be forced to lean back with your feet off the floor and with nothing behind your back. We short people are looking at the ceiling!!Now, that is a neck ache! Throw pillows are a short person’s best friend when sitting on a sofa that is too deep for our short legs. If you notice your short guests are curling their legs on the sofa or sitting on the edge of the sofa, you will know why. Be kind to your short guests and provide throw pillows. Sofas and chairs are available in a huge variety of seat depths. No one depth is going to be perfect for everyone. Sofas that are too deep will be uncomfortable for everyone unless you want to recline or curl up every time you are on the sofa. If you plan to use these sofas for guests to sit and have conversation, they are not a good choice. If the sofa or chair back is not straight and pitches back, you will not be able to sit up straight unless you have large pillows behind your back as in this photo.
Have you sat on a chair or sofa with a short seat depth? Too much of your thigh to your knee is not supported by the chair? If you sit long enough, your legs will be numb! If the sofa and chair height from seat to floor is too short, taller people will feel as if their knees are under their arms and short people’s feet will be dangling above the floor like children. Too low chair backs can be uncomfortable for both tall men and women. Many beautiful sofas have nothing but several huge loose sofa pillows to support your back. These pillows can be a nightmare and usually are not comfortable for short or tall. You will probably end of replacing these sofas much sooner than planned.
My recommendations for sofa and chair seat depth is one that a tall person can sit comfortably without a throw pillow and deep enough their back is supported by the sofa. This same sofa should be one that a short person can place a throw pillow behind their back so they can sit up straight and one that their feet will be on the floor.
When purchasing a sofa you should also consider the number of bottom sofa cushions. Why? If you have only two bottom cushions and you want three people to sit on the sofa, no one wants to sit on the crack between the two cushions! Your sofa is long enough to accommodate three people but only two will sit on it. Solutions: 1-sofas with one bottom cushion per person, 2- one long bottom cushion,3- tight seat sofa with no cushions 4- purchase loveseats that are a intended for only two people.
A great choice would be a straight, high back, three bottom cushions and a low enough arm that your shoulders will not be under your ears when you rest your arm on the sofa. Arm height is also important when selecting chairs.
There are many more specifics to consider when purchasing a sofa –arm height and width, fabric, cushion content, sofa length, depth from the wall, etc. Next time you are shopping for a sofa, do not forget to consider: 1- sofa depth and if you plan to provide sofa pillows 2-sofa height from floor to seat ,3-the number of bottom cushions and 4- are the arms at a height you can comfortably rest your arms. Just because a sofa is the perfect color or style, it does not mean it will be comfortable and one you want to keep for several years. It will be one of the biggest investments you will make for your living or family room.
It does not matter how well made seating is constructed if the dimensions are not appropriate, you will be uncomfortable. Take the time to browse through manufacturers websites to find the perfect sofa of chair for you and your family.