Do’s and Don’ts for Family-Friendly Durability and Design

According to Fred Albert, Houzz Contributor, “The Flintstones had it easy. When all your furniture is made of rock, you never have to worry about food spills or the pet dinosaur leaving a calling card on the couch.”

However, it’s almost 2019. Buying a sofa or any type of furniture is an investment. Often times, one of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Sherman’s is: “What furniture is going to hold up to years of abuse from my family?”

You understandably want to get the biggest bang for your buck, and of course, we want to help you achieve that!

Durable Synthetic Fabrics
Modern technology has created some of the strongest and most durable upholstery fabrics around. Synthetic fabrics that were originally designed for outdoor use are among the most durable fabrics for sofas and loveseats. Just because these indoor-outdoor fabrics were invited for patio use doesn’t mean they aren’t great in your living room, especially if you have children or pets.

Melamine
Our furniture professionals continue to experience rave customer reviews on melamine furniture products. Every melamine board has a consistent coloring and grade pattern. It is durable to years of commercial use, easy to clean, and won’t discolor from heat or age. It also comes in a variety of colors. Definitely durable, melamine is fire resistant, heat tolerant, versatile, highly stable, and easy to take care of!

neverfear™
Our furniture professionals also think very highly of neverfear™ fabric – not only worry-free but also a fabric that can stand up to real life. With unbelievable stain resistance and ‘cleanability,’ neverfear™ actually surpasses industry standards for performance, ensuring you years of faithful service, without sacrificing beauty, softness, or luxury.

Ultrasuede and microfiber sofas are another fan favorite.
Another fabric to consider, Ultrasuede and microfiber fabrics are stunning, comfortable, long-lasting, and easy to clean up. If your family is extra clumsy, look for fabrics in patterns and prints that will camouflage any stains or spills.

Here are some important items to think about along the way as you begin to shop and choose the most durable furniture for your family:

  • What is your room’s layout and purpose?
  • Leather can also weather years and years of use.
  • Outdoor materials are made to withstand the elements.
  • Play the color matching game.
  • Zippers make things easy to clean.

Finally, here are some more tips for family-friendly durability and design, provided by HGTV:

  • Do consider how you really live
    • A room that looks beautiful but doesn’t take into account the demands of everyday life will quickly be destroyed or end up like Grandma’s stuffy no-go zone. Instead, incorporate a decorating style that will stand up to sibling food fights, vomiting babies, indoor hockey matches, incontinent pets, and messy spouses. Consider who you live with and decorate accordingly. HINT: That means checking the color of the stains on your sofa before choosing a hue for a new one.
  • Don’t wait to decorate
    • Many families hold off on decorating until their children are older, making do with ratty post-dorm furniture for years after its expiration date, because, well, the kids will just destroy everything else. But even the youngest children benefit from living amid beautiful objects; they grow to appreciate and respect them. So go ahead and create a home the whole family can enjoy. You can even get the kids involved in the process asking what they’d like to see in a room you’re redecorating or letting them weigh in on a few pre-screened paint colors or fabric samples.
  • Don’t skimp on furniture!
    • Make no mistake: That cushy new reading chair will, in fact, be used as a trampoline. It may seem paradoxical, but when you have children, it makes sense to buy the best-made furniture you can afford. Look for heavy, solid furnishings constructed with kiln-dried hardwood that’s been screwed, glued, and corner-blocked. Make sure upholstered pieces have eight-way ties. And, upgrade chair and couch cushions to spring down, which does an excellent job of holding its shape. These pieces will stand up to years of abuse and can be reupholstered once your children reach a more civilized age. The cheapo furniture you may be tempted to make do with, on the other hand, will most likely wind up broken, battered, and taking up space in a landfill within a few years, making it no bargain at all.

The ultimate goal as you design and shop with durability in mind is to find pieces of kid and pet-friendly furniture that will make everyone in the house happy to use it. If the pieces are comfortable enough for pets and kids, your house guests will find it comfortable, too!

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