Skip to main content

Family-Friendly Sectionals Worth the Price Tag


You’re sitting on the sofa with your favorite glass of red, when suddenly your lovable pooch hurdles into you. You watch in slow motion as the wine sloshes up the side of your glass, over the rim, and down into the fabric… Your heart? Not moving in slow motion, I’ll bet. 

If you’re familiar with stain-related panic, you probably don’t have a sofa in performance fabric. If you’re lamenting the waste of wine and not worried about staining… well, you’ve probably found a sofa that is up to the task. Same goes for muddy paw prints, messy partners, and oily food crumbs. 

However, stain-resistant fabric isn’t the only helpful feature of a family-friendly sectional. You want one built to last. A brand you trust. You may even prioritize sustainability and decreasing your impact. In my opinion, all of these things make for a great sectional.

 Now, how do you know which are worth the price tag? Here are 3 things to look for…


From our San Francisco Victorian project. Photographer: Vivian Johnson

1. Choose a Sectional Constructed the Right Way

The quality of your sofa’s construction will determine the comfort, durability, and longevity of the piece. A low-quality sofa is constructed with coils and foam in the cushions. When a sofa relies on coils and foam, I can guarantee you will see sagging after a year or two of heavy use. No one wants a saggy bottom.

Instead, look for sofas with an eight-way hand-tied spring suspension and spring core seat cushions wrapped in a feather-down mix or polyester fiber. That’s a mouthful, right? 100% worth the long-term investment? Also right.

For the frame, the sturdiest sofas are made with kiln-dried hardwood. When building a sofa with this kind of solid frame, it resists warping, cracking, and can bear heavy loads over a long time. Family movie night every weekend for years? This sofa can handle it.

Some materials to stay away from when purchasing any weight-bearing furniture: 

  • Particleboard *ahem* IKEA
  • Plastic
  • Metal

How do you determine a sofa’s construction quality? Check out the vendor’s website, speak to a representative, or ask your interior designer about the construction of the frame and cushions. A good designer knows their stuff.

P.S. Not sure what quality furniture costs? Download our Interior Design Investment Guide for some concrete numbers at multiple price tiers.


From our Beach House project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

2. Opt for High-Quality, Durable Fabrics

Let’s take a moment of silence to remember the red wine that spilled onto your stained sofa. Or that cup of coffee that went down the armrest when you were in a rush. Or Fido’s paw prints, forever memorialized. 

If you’re investing in a high-quality sectional, you will probably also want the peace of mind that everyday life isn’t going to wreck it. Performance fabrics are pre-treated to repel stains and liquids, and most messes can be cleaned up simply, with no stress or special chemicals needed.

Pro Tip: If you decide to go without a performance fabric, you can have it stain-treated and professionally cleaned a few times a year.

It’s also important to consider fabric strength. No, it doesn’t need to hold up our weight (that’s what the eight-way hand-tied springs are for). I’m talking about withstanding wear and tear.

Every fabric has a “rub count,” which is essentially how many times a designated machine can pass across the fabric before it wears through. This gives us a way to measure a fabric’s durability. For high-use sectionals, we suggest fabrics that have a rub count of 15K or more. For infrequently used furniture, like an accent chair, you can get away with a bit less.

Unexpected bonus? If you’re custom ordering your sectional, you will also get a HUGE range of colors and styles to choose from. Win-win.


From our San Francisco Style Project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

3. Buy from a Brand You Can Trust

Last but not least, the best way to ensure financial peace of mind is to go with a brand you can count on. Internet searches are like dice rolls, and your family’s sofa is too important to leave to chance.

The brands I’m sharing with you are ones that we personally trust and recommend to our clients. Some are available through retail and others are trade-only, which means they are only accessible when working with a designer. (We have even more go-to vendors at our fingertips, but we can’t give away all our secrets, can we?)

Here’s a solid starting point for you:

  • Maiden Home: Retail, made with sustainable materials and methods.
  • Stated Home: Retail
  • Cisco Home: Uses sustainable materials and methods. You must purchase through a store because they are not available to buy online.
  • Lee Industries: Trade only, but some lines are available on Stated Home
  • A Rudin: Trade only
  • George Smith: Trade only


From our San Francisco Style Project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

Lastly, remember that your sectional is likely where you and your family will watch movies and make memories together. It’s where you’ll flop down after a long day and finally relax. While accent chairs and end tables are great places to save, a sectional is a smart place to splurge. Find the right one, and it will support you and your active life for years to come. 

If you need, we’ll be right here whenever you’re ready to chat.




Subscribe for the latest news, special events, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Newsletter signup

Please wait...

Thank you for subscribing!