sofa buying guide

Sofa Buying Guide: Should You Skimp or Splurge on a New Sofa?

sofa buying guideFinding the right sofa for your living room is a little bit like dating. It can be a lot of work to find the one, but once you do, you get to enjoy a lifetime of happiness together.

The “perfect sofa” might look different for everyone, but we can probably all agree that it should be comfortable, fit in your living room, reflect your style, and hopefully last a few years (if not more).

Enjoying your perfect sofa is the easy part. Finding it takes work.

sofa buying guide

While you probably have a good sense of what you’re looking for in a sofa, you might need a little help uncovering how much you should spend on one.

Sofas can be expensive, there’s no denying that. For some people it might make sense to invest in a quality piece that will last years. For others, buying something that works for right now is a better option. But where do you fall on the spectrum?

Because we’d rather you spend your time focusing on your real dating life (or with your family, pursuing that new hobby, or doing any other activity that brings you joy), we created a sofa buying guide to help you easily understand how much you should spend on a sofa.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a New Sofa

sofa buying guide

Question 1: How much do you want to spend on a sofa?

It can be hard to wrap your head around how much you should spend on a sofa if you’re not even sure how much the average sofa costs. A good place to start is to get familiar with some average price ranges for sofas.

Numbers to know:

  • $1000 or less: The sub-thousand dollar range is what we’d consider an inexpensive sofa.
  • $1000 – $2000: A mid-range priced sofa generally falls in between one to two thousand dollars.
  • $2000 or more: Anything above two grand, we would consider to be an expensive sofa.

The Bottom Line: Survey the sofa landscape to help you get a sense of how much you might want to spend.

Question 2: How Nomadic are You?

Sofas are large, bulky, and not the easiest pieces of furniture to move. One that works perfectly in your current home, might not fit through the doorway at your next.

Your solve:

  • I move a lot or will be moving soon: If you plan to only live where you are for under a year, consider skimping on an inexpensive sofa that you won’t have to worry about lugging to a new location.
  • I’m relatively settled: Around five years? Maybe a slightly higher-quality option is the best fit for you. You want something that will last you that half decade or so, but won’t be missed if you can’t bring it with you.
  • I’m in it for the long haul: Finally, if you are relatively settled in your current home, it makes more sense to invest in a high quality sofa that will last.

The Bottom Line: Your overall timeline is important to consider before making a big-ticket purchase that isn’t easy to transport with you.

sofa buying guide

Question 3: Are You into Trends?

A trendy sofa looks great right now, but you might find you’re sick of it after a short time.

Your solve:

  • I love trends: If you can’t say no to a sofa with a bold color or statement pattern, consider opting for a lower-cost option rather than investing in a more expensive one. Unlike decorative accents, you can’t as easily move a sofa from room to room when you get tired of it. Don’t sink your money into something you’ll be sick of in a year.
  • Trends don’t phase me: If you’re looking for a sofa that can transcend your current tastes, consider investing in a high-quality option. This can be a sofa with a neutral fabric, a quality leather option, or a even a sofa with a versatile shape, such as a chaise that can switch sides.

The Bottom Line: If you want to splurge on a quality sofa, it’s important to find one that works for both now and later.

Question 4: Do You Have Kids or Pets?

Although we love kids and we love pets, it’s a fact that they are the culprits behind a lot of our furniture’s wear and tear.

Your solve:

  • Don’t stress: One way around this is to choose a budget-friendly sofa that you don’t mind replacing as it gets worn out.
  • Call for reinforcements: The alternative is to invest in a higher quality option. Opt for a sofa that’s durable and can take whatever your kids/pets throw at it. Consider choosing a stain resistant fabric. Quality leather is also great for pets. You want something that won’t stain or rip easily and doesn’t attract fur like a magnet.

The Bottom Line: You know your kids and pets the best, so factor them into the picture when deciding what sofa makes sense for your family.

sofa buying guide

Question 5: How Much Time Will You Spend on Your Sofa?

If you use it a lot, don’t make yourself miserable with something that’s uncomfortable.

Your solve:

  • My sofa is just for looks: If you’re always on the go and rarely spend time on your sofa, no need to invest in a high-quality, ultra-comfy option. Something inexpensive but stylish can suffice.
  • My sofa is my other half: If you’re a self-proclaimed couch potato, don’t skimp on a cheap sofa that makes you uncomfortable. You can find plenty of inexpensive sofas that are also comfortable and of high quality.

The Bottom Line: Invest in quality and comfort for the things you use daily, like your mattress and sofa.


Ready to find your perfect sofa?

Read our guide to buying this living room staple online to make shopping for a sofa as comfortable as lounging on one.

Or, if you want some insurance before splurging on a sofa, try on some options in your home before you make the investment. Modsy can help show you how real sofas will look in your actual home using our virtual design tools. Then, shop directly from your design plans and take advantage of our insider rewards program to save!

Click here to get started, or if you’re already a Modsy customer, head to your studio and ring the assistance bell to see some new products in your space!

Easy, Budget-Friendly Ways to Refresh Your Home for the New Year

refresh your home

Right behind losing weight and quitting a bad habit, one of the most popular New Year resolutions is to save more money. Sounds easy, right? 

Not so fast – ICYMI only around 8% of people in the US manage to keep their resolutions every year. Yikes! 

So what’s a design-savvy, money-conscious person supposed to do? While we aren’t much help with diets and exercise, we can clue you in on some of our favorite, easy, and affordable (even free) ways to refresh your home for 2018.

Ready to hit refresh? Keep scrolling for some of our quick-win ideas for rethinking your spaces for the new year.

refresh your homeRefresh Your Accents

When it comes to easy and budget-friendly decor updates, we are all for switching up your accent pieces. Focus on updating accents and accessories will keep your budget low, while still giving your space a completely new look.

Swap in some new throw pillows, hang a new piece of art, or unfurl a new rug. All these little details have a big impact on how your space looks and feels.

The best part is that this approach can be as involved or low-lift as you want it to be! You can decide to only replace one or two pieces and leave everything else as is, or you can go all out. And if you change your mind half-way through, you don’t have to worry about living with a half-baked living room redesign for the next 365-or-so days.

A Good Home Design Resolution: If you’re not looking to spend on new accents, an easy and completely free update is to rotate your rug 180 degrees. When a rug stays in one place too long, it can become subject to uneven foot-traffic and sun exposure. Ensure your rug has even color and pile with this little design update!

refresh your homeRepurpose What You Already Have

Think new year, new perspectives. That means looking at all your furnishings in all your rooms with fresh eyes and seeing if any of your existing pieces can work in different areas in your home.

Maybe it’s time for the rug in your bedroom to switch places with the one in your living room. Or perhaps the shelves you used as a bookcase can be turned into a TV stand.

Take a moment to assess what you already have and reinvest in the possibilities of those pieces.

A Good Home Design Resolution: Let in more light by pulling back your curtains and blinds. While it may be winter, your rooms can still benefit from getting lots of natural light whenever possible.

refresh your homeReconfigure Your Layout

If moving furniture from one room to another is too much for you, simply change how pieces are laid out in your spaces.

For instance, rather than having your sofa against a wall, try floating it in your living room; instead of having your dining table in the middle of a space, consider moving it closer to the wall.

The idea is to find new ways to revel in your space by shifting your own perception of it. Take some time and enjoy seeing where and how your pieces can fit.

A Good Home Design Resolution: Sometimes it’s about paring down your furnishings to give it a new look and feel. Do a little furniture edit to see if there are pieces that no longer serve a purpose or resonate with you. This helps open up your space (so long, clutter!) and make room for new pieces.

refresh your homeRestyle Your Mix

Commit yourself to a fresh start by re-exploring design styles and furnishings that might not have appealed to you previously. Instead of going for a full furniture set or a matching look, try finding and mixing pieces in different styles that are within your budget.

It’s never easy pushing your own aesthetic boundaries, but you might just discover a few things that you didn’t think you’d love and which mix nicely with some of your other pieces.

A Good Home Design Resolution: Infuse your room with a new scent with a the addition of a candle or diffuser. This is a subtle and affordable way to enhance the atmosphere in a space instantly.

Get affordable, custom design plans laid out in a 3D version of your room.

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3 Ways to Style Your Nightstand: Bring Some Style to Your Bedroom

styling your nightstand

Whether you have one or two, a well-styled nightstand is a surefire way to make your bedroom feel personal and put-together. To help you get inspired to design yours, we challenged our designers to take one nightstand and style it three ways.

We chose one of our favorite nightstands as a base: the Audrey Nightstand from West Elm. We love the Mid-Century shape and the textured front. It is the perfect combo of retro and modern! The two roomy drawers are great for hiding midnight snack wrappers, tangled electrical cords, and that retainer you never wear.

Here’s our three favorite ideas for styling your nightstand:


Mid-Century Flair

style your nightstand

Geometric shapes, organic materials, and neutral colors make this one nightstand perfect for Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts. The geometric details on the Audrey Nightstand pair perfectly with the geometry of the Mason Table Lamp. The Sum Total artwork also brings a signature, mid-century graphic pop to the design.

Stylist Tip: Our rule of thumb for styling surfaces, is to think in threes. This brings both balance and variation to the scene, and makes our eye happy when we look at it. Try picking objects with various heights, such as vases for flowers and trays to hold your odds and ends.


Bohemian Chic

style your nightstand

For those who like a clean and earthy look, style your nightstand with a fresh and eclectic feel. The unfinished texture of the lamp harmonizes with the other natural elements in the scene, such as the Ibex Sculpture .

Stylist Tip: Use your lamp to help determine how high to hang your artwork. Because this lamp is taller, the Blue Cactus artwork is hung lower to balance the composition. Don’t be afraid to hang your artwork off-center if you want a more eclectic look!


Graphic and Glamorous

style your nightstand

Full of statement pieces, this more glamorous design is full of graphic patterns and gold accents. The stripes in the Changes Rug pull in the graphic lines of the Naomi Campbell artwork for a unified space. The gold accents in the accessory pieces bring out the finishes of the Audrey nightstand, pushing the look more Glam!

Stylist Tip: For a chic and unexpected twist, prop your artwork against the wall on the floor next to your nightstand.



Need Help Styling Your Nightstand?

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Best in Show: Our Favorite Home Decor Finds from Target


A great retailer of on-trend and wallet-friendly furniture, Target is an amazing place to shop for home decor. Their collection features a range of options to suit every style and budget, and sometimes all it takes is a little imagination to see how the look can come together.

To help show you the possibilities, we curated three looks for three popular styles with our favorite Target pieces from our 3D catalogue.

Browse the looks below and try on your favorite pieces in your 3D home.


Rustic and Cozy

Create a rustic and cozy reading nook or spruce up your entryway with this simple round up of Target favorites. The Amelia Area Rug in cream and gold (starting at $299) creates a warm and inviting foundation for the space, and the intricate floral pattern adds a layer of richness and rustic texture.

Pair it with the Beechhurst Button Tufted Bench ($229) for an extra dose of understated elegance. The combination of the button tufting with the rustic wood frame adds a note of polish while still keeping your space feeling cozy and inviting.

Finally, the 6-Cube Organizer Shelf ($60) allows for open and organized storage. Dress it up with a few vases or your favorite books – this simple bookcase is super versatile. It can be used horizontally or vertically, so you can easily repurpose it when you want to redecorate or mix up your look.


Trendy and Comfy

For those of you who love the look of Mid Century Modern interiors but can’t quite imagine living in them, this modern and comfy living room might be the look for you. Featuring some of our all-time favorite Target finds, this space feels trendy but is still livable and inviting.

The Windson Wood Armchair ($230), which made our hit list for the best lounge chairs under $500, and the Porter Mid Century Modern TV Stand ($275) sport the warm woods and organic forms of classic Mid Century pieces. Pair them with the Nate Berkus Tribal Area Rug ($129) for a pop of color and to give your space a bit of personality and texture.

The Linhigh Woven Wire Coffee Table ($149) is a fun alternative to a standard coffee table. The minimal and modern wire form is sure to start a conversation, and makes the piece super light and easy to move (great for all you nomadic home designers out there).

The ultimate statement piece, we cannot get enough of the Iris Floor Lamp ($229). The elegant silhouette and luxe pops of gold make this a total eye-catcher, as it lends a glamorous and sophisticated touch to any space.


Chic and Inviting

Create an enviable entryway with this collection of glamorous Target finds that look a great deal more expensive than they are (sticker shock in the best way). The sleek and minimal Stepney Console Table ($129) has a glam and modern vibe, and the unique Z-base adds extra intrigue to the look.

Perched atop the console, the Audrey Desk Lamp ($40) is a great option for low-profile and flexible lighting. Hanging out next to the Cosette Armchair ($199), it makes for a stylish reading lamp, or try it out on your desk or nightstand. The Cosette Armchair is also a great option if you are looking to add some contemporary seating to your home. The upholstered low back and high arms give this chair a statement shape, while the long tapered legs keep it feeling light and elegant.

Finally, no chic entry would be complete without a fully stocked bar cart. The current must-have item of any trendy interior, bar carts often come with price tags that will make your eyes bulge. But that’s only one of the reasons why we love the Wood & Brass Bar Cart ($129). The gold frame and wood shelves are an ultra-chic combo, and the casters make it easy to maneuver. A great option for small spaces or if you are just looking to add a pop of glam to your home.


Love these finds?
Try them out in your space!


6 of our Favorite Lounge Chairs Under $500

6 Chairs under $500

Let’s face it, sometimes you just want to sit by yourself and enjoy a cup of coffee and some alone time. What better place than curling up in a cozy lounge chair? But finding that perfect chair is sometimes the biggest hurdle, and many come with price tags that might make you want to spring for a ticket to Europe instead. To help, we rounded up 6 of our favorite lounge chairs under $500 so you can find your happy place without breaking the bank.

See one you love? Let us know and we’ll show it to you in your living room, designed with your style.


1. Tobacco Leather Butterfly Chair, $399

Chairs under $500

A playful take on a familiar camping staple, we can’t get enough of this leather butterfly chair. We love it because it’s a great statement piece at an even greater price that works well across many styles – pair it with your mid-century modern, industrial, rustic, bohemian, or even contemporary decor scheme.

We also think the leather butterfly chair is great for small spaces, making it one of our most-used products in apartments. It has a small footprint so it won’t eat up valuable real estate, and the leather seat creates a comfy cocoon, so it feels like a substantial armchair.

Stylist Tip: Take your butterfly chair look from day to night by swapping your mug of coffee for a glass of wine.


2. Book Nook Armchair, $349

Chairs under $500

This chair was an easy pick for our under $500 hit list. We love the Book Nook armchair because its curved shape makes for the perfect place to cozy up with a book (or with Netflix, we don’t judge).

Sporting a sleek, no-frills yet approachable form, we love how this chair melds with any style. So whether you’re a hard core mid-century modern fangirl or if you prefer a more contemporary and clean look, the Book Nook armchair will fit right in. And at $399, this chair is a great pick for those who are looking to invest in a great quality piece that transcends style and will work with you for years to come.


3. Agency Chair, $349

Chairs under $500

Do you have pets who destroy all things upholstered? If that sounds like your daily struggle then please allow us to introduce you to your new BFF, the Agency woven wire mesh chair. Consistently described as “surprisingly comfortable,” this chair is another of our under $500 favorites.

We love how this chair is durable, easy to clean, and totally pet-proof. The open and airy frame makes this another favorite of small space-dwellers, and it’s a great way to add an industrial accent to your home.

Stylist Tip: Pair this chair with a sheepskin throw for an extra dose of comfort and glam!


4. Dhurrie Occasional Chair, $498

Chairs under $500

A petite little number, we had to add this nugget to bring some color to our favorite chairs under $500 list. We love the colors and vintage-inspired pattern, rendered in a washed velvet for a little extra glam. This chair is a great way to bring a little pop of eclectic, bohemian vibes to your space (and when we say “little” we do mean that this chair is pretty petite so you might want to try it on in your space to see).

5. Chinese Chippendale Chair, $499

Chairs under $500

For those of you who identify your style as a bit more on the classic and formal side, this Chippendale style chair has your name on it. With a frame rendered in a chinoiserie bamboo motif, this chair harkens back to a sense of tradition and will bring an element of formal elegance to any space.

Available in a rainbow of colors, we love this chair for anyone with a taste for finer things (but maybe not the budget).


6. Windson Wood Arm Chair, $230

Chairs under $500

Love the look of mid-century modern furniture but can’t swing the prices? Fret no more because we’ve got you covered with this amazingly affordable mid-century style armchair. We love the sleek shape of these chairs, which flaunt a mid-century silhouette but aren’t over the top.

So even if your style isn’t mid-century, we think these chairs lend a lovely modern aesthetic to any space. Weighing in at only $230, we extra love them because you can even get a pair under $500 to really fill out your living room look.


Want to make these lounge chairs yours?
We can help!

A Living Room Under Budget

And Why We Think $6,000 is Reasonable

A little bit modern, a little bit eclectic. That’s the vibe we are channeling in this fresh and airy little living room number. A palette of blues and neutrals gives the space a fresh and calming vibe, while the playful patterns in the rug and artwork keep it feeling contemporary. But there’s more to designing a living room than style. We’ll set the scene: You discover Modsy and are so excited to start your home design journey. Finally, a headache-free way to try before you buy – go ahead, cut the tags off! You sign up, take the Style Quiz, and answer all the fun questions about your dream living room. And then comes the question about budget… Oh futon.


Mom always said, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, or a free sofa, or a free sofa to eat your lunch on (but really, shouldn’t you be eating at the dining table?). And while saving for a new car or a beach vacation is probably somewhere on your to-do list, we are betting you didn’t budget a whole lot to furnish your living room.


We are just going to come out and say it: buying furniture is expensive. You can’t go around it, you can’t go over it, you have to go through it and pay the extra taxes + shipping + handling. So rather than turning “budget” into a dirty word, we think it’s important to educate our users, and everyone else looking to design their home, about what it really costs to furnish a living room.


Brace yourself: the average cost to furnish a living room from the scratch is around $10,000+. If this is giving you major sticker shock, don’t worry you are not alone! It’s not our fault we’ve been lied to by all the beautiful pins and DIY trickery. You know those photos of gorgeous living rooms inside the glossy pages of Architectural Digest or Elle Decor that make your eyeballs drool? We all want our homes to look like that, but we don’t want to spend our kids’ college tuition to get there (yes, these spaces cost around $100k and that is not including the million dollar art collection!)



So what’s a budget-savvy, smart, good design seeking homeowner to do? Before you begin to panic and cancel your Netflix account and vow to only eat soup for a year to save for your #livingroomgoals, we’ve worked some Modsy Magic and created a lovely living room with a price tag of only $6,000.

**You might be thinking, “Six thousand dollars still sounds like a LOT of moolah…” and yes while it is definitely a solid four figures, allow me to explain how we got to that number. Do a quick Google search on “living room budget” and you will find most interior designers calling out 10 big ones as the average “middle tier” for a complete living room overhaul. A lot of other articles claim it’s possible to get the look for $1,000, but the fine print discloses lower quality furniture and impractical DIYs.

We think six thousand dollars is the Goldilocks of living room price tags. Not too hot not too cold, not too expensive and not too poor-quality. Aside from taking a peek at the collection we created, we also polled our stylists for some of their favorite budget-friendly saving styling tips. That’ll do piggy bank. That’ll do.

Shop all the products in this collection below, or see it in your space with Modsy.

The Under $6,000 Collection


view the full collection