A sofa is the mood-setting piece of any living room and probably your most important purchase. This might not be the place to scrimp. "Anything under $900 and you had better kick the tires pretty carefully," says Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, author of Apartment Therapy: The 8-Step Home Cure (Bantam, $14, amazon.com).
Where to Go
- Crate & Barrel consistently strikes a balance between price and quality (crateandbarrel.com).
- Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has a range of medium-priced choices (mitchellgold.com).
- For upholstery, consider microfiber, which resists stains.