Upholstered furniture is one of the most popular and reliable types of furniture that is mostly used by families in different countries.
Its reliability is closely connected to its framing, material, quality, and comfort (King 54). As a rule, people would like to have such upholstered furniture in their dining rooms, family rooms, and bedrooms. It is not only a chance to provide people with comfort and space but also to help them use their own style of life, interests, and abilities to create proper furniture around.
The idea to upholster furniture is not new: it is possible to track its roots in the Victorian era. However, nowadays, people’s tastes and requirements differ considerably so that the peculiarities of this craft are also different. In this paper, the design of upholstered furniture for a family of six people will be developed. To succeed in such creation, it is necessary to evaluate family’s demands, choose several manufacturers, and analyze their positives and negatives. Considering the idea that there are four children in the family who are eager to spend much time in the room, it is necessary to present not only comfortable and reliable furniture but also make sure that the chosen furniture suits family’s life style, provide obligatory for the family room space, and make its members satisfied and safe.
Family members. There are six members of the family with their own demands and interests. To choose the most successful example of upholstered furniture, it is necessary to take into consideration each family member’s ideas.
A 45-year-old mother and a 50-year-old father expect to buy something comfortable, durable, and beautiful to be sure that their children are safe and sound. An 18-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son want to see stylish and not cumbrous piece of furniture to have more place for dance and different games with friends. Though 8-year-old twins do not actually care about the material, space, and style of furniture, they would like to play in the room with big and comfortable furniture to enjoy its space and versatility. Requirements profile. The main requirements for the furniture offered by the family are the following: proper comfort to enjoy the time spent on it, obligatory safety to be sure that children cannot suffer playing around, style and taste to invite friends and relatives and demonstrate cool furniture, and compactness to have enough space for different activities. There are several windows and doors in this family room, this is why it is obligatory to find an appropriate place so that little children cannot reach windows or be injured. However, proper enlightenment is still a significant point, this is why it is possible to place the chosen upholstered furniture in the centre or close to the centre of the room so that it is comfortable to watch TV in front, play around the furniture (a sofa and two arm-chairs), and have more space.
Manufacturers to Meet Family’s Needs
The necessity to have comfortable and safe furniture makes the family rely on manufacturers whose services and products are characterized by good reputation and a considerable period in the market.
The possibility to find a manufacturer online is regarded as one of the most frequently used and time-saving ideas. Online sources provide people with a chance to evaluate production, read the history of the company, and find feedbacks of different consumers. In case to design upholstered furniture for a family, the next manufacturers are chosen: Hekman, Braxton Culler, Greene Brothers, Jonathan Louis, and Fraenkel. “Upholstered items include a large variety of constructions” (Krasny, Parker, and Babrauskas 5), and this family chooses a sofa and chairs to buy in their room.
Construction and Working Methods Used by Manufacturers
Hekman: style and quality
The development of this manufacturer begins at the end of the 19th century. Due to its long history and quality of products, this manufacturer takes leading position in upholstered furniture market and attracts the attention of many customers. The construction methods chosen by this manufacturer are reliable and rather appealing: wooden frames promise furniture’s durability, three- or two-seating system provides the family with a chance to divide space accordingly, and back cushions are full of fibre that promotes comfort that is so important for the family under analysis.
As a rule, the furniture of this manufacturer is supported by a number of sidepieces that make sofas and armchairs safe for people. Considering the main construction methods that are frames, springs, padding, and seating, Hekman represents one of the most successful and comfortable decisions: high-quality products meet consumers’ demands and interests. The only negative existed is high prices on its production and inability for customers make use of their own material to repair or improve this furniture properly.
But still such careful selection of every ingredient, properly used hand-on techniques, and unbelievably amazing presentation turn out to be attractive for people of different age and with different styles and interests. In general, the chosen manufacture introduces the following piece of furniture: comfortable seating, safe sidepieces, calm colouring, and presence of appropriate legs so that it is possible to clean under the furniture and get the necessary object under it. What is more important is the weight of the furniture: it is not too heavy, and almost each member of the family (except 8-year-old children) is able to move it if necessary.
Braxton Culler: casual lifestyle
Functionality, passion, and style are the main characteristics of this manufacturer.
Braxton Culler is not an old organization but still its reputation is good indeed, this is why more and more people are eager to use the production offered by this manufacturer. The peculiar feature of its furniture is the ability to unite each customer individual taste, lifestyle, and personal ideas. In addition to quality and comfort, this manufacturer adds consumer’s involvement into upholstered furniture production. If there is some material the customer is eager to add to the chosen model of furniture, the manufacture is able to accept in some particular cases: individualism is always appreciated, and this organization demonstrates how to respect each customer’s demand. The National Association of Furniture together with several other furniture organization support the idea to present cleaning programs that help people take care of their upholstered furniture, and Braxton Culler has already adopted this program in order to help its customers enjoy the furniture bought day by day. This is why in case some problems and damage take place, the representatives of this organization are ready to help and provide people with necessary explanations. The construction methods used by the manufacture differ from the ones demonstrated by Hekman.
Very often, Braxton Culler makes use of wicker and rattan to introduced strong and elegant furniture. By keeping its shape, it is usually impossible to break or even splinter the furniture so that parents should not worry about possible damage. The possible image of the future furniture is the following: an elegant sofa and two armchairs chosen accordingly with a strong seating system, and wooden frames that make the furniture light but solid.
Greene Brothers: years of comfort
The founders of this company are considered to be the expert frame builders and master upholsters, who are ready to present quality and comfort within their works. This manufacturer’s construction methods are definite and clear: they build their own frames so that they are responsible for quality of constructions. Usually, hardwoods and laminates are used to create frames that are usually double-doweled. Seat constructions are characterized by eight-way hand-tie curl springs.
Every individual spring is tied by means of polyester rope and covered by synthetic fibre. Much attention is also paid to seat cushions construction that is usually based on core tempered-steel springs and polyurethane foam that surround the springs. Due to such care about each detail of the furniture, Greene Brothers have enough grounds to say about quality and comfort offered to consumers. Cooperation with dealers makes the process of COM (customer’s own material) possible. People are so confident in Greene Brothers maturity and eager to send special material being upholstered to special orders. The idea of COM may attract any family’s attention because it is possible to create furniture taking into consideration the demands of each member and be the owners of unique piece of furniture. Attention to comfort and quality makes it impossible for customers to change something in the production after it leaves the manufacturer.
Jonathan Louis: philosophy of style
The offered line by Jonathan Louis has a number of positive feedbacks that may attract customers’ attention: properly mechanised furniture that provide people with opportunities to use sofa in different ways and be sure about its quality, the seat cushion are supplied with special foam and other filling materials that promote comfort, variety of size makes it possible to create a cosy room that is interesting for both children and grown ups, hardwood frames present quality that is usually required by customers.
The main disadvantage of this manufacturer is possible damage produced by children. Though there is a guarantee over 5 years, the possibility to break something exists, and the family with 4 children has to consider this fact.
Fraenkel: advantage of life
This progressive and dynamic manufacture is always ready to introduce a fresh look on this life. Competitive prices and attention to customer’s lifestyle and demands turn out to be winning. The high quality of wooden frames and properly arranged springs create a worthwhile competition for all the above-mentioned manufacturers. However, in comparison to the other, this organization does not support the idea of COM so that people have to choose from the catalogues and put themselves under a threat to be the owner of similar production. In regards to its positive low prices and attention to style and fashion, inability to make changes and improve production may be quite alarming.
Chart of differences
With the help of this chart, it is easier to define what manufacturer and under what conditions is able to present proper services and the production required. Each organization has its own positives and negatives; however, it is still possible to define what manufacturer provides its customers production of high quality and appropriate prices. In site of the fact that all manufacturers aim at presenting comfortable furniture, other aspects have to be mentioned as well in order to get a clear picture, define the differences, and make a decision concerning the manufacturer to choose. The diagram below is a good chance to look and to analyse each manufacture and observe what strengths and weaknesses all of them have.
In general, the idea to create a design project that contains proper information on upholstered furniture for a family helps to develop a number of professional and even personal skills. First, all family members’ tastes, interests, and preferences have to be taken into consideration in order to comprehend what kind of furniture is required. It is also necessary to define the functions of this furniture and clear up what kind of material, colour, and size should be used. Second, the evaluation of existed manufacturers should be made to realize what company is able to meet the demands of the family and present the production on a good level.
Finally, construction and working methods of each manufacturer are different; this is why the analysis of their strong and weak points is required. After a thorough evaluation of manufacturers’ constructions, quality, and prices, it is evident that Greene Brothers is one of the companies that may be chosen to present comfortable sofa and armchairs with the possibility to use customer’s own material and consider family requirements.
King, Heidi. Design Ideas for Home Decorating. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Creative Homeowner, 2006.
Krasny, John, Parker, William, J., and Babrauskas, Vytenis. Fire Behavior of Upholstered Furniture and Mattresses.
Norwich, NY: William Andrew, 2001.