It's time for a change. You get embarrassed when your guests stand up and the couch creaks. Your stomach feels a little sick every time you walk into the living room. Face it, your old couch is bringing you down and making your room feel dated. Buying a sofa is how you got into this mess in the first place, but with a little help you can pick the right sofa for your lifestyle.
Consider how you actually live. When you walk into a furniture store you could just fall in love with a glamorous upholstered piece. You may have delusions of turning your living room into a parlor. The only problems with this are the Super Bowl games and Fido which will destroy that settee in five seconds flat. Set a few clear standards before you ever go shopping such as the type of fabric you'll need. Microfiber is easy to clean and can work with a lot of different design styles.
Go with a neutral fabric. Making outrageous decisions is probably how you ended up with your current furniture that you now hate. In the 1990's you had two trendy options: a khaki overstuffed couch and a hunter green and white plaid sofa. The khaki couch could still be in style and has unlimited possibilities. You probably glare at the hunter green piece whenever you see it.
Since you only get to redecorate every few years you want to choose pieces that are lasting. This includes both the color and the style. Neutral colors include white, brown, black, and gray. If you are going to own the couch for several years you will probably want to go with a solid fabric over a pattern for design durability. Add in personality and color once you get it home with throw pillows and blankets.
Consider comfort. Not only does the sofa have to look good it needs to feel good. Don't be afraid to lay down on it in the furniture store. Give it a test drive the way you would at home. If you just sit on it primly for a few seconds you really won't know how comfortable it is. There's nothing wrong with going to the store a few times and testing and retesting your selection to make sure it is really as comfortable as you remember.
Think of the needs of the rest of your family. This may be an instance where everyone in your family needs to go on a shopping trip. Just make sure that you set some ground rules first so you don't have any fights in the furniture store. You can always just have the family come and check out your top two or three selectiosn that meet all of your criteria and let them decide on which one they like the best.
You don't have to panic just because you have to pick a sofa. This will be the base of your room so find an affordable couch that you really love. It's definitely worth the time to shop around and consider what works best for you.