The beverages are chilling, there’s plenty of snacks and the big game is just hours away. Now the only problem is where all the fans will sit as they cheer on their favorite team.
But, the furnishings will hang around long after the leftover chips and dips and it’s important that they meet the homeowners’ needs beyond the big day’s festivities.
“You really must consider the needs of the home, as far as space but also its comfort,” said Penny Eudy, product manager for La-Z-Boy.
“A lot of people know how to fit a sofa into a certain space in a home, but there’s not a lot of consideration given to the people who will be using it the most,” she said.
Eudy said one of the best ways to determine a piece of upholstery’s comfort level is to “test drive” it.
“Some like sofas you sink into, while others of us like a bit more firm seating,” said Carla Mata-Sprinkles, a spokesperson for Klaussner Home Furnishings.
David Blum, vice president of leather for aspenhome, said people also need to consider whether or not their feet will reach the floor when seated on the piece and where the bend of their knees hits.
“Arms must be right height related to seat height to be comfortable,” he said.
So, once a sofa is selected for everyday use, then you can think about options for entertaining visitors.
According to Eudy, one of the simplest ways to accommodate a houseful of football fans is to create various levels of seating. In addition to the traditional sofa, she says bar stools can sit behind a sofa for a higher level, while floor pillows can create a lower level.
“Pillows on the floor are ideal for those like me who get so excited they have to be up and down and can’t sit still,” she said.
Another option is to select seating that is portable or can serve more than one function.
Mata-Sprinkles suggests getting ottomans/cubes, which can double as seats and storage areas. Some even have a serving tray built into the reverse side of the top.
“The Super Bowl is a great example of the need shoppers have for adjustable, flexible pieces of furniture that work in a variety of settings and situations,” said Mike Brechtel, vice president and business director of Mac at Home.
The company’s line includes chairs and sofa beds that offer five different adjustment angles for the back and knees, including the ability to fully recline and provide extra sleep space. The flexible furnishings are extremely portable, providing homeowners with the ability to add extra, comfortable seating at a moment’s notice as well as store it away for future uses.
All are made of microfiber fabric for maximum comfort as well as durability, and come in a variety of colors, such as black, mocha brown, lime green, hot pepper red and tangerine, to match the décor of nearly any setting.
Modular furniture, which can be transformed into a variety of arrangements, also is ideal for visiting friends and family.
“Put two corners together for a love seat. Add an armless seat between them for a sofa. Use armless seating as stand-alone chairs. Three corners and a couple of armless seats make a conversational sectional. The possibilities are endless and the furniture can be arranged and rearranged to meet changing needs,” Blum said.
“Our new Impressions Collection offers multiple seating configurations that can be mixed and matched to create the seating arrangement that is perfect for your home. For example, our new Atalea sectional can comfortably seat six adults in its maximum configuration, but is also available in smaller configurations, offering design flexibility for smaller rooms,” said Anthony Teague, vice president of merchandising, upholstery, for Broyhill.
Now that you have a place for family and friends to sit, you need to consider the TV itself.
“Consoles are becoming the choice in home theater furniture. With the look of television sets today (they’re really sleek and nice looking now), we don’t want to hide them behind closed doors anymore,” said Mata-Sprinkles.
“Too, what’s great about the design of consoles and the new look of TVs is they’re a great balance for genders — pretty enough that wives don’t make husbands hide them anymore.”
Rob Sligh, chairman of Sligh Furniture, which specializes in television consoles and entertainment units, agreed.
“The first thing people want to look for is a beautiful piece of furniture.”
He said homeowners, married couples in particular, usually select media consoles that offer some type of compromise between cool technology and a beautiful piece of furniture. The key is its functionality.
Ken Levi, home entertainment expert and designer for aspenhome, said that when shopping for a media console homeowners should look for pull-out component shelves that provide easy access to the back of components, component storage with glass doors for remote access and pull-out storage for CDs and DVDs.
Other features that are in demand are drawers for easily connecting and storing game equipment, interchangeable wood panels or speaker grilles and three-way touch lighting accents for display areas.
Sligh said homeowners also should be aware of the space allocated for heat escapement because some audio-visual components and game systems can run hot.
As a bonus, Sligh jests that anyone who buys one of his company’s consoles is more likely to see his or her team win the Super Bowl.