Décor & Design

The Definitive Guide To Buying A New Couch (Win!)

March 19, 2024

Purchasing the perfect sofa, love seat or armchair can be tough. Size, shape, colour, features, material, durability are just a few factors to keep in mind. Burrow is a luxury sofa brand that’s shaking up the couch space, and we chatted with its senior furniture designer, Stephen Bowen, to get his tip and advice around finding the perfect seating for your space. —Vita Daily

Hi Stephen! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.

Hi! I am a Sr. Furniture Designer for Burrow with a focus on upholstered goods. My background is in Industrial Design and I have over 10 years of experience designing and developing products for residential spaces.

Today, we’re talking sofas! How do you recommend customers determine the specific needs and requirements for their space before choosing a sofa?

Always start by measuring your space! You’d be shocked how many people just assume any couch will fit in their space. And crucially, you should measure halls and doorways you’ll have to go through to get your sofa into the room. That’s part of what makes Burrow so fantastic, is that even if you have very narrow doors or steep stairs, you can almost always fit one of our designs because they’re modular and come in easy-to-handle boxes.

In your experience, what are the common mistakes customers make when selecting a sofa for their living space?

In addition to measuring to make sure the sofa will fit through any doors you need to bring it though to your living room, I think it’s important to order swatches to see what the upholstery will look like in your space. Color, texture, all of that is very dependent on light and the other things in your space, so it’s important to get a feel for it beforehand. Then, when people shop in showrooms, a lot of the time they’ll go for the cushiest, softest sofa they can find — but what they don’t realize is that foam and filling take time to get soft, so if they get something that starts out too soft, it’ll wind up flat and deflated over the coming months and years.

How does Burrow approach customization and personalization of sofas to meet individual customer preferences and space requirements?

Thanks to our modular design system, customers have an incredible ability to make custom choices without the usual wait or expense of custom furniture. But even with that wide range of customization, we actually try to keep our core selection very focused. By offering a handful of classic silhouettes, like the mid-century Nomad, contemporary Range, or super deep Union, and allowing plenty of choice of colors, leg finish, and add-ons, we find that we make it easier for our customers to find their perfect couch without having to spend ages searching through hundreds of different sofas, like our competitors offer.

Can you share examples of unique or customized sofa solutions your company has provided to customers with specific spatial constraints?

All of our modular seating collections can be modified or expanded basically infinitely, so there is no end to how a customer can create their perfect seating solution. I recently was speaking with a customer who had an odd-sized alcove in their bedroom. Initially they were thinking about putting an accent chair in the space, but when they found Burrow they realized they could actually use our Field Collection to fill out the space to create something that felt “built-in”. I love this example because it shows how versatile our collections can be in working with any space.

What factors should customers consider when assessing the quality and durability of a sofa, especially in the context of long-term use?

When shopping for sofas, sometimes customers can be misled by some marketing claims or old-fashioned beliefs that simply aren’t true. Some brands will play into these beliefs, like the idea that solid hardwood is always the best solution. But for example, sometimes plywood actually works much better: we use a custom bent-ply panel on the arm and side panels of our Range and Field collections to create a strong, slim shape. And you know what else uses custom bent plywood? The Eames Lounge Chair, perhaps the single most famous piece of furniture in the world.

How does Burrow ensure the longevity and durability of its sofas, and what materials do you prioritize for this purpose?

Materials such as high-density foam and tear-, pill-, and stain-resistant fabrics ensure great longevity for your sofa. We do rigid performance testing on all our products, which for seating includes strength and durability. To pass these tests, the internal frames and suspensions of the sofas need to withstand quite a beating and emerge unscathed. As such, we use best-in-class frame and suspension materials and construction techniques.

How do you guide customers in choosing a sofa that not only fits their space but also complements the overall style and aesthetics of their home?

A great place to start: will the sofa lead or complement the color palette of their space? The fabric color will have the most impact on how a sofa will feel in the space. I recently spoke with a customer who said they had a blue piece of artwork they loved and let that lead their choices in finding a matching blue sofa [Range in navy blue]. They then complemented this with lots of green plants to create an amazing vibe.

Something also that can be overlooked is how much clearance there is between the bottom of the sofa and the ground. Having more “air” beneath will help a smaller space feel more open. Doing something with less clearance can have the added benefit of feeling more integrated into the space when backed up against a wall.

Are there any current trends or innovations in sofa design that customers should be aware of when making their selection?

One trend I am seeing is the proliferation of DTC sofa options for consumers. There is a lot to sort through, and I recommend that customers become as educated as they can be before making such a large purchase. A lot of these brands pop up with a website and little else, and simply dropship pre-existing designs from manufacturers, unlike at Burrow where you have designers (like me!) working with an entire team to create and produce completely new designs. And of course, reading all the reviews they can is important when buying online. If something doesn’t feel right or if it feels too cheap, trust your gut – because it probably is.

What advice do you have for customers with limited living space on maximizing seating options without overcrowding the room?

First, measure the intended space where the sofa will go. One can then research the options they like and either “tape-off” the dimensions on their floor or use a tape measure to get a feel for how the sofa will fit. For really tight spaces, having 6-7in of ground clearance will help keep the room feeling open, and as a bonus can serve as storage space. If the sofa or sectional feels too large, it could still be made to work by thinking through how to furnish the room differently – for example, in lieu of using a large coffee table, one could use a smaller table, like our Carta Side Table. That will help keep the area in front of the sofa feeling open. So one – make sure the sofa fits, and two, think through how it works in the space as an ecosystem.

Are there specific sofa styles or features that are particularly well-suited for smaller or uniquely shaped spaces?

Styles with a “standard” seat depth, in the 21” to 24” range, mean the sofa will not be as deep and won’t take up as much space. Features such as modularity are also great – we have many customers that express confidence with Burrow because they can order what they think is right but then play with how the pieces come together to get it just right. This is great for when working with really unique spaces!

How does Burrow address the demand for multi-functional sofas, such as those with built-in storage or convertible designs?

Burrow has Sleep Kits for our Nomad, Field, and Range collections. These enable a customer to convert their sofa into a comfortable guest bed with incredible ease. When designing for something multifunctional, we really dive into the actual use case of our customers. Most people only have one guest stay with them at a time, and the custom-fit bedding is a better solution than choosing from a more limited selection of sleeper sofas.

Can you provide examples of how customers have successfully integrated multi-use sofas into their living spaces?

Apart from using the Sleep Kit, the best examples of this would simply be creating unique configurations to fit small or strangely-shaped spaces that would otherwise be impossible to make furniture for, but we’re able to help because of our modular design.

In today’s environmentally conscious climate, how does Burrow approach sustainability in the manufacturing process of sofas?

The number one thing we do to address sustainability is try to help our customers keep their furniture longer. Nothing is worse for the environment than when you see a sofa left out by the curb after a move, because it doesn’t fit the new space or didn’t last. So, we prioritize quality materials that’ll hold up for many, many years. Then, thanks to modular design, we can offer customers the ability to expand or rearrange their furniture to fit their new spaces, rather than just throwing something out and starting over. Finally, we’re always looking to make investments in environmentally-friendly materials, like sourcing FSC-certified wood on a growing number of our products or eliminating plastic and especially styrofoam from our packaging.

What ethical practices or initiatives does Burrow undertake to ensure responsible sourcing of materials for sofa production?

In addition to third-party certifications like CertiPUR-US for our foam or FSC for some of our wood, which make sure there are safe conditions for workers and customers, we also maintain a close relationship with our producers. We have staff on the ground at our manufacturers, providing not only quality control oversight but also ensuring fair and ethical working conditions.

How does your company support customers in the decision-making process, from selecting the right sofa to delivery and post-purchase assistance?

As I mentioned earlier, we strive to make the decision-making process a simple, guided path: choose a core design collection, and then make custom choices from there. In addition to a big focus on our online user experience, we also have a virtual design concierge program that allows customers to call and chat with experts to help plot out their space, or just get their questions answered.

Are there any tools or resources, such as virtual room planners, that your company provides to help customers visualize the sofa in their space?

Right now, no, but we’ve explored a few different options and continue to look at everything from full AR viewers to simple space planners. But so far, none of them are able to create the kind of vivid, true-to-life experience we’d want, and think they often lead to more confusion rather than less, because they portray something that’s almost accurate, but not quite completely accurate.

With the rise of smart homes and technology integration, how is your company adapting to incorporate technological features into sofas?

Our first sofa, Nomad, has a built-in USB charger, but we haven’t integrated technology like that since. Consider that it’s already becoming obsolete because iPhones and Android phones use USB-C now, and because a sofa is meant to last many years (longer than a phone) we don’t think it makes sense to add technology that adds cost, only to be obsolete in a few years. I think many of us have had the experience of checking into a hotel room that still has one of those old iPod docks, and it probably seemed really cool and high tech at the time, but now it’s just wasteful. We want to avoid that.

What do you see as the future trends in sofa design and manufacturing?

The future is definitely all about sustainability and user experience. We’re all following the latest updates on material science, eager for the next new fabric or foam that leads to a more comfortable and more durable product that makes a lower impact on the environment. These things take time, of course, but Burrow is always paying attention to these developments and looking for ways to incorporate them into our designs.

We also do things a little differently in that our designs are never done. We frequently go back and iterate on our designs, making small improvements here and there, rather than throwing something out and starting from scratch. We think that’s an important way to build on our expertise and experience, rather than having to start over every time.

Are there any upcoming innovations or technologies that customers can expect to see in your company’s future sofa collections?

We are always looking to push the envelope and maximize the amount of design and quality that can be shipped to a customer. Looking out, we are working on a lot of fun designs that uphold the Burrow core philosophy to make it radically easy for our customers to settle in.

Win! A Burrow Armchair Of Your Choice!

Congrats Emma S. of Oshawa, ON, who will receive a Burrow armchair of their choice, up to $1,850 in value! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadailymedia. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.


  1. Nikki L

    March 20th, 2024 at 9:32 am

    Love curling up with a book

  2. Chris Uttley

    March 20th, 2024 at 9:50 am

    We could use a decor update for our chairs and couches! These look great.

  3. Chris Uttley

    March 20th, 2024 at 9:55 am

    Would love a new Burrow chair to sit back, put my feet up and relax. Instagram chris.uttley

  4. Kari Barone

    March 20th, 2024 at 10:29 am

    I love sitting down with my boys and a cup of tea to enjoy a good book or family movie/show. @karinardi79

  5. laurel jones

    March 20th, 2024 at 10:34 am

    with a cup of coffee or tea and a good book

  6. Raquel

    March 20th, 2024 at 11:04 am

    I love sitting back and watching a movie with snacks, popcorn or reading a good book with a blanket and a cup of tea 💗

    Instagram: @raqueldxo

  7. Christina

    March 20th, 2024 at 11:13 am

    Bubble bath!


  8. Debbie Browne

    March 20th, 2024 at 11:38 am

    Curled up in my Rocker, recliner with a good book and cup of tea.

  9. Sidra

    March 20th, 2024 at 11:40 am

    I love to sit back with a yummy plate of food and a good show or movie – @sidra.sheikh_

  10. An Hunter

    March 20th, 2024 at 11:45 am

    I like to sit back and unwind with a tea and a new book 📖

  11. Roz Rubinoff

    March 20th, 2024 at 11:49 am

    Listening to my favourite tunes!

  12. jan

    March 20th, 2024 at 12:02 pm

    unwind with a great book

  13. Rachel

    March 20th, 2024 at 12:05 pm

    Curling up on a comfy chair and a book @1975boler_

  14. Pnina Lutwak

    March 20th, 2024 at 12:31 pm

    Glass of wine and movie


  15. Elise-Anne

    March 20th, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    March 20, 2024
    Tea and a good book for me!

  16. Wendy Hutton

    March 20th, 2024 at 2:11 pm

    I sit back and unwind by watching a good movie @wghutton

  17. Lisa Lundstrom

    March 20th, 2024 at 4:02 pm

    With a lovely cup of tea and a good book

  18. Elena

    March 20th, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    I am on maternity leave, my baby and I spend all day on the couch! I would love a cozy armchair!!

  19. Kate R

    March 20th, 2024 at 5:53 pm

    It’s the simple pleasures in life that make it worth living some days. For me: sitting with my purring cat, Mushu, in my lap (and sometimes our neighbour cat, Percy, too!), feet up, cup of tea beside me, enjoying a great movie or documentary = absolute bliss!😻🛋


  20. Debbie Sherrer

    March 20th, 2024 at 7:00 pm

    I like to sit back and relax with a cozy blanket, my dog and a good book.

  21. Diandra Schmidt

    March 20th, 2024 at 7:04 pm

    Wow this is a beautiful piece of furniture. My happy place is at home unwinding in cozy sweats watching tv. This would be perfect to unwind in.

  22. Tara

    March 20th, 2024 at 7:46 pm

    With a good book and a better drink in front of the fire.

  23. Tara

    March 20th, 2024 at 7:46 pm


  24. Rachel C.

    March 21st, 2024 at 4:07 am

    i love curling up with a cat in my lap and a hot drink in my hands!

    @rachelanncartwright on ig

  25. Bernice Patton

    March 21st, 2024 at 4:34 am

    Love to curl up in a comfy chair and read.

  26. toni velthuis

    March 21st, 2024 at 7:20 am

    I love reading a really good book

  27. Nicole G

    March 21st, 2024 at 9:15 am

    I love to snuggle down in a cozy chair with a good book.

  28. Janine Rutledge

    March 21st, 2024 at 7:09 pm

    I love to snuggle on the couch under a cosy blanket with my dogs and cat, scroll on my phone and watch tv.

  29. Rose

    March 21st, 2024 at 8:05 pm

    Relaxing with a good book


  30. Gayle Montbriand

    March 21st, 2024 at 10:40 pm

    I love to sit and read or watch tv preferably with my dog Sunny.

  31. Laurie D

    March 21st, 2024 at 11:49 pm

    I love to sit back in my comfy jammies, and cuddle up with my two little furbabies.
    Just petting them and talking to them about anything and everything. The TV is on, but we’re wrapped up with each other.
    Its so quiet, calm and relaxing.
    Pure quality time.

  32. Stephanie Shaw

    March 22nd, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    Would love to add a chair to my room.

  33. Olivia Clow

    March 22nd, 2024 at 5:28 pm

    I would sit and relax and read a book also I would sit on a watch TV it is gorgeous it looks so comfy. @clowolivia1.

  34. KAY burke

    March 23rd, 2024 at 7:40 am

    Such great tips @corkrosy

  35. Kim MacDonald

    March 23rd, 2024 at 8:31 am

    Read a good book! @kimmacdonald5308

  36. Danny M

    March 23rd, 2024 at 10:19 am

    Watch TV. @maibdan

  37. Mary D.

    March 23rd, 2024 at 1:51 pm

    I like to sit back and unwind with a hot cocoa and a delicious book.

  38. Deanna Dahl

    March 23rd, 2024 at 5:14 pm

    At the end of a busy day, I love curling up in a nice comfy chair & watch my favorite show or a movie! We have 2 little dogs and they like to be wherever I am sitting, one on each side! @chickie_03

  39. Chantal Piche

    March 24th, 2024 at 6:00 am

    I unwind by meditating, and this chair would be perfect for it

  40. Alice Smith

    March 24th, 2024 at 1:17 pm

    Binge Watching my favourite Netflix shows. @tigerd18

  41. Jacqueline Dixon

    March 24th, 2024 at 2:44 pm

    I would love to curl up in a new accent chair and read my book and leave the couch to my 6’5 husband and our 3 dogs lol!

    Instagram : jacdixon

  42. BenjaminMcGregor

    March 24th, 2024 at 3:45 pm

    Would love to watch House md in this chair @benmcgreg_r is my insta 😉

  43. Brad K

    March 24th, 2024 at 5:34 pm

    Put my feet up and listen to some tunes. @bgkinchen

  44. Tara Lewis

    March 24th, 2024 at 5:37 pm

    I unwind in the evenings by curling up in my PJ’S & watching my fav shows on Netflix..

  45. Jiajie Dong

    March 24th, 2024 at 7:18 pm

    Would like to sit back and drink some tea while reading


  46. Dave Smith

    March 24th, 2024 at 9:43 pm

    Reading a book. @coachd.yyc

  47. Kristen Visser

    March 25th, 2024 at 10:24 am

    I like to sit back and unwind in front of the TV enjoying a good movie

  48. Michelle

    March 25th, 2024 at 11:30 am

    I like to sit back and unwind by watching my favourite tv shows and movies!

  49. Amanda Masters

    March 25th, 2024 at 4:54 pm

    I love a cozy place to puzzle. I find it helps keep me relaxed and focused on one task. I usually have too many things on at once, this is my time to chill out.

  50. Ashley Spooner

    March 25th, 2024 at 6:08 pm

    I like to unwind with a good book, with a cup of tea and a cozy blanket!


  51. Xu Li

    March 25th, 2024 at 9:01 pm

    Watch a movie to relax and unwind @xuliang889

  52. Andrea Amy

    March 26th, 2024 at 8:17 am

    Snuggled up with a blanket and Netflix or prime

  53. Lana H

    March 26th, 2024 at 9:39 am

    I like to curl up in my favorite chair with my little dog under a faux fur blanket with a cup of tea or glass of wine and read a gripping mystery novel @prairieloon

  54. Jax

    March 26th, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    love to sit back and relax while reading my book for the week or sometimes playing my games on my phone or the best while watching netflix or hbo! hehehe!


  55. Winnie Tong-Luo

    March 26th, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    Eat popcorn while watching a movie on the couch

  56. Winnie Tong-Luo

    March 26th, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    Eat popcorn while watching a movie on the couch


  57. Ming K

    March 26th, 2024 at 8:21 pm

    Love to sit with a good read and a cup of coffee @squirmer03

  58. Cindy zheng

    March 26th, 2024 at 8:23 pm

    Love sitting and wrapping myself up with comfy sofa watching tv


  59. Monique L.S.

    March 26th, 2024 at 8:30 pm

    With a blanket and a book.
    IG @minty_mo2020

  60. Marie M

    March 26th, 2024 at 9:06 pm

    Love to end the day with a bath and good book!

    IG @little.ms.cora

  61. Lianne

    March 26th, 2024 at 10:02 pm

    Watching a movie with my family, snacking on a charcuterie board, and enjoying a drink.


  62. Kimberley C

    March 26th, 2024 at 10:13 pm

    Curling up with a comfy blanket and reading a book is the perfect way to unwind! @kimmiecapp

  63. Hoda

    March 26th, 2024 at 10:18 pm

    Watching movies!
    Thank you
    FB: Hoda Montazeri Motlagh

  64. Anthony Smith

    March 26th, 2024 at 10:41 pm

    With a coffee and a book @altand9

  65. Kristymun

    March 27th, 2024 at 3:31 am

    I like to curl up with a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and book


  66. Giannina Perez

    March 27th, 2024 at 9:41 am

    Sitting on a comfy chair and reading a good book 📖
    Insta : @djpepsidaisy

  67. Jessica Reis

    March 27th, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    I love sitting back relaxing with a coffee, a good book and a warm blanket.

    IG: proudmomjess

  68. Tiesha Dorleans

    March 27th, 2024 at 4:59 pm

    Watching a good movie @SweetTD93

  69. Laurie Collins

    March 27th, 2024 at 5:25 pm

    Love relaxing on the couch and watching a movie


  70. Louise Lormestoir

    March 27th, 2024 at 6:17 pm

    Snuggled up with a blanket watching a movie. @bella_loulou1

  71. cathy erdle

    March 27th, 2024 at 7:20 pm

    I love to sit in a comfy chair and watch tv in the evenings. This Burrow chair could be my new comfy chair! Love it! @cathyerdle

  72. Stacey Daniels

    March 27th, 2024 at 11:10 pm

    I love getting cozy and flipping through instagram!!!!

  73. Stacey Daniels

    March 27th, 2024 at 11:11 pm

    I love getting cozy and flipping through instagram! @staceyleighdaniels

  74. Johanna Newman

    March 28th, 2024 at 12:06 am

    Warm bath, cup of tea listening to spa music 🩷🐰💛🐣


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