10/07/2014 03:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2014

So You Want to Buy a Sofa?

The lowly sofa.

Working in interior design for years, I have been presented with some unusual challenges.

I am approached by a woman who is slightly less than five feet tall and weighs so little that she gets blown over when the A/C kicks on.

"I am having trouble finding a sofa that is comfortable for both of us." As she finishes saying this, her husband lumbers up, is 6'6'' tall if he is an inch, and had been a wingback in college. His arms are bigger than my legs. This is a couple that needs individual chairs.

Next we have a woman who is worried about color. "I have just painted my living room and want something to go with it."

"What color did you paint it?" I ask.

"Tansy." (I never want to embarrass anyone, but this is not a color... it's more like a dessert.)

"Tansy?" I say.

She smiles and says, "Yes, it's a perfect shade of Tansy... not too light or too dark."

Thank God for small favors. As it turns out, that was the name on the paint chip... she has your basic beige and is unaware that paint colors are named by a room full of people high on alcohol and illegal drugs... sometimes I think they do things just to be difficult. I painted my sister's kitchen cabinets Dog Tray. I kid you not -- they were also beige... and close to Tansy.

Then there is the harried young woman who loves a light look in her house. She arrives in tow with several children under the age of 10 who are clearly out of control.

"I was thinking about one of these off-white sofas with slipcovers that you can wash if the kids spill something on them."

Her children's hands still have remnants of breakfast and lunch on them. I hate to tell her that her Kenmore will never turn off. She will be washing them at 10, 2, and 5, every single day until they just go to pieces... just like she will when they do.

Would you like a tip on buying a sofa? Sit on it. If it's not comfortable it doesn't belong in your house -- if it is, and it fits the space, BUY IT.

Now you have to find a fabric that matches that perfect shade of Tansy.