NEW YORK CITY — Here's one city apartment rule you can live by — the bigger the couch, the more cramped the room.
A huge couch in a tiny room is going to leave little space for living. If your sofa crowds out the end table, or if it pushes the coffee table into the media console, it's clearly too big.
If you're serious about a pretty home, you must be prepared to forgo the luxury of being able to sprawl in front of the TV. Put your feet up on your coffee table instead.
Beware of what stores call their "apartment" couches — even they are typically too wide and too deep for your “charming” New York space. Even Crate & Barrel’s Vaughn Apartment Sofa and CB2's Avec Peacock Apartment Sofa — two couches often touted for apartment living — are 78 inches and 65 inches long, respectively.
If you're in the market for a new seat, here are some city-specific rules:
Measure out the area that will be your living room. If your room has multiple spaces in it, for example a living and dining room or living and bedroom, be sure to leave approximately two to three feet between each "space.”
Once you've established how much room you have for your couch, allow at least a foot — preferably 18 inches — on either side for end tables or standing lamps.
If your room is small, chances are your couch will be against a wall. Remember this when buying, and consider if your new couch will block windows.
Don't buy a couch without seeing and measuring the space.
Don't measure right up to the table of the dining area or the bed in the sleeping area.
Don't buy a fat couch, meaning don't buy anything over-stuffed that resembles a La-Z-Boy.
Don't buy a futon. Leave those where they belong — at college — and invest in an air mattress instead.
Below is our guide to the best couches on the market that are under 60 inches:
Room & Board - Loring Sofas — 59 inches, $999.
As inventory changes, Room & Board has an annual floor-sample sale that starts on Dec. 26. Discontinued items are sometimes up to 50 percent off the retail price.
Macy's - Ava Fabric Loveseat — 57 inches, $869, with sales as low as $669.
Also check out the Camila Fabric Loveseat at 60 inches and the Jillian Fabric Loveseat at 57 inches. Beware the ugly overstuffed two-seaters — Macy's still carries a frightening number of them. Macy’s has furniture sales multiple times a year and the discount is often worth the wait.
Best Bachelor/ette Couch
Organic Modernism is a relatively new chain store, founded in Brooklyn, that specializes in mid-century modern reproductions — a great style if you're decorating small spaces.
When You Must Have That Extra Inch
West Elm - Everett Loveseat — 61 inches, $899 ($1,199 in leather).
Pottery Barn - Buchanan Twin Sleeper Chair — 55.5 inches, $1,199.
Knoll Collection - Krefeld Settee — 57 inches, $3,361 with free shipping.
This elegant couch costs nearly twice as much when you buy it from Design Within Reach, so sit on it in their store, but buy it from AllModern.com.