Finding the best-fitting sofa for varying body sizes - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

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Finding the best-fitting sofa for varying body sizes

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Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 10:21 am

Editor’s note: This is the first in a monthly interior design Q&A column by Maria Benson, owner of Nyla Simone Home, 1705 W. Ruby Drive, Suite 105.



Dear Nyla: I’ve been in your store several times. Can you tell me a little more about yourself? Your store is decorated beautifully. Are you a designer?



Thank you. Nyla Simone is a pseudonym. The store is actually named after my niece Nyla (Irene) and my daughter (Bailey) Simone. My business partner, Katherine Alford, and I came up with the concept several years ago. We are both from the Southeast and were disappointed by lack of choices for modern furnishings.

I did design the store - architecturally. However, I am not an interior designer. We have two experienced, professional interior designers on our team, and they are responsible for the beautiful products and merchandising in the store.

My background is engineering. I grew up working in my family’s furniture manufacturing business. My father, Arthur L. Bailey, has been designing and manufacturing custom furniture for more than 40 years. This store is our first and only retail outlet.



Dear Nyla: My husband is 6 feet, 2 inches and I am 5 feet, 4-inches and we are in the market for a new sectional. We’ve been to a dozen furniture stores and we can’t seem to agree on anything. I don’t want my feet dangling and he doesn’t want to feel like he is sitting on the edge of a bench. Can you offer any suggestions?

Please help!



We can definitely understand your frustration. Finding a sofa that will satisfy both of your physical needs is a challenge. Seat depth and seat height are extremely important for people with less than or greater than average height.

We would suggest considering something that has a maximum seat height of 18 inches, so you won’t feel like Lily Tomlin, and a seat depth of 24 to 28 inches, so your husband won’t feel like he is perched on the edge of bench. A great way to adjust seat depth is to add pillows – throw pillows, lumbar pillows and bolsters. A piece with large kidney pillows would be great. The pillows are a good design feature and can be easily reconfigured to accommodate the tallest and shortest of guests.


Maria Bailey Benson is owner of Nyla Simone Home, a full-service showroom offering a wide range of design services, furniture, artwork and accessories. Reach her at (480) 422-6178 or

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