My girlfriend and I recently spent our summer shopping for a new sofa. It was horrible; a three-month search filled with angst, bickering and, ultimately, compromise. Our first mistake was thinking that the perfect sofa exists. It doesn’t. When you’re on a budget there’s always something wrong: it looks great, but it’s not comfortable; it’s too bulky; the color doesn’t match the room; it’s too expensive. My first recommendation? Lower your bar. How about “something minimal, comfortable and sturdy?” If that’s your M.O., you can work with that, and here are some ideas to get you started.