I Want This

SofaQuest 2007 finalists (I think).

I dream in sofa, seriously. I’ve been obsessing over finding the perfect sofa for well over a year now, and I’m determined to settle on something before the end of 2007. I don’t want to end up like David Segal in this episode of This American Life (Act 3, “Looking for Loveseats in all the Wrong Places”). The agonizing must end! (Opinions and suggestions welcome.)


Chet from CB2 ($899)
→ very inexpensive
→ nice seaming on the tufted back
→ have never seen/felt in person (CB2 doesn’t open in NYC until next month)
→ smaller than I’d like
→ how good can the quality be on a sofa that costs $899?

Stockholm from IKEA, Gammelbo Beige ($1299)
→ extremely comfortable
→ the best construction I’ve seen on a sofa under $2000
→ big enough for 2 people to stretch out on
→ down-filled cushions
→ washable slipcover
perfect proportions (minus the legs)
→ the legs look stumpy
→ the fabric color is a bit warmer than I’d like it to be

André from Room & Board, Dilcrest Linen ($1599)
→ tufting is cute, but not too cute
→ not too big, not too small
→ the legs are absolutely hideous
→ R&B is currently suffering some sort of fabric crisis as one of their suppliers closed, the result being a lot of discontinued fabrics and very, very long wait times for custom upholstery
→ quality is iffy

Ditte from Anthropologie, Linen Flax ($3498)
→ perfect design, top to bottom
→ heavy-duty linen fabric
→ down-filled cushions
→ those legs!
→ that’s a lot of money for us right now, especially considering the $300 shipping cost

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  • Reply nicole October 10, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    i really love the first one, but it is a bit small, and i just couldn’t see having a light colored sofa like that in my home without a washable cover. while the IKEA one isn’t as stylized as the others, i would have to say that it really looks like a cough you could live with comfortably.

    and the last one, while nice, is just a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a couch. obscene.

  • Reply nicole October 10, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    i meant COUCH you can live with comfortably. ugh.

  • Reply Candice October 10, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    I’m in a pretty similar position, a couch hunt that will not end. I just can’t find something in my (low) price range. I’m afraid it’s going to become a big scratching post for our three cats. 🙁

    I just saw the Stockholm this weekend (IKEA is a haul for me), and I was disappointed. It didn’t feel very comfty to me.

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 10, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    N: I know, that’s just too much. And the shipping cost is just offensive! I’m not too worried about a light sofa, but it is really nice having one (our current sofa is slipcovered, even though it doesn’t look like it).

    Candice: Really? You didn’t think it was comfy? My husband and I both feel like it’s one of the most comfortable sofas we’ve tried! But then, we’re not looking for something we’ll sink into (I actually don’t like that feeling). I like how deep the Stockholm is, and that it’s long enough for us both to stretch out at once…plus, the arms are tall and supportive. I like good support. I just wish those legs were less stumpy! Good luck with your sofa quest. I know how frustrating and anxiety-inducing it can be!!

  • Reply Adam October 11, 2007 at 9:00 am

    For what my two cents is worth, I am leaning heavily towards the Stockholm. I will have to make a trip to Ottawa to sit in one myself. I am seriously considering buying it in leather. My only hold back was durability, but I trust your opinion on sturdiness, I think you know more about that than me. I do like the Andre too, but I wish it had the Stockholm’s legs. If I get the Stockholm, you have to help me find an affordable chair that will go with it!

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 11, 2007 at 9:32 am

    The legs on the leather Stockholm are perfect! I wish the fabric version had the exact same proportions as the leather (either that, or I wish it came in a lighter-colored leather; the dark brown is too heavy with our dark floors).

    It kills me that you have to LEAVE THE COUNTRY to go to IKEA.

    What’s your chair budget? And does it need to be leather, or does it just need to be pet-resistant? What’s on the floor in your living room?

  • Reply Jaimie October 11, 2007 at 10:29 am

    What if you bought the Ikea sofa and just replaced the legs? I’m pretty sure that you can buy furniture legs separately (perhaps not from Ikea, but from a furniture manufacturer), and if that’s your only objection to it, it seems like a pretty simple change.

    We have Pottery Barn’s Greenwich sofa (shown in red initially on the site but comes in other colours. We have it in a taupe twill and there are lots of upholstery options available). Like you, I prefer the tight-back sofas so you’re not constantly rearranging the back cushions to look presentable. This style may not quite be your aesthetic, though it is very comfortable.

  • Reply Adam October 11, 2007 at 10:38 am

    I would like a leather chair, although I would consider something pet-resistant. My floors are a light maple in my living room. There might be an IKEA in Vermont, but Ottawa is a lot closer to me than Vermont is. I would like to not spend more than the $300-$500 range for a chair.

  • Reply katie October 11, 2007 at 10:52 am

    I sat down in the CB2 sofa a few weeks ago and it isn’t all that comfy. I found it to be a bit too stiff for my liking, but then again my comfort level isn’t the same as yours. And it is rather small.

    Honestly I’ve never been all too impressed with CB2’s sofas. They are either too squishy, too hard or the style is rather blah. I think you get what you pay for in this arena. Their other products are great, but their sofas, not so much. At least that’s my opinion.

    Thanks for that bit of info on Room and Board fabric. I’ve been lusting for the Hutton sofa in indigo velvet.

    I sure do hope this isn’t the supplier that close. I think I might cry!

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 11, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Katie, the Hutton sofa is REALLY comfortable. We’ve had half an eye on that one, too (and I love that indigo velvet!! so rich and yummy), but it’s too deep (41″) for our narrow living room. Give R&B a call to check on the fabric — the guy I talked to in the store told me the mill closure affected about 30% of their fabrics, and they still haven’t introduced all of the replacement ones yet. They’re apparently having to cancel outstanding orders for fabrics that were allowed to be placed despite the closure. Yikes. The lead time is now much longer than usual for non-stock colors in the affected ranges.

    Thanks for the info on CB2 sofas. I had a feeling they weren’t great given the super-low price point! I’ve ordered other things from them sight unseen and haven’t been disappointed, but I am very wary of buying a sofa without test-sitting (and flipping it over to look at the construction) first.

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 11, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Jaimie, I’ve thought about the possibility of switching the legs, but I’m afraid if I did that the sofa would just be too high. I guess in addition to having longer legs, I’d also like the sofa to have a thinner base. I’m too picky!

  • Reply Kristina October 11, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Sofa’s are SO hard! They seriously – more or less – make a room, don’t they? I say buy the cheapest one (or wait) and save up for the loooovely Ditte from Anth. What a fantasy ;o)

  • Reply katie October 11, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks for that info Anna on Room and Board. I was thinking of stopping by there this weekend. Will have to talk to them about the blue velvet fabric.

  • Reply lesley October 12, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    This would not be my usual pick… but I’d say go w/the Ikea one. If your floors are dark, the legs will sort of disappear b/c they are so low. My sofa has low dark feet and even though my floors are lightish, you don’t notice the feet at all–they get lost in the shadows. The CB2 one looks kinda iffy on the quality, and I agree, don’t buy a sofa you’ve never sat on. (I’m currently having the same issue w/dining room chairs.) The R&B one, the legs are SO much a part of it and yes, not great. And the Anthropologie… jesus christ! That’s, like, an offensive amount of $.

    I was having sofa drama a while ago, and finally bought a gently used Crate & Barrel off Craigslist. I love the shape and it’s comfy as hell, but now I don’t like the color anymore (I wanted white, talked myself into baby blue, and of course: i still want white) so I’m looking into reupholstering it. A friend had her Crate & Barrel sofa forever; it was the most comfortable thing and it just refused to die.

  • Reply jennifer in sf October 15, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Have you considered the Petrie at Crate and Barrel? It’s much like Andre up there, but with great legs. (And it’s the winner of my own personal Sofaquest.)

    But if you win the lottery or something, get the Ditte!

  • Reply Anna at D16 October 15, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Jennifer: We did consider the Petrie (we went to look at it, ordered swatches, etc), but the only color choice I like for our house is the white, and I have concerns about a tufted seat in white. I just keep imagining dirt and fur getting ground into those buttons! The Petrie is so, SO cute, but I really wish it came in a linen or unbleached nubby fabric.

    What color do you have? How is it holding up?

  • Reply jennifer in sf October 16, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    I’m actually just about to order the Petrie this weekend, so I can’t say much about how it’ll hold up (although everything I’ve read has been positive) and I’m getting the “Cocoa” because of the black cat and the long wait for custom upholstery. I figure you can always liven brown up.

    But I totally see your concerns w/r/t the white.

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