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hi guys, im losing my mind (and not just because blogger is being a pain in the you know what)- ac and i have been trying to find a new couch for ages and we're dealing with one of the worst old apt quirks ever- a 23 inch hallway opening (no other entrance, and we can't go through windows). we can't take the molding out (too old, too many layers of paint- it's a rental). so we're trying to find a couch with a low, low back and detachable legs so we can take them off and try to squish it through. does anyone have any brilliant ideas? sources? solutions? i'm losing my mind and don't want to sit on beanbags forever...thanks so much for any suggestions. xo, d*s [examples of our desired look from room and board, don't think they'll fit though..]




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check Bo Concept. The sofas come apart into three parts: the back part, the seat (butt) part, and the arms part. Plus the legs screw off as well.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Julian said...


Bizarre elfs must have lived in your apartment prior to your moving in.

Most sofas are not going to come appart (with the exception of the feet) very willingly... It will involve more work than I take you're up for.

Though it's not an ideal solution you could consider negotiating with a local designer/builder to fabricate a couch to your specs that will come appart... It may be a bit of $$ but if it's custom then it'll be worth it.

And of course during negotiations would be an excelent time to drop a d*s business card on the table along with the hit counter from the website... ;)

1:33 PM  
Anonymous e said...

you're probably going to have to use teardown services. I think apartment therapy has some archives on it.

Either that, or design your own and build it inside the apartment...

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ikea makes a pack flat couch that you assemble. Sounds absurd, but when assembled, they look like normal couches.

Not sure if they sell it at their website, but it's available in the stores.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Justine said...

room and board will come to your apt and measure to make sure the couch you're looking for will fit. i think they only charge about $25.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous sweet T said...

You can get a sofa "cracked" by professionals who will deliver it to your door, take it apart gently, squeeze it inside and put it back together again.

It's not pretty, kind of like watching plastic surgery, but they will be able to restore it to its showroom condition.

Most retailers will be able to recommend someone who will do this and advise you as to which of their sofas are "crackable."

Good Luck!

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the Bantam Sofa from DWR. Definitely compact but I'm not sure if the legs are removable - worth looking into.


1:49 PM  
Anonymous ida said...

We had to put our sofa together by ourselves. IKEA-style. Must be many places who sell sofas you put together yourself?! Goodluck :)

1:49 PM  
Blogger Michele said...


1:55 PM  
Blogger CurlyRed said...

I had a very similar situation when I bought my sofa from Crate and Barrel. We had to use a service that took it apart and then put it back together inside the apartment. The service was recommended by Crate and Barrel and cost $350 dollars. Not cheap, but better to get a couch you love than a couch that simply "fits".

2:05 PM  
Blogger rena said...

we have the modernica case study day bed, it isn't the style you have pictured but it'd probably fit...good luck!

2:06 PM  
Anonymous stephanie said...

try dwr.com they have a couch
"Havanah". I don't know your price range...it is kinda 'spensive
but, I would think worth the price in the long run.

Sofa. Bed. Storage. Not bad.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a sofa that was professionally "cracked" to fit through a small door opening and I must say, 3 years on, it seems to be getting wobbly in the arms. They warned that this might happen. But maybe it would have happened anyway...sofa was from Room & Board and not the best quality...

2:41 PM  
Anonymous mike said...

you can also look for one less than 6' 8" long, and bring it in the door standing up. you can "rotate" the bottom & back in around one side of the doorframe, depending upon your hallway configuration. oh heck, i'll throw together a little diagram...

your doors should be 6' 8" high, unless the people who lived there previously were skinny hobbits with no regard to building codes. :)

3:20 PM  
Blogger Moxie said...

We had a similar problem getting a couch onto our second floor. The hallway is narrow and the ceiling is extremely low in one spot. Our solution was to buy 3 matching upholstered armless chairs from Sofa Express. We sandwiched them together between 2 heavy, but stylish, end tables. It's more comfortable than it souns.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The diagonal measurement is the key. (We bought a large sofa on sale at George Smith and were then panicked that it would never fit through a very small and awkward entry, but amazingly it did, so you too may be pleasantly surprised!)

3:50 PM  
Blogger cherie said...

You can get custom sized sofas at Custom Sofa. I believe it is on 18th or 19th just off of 5th Ave.

They made ours with a removable back and removable legs. They even deliver and assemble. I also had it made short enough to fit in the room nicely, be perfectly comfortable for 3 people, but just a bit too short to be slept on.

They cost more than room and board, but I don't think they will ever wear out. I will probably have them reupholstered every 10 years or so, but plan on having these very very sturdy pieces for the rest of my life.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have mentioned this before-
the todd oldham snap sofa completely disassembles (on purpose and in a well engineered un-ikea-ish way)

and you can get it in simple brown microsuede as your pic shows...even has a similar mid-century inspired feel, just not same welted and tufted look.

I bought mine for that very reason.
tight hallways and odd turns.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

we were looking at the same sofas from Room & Board, but were concerned about quality. Check out the Martin and Alvar sofas on Rowe Furniture's website. they are about $900 at the furniture stores here, plus they have springs!!! The Alvar comes in a minisofa that's only 75" long, and that would definitely fit through the door with the upright method. (The legs of both models come in metal or several wood finishes.)

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

We looked at buying the same couches from Room & Board but were concerned about quality. Check out the Alvar and Martin sofas on Rowe Furniture's website. Similar simple lines, but only around $900 at stores here (in MN) and they have springs on the inside. Plus the Alvar comes in a 75" length, so that could fit in the door using the diagonal method.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Denise said...

I recently ordered the Oregon sectional from Scandinavian Designs (It has other, equally as weird, names, depending on what part of the country you live in).

It was extremely affordable (less than $700 for the chaise/sectional version)...it is extremely comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and just an all around good sofa. Most importantly for you, though, it has removeable legs and a very low back (the majority of the sofa's height are from back pillows which are removable). I would guess that when the legs are removed and the pillows are taken in separately, the couch turn on its side is probably only 20" or so.

You could definitely call and ask them; they were extremely helpful.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Benjy said...

CB2 has a few couches that look fairly low-slung and have removable feet. While none seem to fall under the 23" threshhold even with the feet removed, I tend to agree with Mike that it's worth looking into whether you could angle a couch through the opening.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 28" door and had such a hard time with this issue. I feel your pain.

I balked at the break-down service. I could handle spending $300 for someone to take my new sofa into the joint, but the idea of spending another probably $400 to move my, say, 4 yr old sofa out sounded awful. And I'm not rich enough to throw sofas away like that.

If none of the other excellent suggestions work, you might try a daybed and then make yourself a back that hangs on the wall, like a headboard. Slide day bed under headboard and it might be something. Then again, it might not be! Just thinking out loud here.

Also, check out the CB2 flip flop sofa. Again, not what you want, but sorta cool:

5:33 PM  
Anonymous elizabeth Schuppe said...

modernica has a wonderful couch- the Case Study Daybed. low back, removable cushions and very comfortable. it fit in my in-laws tiny apartment.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know its a differnt look but you could always get a sectional. Those suckers come apart.

5:56 PM  
Blogger jenny said...

you might consider hunting down a vintage piece and getting it reupholstered. it would have the lines you want and many of the midcentury originals have a much lower profile. craigslist, ebay, etc.



6:35 PM  
Blogger marbargarbo said...

I don't know why everyone likes to say Room & Board couches aren't the best quality. Granted, they aren't like my boyfriend's mothers couches, she has Henredon couches that are 8-way hand tied, but you get what you pay for. I think mine was a litle over two grand, and it's really nice. It has really good quality stain resistant suede like fabric, it's a good solid piece and the style for the price can't be beat. It's much nicer then say the Crate & Barrel equivalent we looked at at the Michigan Ave. store. The seams are straight and the piece is going to hold up several years. I got one of the lowest couches they had too, and it barely fit through my 29" doors, so it would be good to follow these people's advice about looking into getting your hallways measured.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

try the Petrie sofa at C&B. I bought a different sofa from them and the legs were removable. probably depends on the manufacturer...

this Petrie sofa says its 34"H on the website, but a lot of thaqt is pillow....


12:36 AM  
Anonymous Three Layer Cake said...

this is tough.
depends on budget.
and what you value in a sofa...
does it have to be comfortable above all or are you willing to sacrifice comfort for look? B&B Italia has some really low backed sofas. And flexform has some nice ones (groundpiece for example fits right under your 58.4 cm/23" and is very comfortable, and lightpiece also) and are extremely well made, but these are in the over $5k range I think...

3:55 AM  
Anonymous dc cymbalista said...

There is a useful article on sofa disassemblers on the lovely Manhatta User's Guide
Maybe you can save some money or get some more style by actually buying the sofa you want - and just play LEGO with it...

8:24 AM  
Anonymous mooseknuckle said...

My girlfriend and I live in a 4th floor walkup in DC with a very narrow stairwell and an awkward front door opening. The bottleneck spot was a bit bigger than 23 inches, maybe 25 or so. We ran into ALL sorts of trouble finding a sofa that would fit but which would be at least 6 feet on the inside (full length sleeping mode).

Eventually, we ended up with the $800 Ikea Karlanda and a dark grey slipcover, though neither one of us wanted an Ikea couch. It's not super high grade quality, but it's held up well for a year now. Ikea delivered within two weeks, and their dudes carried it all the way into the apartment for us.

The main reason we went w/ the Ikea sofa was not size though, it was the 12-16 week wait at most places. Unless you want a floor model (same make, same color), you will have to wait while they build the damn thing from scratch. This is the fine print, but I suggest you check it up front. As my gf and I were sitting on the floor, we simply could not wait 3 months to get any of our favorites. My advice to anyone who is moving is to order your couch BEFORE you move, maybe by as much as 2 months, so it will be ready shortly after you move in.

If you have the time to wait, I highly recommend the Todd Oldham collection at La-Z-Boy. I know it sounds ridiculous, but some great great patterns and some nice shapes.

10:05 AM  
Blogger marbargarbo said...

Have you thought about getting nice comfy chairs and ottomans and a chaise instead? It would provide more options for entertaining and the price would be about the same as one nice couch.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Anonymous is right. I just bought a Bo Concept sofa because I too have narrow doors. They come in separate easy to assemble pieces. You can choose differnt, arms and legs. I love the versatility of them. Go to the store and see for yourself or check online. It does take time for them to build it and ship it to you.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, marbargarbo, you have the nice Room & Board sofa. I don't. It was just under $1000, and yes, you definitely get when you pay for. It is wonky and probably won't live to see 4 years in my place. I am also completely willing to believe that they have nicer sofas at R & B...I bought mine on looks and price...and have suffered ever since.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous eric jean-louis said...

Check out: www.eq3.com. There's a good selection of contemporary couches. We recently bought one for our apartment. I think some of them will fit with the legs removed (?). In Canada they'll deliver for $65 and assemble it in the room of you choice.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think room and board delivers the product in pieces and then assembles it in your living room. At least, that's how my bed arrived-- in 6 pieces. I would check with them.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure this is somehow totally "unhip", but as a mother, and cheap, here is a company that makes quickly put-together-yourself, supposedly surprisingly sturdy, with several styles and 107? fabrics to choos from : sofas, chairs and ottomans with built in storage. I love the vintage ella cafe and ella citris fabric choices.

Well there it is.

good luck!

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i had the same problem with my hallway being too marrow. went with a bo concept couch -- instead of using their ugly metal legs you can get nice wooden ones online (got mine for $7 on ebay) and replaced them. the couch looks classic with the wooden legs and cream boucle upholstery

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i actually have the one piictured in the top photo. It's the brown Andre sofa from Room & Board. I had 30" hallway to deal with, the andre's legs come off. It's one of the very few couches from R&B that do this.

9:30 PM  
Blogger grounded101 said...

The Theatre Sofa from DWR is similar to what you have pictured. It ships with the legs off. Without the legs, it's only 22" from bottom of the seat to top of the back. It's by American Leather and surprisingly comfortable. We have it and really like it.

Just looking at their site...the Havana sofa looks like it would work too and it has storage under the seat plus folds down into a bed for overnight guests. You have to like the solid-to-the-ground look though. With the back down, the arms are the highest point and they're only 20.5".

Have you looked at Gus Modern? If you can wait, they usually show at ICFF.

Good luck!

5:12 PM  
Anonymous molly said...

my husband and I had the same problem. we bought a henredon sofa on sale (awesome deal for a fabulous sofa). however, it did not fit into our small apartment for the same reason. the sofa is in storage until we move into a place it will fit. in the meantime, we bought a sofa at IKEA (TYLĂ–SAND sofa) that fit with no problem because it breaks down. it has thicker arms then the sofas you pictured. it is also a sectional so if you have more space inside you can add a chaise.

our only complaint is it isn't henredon comfortable...but it actually fit!

good luck.. i know what a pain it is to live somewhere with sofa-unfriendly size hallways and doorways.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try this:
I bought a Neo sofa a few months ago. The specs say that the sofa is 31" tall, but...
the legs come off, as do the back cushions. Once you do that, the total height is between 17-22" approx (there are a couple of curved metal braces underneath the couch that don't show up in pics). No tape measure, sorry - was using 8.5x11 sheets of paper to fudge it!


11:06 AM  

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