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sofa guide

as many of you know we spent a good 6 months looking for a sofa last year. the combination of our tiny doorway and narrow (v-shaped) hallway meant that practically everything we looked at was too big to get through. now that we've settled on one (room and board's andre), i thought it would be fun to compile a guide to sofas made up of models i tested during our search. i've included groupings according to style (mid-century, classic, sleeper, etc.), designer (mitchell gold + bob williams are a favorie) as well as price (there is a roundup of sofas under $1000) so hopefully there will be something in there for everyone. this isn't a definitive look at the entire market but rather groupings that i've personally found to be great models depending on price and style. click here to check it all out- hope you enjoy!



Blogger Traci said...

urban outfitters also has some really lovely mid-century sofas at very reasonable prices. though i've never seen one in person, not sure about the quality.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Raya Carlisle said...

Thanks Grace! I have been in denial that we need a new sofa, mostly because I just didn't know where to start looking. This was a big help and I agree, that Petrie sofa from Crate and Barrel is gorgeous. I'm curious, what color were you going to go with?

2:41 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


thanks! glad you like it :)

we were going to- like crazy people- go with the white option. i don't like brown so that left us with white (we didn't want to wait for custom upholstery).

in the end the time wouldn't have mattered but it wouldn't fit through our door so we were destined to go with something else. i still wish we had the petrie but the andre is doing quite nicely for now.


3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I ask how you're liking a two-cushion sofa? Do more than two people ever sit on it? I'm another admirer of the Petrie, but I'm worried that I'll have a big couch that only two people can/will sit on, since no one will want to sit in the "crack." Thanks! -Alicia

4:17 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


unfortunately our home didn't allow us to get a three seater sofa but we've found that you can easily seat three people on the sofa. however, it's a pretty close fit so it would need to be people you're comfortable with ;)

both sofas (andre and petrie) come in three seater versions that, if you can fit them in your home, are lovely. we just couldn't manage it with our hallway height.


4:34 PM  
Blogger George G said...

Hah! We went through so many of the same sofas, as I recently bought one myself : the Jasper, in a leather it didn't come stocked in, for a comfy but more bachelor pad feel. My order didn't turn out quite like I wanted it to, but Room & Board's customer service is pretty good, so they took back the custom order and are sending me a new one. In fact, their fit call service is especially useful, as they sent over their shippers to measure my apartment doors, hallways and elevators to tell me what size sofa I could purchase from R&B. Like you, size constrictions stopped me from buying sofas I really loved too (like MG&BW's Chester, or the Goetz sofa which wasn't one of your choices)and it helped narrow down the selection because of what was possible for my space. Good sofa review though - I know most of them well.

Ah, if only that Borge Mogensen one was larger and,...well, cheaper...!


8:43 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Bullock OwYoung said...

Thank you! We're looking for a new sofa right now and the more help the merrier!

11:03 PM  
Blogger Little Annzo said...

Just curious--how wide was your actual door frame? I've been couch shopping for a while and am worried about one fitting through my doorway. Do you have any tips for measuring? I actually read somewhere, maybe your blog, that Room and Board will even do a fit consultation for you for $30. I wonder if other stores will do the same.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Bunny @ 86n It said...

Love the Andre!
I ordered the urban outfitters sofa sight-unseen and it is being delivered today (!). I'll update on the comfort, etc. But for $480 its already a steal.

7:59 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

our doorway is 29 inches wide, but the tough part was that we're only like 35 or 40 inches from our neighbor's door so it's touch to tip the sofa to lift it and get it in. that's what happened with the petrie- it was too long. we needed a sofa that was both short and narrow (the andre worked well bc the legs came off)


9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm in love with the first sofa pictured. Thanks for a great guide!

10:06 AM  
Blogger Anna @ D16 said...

Traci, I've seen the Urban Outfitters sofas in person, and honestly, the quality of the construction, fabrics and finishes is really disappointing. I suppose that given the prices that's to be expected, but I in my opinion, the look of the pieces is just too poor at any price. They do look nice in photos, though!

- - -
My mother has the R&B Jasper, and it's unbelievably comfy. I'm not a fan of the microsuede it's stocked in, but I'm considering getting one for my house with a slipcover made in their Danish linen fabric in white. It's a longer wait for the custom R&B fabrics, but they really do have a LOT of options. The jury is still out on long-term durability, but considering I'll be replacing a 5-year-old IKEA sofa (which would probably still be in good shape if we hadn't subjected it to 5 moves in that time period!), I'm not too worried about it being an improvement. :)

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I checked out your guide, but I noticed that the brand/details of the sofa I liked were not mentioned. May I ask what is the brand of the sofa shown on the fifth slide on the bottom left? Thanks.

12:57 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

opera glass

so sorry! i must have missed one when i uploaded everything. looking for it now...will update it asap.


1:04 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

it's the 'movie sofa' from cb2- so sorry!



1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Grace: You might want to run through your text again and do some editing to make sure it matches up with the images. I was confused by several mislabelings. On the 3rd slide, for example, you say 'top right' twice and 'bottom right' twice ("At Target, the Studio Couch (bottom right, starts at $299 at Target.com) and the Copenhagen Sofa (Bottom right: $629.99 at Target.com)") On the 9th slide, you say 'clockwise from top left' but you actually start top right. Otherwise, great couch guide!

1:20 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

oh no! sorry about that- it was edited but i guess those slipped by.


1:21 PM  
Blogger Traci said...

anna, that's disappointing to hear. i guess you do get what you pay for...

5:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Petrie comes in a 3-cushion version?? I'm ordering that sofa in Sept during their custom upholstery sale, but I didn't know it came in a larger size. Are you sure?? I asked them when I looked at it originally and they told me it only came in the 86" version.

10:20 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


my apologies, i meant 3-seater, not three-cushioned. it only has two cushions but easily (really easily) seats three people.


10:35 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Bullock OwYoung said...

So we stopped by Design Within Reach and Crate and Barrel last night to sit on some couches. Without spotting the names at first, I totally fell in love with the Petrie and Rochelle! I think we're going to get the Petrie. I can't decide if I want the dark brown or dark blue. Both will allow me to change my mind on decor colors.. but hmm. We have a lighter brown couch right now. Maybe it's time for blue?

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great list! We also looked at the Petrie sofa in white and were almost there, until we saw it in person and the cushions really sagged and didn't take wear too well- argh! We ended up going with the Bantam from DWR- perfect for apartment living and super reasonable for a well-made piece (although, we are wishing for a little more baby-friendly sofa now, oh well!!!)

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey -- I live in a vintage condo with tiny stairwells and doorjams... We bought the 89 inch long Hepburn sofa from Room and Board a couple of years ago. Room and Board (in Chicago/Oak Brook) works with a company that will remove the back of the sofa and reassemble it in your living room for $200. Comsidering there is a 10% restocking fee if it won't fit (that would have been $150 for our $1500 sofa), it is totally worth it. We were a little dubious about the whole thing, but it turned out great. Can't even tell that they touched it.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a GREAT, SO useful article! The identifications are a bit maddening though as I've fallen in love with one of the sleepers and it does not seem to be identified at all. In Slide 6, what is the beige soft-looking one in the top right corner? Help!

1:39 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


so sorry, going in to troubleshoot all the slideshows tomorrow!


1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just saw that hive carries the eames two-seat lounger for $700 less than design within reach.

oh yeah.

2:18 PM  

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