How does Room and Board upholstered furniture hold up long-term?
July 19, 2019 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Is Room and Board furniture worth the money? Does it last for more than a couple of years with regular use?

I'm considering purchasing a sofa from Room and Board ( this one in a custom fabric ), but before I spend the money I want to be as certain as I can that it's a good investment. This sofa will be in a living room that my family uses every day, and I expect the sofa to see regular use: sitting on for reading/watching TV, napping, etc. We've been to a Room and Board store and tried their floor model out; we all like the way it feels when we sit in it, and we all like the look of the thing.
But a floor model can only tell you so much. I'm concerned that R&B's furniture is the kind made for putting in a formal living room that you never use: pretty but not up to daily use. I've searched online for long-term reviews and complaints, but haven't come up with much, particularly as regards longevity. So I thought I'd ask here: R&B-furniture-owning-Mefites, are you satisfied with your purchase years later? What do you wish you'd known before you bought your furniture? What would you caution others about?

Bonus question: if you've got a recommendation for other manufacturers/vendors to consider, I'd love to hear them. I'm definitely looking for something on the (sigh) midcentury modern end of design rather than an overstuffed La-Z-Boy affair. (FWIW, I've looked at Joybird's offerings, and they're appealing, but I'm concerned about the number of complaints I've read WRT their delivery being far, far slower than advertised and their customer service being less than helpful. Also, Pottery Barn's stuff is lovely but we couldn't agree on a comfortable seat depth on any of their sofas; same with Crate and Barrel.)
posted by Janta to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We've had our sturdy but horribly stained R&B Jasper couch for almost a decade. It's great, it's in stellar condition. It will cost as much to reupholster as to replace. Which is, I guess, Good Problems to Have, and I highly recommend their upholstered furniture! But don't let your kids drink juice on the celery-green upholstery.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:11 PM on July 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

My Joybird chairs have been crazy durable (herding dog and preschooler/junior Jedi tested) - 3 years of ownership.
posted by chuke at 1:15 PM on July 19, 2019

Our Joybird couch and chair feel like new. We and our two large labs have been enjoying them for four years. My experience with delivery and customer service was the opposite of what you've read, to the point that I'm truly shocked.
posted by donnagirl at 1:19 PM on July 19, 2019

We just retired an R&B couch after 11 years and three city-to-city moves and replaced it with another, bigger R&B couch.
posted by notyou at 1:23 PM on July 19, 2019

I got a Joybird couch about 4 years ago. About a year ago, one of the cushions developed a big tear in it along the seam. The other cushion was also flatter than we would have liked. Admittedly our toddler (who is two now) probably had something to do with that, though my feeling was that the tear developed before he really was big enough to do much damage. We were just out of the upholstery warranty period so had to get the cushions replaced with charge. Service was fine except it took a while to get the cushions (about as long as a couch, which I can understand) and they initially said they would charge me for only one cushion in exchange for a review on their FB page. I decided I wasn't comfortable with that and they suddenly found a discount code for 50% off one of the cushions. That was not the greatest interaction. The couch itself (apart from the cushions) has held up extremely well.
posted by peacheater at 1:26 PM on July 19, 2019

Our Room and Board armchairs and sofa are seven years old now, get plenty of use, and are all still fresh and great. We also have a Room and Board coffee table that is fifteen years old and a bit dinged and scuffed from our complete lack of care taken, but still looks great and someday will stand up to refinishing very nicely.
posted by redfoxtail at 1:37 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Another happy R&B Jasper owner here - mine's ~15 years old and gets used daily. A slipcover keeps it looking fresh along with infrequent washings. No pets/kids though.
posted by matrixclown at 1:38 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

We have pets & no kids. Our R&B stuff (I furnished the whole house) is in excellent shape after about 13 years.

However - our sofas and chairs and footstools and so on are leather. Kitty claws (just from hopping on and off the furniture) and human use have added what I’ve decided to call “patina” to the leather.

Love R&B - would buy again but I think this stuff will last as long as I do.
posted by hilaryjade at 1:50 PM on July 19, 2019

I believe our R&B sofa is the Ian (in aubergine). The chairs are Lolas, in Tatum spice (no longer an offered combination, but a very appealing low-key pink that wears shockingly well).
posted by redfoxtail at 1:53 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have a Room and Board Cade that's a few years old, and still looks new. We picked a family friendly fabric, and it's proven resistant to stains and to dog claws so far.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 2:00 PM on July 19, 2019

two messy kids and a Room and Board sectional that is standing up very very well to staining and jumping and jostling and cushion-forting
posted by sestaaak at 2:30 PM on July 19, 2019

Extremely happy owner of an Orson couch and chair that are now over nine years old. Still looks awesome, still insanely comfy (I get compliments still!). This stuff is built to last.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 5:00 PM on July 19, 2019

I have a hand-me-down Room and Board sofa that’s at LEAST 5 years old; I don’t know the provenance before the person who had it before me. There is a hole in one sofa cushion that I believe came from washing? Other than that it’s fantastic and more comfortable than a lot of sofas I’ve sat on. A year of a cat has kind of ruined the arms in looks but it’s still solid and comfy.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 5:51 PM on July 19, 2019

Yeah, just take good care of the fabric and your sofa will last forever. (I have a number of RaB pieces. One great benefit, when a nightstand was about 10 years old, I got a chest of drawers to match, right down to the pull knobs. It knocked me out when I could do that.)
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:19 AM on July 20, 2019

I have a 7 year old Room and Board sofa, and it’s been pretty good. It looks pretty much like it did the day we bought it, but the foam in the cushions definitely feels less comfy. We got a gray twill fabric, and all baby-related stains washed up easily. The toddler butter-related stain did not, but it’s great that we can flip the cushions. I don’t think we’ll keep it forever, but when it comes time to replace it we’ll probably get a slightly used Room and Board sofa off Craigslist (there are lots in Minneapolis due to impulse outlet purchases). My parents hate my sofa because it is low and hard for them to get off of, but I like how it matches the lines of our 1950s rambler living room.
posted by Maarika at 6:05 AM on July 20, 2019

We own three Room & Board sofas (among an handful of other items). Two are regularly used and around 10 years old. One of those is the Andre model you're considering, but in flint red. It looks almost brand new. The other one has a lighter fabric, almost pink, and though it's time for an upholstery cleaning, the surface has held up very well and doesn't look worn. We've found R&B furniture to be worth every penny. Hope this helps.
posted by Vek at 10:00 AM on July 20, 2019

The fabric is one of the biggest determinants of how the couch will hold up. Did you pick fabric that says it's wear-resistant/for high-use furniture?
posted by asphericalcow at 2:16 PM on July 20, 2019

We owned the R&B Jasper from 2006-2015 as our primary sitting furniture. I thought it was just fine and the upholstery was in good shape till we moved out of state and decided not to bring it along. The cushions got a little squashy towards the and and my husband (a larger man, 6’2” and 250 or so) felt it was not comfortable to lie on. But I always thought it was great. I’ve been really happy with everything I’ve ever owned from R&B, most of which has been secondhand (not the couch though).
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 9:31 PM on July 20, 2019

Late to the party.
We dont have any upholstered items, but own some Room and Board, plenty of Crate and Barrel and even a few choice Thomas Moser.

We have found the Room and Board to be very high quality and worth the investment, thought we try not to buy list anyway. We set a search on Craigs for the bunk bed we wanted and within a few months got it for half price. Room and Board has an annual sale, but it is insane and people line up around the block, otherwise they almost never discount.

Not sure where you are, but we recently moved to Maine and have bought a significant amount of furniture at the Crate and Barrel Outlet in Freeport, ME. You can call them and get a very helpful, very friendly person to look and see if what you want is currently on the floor. The stuff moves fast and is constantly changing, the deals can go as high at 75% off list. The biggies tissue is you gotta go pick it up!
posted by silsurf at 6:49 AM on July 21, 2019

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