Blood Couch is too metal for me
February 5, 2020 6:46 PM   Subscribe

In 2017, I bought my first home by myself and I bought my dream couch from Article and I was so happy. Less than three years later, this thing is utterly wrecked and I need to replace it. Help me prevent another heartbreak.

(I’ve looked at similar posts, and they were very helpful. Wanted to post in case anyone has new favorites or hopefully some suggestions on fabric considerations or fully-slipcovered models.)

My Sven has suffered the following disfigurements:
  1. New cat covertly scratched one arm to shreds (only while I was asleep, which made it hard to curb the habit)
  2. A deep crater has developed in the centered-in-front-of-the-TV spot where we usually sit
  3. An, um, incident involving significant blood spatter which stained the seat, cushions and back -- and our attempts to remove the stain have partially failed while permanently damaging the fabric
I am part heartbroken and part very angry to be at this point, but I need a new couch.

A better couch.

I think I can relatively easily prevent a recurrence of Disfigurement #1. What I need help with is the other two.

I need:
  1. Ideally an L-shaped sectional of similarish size (the Sven is 100” wide, and I can’t really go wider — though deeper is okay)
  2. A vaguely similar style — kinda modern, kinda retro, clean/straight lines, structured, not “traditional”
  3. Cozy — this thing will host many human and cat naps
  4. Sturdy enough that the seat doesn’t form a rut where we sit
  5. Fabric that can be easily cleaned (removable covers would be great)
  6. Isn’t gonna leak feathers like crazy like the velvet Sven does
If I could pay $2k again and get something that lasts, that’d be great. I can spend more.

We can easily get to showrooms in Raleigh or Durham, NC, and I’d be willing to drive farther to visit a promising lead. I’m gun-shy about buying another internet sofa, but I’d consider it with solid testimonials.

(I know many of you love your Room & Board couches. There’s not a store in my state, but they sound great. I’d love to hear pointers about the relative merits of their various fabric options.)

What sectional should I buy to make myself feel like I’m a super cool person with great taste and an eye for things that last (and that will keep me feeling that way even after my husband gets an epic nosebleed while he’s napping on it)?
posted by katieinshoes to Shopping (21 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
We love our leather Crate and Barrel Lounge II. It is so deep and so cozy. We have a straight line couch but I think there is an L shaped version. It is the most wonderful couch we have ever had. We found it on sale at an annual sale for half off. Customer service was great in replacing a cushion that arrived with a small defect.

We did a lot of sitting on couches before we found it. It is a hard process.

We also really like the Napa Sofa we have from Poly and Bark. I think they are online only. But, while we like the sofa, customer service was atrocious and getting it delivered was a flat out nightmare. So I can’t really recommend purchasing from Poly and Bark, despite the nice quality of the couch.
posted by slateyness at 7:07 PM on February 5, 2020

Gus? Especially the Logan and Jane models?
posted by cushie at 7:15 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: One important thing to look for is a couch where the cushions can be flipped and rotated. Our last microfiber from Macy’s had this feature and it lasted 12 yrs. Our recent purchase from Ikea has Velcro on one side of each cushion so they can’t be flipped. Two can be rotated so that helps a bit. But a couch will always have one spot most popular for sitting so rotation is key for longer use.
posted by JenMarie at 7:25 PM on February 5, 2020 [8 favorites]

Best answer: I've had a Joybird sofa in a similar style since Feb 2017 and there's no sagging. And I used it as a bed for an entire year and a half during the time I've had it. The cushions can all be rotated so I have done that regularly.
posted by ilovewinter at 7:29 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I would go to a Havertys showroom (disclosure, a friend works in a Charlotte one as a designer). I bought a couch from there and it’s only been a few months so I can’t say how well it holds up over time, but based on her recommendation I think they do very well.

I would consider leather (if possible) as fabric. My parents had a couch and loveseat that survived four kids and their many friends looking pretty dang good the whole time because leather is so easy to clean.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:34 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I just want to mention that if you eventually do get a rut in your new couch's cushions, you can have new ones made (or make them yourself). Most are just foam wrapped in batting. Another plus for removable couch cushion covers.

Also, I bought a roll of grippy drawer liner like this and it keeps my couch cushions from sliding outwards and becoming misshapen. I just cut a few square pieces off the roll and laid one down under each cushion. No sewing or gluing necessary.
posted by Feminazgul at 8:16 PM on February 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

I just got a Gus sectional design (sitting on it as we speak; the Adelaide), largely on the strength of the fact that several identical ones have been serving in my office for several years with no ill effects despite being used by dozens of people a day (they're in one of those "informal meeting" zones you find near elevators and reception zones). I plan to rotate cushions every two weeks.

It's pretty firm, but comfy for me.
posted by aramaic at 8:19 PM on February 5, 2020

Buy a vintage (pre 1990s) with hand-tied springs, down cushions, kiln-dried wood, and have it reupholstered. Everything present-day is junk.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:30 PM on February 5, 2020 [12 favorites]

Best answer: Take it from experience, if you get a sectional with a chaise longue section, the arm must be outside so the cushion is flippable.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:46 PM on February 5, 2020

Best answer: I feel like this is an embarrassing recommendation on multiple levels because they're kind of expensive and also the name of the company is just...did you really think about that, I mean really...but Lovesac makes modular sectionals they call Sactionals.

They're expensive but you can probably save some hundreds waiting for one of the weird flash sales where the covers come free. If you did a setting like this but with the seats in the deep mode and replacing one regular side for what they call the deep side, you can have one 97" long which fits your dimension requirements. Here's their little sketch mock up tool.

The covers can be taken off and machine washed, and I've done so with mine several times after my cheerful filth cats vomited all over them. And EVERY single piece has a removeable cover, not just the cushions. If the WORST happens and that's not enough, you can replace the cover for the piece individually if you picked a standard fabric. They have insufferable nifty accessories like a power hub or drink holders. Recently came out with a storage seat that I've been eyeing.

The padded velvet covers are the best for pet households according to the salesperson, they stand up to claws pretty well and don't pick up fur readily. It's turned out true for my house at least; I went with the boring taupe which doesn't show casual filth nor fur as much as a dark or light color would.

Be prepared to really muscle in those clamps--it can take quite a lot of strength sometimes to put them in, but once they're clamped and put together in their shoes they're NOT moving apart. The modular ability is, uh, riveting to somebody like me who is convinced that no actually THIS layout would be the best living room layout. With the four seat L layout for instance you could turn your couch into a a bed like arrangement. Or have the ottoman in the middle, or switch the side of the L, etc etc ad nauseum.

They have a showroom in Raleigh so at the very least you can go sit on them there, though it will come to you shipped in boxes.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:56 PM on February 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Another +1 for Crate and Barrel. I bought one of the Willow couches in 2012 or thereabouts. This has been the main piece of furniture in our living room ever since and it's still in great shape, structurally. (I got the slipcovered version--more expensive than straight upholstery--and the slipcover could use replacing.) Good quality, as far as my experience goes.
posted by Sublimity at 4:29 AM on February 6, 2020

Best answer: We measured and taped in our living room, and planned out a Crate and Barrel sectional purchase last year. We have been very happy with it. We have a unique shaped living room with lots of entryways, and so we were able to get a 45° angled “cuddler” as one of the arms. Worth going to the showroom if you’re planning a trip to Durham.

We actually went to the largest furniture store in the world, in High Point (Furnitureland South), and priced out a custom couch that was our ideal, and it was over $5000. A few weeks later we went to Crate and Barrel and it turned out that we could get basically the same thing for under $3000. That being said, you should consider stopping in Furnitureland South as well, as they have a HUGE floor of odds and ends, where you can find some hella deals on some high end stuff, particularly if you have forgiving measurements to work with in your space (and don’t need a 45° cuddler for example).
posted by oceanjesse at 4:39 AM on February 6, 2020

Best answer: I have two Room and Board couches and a Lovesac sectional. I think the R&B sofas as are more comfortable. I definitely have to flip the cushions to keep from low spots forming. We don’t have pets but do have kids and I’ve been shocked at how well the couches have cleaned up despite whatever the kids could get on them (including allllll the bodily fluids). One couch is a tight cotton-ish weave, one is a slightly more open boucle. R&B has a list of their fabrics they recommend for cats (I’ve always heard that the sunbrella fabric is essentially bulletproof, but have never used it myself).

The Lovesac couch was purchased recently, not least of all since we would have a hard time getting a conventional sofa down our stairs. As foxfirefey said, all the covers are removable and washable and if kitty destroys a piece of the couch you can just replace it! We have the “linen” covers and they so far seem fairly sturdy and are supposed to be water resistant. I don’t think they’re the most attractive couches, but mine is in our basement TV room and it’s fine.
posted by rebeccabeagle at 5:27 AM on February 6, 2020

Best answer: another +1 for Crate and Barrel. Ours is 10 years old. Eight of those years have been with kids who love jumping on it/off it and standing on the armrests. It gets extremely heavy use and is still in great shape.
posted by avocado_of_merriment at 6:12 AM on February 6, 2020

Would some variation on the Rowe Modern Mix work for your needs? Rowe furniture is fairly customizable, so you can decide what you want in terms of fabric and leg styles to match the look you need.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:59 AM on February 6, 2020

I bought my Sofa 15ish years ago. A Custom order from Huntington House from a local showroom. I picked the fabric and color and a few more things. 2 children, 2 dogs, a cranky cat and a ex husband. Still going strong and I still love it. Their 8014 resembles yours.
I do scotchgard every 2 years or so to help prevent staining.
posted by ReiFlinx at 9:15 AM on February 6, 2020

Costco always has some version of this.
posted by Oyéah at 10:08 AM on February 6, 2020

We got a sectional from Home Reserve and loved every minute of it. You have to put it together yourself, which was a lot easier than it might sound. You can customize your size and shape. There is under the seat storage. What we wanted priced out at 3-5 grand everywhere else, we spent 1200 including delivery. Don't buy anything until you check them out, they may not have what you need or want but if they do you'll save a bunch. Pet resistant fabrics that come off for cleaning, they got that too.
posted by vrakatar at 11:51 AM on February 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Have you thought about custom slipcovers or re-upholstering your current couch? It sounds like you like the style, and the squished cushion can be fixed. The advantage of slipcovers is that you can clean them more easily.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:47 PM on February 6, 2020

Best answer: i have a gus modern sectional thats going on about 10 years now. it's held up well in terms of firmness, and can give you a great 'crash on the couch' night's sleep, but there's a few warnings you should consider. If its tuffed, the buttons are going to come off, either by wear and tear or by you ripping them off because they are wildly uncomfortable to sit on. if you have pets, dear lord avoid that beautiful chunky basket weave. I spent 3 grand on that couch and its now the most expensive scratching post i've ever owned and all i'm left with is a hyper specific fantasy of dating an upholsterer.
posted by zsh2v1 at 1:22 PM on February 6, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks for all the helpful advice, everyone.

We're still looking at this point. We went to an awesome shop in Durham because they seemed to be the only place nearby that sells Gus. Most of what they sell is, however, is custom built by a local company that has lifetime warranties on the frame, fabric and cushions. I'm looking at getting one made in a high-tech stainproof fabric (which adds a lot of cost, but I think it might be worth it). The biggest downside that I can see is that the chaise cushion isn't flippable on the model I want -- although with the warranty, I might chance it.

I want to do some more looking and might still go to High Point to look around more before we commit. But all the comments were helpful in helping me narrow down where I want to look. Still open to more ideas, especially if anyone can comment on how specific brands/models/fabrics have held up over time. (Or if anyone has experience with Crypton fabrics!)
posted by katieinshoes at 12:44 PM on February 11, 2020

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