For years, I tried to cheat reality with a tragic series of inexpensive and truly cheap sofas, sofa beds and futons, adding to the growing pile of trash furniture that graces Manhattan’s sidewalks on moving days. There comes a time in a man’s life when one must invest in a real, grown-up sofa for big boys. A real one cannot be had for less than $1,000, which might be a lot for some… but that’s the deal.
After extensive searching, I settled on this gem last year from Thrive Furniture: the Sullivan Loveseat. This beauty was inspired by the iconic settee designed by Florence Knoll in 1954, which retails new starting at around $7,000.00. The Sullivan is built with old-school manufacturing using kiln dried sustainable hardwoods stapled and doweled, and made with dual sectional cushions and blind button tufting. Its price tag: $1,199.00.
Like all of the gorgeous mid-century inspired furniture from Thrive, the Sullivan Loveseat is made in the Thrive factory in Los Angeles, U.S.A., and comes with a 365 day return policy, free shipping and no tax. It’s a keeper.
It’s available in 20 different fabrics and in leather. Mine is “Atomic Red” (above).
Overall: 31″h x 78″w x 32″d
Seat height: 18″
Arm height: 24.5″
There is also a full-sized sofa version available, which is 90″ wide.
One of the essentials for the grown-up man’s home is a good sofa. It’s a place to read, recline, collapse, nap, watch television and get better acquainted with a date.
When shopping for a real sofa, i.e. one that will last, one should expect to pay anywhere from the high hundreds ($800+) on the low end to well into the thousands. Unlike a lot of options for stylish items for other items in our life, sofas are like shoes: you kinda can’t cheat on the cost if you want something truly worthwhile. You get what you pay for if you play it cheap. Just like good shoes, a good sofa is an investment.
Here are some really handsome and reasonably affordable options that I’ve come across lately. Each of the stores have many other models and styles available. These just happen to be my favorites.
Tyler Sofa and Tyler Loveseat from Thrive
Available with over twenty five fabric/color choices and made in the U.S.A.
Sofa Dimensions: 34″h x 84″w x 36″d
Sofa Price: $1,599
Loveseat Dimensions: 34″h x 72″w x 36″d
Loveseat Price: $1,299
CB2 is a modern, urban and affordable spin-off of Crate & Barrel. The drag, as of this writing, is that this sofa only comes in two colors: orange (shown) and caper (like oatmeal). My suspicion and hope is that CB2 will make it available in other colors down the line. Being only 74″ wide, this is really more of a loveseat, as opposed to a full-sized sofa.
Good old Ikea… The least expensive decent sofa I’ve seen, the Karlstad is a really handsome sofa, coming in about a dozen different colors. It also has wood or chrome options for the underframe/legs. The bitch about Ikea is the shipping. Unless you live near an Ikea and have access to a van, your only option is to pay a hefty shipping fee. But if you consider that most good sofas cost more than $1,100, it’s still quite inexpensive.
Dimensions: 31.5″h x 80.75″w x 37″d
Price: $399 – $749 (depending on fabric and underframe/legs)
A sofa can be a big deal when you’re strapped for cash. Do your homework, especially if you live in a small space like I do.
Measure and tape-mark the space where you want to your sofa to live. Walk around that space and put chairs there. Imagine what something of your sofa’s size will be like. Carefully consider the width, height and depth of the sofa and its spatial relationship to the rest of the room. It shouldn’t dominate the room. Rather, it should be a seamless part of it, looking like it belongs there.
Ideally, you should make an effort to see your perspective sofa in person. Sit in it. Feel it. Imagine living with it for a long time. I’ve purchased a sofa online in haste without having seen it in person first. It was a mistake that could have been avoided if I took my time and done the research.
I hope this was helpful. Happy shopping.
One man's journal about raising the bar without raising the budget.