Sofas & Couches
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a new couch, in a fabric that will last if we get another pet
(cat an/or dog). we don't want to pay 3000 for a couch like at
Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn - but we
are not at all impressed with the IKEA stuff (i have not found
a good quality, stable couch there). is there some kind of a
happy medium - more quality than ikea, less expensive than the
above mentioned stores...does anyone have a recommendation for
where to get a couch/sofa/sectional.... please and thank you
We just got a lovely couch at Papillion Home on Solano Avenue.
brand couches, which are good quality, from a reputable company,
warranties. (the company has been around for 20 years, so you
about them going out of business.) Scandinavian Designs also
Our couch was a floor model and is covered in a microfiber
got it for
$900 and we are very pleased.
Its also great to support a local store rather than one of those
We're also couch shopping, and after trying all the places you
mentioned plus more, we stumbled into Scandinavian Designs on
Shattuck the other day and were pleaseantly surprised. A wide
range of styles in the $600-$1500 range, and comfy. Check them
out if you haven't already. They have a sale going on through
1/31 on some things. You can also take a peek at their website
Fellow Cat/Couch Owner
We bought our sofa at Harvest Home at Bay Street Center in
Emeryville (here's a website:
http://www.harvesthomestores.com/catalog/?item_id=161) for less
than $1500. We have a young child, so we chose a slipcover sofa,
and once, when we needed to, we took off the slipcover and had
it drycleaned. Easy-peasy. The slipcover version isn't quite as
neat as a standard upholstered sofa, but it fits well and should
in no way be confused with the slipcovers you buy for your sofa
after the fact. These are really tailored to the sofa. We've had
it almost five years now and are still very happy with it.
Try www.empiricstudio.com - I bought a couch there about 6 years
ago, and I have quite a few friends who also own them. The
are pretty reasonable and the quality and styles are great. I'm
not sure what they're offering these days, but given your needs,
you might look for a microfibre couch. Good luck.
We bought our couch last year from Zentrum in Berkeley (they
to have two stores, but now I think there's just one, near 4th
street). We got a sofa with a chaise lounge on one side (it's
L-shaped sofa) in microsuede (a great fabric for pets, easy to
clean and looks really good) for $1000. They have beautiful
furniture at amazing prices, it's our favorite furniture store.
So long Ikea!
Believe it or not we got a great deal on a beautiful couch and
love seat at Macy's It was on sale, it was microfiber and we had
a choice of some colors - the micrifiber is fabulous - I wet a
dishtowel and rub out anything that marks it - even pen when my
son's friend sat down with a pen in his pocket. It is so
comfortable when my son is home from college he refuses to sleep
in his bed. The microfiber is truly a miracle fabric and we
didn't pay for the extra coating either! And at the moment you
can get very good deals at the Macy's (they will negotiate right
now as well) - we went to Concord - they have the biggest
selection of furniture.
I vowed never to buy retail again, after seeing what was for
at Consignments Plus in Walnut Creek. Before going over there, I
assumed the prices would be unpalatable, b/c of the location.
(happily) NOT so :-) Nip over there and see what's avail. Good
Been There w/Old Cat, too
We bought a 2-piece sectional at EQ3 on Bay st. in Emeryville
last June. Since it's only 7 months old, I can't tell you about
the wear (tho it is used daily and still looks fairly new). But
like you, we were looking for something at a price point between
Ikea and Pottery Barn but more well-built than Ikea. I think
our sectional was around $1800.
I am looking for a new couch, and have heard many things about
microfiber/microsuede in terms of its cleanability and durability. We currently have
a leather couch which, while so very ugly, has been easy to clean: except for
ballpoint pen, I can get anything off.
We have one toddler who uses our couch as a play area, two short-haired dogs who
are forbidden to come up on the couch, yet occasionally do sneak up, and we two
adults aren't Martha Stewart in terms of cleanliness (we all eat and drink while
sitting on the couch).
I am wondering if it really is true that ''microfiber is just so easy--everything comes
right off?'' Please share any experiences and/or advice. Is it easy to clean, but the
fabric wears after awhile? Can you see where that OJ spilled, even if the OJ itself is
gone? I'd also love to hear opinions regarding a solid fabric vs. something with a
Someday, I want nice furniture again
Yes it is totally cleanable, they try to sell you the repellent
but you don't really need it. Mine has had everything split on
it and it all comes out, no marks. Even with a load of hockey
players having a bbq! Only negative is it really leaves marks of
your bum in it! What was that in my jeans pocket?
I spent a lot of time weighing the fabric options when selecting
our couch. I was told over and over how kid (and messy adult)
friendly the microfiber couch is, so we selected this fabric in
red. I don't know if our particular couch is cursed, or if
Jennifer Convertible has a unforgiving type of microfiber, but
the stains on my couch are HORRENDOUS. Three years later, I now
have one infant, one preschooler, and a couch with about a
thousand drool water marks. Every time something is spilled,
the process of cleaning it leads to a bigger watermark. The ONLY
way to get it clean is to have it professionally steam-cleaned.
But at $80 bucks a pop, and the fact that it stays clean only a
week at most, this isn't the most practical solution. PLEASE, if
anyone has a better fabric choice, please share!!
Now I Know Why Grandma Wrapped the Couch in Plastic
I don't know anything about microfiber couches, but our solution
with young children and cats is to use a slipcover. I still
have my old couch from grad school (which has been owned by at
least two or three other grad students in the past). It's not
pretty, but it's comfortable and clean (doesn't smell, but has
stains). We use slipcovers that can be washed. We first used a
slipcover from a website (www.surefit.net ??) but then we just
bought a new stretchy slipcover from Target two weeks ago that
we love. We also want nice furniture again, but with two small
children, I think that will have to wait. This is one solution
you may try. Buy something comfortable (new or used) and then
put a washable slipcover over it.
My two cents
We have a light green micro-fiber couch, 2 off-white microfiber
chairs and a 14-month old. When I bought the chairs my husband
thought I was crazy, but they really do clean easily. A damp
cloth is all you need. Most of our spills are food, but we've
also had to deal with baby spit up, juice, pencil marks and some
weird red mystery stains that I cleaned up at least 24 hours
after they appeared.
A microfiber believer
Are there furniture shops in the Berkeley area that sell flame-retardant-free sofas?
Hoping the reduce chemicals in the house
Roche Bobois in SF sells chemical free upholstered furniture. They're stylish,
but not cheap.
Need new sofa and chairs for family room as our pets and kids
soiled the last set. What is the a good fabric (not including
leather) and colors that can weather the storm of kids and pets?
I'd like to be able to put a cushion protector on the sofa
coushions to avoid anything soaking through, so I'm wondering if
a slip cover is ideal? Any advice or thoughts would be great!
I have been dealing with the same thing as you with my kids and
cat and found that slipcovers are best. You can wash them and
put them back and finally change them when they are old and
stained. We kept our old worn out but sturdy shabby chic sofa
but have been using a slipcover and it looks great.
As a professional slipcoverer, my favorite fabric for families
with kids and pets is Crypton Super Fabric. No need for cushion
protectors because fluids cannot soak through it. Stains lift
right off. It isn't inexpensive, but is the best. Lots of
restaurants and hotels use it these days. They make many
patterns and weaves, including suedes and velvets. See
www.cryptonfabric.com They now sell to consumers as well as to
design professionals. Ask the store you are buying your
furniture from whether they can specify ''Customer's own material''
if they do not offer crypton fabrics themselves.
For more budget friendly fabrics, I'd look into some of the
microfiber suedes that are on the market. Many of these are
hydrophobic and liquids will bead on the top rather than soak
through. They have varying degrees of stain resistance...ask the
vendor for the specifications.
Choose small patterns or textures over solids because pet hair
and marker ''decorations'' tend to disappear in the pattern. When
selecting your color, take your pet's fur color into account.
As long as you are investing in new furniture, try to make it
a practice to vacuum the surfaces that get the most wear once a
week, and flip and rearrange cushions as often as possible to
spread the wear around. Dirt, dander and dust just get ground
into your fabric if they are not lifted off. Buy and use the arm
protectors: they can be easily washed when they get dirty,
unlike your upholstery.
Fabric one if my favorite subjects. First you need to decide if
you want an upholstered sofa/chair or a slipcover. If you
choose upholstery look for a fabric that has more than 100,000
double rubs. A reputable fabric retailer should be able to
steer you towards this. A texture or a pattern will hide stains
and dirt. A darker color helps too. Don't be afraid of
synthetic fibers they last longer and the colors are usually
richer. If you have a sunny roon Sunbrella has fabulous
If you go with a slipcover and you pick a fabric that can be
washed have the fabric pre-washed to shrink it up so you don't
have any surprised after you wash it for the first time. And
again pick a fabric that is darker in color and has a texture
or print. Solid fabrics with flat weaves show all stains
regardless of color. As a person with kids, a dog and a cat I
have opted for slipcovers. I have a cotton one I wash when ever
I need to and a nicer one that I dry-clean for when I want my
house to be a bit more put together.
A color that has worked well for us is sage green. Early on, we had a regular sheet
''protecting'' it. That was kind of effective for our first kid. What we have
going on now
is a vinyl fitted sheet (about $5 at Target) under a slipcover. The slipcover is
color as our sofa and is a nice cotton brushed canvas. It is removable and machine
washable. And it looks nice!
I'm thinking of buying the EKTORP sofa from IKEA. I've had
equally good and bad experience with IKEA furniture and would
find it helpful to know whether people like that sofa or not.
Does it wear out quickly (I know that it is kind of soft to
beginn with)? How are the covers holding up to frequent washing?
We have two toddlers and 2 cats and are thinking of getting a
dog --- would that be a good sofa for the next 5 or more years?
We love our Ektorp sofa!! We've had it for 4+ years and it's still going strong. The slipcover
has been washed countless times and it still looks like new (and it's offwhite). People cannot
believe that it is an Ikea sofa. Ektorp lover
i've had my ektorp sofa (loveseat actually) for a few years, and it's only gotten moderate use,
in a guest room. it's not held up very well. the first cover, light blue, got too stained and
worn after about a year, and then the zipper pull broke off, meaning if i took off the cover, i
couldn't put it back on. when i went to buy a new cover finally, in red, they told me i could
return the original, though i still haven't as it's an hour to get to ikea... then when i put
the new red cover on the first time, the same thing happened - the zipper pull broke off! so i
plan to return them both when it's time to get a new one, and hopefully i'll get 2 new ones. but
i still wouldn't recommend it at all. get a really well made slipcovered sofa somewhere, that
will hold up. i still have one that's great from a place called sofa a la carte in SF, but i
think they went out of business. good luck!
We would like to hear from anyone who has purchased a
leather couch, ie what to look for and if you're happy with
leather (vs fabric). And, if you have a store you can
recommend for a quality leather couch at a reasonable price,
do tell! Thank you!
I had a butter-colored leather sofa and loveseat that I just replaced with fabric-covered ones. I wouldn't buy leather again.
Leather is cold when you first sit down.
My cats scratched up the leather when they jumped on it, leaving conspicuous marks that couldn't be repaired.
The light color looked dirty unless cleaned regularly with saddle soap, a messy and time-consuming job. Cleaning accelerated the wear of the leather's finish.
Eventually I tried covering the furniture with standard pre-fab slipcovers, but the leather was too slippery for them to work.
Some friends bought a leather sofa from Macy's. The service was excellent (they had to replace several pieces because of the leather quality and Macy's was responsive) but they ended up trading it in for cloth because the sunlight/heat through the windows made the leather all sticky. A thought to add to your deliberations.
I've had my leather sofa for 13 years now. The other day I thought it was finally starting to look a bit worn, but then I wiped it off & it looked brand new again. This couch has been through three toddlers & two cats, and we are very lax about everything, from food or drink on the couch, to jumping on the couch (happens all the time.)
Key ingredients to getting a good one: look for thick leather that is upholstered tightly - not that thin, loose, wrinkly style. Look for cushions with inner springs, as you will have this thing for a long time. And finally, you must have a good frame to support the couch, because it will be heavy.
I got mine from Expressions custom furniture in 1992. I paid $2200 on sale. In comparison, I just paid $800 for a fabric-upholstered sofa for another room in December 2003, and it looks so bad already I'm inclined to get rid of it.
Can anyone recommend a place to buy a small, kid-size foam
couch? Someone gave us one many years ago and its falling apart
and I'd like to replace it. I've heard about a $99.00 one at
Foam Creations on Solano but was hoping to find something less
expensive. Thanks much for any suggestions.
In addition to Foam Creations, I've also seen these in that bed
store near the Pinole Toys 'r' Us. (A few doors to the left, I
I saw some at Berkeley Kids Room, on Shattuck.
We got one a Toys R US for $19. All foam. No wooden support.
But the cover is removable and can be washed and it is still is
good condition after 2 years of use.
We just bought a cute little house and I'm dying to upgrade from
our student futons to a grown-up sofa. I've been shopping
around, but can't decide which fabric will best survive the
beatings (and spillings) from my toddler. Some salespeople say
leather, some say scotchguarded fabric (but which type?). Any
advice from those with experience? Anything we should avoid?
I'd hate to spend a lot of money on a sofa and have to worry
about it being damaged all of the time.
I would definitely suggest a leather sofa! We bought a leather
sectional at Ikea and I've never been sorry. It has taken a lot
of spills from my twin girls and it looks great. It's really
easy to take care of.
We just bought a micro-suede couch from costco for $500 it is
great. Looks and feels like suede but can be shouted out. Yeah-
perfect for this mommy and her baby, messy husband and three
dogs! Check it out.
Leather is the only way to go. I can not tell you how many
times I wipe my couch down. If you want the soft feel of fabric
buy some nice throw pillows.
Get leather. I resisted it for the first two kids and made do
with wiping spills off fabric. I think we went through 4 fabric
sofas over the course of 15 years. After a couple of years our
fabric sofa would look terrible and we'd spend the next few years
hoping to be able to get another one. No amount of scotchguard
will protect a fabric sofa from the kind of abuse that kids can
inflict, and they are very creative in finding new ways to abuse
furniture that you never thought of. You might be thinking it
will just be something like the baby's sippy cup leaked a little
juice and you can get that right off, no problem. But in a very
short time the baby will be bigger and your sofa will have to
accommodate all her friends and the friends' bad habits, dirty
shoes, muddy sporting equipment, toys that can make holes,
science projects that explode, art supplies that leak, stain,
and stick to things. Then they get older and need to eat all the
time, and they eat bowl after bowl of cereal and milk, repeatedly
ignoring the No Food in the Living Room rule. They are watching
the game so they can't pay full attention, but they are certain
they never spill anything. And they can buy junk food with their
own money, awful junk food that comes in weird colors and has
strange crumbling properties, and sticks really hard to fabric.
And they stay up later than you on the weekends, so they eat all
of these things on the sofa with five of their friends who are
also starving inattentive teenagers. And don't forget the pets
with their dirty feet, and the little bits of catfood and kitty
litter and worse stuck to their fur....
Well, for all these reasons we upgraded to a leather sofa a few
years ago. It's one of the smartest parenting decsions I've
made. You just wipe stuff off with a cloth. It still looks just
as good as the day it was delivered!
Pottery Barn has several sofas that come with slipcovers that
you can take off and run through your wash (or take to be
professionally laundered). You can also buy additional slip
covers--they are pricey,but cheaper than a new sofa.
We have a couch & chair that came with custom-made
denim slipcovers. They are wonderful. If they get dirty or
soiled, I simply remove the slipcovers and launder them.
The couch & chair are fully upholstered, so they still look
great while the covers are being cleaned, plus they give us
an alternate ''look'' should we want one. Great choice for a
family with little ones.
It's on the expensive side (around $1500), but I can
recommend the Charleston sofa from Pottery Barn in the
velvet fabric. It comes with a removable, dry-cleanable
slipcover, so my reasoning was that if worse came to
worse, I'd only have to replace the slipcover at less than half
the cost of the sofa frame. My toddler is 2-1/2, we've had the
sofa for nearly 4 years, and so far it has stood up very well to
minor spills, nursing slobber, and various other forms of
abuse from my kid and visiting kids of all ages. It spot
cleans easily, and although I haven't yet had to dry clean it, I
keep in mind that that's always an option. Incidentally, I'd
stick to the darker colors.
We are thinking of purchasing a leather sofa, instead of a fabric
one, because we have the idea that it will be sturdier, with 2
boys and 2 dogs in our household. Is that a fair assessment? Our
last sofa, we had covered with a durable tapestry fabric, and now
10 years later, it is worn through. Will a leather sofa last
longer than 10 years? And are the higher end sofas worth the
price, $3000+ vs $1200-1500? Do the higher prices and thicker
leather really last longer? Thanks for any thoughts on this.
Also any recommendations on where to shop for such a couch?
We have had 2 leather couches for over 10 years. They are in
the living room, not the family room, and so have not gotten the
heaviest beating. But we have 2 kids and a dog, and they still
look new. Spills wipe right off. We are redecorating, and
about to get rid of them. If you want to buy them for a lot
less than retail, let me know.
Please help. We are in the market for a couch. We want good quality and
dont know exactly what to get. Has anyone got something new from a store
which they love and trust? How are Scandanavian Design sofa's?
We bought our sofa at Busvan for Bargains in SF and have been very pleased.
The new Ikea in Emeryville has a great selection of sofas. We
would love to buy one, but it's been kind of a hassle. We went
down to the store (no small feat with the traffic!) and picked out
a sofa and a color and went to the pick up area. They didn't have
the color, didn't know when it would be coming in and told us
to call to see when it came in. I called, and the recorded
message said that until it was less busy, they wouldn't be giving
sales or product help out over the phone. Kind of annoying.
However, the couches they have are pretty swell, so we'll probably
go back to actually get one sometime, just not when it's so busy.
Hi, I am also in search of a sofa and or sofabed. I went to Ikea yesterday
(first time) and sat on A LOT of sofas. Some were very comfortable and
supportive of backs, and some were too cushy and slumpy. Quality seemed to
vary too, and the prices were all pretty reasonable to cheaper. You can also
order some of them with fabric and colors of your choice. Good luck
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