Would you buy a custom sofa online?

Back when the dude moved into his new house, we started sofa shopping for the den. Here is how we found our sofa.

First, I had to pull some inspiration. With Sarah’s help I found Adrian Greniers EcoChic pad and Nicky Kehoe’s Hollywood home and I started the conversation at home about what the house could look like. The dude and I differ and have had some funny conversations along the way.

I’d gone on my own to sit down and think on sofas at CB2, LiveStyle, HD Buttercup, Jaxon Home and of course Ikea, cause I’m still into that. I like to sit on a sofa for a really long time, and just wonder. I’ll people watch, I’ll think about other items in my home that will match the sofa, or the new directions that the particular sofa might spin the aesthetic. I LOVE to daydream on a couch about living with it.

Jaxon Home had a strong contender in a dark grey velvet with tufts and a dropped arm. I’d texted a pic to the dude and he didn’t say he hated it, which meant that I heard a YES. Recently, I have been thinking about this sofa a lot, since I’ve been spending a lot more time at the Jaxon Showroom. They are a new client for my marketing group.

Anyway, we didn’t get that couch. Instead, one Saturday, Heffe and I got on our bikes and hit the boardwalk headed south from Santa Monica to Venice. We had stopped at approximately 4 bars before it occurred to me that we were very close to one of the sofa stores, LiveStyle. So we popped in, and with a little bit of a beachy, bikey, bar buzz, pulled the trigger on a couch immediately. Jeff saw it and said, “This is it.” We worked with the shop owner Francesca to pick out the fabric that we wanted, and waited impatiently for weeks while they built it.

This is what it looks like in our home nowadays. We love it cause it’s 80 miles deep and will seat a family of four for the entire Star Wars trilogies comfortably.

HeffeHouse sofa The Estate of Things Betsy Moyer

The reason why I’m telling this story though is b/c I wanna know how folks normally make this large purchase, you know – besides the bike rides with a buzz strategy. Our friend Ashley over at Meet Me in Philadelphia recently sprung for a English Roll Arm purchase from Sofa.com that Sarah is now considering for her next couch.

Ashley mentioned that her dude had to sit on it, so they took a trip to the showroom, but ultimately she bought online.

I keep hearing stats about the growing percentage of furniture purchases that are now happening online, so I’m curious, and y’all this has everything to do with aforementioned new client…. But, do you have experience buying a sofa without a test drive? If so, how are you building your confidence that you’ll get what you pay for? I’m really moved by the fact that Sarah is willing to buy the Bluebell based off of Ashley’s positive experience and GREAT looking results, plus the glowing reviews from Good Bones, Great Pieces, who just posted a guide to some great options under $2k and included two sofa.com options. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Honestly, if we weren’t within driving distance of the Sofa.com NYC showroom, I don’t think I would have ever been able to convince my husband to spend $2,000+ on a sofa. I know I’ve told you ladies how happy I am with my purchase but, for such a big ticket item that’s all about comfort, I think I’d hesitate to click ‘buy’ if I didn’t first test it out in person.

    • I can imagine. It seems like a tough call to make.
      Wondering if things like free shipping and free returns and all that help to ease people’s minds…?

      Can you imagine having a donkey sofa delivered into your home and then giving it a spin and deciding it’s too hard?

  • I live in Birmingham, AL and it is very hard to actually sit on or see in person the item you are going to purchase. So, I have purchased many items without seeing them in person – sofas, beds, chairs, etc. Although we do usually get to see the fabric/color sample in person either at the store carrying the line or via mail. This probably means that we probably spend more because I try to purchase well known brands (or at least well known to me or a friend) to try to increase the chances of it being comfortable as well as the expected quality level. Thus far I have not been disappointed!

    • Ah, you know – I didn’t even think too much about folks in remote locations without access. I grew up in a smallish town, but it was one that was built on the money of furniture manufacturers…

      Thanks for your note Lindsey. That gives me a different perspective!

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