I shared the inspiration for our living room last week and I’m hoping to order a sofa for the space as soon as possible so we can have it delivered in time to host our families for Christmas. (The room will definitely not be “finished” by then but I figure as long as everyone has a place to sit, we’ll be happy!) We are really starting from scratch with furniture for this room and all I’ve ordered so far is two of these chambray linen armchairs that I can’t wait to see in person:

one kings lane augusta bergere chambray linen

So I’d like the style of the sofa to work with the style of the armchairs and I’m thinking we’ll go with a fabric in the 0ff-white / tan color families in hopes of keeping the room light and bright but not kidding ourselves into thinking we’ll be able to keep a white sofa white with a dog and a baby. Other than that, I just want it to be reasonably comfortable (I say reasonably because we already have this super comfortable navy sectional in our family room and we’re likely to spend more time in there) and a little more formal than the aforementioned sectional since the living room will be used more for entertaining than everyday lounging. Here are a few of the options I’m considering — I’d love to hear if you have a favorite in the comments!

pottery barn york slope arm slipcovered fabric sofa

ONE  //  Pottery Barn York slope arm slipcovered fabric sofa

I like the practicality of a slipcovered sofa but most of them seem too casual for a formal living room. That said I think this one looks pretty tailored for a slipcovered option, and the sloped arms add a little interest without sacrificing comfort.

one kings lane brooke sofa natural herringbone

TWO  //  One Kings Lane Brooke sofa

A classic roll arm sofa is a decidedly more formal option, but I struggle with not being able to try this in a store before placing the order. If anyone owns it and has any thoughts, I’d love to hear!

birch lane Fairchild Slipcovered Sofa

THREE  //  Birch Lane Fairchild slipcovered sofa

After having a great experience ordering our nursery glider from this company, I clicked through a bunch of their sofas and bookmarked another tailored slipcovered style. The price is pretty unbeatable but I wonder if the pillow back would be annoying / hard to accessorize with my own throw pillows.

FOUR  //  Crate & Barrel Keely slipcovered sofa

I love the curved arms of this style but I’m wondering if it’s a little too modern looking for our 170-year-old house.

FIVE  //  Birch Lane Madison slipcovered sofa

Same thing here… I can’t decide if this is a nice tailored contrast to the more ornate armchairs or if it’s a little too modern for the space it will be in. But if it looks right for your space, the price is definitely right!


SIX  //  Pottery Barn Carlisle upholstered sofa

Again I love the look of a roll arm sofa and think it could be a good fit for our space, but I wonder if these arms look a little too low to be at all comfortable. Maybe option #2 above strikes a better balance?

One other idea I have is to find a printed fabric I love (maybe a subtle khaki stripe?) and have something upholstered or custom made vs. choosing from existing fabric options. If you have recommendations on places that accept customers’ fabric, I’m all ears!

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  1. I have the OKL Brooke sofa! We have the version in blue velvet fabric that has three cushions. I actually went to a furniture store that carried Rowe, which I think is the sister brand of Robin Bruce to sit on them and feel the fabrics before we purchased. It’s really comfortable!!

  2. I have a pillowback sofa and I mostly regret it. I found it at an AMAZING price and it looks nice but the pillows are just super awkward to deal with. I only bought it like three years ago but I can’t wait to replace it.

  3. The armchairs look great and very similar to the ones we got from Restoration Hardware. I think you should look at their sofas – I found them to be much better quality than pottery barn. Good luck!

  4. For the one that goes with the chairs the most I think is 2/6. The legs and classic roll arms really play well with the classic look of the chairs. BUT for the most functional you might be better off with a slipcover. So my vote is number 5. The straight lines, even though modern, I feel are more neutral. Thus doesn’t overpower the more decorative chairs.

  5. Whatever you do MAKE SURE ITS A SLIPCOVERED SOFA! I have boys and believe me, you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t get one.

  6. I have the Room and Board Orson sofa and it is hands-down the best sofa I’ve ever owned! Plus, their customer service is amazing.

  7. Check in with Grandy! When she helped me with my first apartment I remember her telling me that good room design should have a mix of furniture with legs and furniture with skirts. Since your armchairs have legs maybe no legs on the sofa?

  8. I love #1 or #2! My only comment about creating a more formal space with potentially less comfortable furniture is the sofa my parents always had in their living room (and still have!) is the most comfortable sofa in their home. The fabric and style are more formal than what’s in their family room, but the comfort of that piece has always made us feel encouraged to enjoy it. It’s also from Ethan Allan, so at their prices we should want to enjoy it!! I would encourage you to still prioritize comfort because you will want to enjoy it, and your guests will likely be happy to stay a little longer too. 🙂

  9. hands down #1 .. I love it – the style, arms, slipcover, clean lines and versatility. Also, for #3, pillowbacks are the WORST, they shift around and make you feel like you have to sit perfectly lined up with a pillow

  10. I like the PB sofa, but would strongly suggest that you see about a sofa that allows for a single seat cushion that I believe is called a bench cushion. The split in the middle option isn’t very welcoming for a large gathering and really can only accommodate two people as no one wants to sit in the “crack”. Trust me as I made this mistake without considering that fact and later realizing that I, too, don’t ever want to sit in a center crack of a sofa. So, either go with a bench or full single bench cushion vs. a split down the center. Also, I say “no” to the Birch Lane with all the pillows at the back. I think that will be very hard to maintain, uncomfortable and you will find yourself fussing with the pillows more often than not. Good luck & I’ll enjoy following along and can’t wait for bebe’s arrival and newborn photos!

  11. I have the PB York sofa with the bench cushion and it is seriously so comfy and holds up well! My dog is constantly on it, jumping on and off, and you wouldn’t know it! I would not recommend cleaning cushions and slip cover yourself. They shrink and will expand once dry, but better to save yourself the stress and have a professional come and clean it.

  12. Ballard Designs accept COM (customer’s own material) and have a nice selection of English roll arms and slipcovered pieces.

  13. I had the hardest time deciding on a sofa when I was in the market for one. I really like several of the Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel ones you mentioned, but I couldn’t find the perfect thing. I ended up ordering the Sullivan sofa from Maiden Home. I was also worried about never getting to test it out, but it ended up being so perfect! I love it SO much and am so glad I went with it. It has the slope arms that a few of your options have, they have TONS of fabric choices, it’s comfortable, and super customizable. They have several other options as well that I think you’d like. I know I totally sound like an ad, but it’s only because I love my couch so much hahaha

  14. I choose number one because it is classic and it will withstand the test of time. I have all the other choices from above and I regret them and wish I chose number one .

  15. #3 – and I’d lose one of the 5 back pillows and stay with 4. You “karate chop” them, to give a look, and it accessorizes well with throw pillows. Smart to get a slip cover, and it cleans well!

  16. Definitely the Pottery Barn…..covers are cleanable, and cushions will lend formality. Design is excellent, so if it’s comfortable, there’s no contest! I’m looking for a loveseat pinkish/red love seat, and having no luck…so you’re lucky in your choice. I LOVE slip covers….you will you. Good luck, jay

  17. My vote is for #2 or #6. They look a little more formal for a living room and I think they would go well with the chairs that you picked.

  18. We have had the York sofa for about a month. We got the model with a slipcover and a bench seat cushion. First, it’s really comfortable. Second, the slipcover is pretty loose. That said, I haven’t washed it yet and, according to the reviews, it will tighten up after it’s washed. Also, I really like the bench seat cushion – I think it gives the sofa a little more finished look. Finally, it’s really worth going into a PB store and ordering it. The woman who helped my went through every single option with me to make sure everything was right and she was able to the fabric I wanted even though the website said it was sold out!

  19. Another vote for Mitchell Gold Bob Williams if you haven’t considered their stuff. I bought a traditional sofa from them in an off white sunbrella fabric several years ago and it’s held up so well. We have a dog, a messy 14 month old and lots of guest traffic and it still looks great.

  20. Great choices! I like #2 the best to compliment your chairs. Have you ever looked at Boston Interiors? I’m in Boston and they are a solid choice around here and offer custom fabrics. Here are a couple for consideration.

    The cushions here will complement your chairs, this sofa comes in two sizes:

    This one even has unexpected footrests that can be used, helpful with baby 🙂

  21. Not sure if you have to use OKL or PB because of partnerships, but the Ballard Designs Eton sofa is what you’re looking for. PB quality is sub-par for the price.

  22. I have the York Slipcovered Slope Arm sofa in Everyday Linen Oatmeal by Crypton and it has been amazing. It is extremely comfortable and holds it’s shape and firmness. I have spot cleaned it as well as washed the slipcover in our washing machine (even though it says not to) and it came out perfect. It said 8-10 week wait time on ours and it came in 6 too!

  23. Me, I like #2. That is an easy choice in my opinion. The reservations are as follows. A single seat cushion is a better comfort choice. With a split seat the middle end of the cushion can rise up. The back cushion if it is not attached to the straight back of the sofa will scrunch down after use making a constant problem to straighten up. Additionally, when it scrunches down its not supportive and becomes uncomfortable and unmanageable fir whomever sits there.. Lastly, what is the filling? I had a very very expensive sofa that was down filled. But they cheated on the down and it was only half as full as it should have been. Even worse there where no stitched envelopes within the seat to keep the filling from moving from one end to the other. Actiually, there was another downside to this sofa, it was too low the floor making getting up off of it difficult. Because I paid a dear price for it I kept it for 20 years before giving it away. .

  24. Go with Maiden Home – it’s a direct to consumer company. They build-to-order from their North Carolina (furniture country!!) workshop and we had it in our living room in 6 weeks. They updated us on the timeline along the way and it was the absolute easiest process, right down to the included white glove delivery service. The couch is awesome. We went with the Sullivan (similar look to your first PB sofa listed) at 100″…you can customize size and fabrics, as well as provide your own fabric. I believe on some of them you can customize the cushions (number etc). Customer service was excellent, and they have a comfort guide on their website… I’m just a happy customer! And I have several friends with recent tragic PB stories, so I was happy to find something different.

  25. Just throwing it out there – my sister was looking at the PB York, but with two little ones, she wanted something practical too. So they got the IKEA Farlov (slipcover) and its held up incredibly well! It is super comfortable and also has one long seat cushion, so its nicer for kiddos to roll around on (no getting stuck between cushions!) and washing the slipcover is the easiest thing in the world.

  26. I love #6 and #2. I personally have not had very good luck with Pottery Barn slipcovered sofas. For something a bit pricier, I would have thought they’d hold up better. But mine got bleached by the sun and it wasn’t even in direct sunlight! I also had issues with the zippers breaking and the piping coming out. Now granted, our slipcover was a blue color and not white, but the slipcover color actually bled through to the white cushions beneath so we couldn’t even take the slipcover off and just use the white cushions. We did have a dog but no kids when we had ours and I was just more disappointed than I would have liked. I still love the quality of Pottery Barn, just don’t think I’d go with a slipcover again.

  27. Have you considered a slip covered pottery barn sofa? Ours is either white twill or white denim, I can’t recall. Anyway, I have washed it twice and it still looks fab. One day, when and if necessary, I can add bleach. I have three kids, a dog, and ten cats (long story!) if we can keep a nice white sofa so can you!

  28. the crate and barrel option (#4) isn’t super comfortable- definitely gives that stiff sit up straight feeling when you sit in it. The fairchild is super classy & you can take off the slip cover and wash it which is a game changer. It would be so pretty if you swapped out a few of the white pillows with colored/textured ones that match your classic new england style. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  29. I own the Brooke sofa, but in a light gray Krypton (stain resistant) fabric. I ordered it from a local home furnishing store in northern MA, so was able to choose a durable fabric. I have two kids and two cats and it’s been great…it’s also used in our more formal living room, so it doesn’t get the traffic that our family room sofa does, but the kids and pets go on it and I’ve had no problem removing stains (coffee that I spilled myself is one that comes to mind). It’s comfortable too!

  30. Love option 2 or 4, very different but both could work well! A thought on the pillow back sofa (#3)- I have an ethan allen pillow back sofa and it is SO challenging to decorate around it. I wouldn’t recommend if you want throw pillows/decor.

  31. Hi!
    It has been so fun following along with your house journey! I know it’s not your usual style, but I think a bolder printed sofa would be an amazing style moment while also being practical; patterns can really hide stains and dirt. That said, a slipcover is extremely practical (and what I have myself in my cute little one bedroom apartment). I would also recommend you check out Interior Define. Amazing quality and custom options.

  32. Since it’s your living room and more formal of a space than family room, I think you should have a little fun with it! I love the idea of using a printed fabric – I think it would add unexpected character to the space and make the room feel more unique, especially since you already have solid chairs. Why not go bold?!

    Ballard Designs has great custom upholstery options and a great selection of printed fabrics in blues (plus you can order tons of free fabric samples)! I like these two couch options for a living room space:

    Good luck!

  33. Have you considered any options from Mitchell Gold Bob Williams? They have a great classic style while also remaining incredibly comfortable and durable!

  34. I think an English Roll Arm would look so nice in your traditional home and with the new chairs. We have an English Roll Arm in our “formal” living room and the low arm is not an issue; people can use a pillow to prop up if they need it. I frequently catch people napping on it! Also, if you’re looking for a big retail store, have you checked Ballard Designs? They have stripe options and will accept customer fabric.

  35. Having ordered furniture from all of these companies, Crate and Barrrel has been the best in terms of product quality & customer service. Plus, I like that couch the best of your choices here – the arms are just enough of a twist on a classic shape. With the baby and Rory you really need a slipcover option, and I think it would look great with the chambray chairs.
    Fwiw, Birch Lane is very much a you get what you pay for retailer, but, that could be good if you intend to replace the couches down the road when you’re more certain of what you want.

    1. I just wanted to add for future readers who find this post searching for couch reviews (like me!) that I have two PB York slipcovered loveseats in white twill. It is incredibly comfortable and I love it. I have had it for 3 years now and have washed the slipcovers and they hold up well. I moved recently and my new living room is bigger and the loveseats are unfortunately too small. I am now looking to find new sofas, otherwise I would not replace my York. It’s a great sofa and I was very happy with Pottery Barn’s service.