A Reluctant Online Furniture Shopper Orders Article's Most Popular Sofa
Moving is the worst. Everyone knows there’s no joy to be found sorting through all your things, packing up whatever you keep, and then paying someone to lug it out, or worse, having to do it yourself. But decorating the new place, that’s the fun part, right? For me, it was debatable.
When I was getting ready to move into a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn with my boyfriend, John, I loved the idea of decorating with a fresh slate. (All of my “saved” posts on Instagram from aspirational home decor bloggers could finally be put to good use!) But as I said, I loved the idea of it all. Actually executing my plans proved way more difficult than I had anticipated. There are just so. many. options.
John doesn’t get as jazzed as I do about entryway ideas or which chairs look right with our farmhouse table, so I couldn’t count on him to help pick the small stuff. But the couch he was invested in. It’s where we’ll spend most of our time and undoubtably what we’d spend the most money on, so it had to be right.
We knew we wanted a camel-colored leather style, so that helped narrow things down a little. But we were still swimming in a sea of options. West Elm had some gorgeous sofas but the long delivery times meant we’d be without a couch for 5+ weeks. (Yes, I should have planned better. Shush.) That was out.
RELATED: We Tried It: The 3D Decorating Tool Everyone Will Use in the Future
We struggled with the idea of buying a couch online at all since we couldn’t actually sit on it first. And because sites like Wayfair and AllModern sell so many different brands, it’s hard to properly research or hear firsthand from someone who’s purchased that exact couch.
The journalist in me wanted multiple sources to confirm I was going to love this couch. There is just so much trust you can put in an anonymous reviewer.
Then I found myself on Article‘s site. The online-only, direct-to-consumer brand had the style I was looking for — the Sven tan sectional — and it could be delivered within 10 days, potentially even quicker. I’d heard from friends who had good experiences with the brand. The only complaints I could find online were that the back cushions weren’t very firm, and the color is lighter than expected. I know that a beautiful patina takes time, and I sleep on the plushest mattress known to man so I wasn’t too worried about either. They also have a pretty great return policy, which eased my mind. If I wanted to exchange, it’s free, or returns are $49. I would just need to hang on to the packaging until I was sure, otherwise it’s an extra $50.
Honestly, taking out my credit card to pull the trigger on such a large purchase was the hardest part of the whole ordering process. It retails for $2,999 with the chaise, or $1,799 without.
I placed my order and got a call five days later that it was time to schedule my delivery. I had the flexibility to pick whatever day I liked, but was limited to the window of time they assigned to me 24-hours before, so it’s best to pick a day you have completely free.
I did not do this. Learn from me.
I scheduled mine for my actual move-in day, so with my movers coming in the morning to my old place, I crossed my fingers for a later delivery window. Naturally, I was assigned 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (See, not a good planner.) It was going to be a hectic day.
RELATED: We Tried It: Can a Foam Mattress in a Box Really Replace Your Old Spring Bed?
I asked their customer service team to give me a 30-minute heads up, and they happily obliged. When I got the call, I rushed over to the new apartment to find a big Article truck on my block. My landlord wasn’t quite ready for me, so the delivery men ended up having to leave my couch in the hallway. They would have put it in my living room because I opted for the “inside room” delivery option, which was $50.
Shipping is free for orders over $999 if you only want it delivered to the ground floor of your building. It’s $120 (with a discounted rate for orders over the $999 mark) if you want them to bring it inside and assemble it, but I wouldn’t recommend shelling out the extra bucks because it’s so easy to do yourself (more on that below).
Me and my new couch were off to a rough start, but things only got better once we got it inside. The Sven sectional comes in two big pieces so there’s not a whole lot of assembly required. All you need to do is screw on the legs and align the latch that joins the two pieces securely together. John actually said he thought it was the easiest thing we did that day.
Now that we’ve had nearly two months to settle in with our couch, I’ve grown to love it even more than expected. It’s incredibly comfortable — I didn’t find the cushions to be under-stuffed, but rather just right. You can lean back and settle in, without feeling like you’re stuck in that position till the end of time. The reviews were right about the color, though. It doesn’t have that rustic, lived-in look fresh out of the box. That will come the more we use it. I’m excited to see what it’ll look like six months from now.
The leather is soft, but not precious. I’ve already spilled more drinks on it than I care to admit and it’s almost like the liquid rolls right off. And I think any marks that do appear add to the character.
It’s also deeper and more spacious than most of the other couches I considered, which has been a treat. John and I can sprawl out simultaneously. The chaise is huge in fact. My apartment is not even 600 square feet, so if I was going to take up most of the living room with a sectional, it needed to be one that we didn’t want to get up from. And so far, we haven’t!
After tossing around a few different options for a new couch, my husband and I decided to purchase an Article Sven sofa in December of 2016. When we first bought it, we loved the look of it and were happy with it. The down filling and soft leather made for a very comfortable fabric sofa. After having this couch for about a year though, I started noticing how quickly it was losing shape. The seat cushion started hanging over the edge, the leather piping had become crooked and pinched along the armrests, down feathers frequently came out of the seams, but most disappointingly, the back cushions had slouched into a flat pile of worn leather. Down filled cushions will understandably need fluffing, but the issues with these flat cushions go so far beyond a normal flattened cushion. It’s gotten to the point where the back frame has become worn where the cushion has failed to sit upright and it looks ragged. I’ve meticulously cared for the couch according to Article’s care guide; vacuuming weekly, cleaning with a damp cloth, and using Otterwax regularly on top of fluffing and trying to whip the cushions back in shape. Needless to say that in the 2 years since spending almost $2000 on this sofa, I’m really disappointed with my purchase. I feel like I got a defective sofa because in photos that I’ve seen online or on social media of the couch, it has firm, stuffed cushions and the seat doesn’t hang over the edge like mine does. Has anyone else had issues with their Sven? What can I do?!
Fast-forward to July 2020, when I signed a new lease with an August 1 move-in date. After landing a new job and immediately being thrust into a country-wide quarantine, I finally returned to New York City, feeling proud to be in a position that allowed me to upgrade from my previous terrible, small apartment. My newer space would be bigger and brighter than my previous cramped, flex-walled dungeon. I couldn’t wait to move in—and, of course, to decorate.
As a Fashion & Lifestyle Editor, I’m constantly on Instagram looking at what people are wearing, how they’re decorating their spaces, etc. A large part of my job is seeking out inspo and seeing what’s trending, and as I focused my sights on all things home decor, I kept seeing the same couch popping up again and again: Article’s Sven Charme Tan 72″ Sofa. There it was, featured in a sponsored post by an influencer I sometimes sit with during Fashion Week. Then again, with an LA-based model lounging effortlessly atop it. I started to see it everywhere.
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
I scrolled and scrolled, but I couldn’t escape this couch. I knew deep down that it was time for me to ditch my foul freebie couch and give my new apartment the upgrade it deserved, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the Sven Sofa was too good to be true. I mean, everything looks better on Instagram, right? Was it really an incredible couch, or just the most convenient sponsorship a gal could get?
I reached out to Article, totally transparent about my suspicions, and let them know I wanted to review the leather sofa and see if it was actually worth all the hype. They agreed with some majorly confident energy, which implied that they already knew damn well how good their product was, and weren’t worried about the risk of a potentially-negative review. After going back and forth (and back and forth, and back and forth…) about whether to get the Sven in leather or Grass Green Velvet, I finally selected the Charme Tan Leather, convinced it was the appropriate Big Girl Choice for my Big Girl Apartment.
I admit, I was nervous about receiving a couch in the middle of a pandemic, but Article’s Contactless Delivery was a breeze. Assembly went without a hitch, and before I knew it, a big, beautiful leather couch took up an entire wall of my new apartment. My apartment. My couch. As someone who had only ever had hand-me-down or found furniture in the past, I was over the moon.
And now, my honest review of the quality. I don’t want to be a suck-up, but wow. I was genuinely convinced this would be one of those ~ridiculously gorgeous, but not actually all that fabric sectional sofa, and I was dead wrong. It’s comfy AF, and given that I’m currently working from home, I sit on it basically all day, every day. There’s just the right amount of give when you sit that allows a cushy feel, but the second you stand up, the couch resumes its aesthetically-pleasing, structured shape.
Another great thing? I had feared a leather couch because I didn’t want to scratch or stain it, but the Charme Tan Leather comes with a slightly lived-in look, so it’s not one of those too-perfect-to-sit-on situations. I’m careful, of course, but I don’t feel like enjoying a glass of wine or sitting with shoes on are majorly risky moves. The leather looks and feels durable, and I appreciate that it can handle some wear and tear.
I know it can be scary to splurge on a large piece of furniture, especially for the first time, but I’d definitely recommend the fabric corner sofa to both home-owners and apartment renters. Having such a large, beautiful piece really pulls my home together, and it’s something I know I can take with me wherever I live next. I’m glad I didn’t end up buying a cheaper, low-quality couch for a quarter of the price that I’d eventually replace.
Plus, I finally understand why I kept seeing this couch all over my Instagram feed: it’s so photogenic. I use it as a backdrop for just about all of my flatlays, and I’ve taken many a self-timer photoshoot posing on it. No shame!