I have been on the hunt.  

Pursuing with intent to capture (maybe attain is a better word?).

Source  Photographed by Nathaniel Brooks for the New York Times. Design by Francisco Costa.

Source Photographed by Nathaniel Brooks for the New York Times. Design by Francisco Costa.

There exists a common thread in many of my favorite living room designs.

Source  Design by Studio McGee, photographed by Travis Richardson

Source Design by Studio McGee, photographed by Travis Richardson


I want a single cushion/BENCH CUSHION SOFA!

There is something so sleek and yet comfortable looking about a bench cushion sofa.  It beckons you..."Come hither, take a nap on me!" 

That's me in my grubs after a long day. lol

Yes, furniture speaks to me. 

She's crazy.

It also says, "I'm cool and modern," and "I'm traditional and comfortable," all at once.  It's not that I have to have a bench cushion sofa.  There are a lot of twin and three cushion sofas I love as well.  But noticing this common thread in spaces I love, I wanted to investigate.


Ideally, I would invest in a Lee Industries sofa.

Not only are the lines timeless but they are soooo comfortable!  Without being overstuffed mammoths.  There are a dizzying array of customizable options (fabrics, trims, castors, etc.).  They are made in America and the company uses the best practices in construction of sofas.  

What construction practices make a superior (longer lasting and more comfortable) sofa? 

Any company that offers

  • Eight way hand tied spring construction,

  • Kiln-dried hardwood frames and

  • Double doweled corner blocked construction

is offering a very high quality sofa.  It also helps if they offer options for the cushion fill (poly dacron, spring down, foam core wrapped in down, etc.).

By the way, there are other manufacturers who are comparable, like CR Laine and TCS Designs, available to the trade.  A couple of companies that offer this type of construction available to the public is Carolina Chair and Leather Groups

Above is an example of what they offer at Leather Groups.  At Carolina Chair, you'll have to get pretty specific about what you want because they offer so many options, many that are not aesthetically there for me.  But you could get a very well made sofa exactly how you specify there (you can even send an image of the one you want that they don't list).  Leather Groups, I believe, used to manufacture sofas for Restoration Hardware, so if that's the look you're going for definitely check them out.  They offer some customization as well (like making the cushion a bench cushion!).  All of these companies are located in the USA, which is another hint if you're looking for a well-made sofa.  

Yes, a sofa from Lee Industries would be my ideal.  But.  They can get expensive, at least for someone like me (not swimming in money).  This got me thinking...what options are out there for non-designers who love the look and comfort (no one has to sit on the uncomfortable "crack" where the cushions meet) of a bench cushion sofa?

To start, there are comparable retail sofas, and comparably priced as well.  I would be more than happy with any of Serena & Lily's sofas.  

Lee Industries makes their sofas.  However, they are expensive ($5,000-$7,000 range for the ones above).

Anthropologie's Leonelle sofa, above, is a beauty.  Ignore the pink if it's not your thing: You can customize the fabric and castors as well.  Starting at $2,398.00, it's still not cheap.  But getting there.  Maybe one to keep an eye open for sales?  



The sofa above is from Robin Bruce at One Kings Lane.  An excellent brand with good construction practices and available to the public.  This sofa is currently priced at $2,495.00 with free shipping.

When I talk about "affordable" bench cushion sofas, I realize that's relative.  For the purposes of this post and to hopefully be a resource to anyone else on the hunt, I did not want to exceed $2,000 and so I ended up rounding up two groups of sofas: One $1,000-$2,000 and the other $1,000 and under.  To roundup affordable bench-cushion sofas, many of the aforementioned best construction practices may not be there.  Which doesn't mean they aren't really great sofas that will last a good ten to 15 years.  Just not 30+ years.  That, I can entertain, especially since it's likely my kids will destroy it within ten.    Companies like Room & Board and Crate & Barrel offer sofas that are manufactured by Lee Industries but are not constructed completely the same to bring down the price for these mass producers.  Similarly, Pottery Barn uses a few different manufacturers, all well-established and located in the USA.  

I've posted the prices as of today and added to the total the price of shipping as best to my knowledge to get the most accurate picture of what these guys will actually cost you.  Note that there are also a lot of bench cushion sofas in the Chesterfield style or Tuxedo style out there but they don't have that plush, nap-worthy look I was looking for right now, so I didn't include them.



Okay, one of those squeaked in just over $2,000.  But I had to include it--so long and streamlined yet comfortable!  Also, many of the above are customizable.  The last yellow one can have a creamier, natural slipcover, for example, with different throw pillows.

If these are still a little too steep a price tag, check these out.  I can't vouch for their quality at this price point, but some have excellent reviews (especially the Birch Lane Fairchild sofa, which also comes upholstered) and I approve of the aesthetics.



Before ordering a sofa, tape out the measurements of the sofa on the floor with painter's tape to get a feel of how it will fit.  Also measure the doorways to make sure you can get it in your space!  I highly recommend going to the showroom and trying out the sofa if possible.  With some of these more inexpensive online sofas, that's not possible.  I encourage you to read the reviews to get a general feel of the sofa's comfort and quality.  Understand the vendor's return policy as well.  Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and order online, especially when you live in a more remote area, like I do.  Good design is possible on a budget!