August 10, 2022
Size: 80″ Width
Seat Cushion: Bench Seat
Cushion Fill: Down Blend
Fabric and Color: Basketweave Slub, Ivory
In most aspects of life, I don’t consider myself to be a huge risk-taker. I value safety and security in a massive way, and my actions tend to follow suit. However, there’s one place in life where I am just outright, unapologetically reckless: I love having a white couch in our living space.
You may think, “is that really so dangerous and wild, Anna?”
To that I would say, you’ve never watched my husband eat a burrito for dinner. (Or literally any other meal. He would be the first to tell you he’s the clumsiest boy in school.)
When we first moved to our new apartment, we had a green couch for a few weeks as a rental while we waited on our couch to ship. I loved the shape of the rental sofa, but the green was a bit overpowering in the space itself. Sofas are already the tone setter den, and adding such a dramatic pop of color felt like too much.
I was relieved when our white couch arrived a few weeks later, but there was a problem: It was not cozy or comfortable. It was pretty, but the shape felt a little colder than expected. It was deep, but the cushions didn’t hold up well. And that white? Well, the “performance fabric” did not perform well. We were disappointed, but after a year or so, we knew it was time to find a replacement sofa.
The goal: find something with traditional lines that’s formal but still comfy and plush enough to look inviting — and, potentially most importantly, would fit in our space. We tend to have meals on our sofa, host friends often, and want something that helps pull the room together while also being durable enough to live with us.
After searching for a few weeks, I sat on a sofa at a friends house and before my butt even left an indention, I knew I had found the one. So, after having the sofa for a few months now, I wanted to share my honest thoughts on it’s design, how it fits in our space, and how it’s kept up with my husband’s inexplicable coffee spills.
For most pieces that we bring into our home, I start with design first, then weigh the rest of the features against how the design elements fit. What that means is that we may find something to fit our blueprint perfectly, but if it doesn’t match our needs from a practical or comfort perspective or is outside of our budget, we will look at alternatives.
I’m always willing to compromise a bit on design to make everything work, but creating the right ambience and cohesive aesthetic for a space is always my goal. That’s why this piece was so exciting when I found it. The design of the Carlisle is very traditional with classic English Rolls and dark wood legs, which both help the piece feel elevated.
These more conventional details are balanced out by a lower back (but not so low that you feel like you have no support) and a deep seat (but not so deep that you feel like you’re guest starring on The Big Comfy Couch). We opted for the bench seat cushion (there’s tons of customization allowed for this sofa specifically), which is another way to maintain an elegant, yet minimal look.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with how the design of this couch fits in our living space. It’s the star of the show, but it’s still humble enough to let the big orange chairs think they are.
After all the abuse we put this sofa through, I love how well it maintains its shape without having a performance fabric. Beyond that, the down fill option allows us to easily fluff the cushions after use so they can return right back to their original shape. The seat cushion is also much thicker than our last couch, which makes it not only more comfortable, but also makes you feel like it’s ready and able to handle years of game nights and movie marathons.
Lastly, when said spills do happen, we can easily clean them up without making the white take on that dinge-y hue that creeps in with other fabrics. The slubby texture is also a game changer, because it’s tough but retains a soft hand-feel. (For what it’s worth, I thought about upgrading to a “performance fabric” and was told not to by someone who owned this coach before us. After a several months, I wish we had gone with the upgrade to better avoid staining.)
For our space, the 80″ version of this sofa could not have fit any better.
The main game changer here is this piece maintains that classical charm without ornate or impractical components to it. There are no super large arms that hang out into your walking space or oddly shaped pieces that make it difficult to design around. It’s shape is basic, but not boring, and that’s ideal when trying to maximize your space. The arms are small, but still useful, which means you get the most possible space for your bottoms.
At $2,099 (based on our selections — price varies based on what options you choose), this sofa is solidly on the higher end of the non-leather couch spectrum. In my experience, “you get what you pay for” has never held more true than when it comes to sofas, and so far, this couch’s value appears to be on par with the price point. For us, this purchase was a long-term investment in a sofa we expect to last us several years.
While this sofa did check all of our boxes it was slightly outside of our original budget and took some major consideration before finally pulling the trigger, which results in the lone imperfect grade in our review.
That said, we haven’t had a single moment of buyers remorse yet!
I hope this review helps you decide if the Carlisle Upholstered Sofa is right for you. Please leave any questions in the comments!