What It Is: Article’s Sven Tan Sectional Sofa
Who Tried It: Ana Calderone, People Associate Food Editor
Level of Difficulty: 4, Couch shopping is hard but this online brand makes it easier
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.
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.
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.
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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!