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Filtering by Tag: pottery barn

pottery barn carlisle sofa review

Emily Oster

Pottery Barn Carlisle Sofa  | THE PLACE HOME

Pottery Barn Carlisle Sofa | THE PLACE HOME

I have gotten several comments/questions about how we are liking our Pottery Barn Carlisle Upholstered Sofa that we purchased back in December. The quick response is that we are very pleased with our selection. The more detailed answer - should you be interested - is outlined below.

To refresh everyone's memory, we purchased the grand Carlisle sofa with upgraded down fill and single bench cushion in Sunbrella's Sahara Weave ivory fabric. The sofa was ready for delivery back at the beginning of February but due to our construction we delayed its arrival until the first week in March. It then sat covered in plastic for roughly two weeks while the project dragged to the finish line. And while it was frustrating not to get to use it, this actually proved to be a good thing as it somehow trained the dog that he wasn't allowed on it. I then put some sheepskins on top of it for the first few weeks of official use just to be safe.

In terms of aesthetics, I love how it looks in the space. I thought it might be a little big but the curved, classic lines and minimal amount of cushions (two back, one seat) prevent it from being too bulky. The fabric is a really nice white - not too bright and not too cream. And the pattern adds some texture but is pretty much indistinguishable.

 In terms of performance, I find the sofa to be very comfy. Although it is definitely a lounging sofa as its really too deep to sit up straight. My one complaint in this department might be the armrests. While I like the look of the low profile, its not the best for resting your head. I think this could be remedied with a different throw pillow situation but we just haven't gotten around to it.

Most questions from readers have been specifically about the fabric which looks as good as the day it was delivered. Like I mentioned, we had it covered for a few weeks but now we enjoy it au natural so to speak. We have had no major spills but I have wiped off a few dirt marks very easily. I have seen no pulls in the fabric or any other sort of friction markings and it really doesn't seem to be too susceptible to this particular type of wear and tear. I have noticed that the box pleat on the front of the cushion has slipped a little out of place but otherwise, no real stretching or lose fabric. The one criticism I might have of the fabric is that it could be a bit thicker. I don't notice it now but when the sofa was delivered in bright morning light, I could make out some of construction of the cushions - seams, a tag, shadows of darker feathers etc. I don't see it now and I don't think it would be an issue in any of the darker fabrics but it could have been an issue if the sofa was in super bright light all the time. 

I hope this helps some of you readers out there thinking about making a similar purchase. Please comment or get in touch if you have any other specific questions.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Want to read more? Check out one or all of these related posts. 

a green sofa  june 27, 2013

a green sofa
june 27, 2013

purchasing a new sofa  december 11, 2015

purchasing a new sofa
december 11, 2015

purchasing a new sofa part 2

Emily Oster

We did it!! There was a holiday sale at Pottery Barn that ended yesterday so in order to capture maximum savings, I made the purchase. The sofa won't be ready for 8 - 10 weeks but with how fast life seems to be flying by that almost feels like no time at all. To pick off where I left off on Friday, we had decided on the Carlisle Grand Sofa with a down filled bench seat but were unsure about the fabric selection. From the start, I knew we needed a performance fabric. The sofa is Booker's favorite place to nap and while, I have grand illusions of restricting access to the new sofa it probably won't happen. He just looks so cozy and cute snuggled up! 

I also had determined that we wanted something neutral. As discussed, the sofa is BIG! So I wanted to minimize its scale with doing a light colored fabric - one that would also hide dog hair. My gut reaction was to do ivory as that is what the sofa is always photographed in and what we saw it in at the store. 

Now ivory might seem in contradiction to my desire for a performance fabric but it is not. Pottery Barn carries several lines of performance fabrics that are stain resistant regardless of color. Now would a navy performance fabric do better than an ivory one - yes. But an ivory performance fabric would win over a navy non-performance fabric. Interesting right? Or at least this is what I have been reassured to by several sales people. I also did my own stain tests on a selection of fabric samples. I tried soy sauce, sriracha and butter. The butter proved to be the hardest to get out but I also really rubbed it in there. The soy sauce pretty much just beaded up and I could whip it away and the sriracha for the most part came out with a little work. 

Ultimately, it came down to two fabrics - the Sunbrella Sahara Weave in Ivory and the Premium Performance Basketweave in Ivory. The Sunbrella is a Grade C fabric while the Premium is the highest grade above E. The overall color is really the same between the two but their nap or texture is different. The Sunbrella has a flatter and more striated weave while the Premium (which is a Perennials fabric) has more texture and looks like linen. Aesthetically, it was a clear winner for me - the Premium. But, the Premium would have been $550 more and I had concerns about how the texture would do with dog nails and little pulls in the fabric. So the winner - the Sunbrella Sahara Weave in Ivory! I still have some reservations about the fabric but with the dollar savings I am already thinking about finding two vintage chairs to reupholster for the room.... 

Fingers crossed the sofa fits through the doorway...eeks!

purchasing a new sofa

Emily Oster

Back in September, I wrote this post about how we had moved into round 3 of our first floor renovation planning. The general theme of the post was about balance and fluidity. Finding a plan that works functionally and aesthetically but that is also feasible for us. It also was about relaxing the process and understanding that things might come together in pieces. After a couple of months of drawing, redrawing, sitting on the design and coming back to the design, I think we have a design plan that fits these two themes. I am not saying its not going to change but, at least right now I feel good about it. So good in fact, that I think we are going to take the plunge toward commitment and purchase a new sofa.

Now this is not how I would typically recommend proceeding. The purchasing of main pieces of furniture should generally be the last thing or at least near the end of a renovation list. But sometimes in the design of a home, things don't come together efficiently or necessarily in the right order. 

The main reason for us jumping out of order and why I feel fine with doing it, is that we really need a new sofa! Ours is my post college sofa that my parents bought for me for my first apartment. I think it was originally $400 and is now in its 7th year of use. It has been moved 4 times, been spilled on and stained an unmentionable amount and has never been professionally cleaned. I/we never anticipated having it this long and have really pushed its limits in terms of acceptability. We have put off purchasing a new sofa because I didn't want to do so without having a plan for our renovation. So now that we have a plan, one that is well designed and attainable in the near future, we are moving forward with the big purchase.

First, the living room plan. We need a sofa that will work with our existing layout and one that will work with the new. Our current room floor plan below.

The room is challenging because it is 1.) not that big 2.) has a flue that protrudes into the room and 3.) has 4 door openings and 3 doors. Its positives are that 1.) it is close to the kitchen 2.) has good natural light through a pair of french doors and one large window and 3.) has the original chair rail and molding. To address the negatives and accentuate the positives (plus keep in mind the flow of the rest of the first floor) I have come up with this plan. 

The first big gesture of the plan is to change the room's opening to our back hall and kitchen. Essentially, we will be closing in the current access and a closet to create a large center opening. This will allow for a partial open floor plan with sight lines from the living room into the kitchen and from the front door all the way to the back of the house. The second big gesture is to fur out the flue bump out to make a proper fireplace. We haven't figured out how or if we will retro fit the flue to be a working fireplace but by widening the bump out we will make an architectural feature out of what currently is an awkward eye sore. 

Now for the furniture plan. The obvious and really only starting point is for the sofa to go opposite what will be the new focal point in the room - the fireplace. And if you refreshed your memory by reading the September post, you know that I had pretty much decided on a sectional. Specifically, the Carlisle chaise sectional from Pottery Barn. In the plan, the sectional would look like this.

The main draw back of this configuration is that the chaise extends into the center opening. Meaning you would have to walk around it to get into the room. With the renovation, the back hall is going to generously sized so I do think it would work if we really wanted it to. However, the sofa is already largely scaled for the room and I worry about how big it will feel - especially if it obstructs the opening. If we did the regular sized Carlisle at 80" long it would look like this in plan.

And if we did the grand Carlisle at 90.5" it would look like this in layout.


Design wise, I would say the standard 80" size is best scale for the room. In fact, if I was being really design focused I would probably not recommend this sofa at all because of its 45" depth. A narrower sofa would be more in proportion to the room something around 38". But its not always all about design but balancing design with wants/needs and what we want is a big, cozy deep sofa. 

So what have we decided on....the grand Carlisle sofa! We had the opportunity to sit on the grand over Thanksgiving in Chicago (our local store didn't have the model) and found the extra length along with how deep and cozy the sofa already is made the chaise not really necessary. Nice but not needed. And considering our room plan as well as the greater versatility of a sofa over a sectional, we have pretty much decided. We also know we want the one bench cushion - no center sag - and the down blend cushion. Now we just have to select the fabric.....

I hope everyone has a great weekend!