The Best Upholstery Fabric To Use When You Have Cats (Plus, My Search For A New Sofa)

*This post contains affiliate links.

I bought the gray sofa in our living room back in 2019, and I bought it from a local place that buys and sells random pieces of furniture that they acquire through store closings, overstocks, etc. The great thing is that everything they sell is pretty inexpensive, and you can buy it and take it home with you immediately. So for people like myself who love immediate gratification, it’s perfect. The downside is that a lot of what they sell is cheap, as in, cheaply made.

And now, two years and a few months later, my once-pretty sofa is now looking pretty frumpy. It’s fine if you don’t look closely at it. But when you’re standing in the same room, it’s painfully obvious that the cushions are sloping towards the middle (probably because the whole frame is), the fabric around the bottom is wrinkled because it just wasn’t pulled tightly before it was stapled into place. And the misshapen back cushions just won’t straight up. They’re frumpy and lumpy and that’s how they want to stay.

I knew the sofa was cheap when I bought it. For the price I paid for it, I knew I wasn’t getting a quality piece of furniture. But I was unsure about the gray, and I wasn’t sure how the size would work, either. It’s an 85-inch-long sofa in a rather small room. So I decided to give it a try. I remember questioning the quality to the sales woman (I especially wanted to know if it was an Ashley, as I have sworn off of bringing any Ashley furniture into my house), and her selling point was, “Well, think of it this way. It’s so cheap that if it only lasts a couple of years, you’ll still get your money’s worth.”

How’s that for a sales line? 😀 But it worked on me. I bought it and they delivered it that day. And she was right. At the price I paid for it, and the length of time I’ve had it so far, let’s just say that I’ve spent way more money each year on Sonic iced tea than I did on that sofa. But the time has come for me to look for something that’s built with more quality in mind, and that has a fabric that my cat Felicity won’t tear up, because she has done a real number on this sofa.

Both of the back corners have rips in them from her clawing at them.

(Excuse my dog. I think he was feeling extra clingy this morning. 😀 I couldn’t get him out of the way, so there he is.)

And she’s done the same with the arms. I keep trimming these threads. In fact, I trimmed everything on this sofa just two weeks ago. So this is what she does in just two weeks’ time.

And yes, I keep her claws trimmed and filed down. I don’t know how she does it. I can literally finish up trimming and filing her claws, and not two minutes later, she’s shredding the sofa.

So I need to find a new sofa that is not only built with better quality, but that is upholstered in a fabric that she can’t destroy so easily.

Do you know what upholstery fabric stands up to cats the best?

Velvet. It’s velvet. There are also a couple of others, like ultrasuede and leather (which I realize isn’t a fabric). I’ve just never been a fan of ultrasuede (I don’t like seeing my butt print when I get up). Leather is nice, but it doesn’t really go with my decor. So for me, velvet is king. In my personal, humble opinion, velvet is the best for cat owners because it’s not quite as imprint-prone as ultrasuede, and I find it to be more versatile (decor-wise) than leather. And it comes in so many different colors, and you can upholster just about any style of furniture with it and it’ll look good.

I already have several velvet upholstered pieces in our home. The chairs in the living room are velvet.

finished living room - 1

Right after I got these, I saw Felicity try to scratch on them once. Her claws wouldn’t catch on anything, and she lost interest almost immediately. I haven’t seen her try to claw on them since.

And the settee in the music room is also velvet.

music room velvet settee

This is Felicity’s favorite spot to nap during the day, but I’ve never once seen her attempt to scratch at the fabric.

So as long as I trim and file her claws on a regular basis (I like to do it once a week, but sometimes I get busy and I’ll go two weeks), she simply can’t get her claws into the velvet fabric, and then she loses interest and heads to her scratching post. But right now, that living room sofa is way too convenient for her, and she can definitely destroy that fabric no matter how recently I’ve cut and filed her claws. So I’ve started looking for a replacement.

My top picks for velvet sofas

My main requirements for a new sofa are:

  • It has to be between 80 and 90 inches, but 85 would be perfect,
  • It has to have a bench seat cushion. I love that clean look.
  • It has to come in gray velvet, obviously.
  • It has to have a clean, streamlined look. I don’t want a lot of loose throw pillows, or anything that looks frumpy or frilly. Clean lines are the key.
  • As far as style, anything from a clean mid-century modern to a tailored transitional style is fine. Nothing overly traditional or too starkly modern or contemporary.

Here are my top picks:

1. Jennifer Taylor Home Nicholi Sofa in Opal Gray

I love the clean look of this sofa, and I also like that it has a leg (legs?) in the middle so it can hold more weight. I’m always concerned that long sofas without support in the middle may start to bow in the middle. The fabric is just a tad darker than I had hoped, but at $1455 with free shipping, it’s a good option.

gray velvet sofa - Jennifer Taylor Home Nicholi sofa in Opal Gray
Jennifer Taylor Home Nicholi Sofa in Opal Gray

2. Windsor Performance Velvet Sofa from Eastshore Modern

This one also has that clean look to it, but with a bit of a traditional twist, from the turned legs (also with legs supporting the center) to the nailhead trim accents. This one is pretty dark also, and while I was hoping for something a little lighter, this doesn’t appear to be any darker than my current sofa. This one is $1022,50 with free shipping.

gray velvet sofa - Windsor Performance Velvet Sofa Gray from Homethreads
Windsor Performance Velvet Sofa from Eastshore Modern

3. Napa Velvet Sofa in Concrete Velvet from Poly & Bark

This one has a more decidedly midcentury modern style to it. I’ve never really considered myself a fan of midcentury modern style, but I do really like this sofa. I wish the color was lighter, though. This one is $1299 with free shipping.

Napa Velvet Sofa from Poly and Bark
Napa Velvet Sofa in Concrete Velvet from Poly & Bark

4. Rensselear Velvet Sofa in Platinum Velvet from AllModern

This is another dark gray option from AllModern. I’m not sure that I like the arms being so high, though. I feel like it might seem too enclosed. I like having an arm to comfortably rest my arm on. But at $930 with free shipping, it’s definitely a good option.

Rensselear Velvet Sofa in Platinum Velvet from AllModern

5. Caitlin Sofa in Sterling Velvet from Interior Define

These next two are my absolute favorites. They’re also the most expensive. Ugh. I love that they both come in light gray, and the delicate gold feet on this one are a favorite of mine. But it also has those high arms, so it comes in second in my book. I love that Interior Define’s upholstered items are customizable. You can choose the fabric, the length, the fill, etc. But at $1908.25 with a $189 flat rate shipping, that puts this as one of the most expensive options that I found.

Caitlin sofa from Interior Define
Caitlin Sofa in Sterling Velvet from Interior Define

6. James Sofa in Sterling Velvet from Interior Define

And finally, my absolute favorite. I love, love, love this sofa! I love how streamlined the design is. I love that it sits right on the floor, so Felicity can’t get underneath and shred the dust cover (which she has done on our current sofa, so I just removed it altogether). I love that it doesn’t have legs that would compete with all of the other leggy furniture I have in the room (and neighboring room). It’s just so clean and tailored and perfect in every way. But it’s also the most expensive. Ugh. This one comes in at $2248.25 (for the 88″ with a flippable seat cushion) plus the $189 flat rate shipping. But it’s just so perfect in every way that I may convince myself to splurge instead of choosing a cheaper option. I’m not sure yet, but it sure is tempting!!

James sofa from Interior Define
James Sofa in Sterling Velvet from Interior Define

So I’ve narrowed down my options to those six. That’s the easy part. Making that final decision is the tough part!!

Which one would you put in this room?



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Depends on how soon you need delivery. I wanted American made, durable fabric, hardwood frame, etc. I found one in store, bought it and ordered a second. Delivery on the second one will be 8 to 13 months. Not weeks, months!

      1. Interior Define has a showroom in Austin and another in Dallas. Would you be able to take a road trip to see and sit? Also, if you can cut your cat’s nails, you could definitely put soft paws on her. They’ll save your furniture and not bother the kitty.

    1. I like the first two best. Seems a better fit with your other furniture. I might not go mid century modern or over stuffed.

  2. I love the Caitlin sofa. I hope they still have it by the time we finish building our house.

    One thing I’ve noticed with the cats is that even if it is velvet, but has piping there is a path to scratch as the piping allows the claws to catch.

    1. I’d say get a cheap one you like because cats and dogs are going to have their way with it. My sister spent $1500 on a sofa and her dogs love to lay on the back cushions. It’s taken it’s toll and it drives her crazy. Smooshed down back cushions. She’s fanatical about grooming them weekly and still there’s pulls on the fabric. Interesting about the velvet not being as enticing as other fabrics!

  3. Gosh. I would go with your most favorite! Looks great and the cat can’t get underneath it to tear it up. Perfect. Except maybe the price? However, a really good sofa does cost that much!

  4. Go with your fav. You won’t regret getting something that you absolutely love! You definitely need something without legs in that room. Is the cushion in velvet on the underside? It seems I was looking at that brand and decided against because it of that. I may be wrong but check that spec, there would be nothing worse than not being able to fluff,flip a bench cushion.

    1. That’s one of the options they offer. You can get it with the one-sided cushions (that can’t be flipped), or you can pay extra to have cushions that can be flipped. I’d pay extra for the flippable cushions.

  5. The last one is perfect for you, because of all the reasons you listed. Yes it is more expensive, but is it really over time. If you love it and it checks all the boxes go for it. If you don’t love it now, you will just be looking for a reason to change it out later!(ask me how it know 😩) besides it really is a lovely sofa!

  6. Definitely the James. I think its solid base will ground the leggy pieces in the room, and even though it’s the most expensive, it will be a piece that will last and give you more than two years’ of use. If price was no issue, which would you choose?

  7. Love the gold legs, but you don’t have legs in current sofa. Look at your room and ask yourself will I just see lots of legs?

  8. “I don’t like seeing my butt print when I get up.” Glad I’d finished my coffee or I would have spit it out laughing. Best line!

  9. I suggest you go with the one you love, love, love. It is a high quality sofa and will last many years, but most importantly it will make you happy. $1000+ is a lot of money so you might was well get the one you like the best, even if it’s the most expensive. (And it’s the most beautiful of the bunch in my humble opinion.)
    (I’ve sat on the Poly&Bark sofa and didn’t think it was comfortable btw.)

  10. The one you have is the size and shape you like, have you thought about reupholstering it or having it done? I reupholstered my couch and took it down to the wooden frame and started from scratch so I know the bones inside are good.

    1. I’d bet that she would get it down to the frame and see that the frame is crap, and end up building the whole thing over with quality wood. And THAT would be costly, with the prices on wood. She may as well buy the one she likes at that point. But agree that she could handle it if she chose to!

    2. This one is so cheaply built that even the frame is junk. I found that out when I took the dust cover off of the bottom after Felicity shredded that. It’s just built of plywood. I wouldn’t even have a problem with that if it were properly done and well-built. But this one isn’t.

  11. My fave is the Windsor. It’s the only one of your options with a single back cushion, and I love the look of it! Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

    1. I have both leather and ultra suede and my cats have sharpened claws on both.
      I have heard velvet is a good option with cats but my sister has a velvet chair that has become the cats scratching post so maybe it has to be a certain kind of velvet.???

      1. I also have leather and my cat loved it as much as anything else which is to say he clawed it. Personally, I like #2 but I would want to see it in person and be able to check the framework and sit on it, etc. I had a bad experience buying furniture on line especially expensive pieces like a couch. I would be going to a local furniture store. That’s a lot of money to take such a chance. Unless,of course, I missed the part of you actually seeing the couch.

  12. I think having a sofa with legs will make the room more spacious and will tie in with the chairs. The Caitlin would be my choice. Plus I find a more upright back more comfortable. I totally agree about the velvet. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats and I find that it is very easy to get the fur off.

  13. We have found that microfiber fabrics are also cat proof. I know it’s not the most attractive fabric, but it’s come a long way. Still not my first choice, but better than the hacked up cat-scratching posts that our others sofas have become.

  14. Although the bench style seating is streamlined, I’ve chosen box cushions for both my new sofa and loveseat. The reason being is that I can switch them around and turn them over so none of the cushions will wear out sooner than others and also keep them from sagging. I have two cats and I can attest that leather is NOT cat friendly when it comes to scratching; thus my new furniture is a pet friendly fabric.

  15. I would splurge on the one I want! It will probably be a lasting piece in the room. Therefore worth the money. I, personally, will never again buy a piece of furniture with buttons on the seat. I had problems with the back pockets of jeans catching on the buttons and pulling them out of the cushion.
    Sheila F.

  16. I really like the Caitlin. It’s a timeless design and if it is well built, the frame will last through many new upholsteries. I am fascinated by the qualities of velvet!

  17. Your impeccable taste is evident in your choice of the James. If you shy away from that price, the Windsor is my 2nd choice because it has the center leg. The brass leg number doesn’t seem to have any. There were a few missing the center leg, and I KNOW it will definitely sag over time without that additional support.

  18. The favorite is wonderful. This time, when your cat starts scratching on any furniture, keep spray bottles around everywhere. Then spray when she starts scratching your furniture. Proven to keep them from tearing up your bedspread and furniture.

  19. Does Cooper like to chase balls or toys? If so, be weary of couches with legs. My husband and I splurged on a new couch that has legs, and our dog constantly gets toys (mostly balls) stuck under the couch, and then she barks until they have been retrieved, which is SO annoying! We wish we would have thought about this and picked a sofa that went all the way to the ground like your favorite Interior Define sofa. I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the – they’re all beautiful – but it’s something to think about with a dog! 🙂

  20. We have a large cat scratch thingy made from corrugated cardboard. It looks like a lounger and it’s big enough for her to lay on. It’s hideous! It leaves cardboard shredding around it. It works! Well it works great for my indoor cat and I have to leave it in the most convenient/favorite spot for her. I hide it when I have non family over but my furniture is no longer molested.

    1. What you describe sounds very much like what Felicity has. If you look at the profile, it looks like a relaxed “8”, and it’s made of cardboard. She loves to lounge on it and scratch on it, but what she loves more is to scratch on what’s convenient, which is most often my sofa. 😀 I bought her two of those cardboard things. I guess I should move one into the living room right by the sofa. I hate doing that, but we cat owners have to do what we have to do. We can’t train them not to scratch. It’s instinctual. So we have to accommodate them, even if it means bringing a cardboard lounger into the living room. 😀

  21. That James sofa is beautiful! I have a sofa with a middle leg, and it is dangerous. I can’t tell you how many times l or someone in my family smashes their toes on it. I severely bruised my little toe and the one next to it two months ago, and it is still sore. Avoid the leg!

  22. oh i love the Windsor performance, # 2 couch, with the lovely legs and studs, mmm. Cant wait to see what you choose

  23. I, personally, am not a fan of a single cushion. That being said, I think that either of the two with gold legs would coordiante with your chairs.

  24. Well! You made it hard for us too! Order the swatches. I really like #2 but do not like the front legs-those little casters scare me. #6 looks to be a solid sofa but it is longer than you want and I think heights of at least 36” are best. – I know whatever you choose , you will customize with pillows to make it fabulous!

  25. I’ve had sofas with high arm rests, and they were very uncomfortable for me since I’m on the shorter side.

    And the bottom needs to either be enclosed or high enough off the ground to easily dust mop underneath.

    The first thing I thought when I saw the words “turned legs” was that each turn will catch dust.

    So I think my pick would be the James. (Since you asked for ideas lol.)

    It is so darn fun to see your home come together. ❤️

  26. My favorite is #2, but I’m not a mid-mod fan in general so I’m drawn to the traditional elements. Also 100% agree about the high arms. I had one like that and it drove me crazy. You found some great options!

  27. If it were my room/house, I would definitely choose the James. I don’t like high arm rests, as a person who likes to rest my arm on the side, they are not comfortable to me. Your 2 chairs and your settee have brass legs, so I wouldn’t choose another brass legged piece. The other wooden legged pieces are nice, but a little dark, although I could probably get used to a darker gray. Also, I like the idea of a more solid piece to offset all of the legs in the room. That leaves the James, what I consider to be a perfect choice of the 6! Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  28. No. 4 is so much like No. 5 only a bit darker and $1000 less. I like the openess under the sofa but like you worry about the height of the arms. If I was just going on style, I would go with No. 1 and paint the legs gold. I think it would give you the most visual space while also creating a separation between the entry and living room. I’m sure whatever you choose will be beautiful!

  29. 2 or 6 are my choices. 6 is my fave.

    Don’t you have a few scratching posts around for kitty? You build everything else, built kitty a few scratching posts, girl! We have 2 Tonkinese & we trained them as kittens to use the scratching post – never have they scratched at anything but that!

  30. James Sofa in sterling would also be my 1st choice. For all your same reasons…no legs….the arm height….. but especially the piping on the cushions, and arms….. over the years the clean definition of the shape has always been the one that attracted my eye…. While I’m not familiar with this company hence their warranty, it seems to me that might just be the “Perk” that justifies the price…

  31. It’s not even a contest: #6. You’ll own and love this one for the next 20 years, about $122/yr. Worth it if you love it!

  32. Personally, I genuinely dislike #6 — it looks like they forgot the legs… just looks stumpy. #5 is beautiful but too expensive. I think #4 would look really pretty in your room.

  33. Go with your favorite plus it’s on sale right now for $1,908. Not a huge sale but at least it’s something. I think it’s a 24 hour sale.

  34. I really like the Caitlin overall and the legs mimic the purple chairs to some degree, but the James sits low to the ground like your existing sofa which fits well in that space. The biggest thing I learned when I bought our sofa was how deep it was! So many sofas are really deep these days and you can’t lean back without having your feet three inches off the floor.

  35. Easily, my personal choices would be #6 the James sofa, or second, #2 the Windsor. Those styles are more me. And I, too, prefer velvet. I don’t care for leather or ultrasuede. I’m too traditional. Either would work well in your room, but, it comes down to you choosing the sofa you feel best meets your budget, style taste and that you can live with long term. You have excellent taste, so I’m sure you’ll make a great choice!

  36. Honestly, I say go for what you love. You save thousands of dollars continually by doing so much yourself. I think it’sakustifiable expense.

  37. I like 2. Clean lines, arms a bit high but you rest on the pillow, not the actual arm, that would be uncomfortable in a bit. Plenty of support for the middle. Yes, that last one would be perfect for you I think. Beautiful color, arms the perfect height, cat can’t get under it. I find it semi-beautiful (is that a word? 😁) What I don’t find beautiful are the two “blocks” stuck to the ends. To me those two ends, that don’t seem to be an actual part of the sofa, take the most expensive sofa down several pegs. Just me.

  38. 4, 5 & 6 are all beautiful. I think you have to consider just how long you think it will serve you, with or without said cat. I truly understand the need/impulse to go cheaper but, perhaps, in an investment like a sofa, you might consider the splurge. Most of the time the old adage is true: you get what you pay for. Good luck in making the decision; I’m just glad it’s not me!

  39. Sir James, for sure. Any of the others seem like a compromise for reasons you have enumerated. That piece of furniture is such an important part of the look and feel of your living room. It is the first thing you see when you enter and it screams “perfect” and good taste. I think your innards are speaking to you that is the one you will be most happy with. Clean lines, no legs, perfect color, and quality.

    Send the cat to spray bottle obedience school. 🙂

  40. Personally, I think you should go with what you love, regardless of price (within reason of course). This is a major purchase and should not be skimped upon. We ste not talking about disposable furniture.

  41. I also love your favorite, and I think you should ask for a discount as a blogger and IG influencer!!! I KNOW you hate to do that, but it’s not like you haven’t ever done it. For something this lasting and impactful, I think you should use whatever you can to get it! If not, I am partial to the first ones lines. My only issue with pillow backed sofas is the down fill. I’ve never had one that didn’t look “frumpy” and I could never get them to not sag, with the fill sitting on the bottom. Even polyfilled ones do the same, so I like a firm back with light padding, or a tufted sofa.

  42. About 12 years ago, I bought a very expensive sofa, (with cloth material)and within 6 months my cat had destroyed it. I wasted a crap ton of money. So I swore off expensive sofas. And no, not Ashley either. I don’t care for them either. Since that time, two cats have died, and we got another one. I’m down to one cat and she doesn’t bother any of my furniture. I now have faux leather and all she does is sleep on the top of it. Thank goodness for that. Can’t afford to keep replacing furniture 😂

    1. Well not exactly faux leather, maybe more like a microsuede, but my cat doesn’t bother it. She does however, love to use the rug. Ugghhh. But I figure a rug is much less expensive than a sofa.

  43. I really like them all but especially the one with that gold feet. I’m sure whichever one you choose will look great. I’m almost positive that you already know this but I feel compelled to share with you Kristy, and your readers that velvet is nice but never, ever buy cotton velvet like I did! If anything is spilled on it it’s ruined. Always get polyester velvet. I have a cotton velvet sofa and I have to keep it covered all the time. My cats have not picked it but a guest spilled wine and let’s just say that I don’t feel the same about my beautiful sofa since that happened.

  44. I would choose the last option and your favorite. No legs, no cat underneath, right color and style you love. It is only money! Splurge and get what you love!

  45. All the sofas are lovely, but I can’t imagine purchasing a sofa I haven’t sat on. Just because a sofa looks comfy doesn’t mean it is.

  46. #2 is my choice. FYI … another very cat friendly fabric is microfiber … which looks and feels very much like velvet. We have had 3 couches, 2 love seats, and 3 chairs … all covered in microfiber … and not one snag or pull or mark from any of our cats. My tapestry couch, however, was a disaster and I really loved that one. It has since been recovered in microfiber and looks brand new. Another fabric to consider!!

  47. I like the Windsor Performance sofa..I like the curve on the arms where they meet the back which I think would compliment the soft curve of the arms on you beautiful purple chairs and I like the gold cast to the nailheads that also pick up on the gold legs of those chairs. I know it’s off the floor and you kind of want to stay away from that because of Felicity, but for me, the all the way to the floor model you really liked, seems too boxy for your room. Your room is so light and beautifully airy that that last sofa, to me, seems like it might detract from the airy-ness. BUT, that is just my eye and everything you have chosen this far, has been perfect in your space and just beautiful no matter what you’ve done!! I truly love looking at your pictures of your home!!

  48. They all have great design elements. #6 would be my pick because I need to easily reach over the arm of the sofa to set my beverage on the end table and I always sit with my legs up crossed. If its just for occasional guest or looks 4,6, and 2 are fab too . I know, I’m no help at all. I love them all!

  49. Great choices to consider Kristi. I personally think the #2 choice because of its streamlined back and seat. Not crazy on the legs. Love your last choice and most expensive. It is the most expensive from your choice but we all know that sofas can run much more expensive. Working in a design shop with workroom, my advice is to choose the right fabric. One that have a high rub count for abrasion. Also, what is the fill used for the cushions. Nothing worse for me is soft back cushions so I tend to favor one without cushions. Use soft feather fill decor cushions instead. Consider a very good velour upholstery weight fabric. Good luck and look forward to seeing your choice.

  50. The James gets my vote as not having the legs helps to create the divide between the living room and the hall way. I’d definitely avoid the ones with higher arms if you like to use arm rests as arm rests rather than back rests.

  51. I think that you should get the one you like the most, for the reasons you stated. You are making an investment, so forget the comment from the salesperson when you bought the last one. She is part of the throw-away mentality. I think the last one, the most expensive one is great. It could be your last sofa purchase!

  52. I don’t have a cat, but understand they can be declawed. Then buy the one you love the most and know it will last.

  53. I agree with the last one. It just looks comfortable and inviting. Most of the others look like Hotel lobby couches to me.

  54. I need to explore this info further as need to buy some pieces. We like firm seating. How do you buy furniture without sitting in it for fit & comfort? How do you know the density of the cushions?

  55. I love velvet. We had a bright blue one a few years ago and it was so easy to keep clean too. Our two Great Danes enjoyed the sofa very much. It cleaned up with a damp cloth and sometimes I would lightly spray winded to remove the slobber🦋🦋

  56. I’m torn between 2 & 6. Im uncomfortable ordering something as important as a sofa online. I need to sit on it, lie down, curl up, you name it. Will they bring the sofa all the way in for the delivery fee? Have fun choosing!

  57. I like the second aisle and the sixth best. But for any of them, I would try and get a sample of the fabric ahead of time. Gray is a color that can have a mini undertones and with your colors in the room, you would want a grey that works well.

  58. First, I agree that pretty much nothing beats velvet when you have cats around. I have a lovely shell back chair that’s not velvet that I have to pin thin clear vinyl to whenever company isn’t around or they would use it instead of their scratch pads. I can also say that Crypton Graceland is another they don’t like. It’s a finely woven brushed fabric. The sofas you’ve selected are all attractive but have you considered what the foam density and firmness are of the seat cushions and what the back fill is? This and a solid structure frame are really important in a quality sofa that lasts and doesn’t wind up in the landfill in a few years. The fabric can always be redone. As attractive as I find the various metal and other removable legs, this is a point of weakness for a sofa that is regularly used. My good sofas have legs that are structurally part of the sofa.

  59. I think the first thing that strikes me is, I’ve never seen a sofa that sits on the floor! To me, it’s like a bed without a headboard, or a bed that sits on the floor without a headboard; no thanks. I’m worried that the ones with high arms won’t be right for you because I think you’re too short and you’ll sink down. I like to rest my arms without raising my shoulder to do so. ( that’s why I love my minivan because I’m an “arm hanger-outer”. And most sedans now have really high windowsills). Anyhow, good luck with your search, I’m anxious to see which you chose.

  60. I think you already know the answer. It’s the James sofa because you love it and it is one of only 2 in a lighter grey. Someone else mentioned that your other furniture is already leggy.

    What you need to know is what’s under the fabric. Hardwood frame? Coils or serpentine springs? Type of foam and fill? Quality is mostly what you don’t see.

    As to price think about life cycle cost. I expect my custom sofa to last for 15-20 years minimum. It’s already 5 and looks brand new. Think also of the planet. That cheap sofa is environmentally expensive. Barely 2 years old and headed for landfill? That’s tragic.

    Buy better and less often.

  61. Visually, I prefer the Windsor for complementing your existing furniture, decor, and bones of the room and the price is right. I’m concerned, however, about the quality of mail-order furniture. Order a swatch of fabric from your favs, perhaps that will help your decision making.

  62. Put your favorite in the room. It is a little more expensive, but this way you will be happy and also not need to purchase another sofa in two or three years. The sofa’s that are less expensive may be less expensive for a reason.

  63. Kristi, I love the James! Hands down my favorite! But I’m not the one living with the sofa. I think you should go with the one you love the best! I know you will make the right choice for yourself! xo

  64. I 1000% absolutely love the last option, the James. I love that it doesn’t have legs. Seems more grounded as the most substantial piece of furniture in the room should. The gold legs on the purple chairs and the music room settee offer plenty of interest already. I’m a penny pincher in so many ways, but I’ve learned that spending extra on home items that you love is almost always worth it. Especially when you don’t work outside of the home – this is where you spend the majority of your life! I say go for it!

  65. Personally I like option 2.
    Pros: The softer shape of the arms would blend nicely with your chairs; the backrest is also one piece so no inward sagging; centre legs; the piping and stud trims are elegant.

    Cons: The legs aren’t right for your room (but maybe you could change them); the one-piece backrest may not be as comfortable as those with a divided one;

    2nd Choice would be number 1:
    Pros: Streamlined and comfy looking; centre legs.
    Cons: A little ho-hum in design, nothing stands out as “special”

    Good luck Kristy …… glad it’s not me!

  66. Wow, the salesperson that sold you the sofa could sell ice in the Antarctic! 😉 Obviously, you could get a well made item at a lower cost and a piece of junk that was terribly expensive, but typically I have found that “if you buy cheap, it will act cheap”. It seems to be a fairly good mantra to hold true when making those bigger ticket item purchases. So, if your budget allows and your heart desires, I say go for it! This way, in two-three years, you won’t have to do another post like this one.

    PS. Love your style, so no matter which you ultimately decide on, it is going to complement your beautiful living room!

  67. I vote for the James sofa! We recently purchased the Jasper from Interior Define (48 inches deep!) and we absolutely love it. I say go for it! Just keep in mind it will take 3-4 months to get it. We weren’t in a rush so didn’t mind the wait.

  68. Hi Kristi! Long-time lurker, first-time poster. 1) I love your creativity and enthusiasm and have in particular enjoyed seeing your DIY wall art projects. 2) I purchased a Water Rower for myself and my husband thanks to your post, and it is life-changing. Thank you so much for sharing that info; I wouldn’t have even known what they were, otherwise.

    I felt compelled to say something today, because I’m so thrilled with the sectional we purchased and I wanted to share the company with you because I don’t think it’s very well-known: If you’re going to splurge…May I suggest looking at just as another consideration? I get a lot of our furniture from either outlet stores or Craigslist/Nextdoor, or estate sales…but we saved up and purchased our sectional from here. The way the springs are made and the frame etc…I don’t know enough about furniture to speak in a very educated fashion on it, but at the time, I had done my research, and it ticked all the boxes of being extremely high quality and seemed like a reasonable price for the quality they delivered. We have had our sectional almost 4 years, and it looks exactly like it looked the day we purchased it. They do have velvet as an option as well (there are TONS of fabric options).

  69. Speaking from experience, in a room full of a sea of legs, something skirted to the floor is grounding. Also, while a center support leg theoretically seems like a good idea, smashing your toes on it more than once will convince you it is not! Go for the James!

  70. Kristi, so strange, I’ve been looking for almost exactly the same thing for the past few months. I would prefer black velvet but will do dark grey. I have 4 cats. I don’t want a bench seat though. I LOVE the west elm andes so much but its really expensive. I have one from Castelry in my cart but I’m trying to figure out if the reviews are good.

    Thank you so much for your blog!

  71. Save yourself time and stress and flip-flopping.

    Order #6 today and be happy in a few days!

    You said yourself, it’s your favorite. Enough said. 😊

    Just think…you were considering buying another house that would take time and finances away from the overwhelming work ahead in your own house. The cost of this sofa is nothing compared to that.

    Buy the James sofa; name it “Jimmy” and love it!

    Then move on to the next item on your list.

    Does “James” come in purple, or green?

  72. Kristi, you have the chance here to save yourself days/weeks/months of agony and stress. You can focus that saved energy on your listed projects.

    You answered your own question. Go with your favorite, #6, the James. Order it today and move on to the next project waiting to be stomped upon.

    You were I considering buying a second house to work on before your home projects are done.

    Take a tiny bit of the money you saved and get the couch you want!

    You work too hard on your house to not get the better items you want.

    You rock, girl!

  73. Oh Kristi – I thought my first post did not send. The site sent a “double post” message and I thought I deleted it.

    I checked the site, my post was not there so I tried to rewrite it.

    I am so sorry, if you can delete one, or both, of them please do so.

  74. I like #1 and#2. But I’m not fond of the legs on #2. You could switch them out if you don’t like them. How do you find velvet for cat hair? I have stayed away from it because I fear it would be a magnet.

  75. Love the cat belly and dog ears in your pics! My cats claw my mattresses. I like the last sofa best too but I also like sofa #1

    1. It’s sooooo easy to keep clean with the right tool! I found one called Uproot, and it’s AMAZING! It’s so easy to use (almost fun to use) and gets cat hair off of velvet like nothing else I’ve ever found. And I’ve tried out quite a few fur removal tools that promise to easily remove fur from upholstered furniture, and they all fail. But Uproot is amazing. You can find it on Amazon. Here’s my affiliate link:

  76. For me #6 all the way! I’m one of those who spend good money for good quality. You will get years of wear from good quality. FB Marketplace & Kijiji are full of ads that have The Brick & Ashley furniture for sale. They last a couple of years…then end up in “great for a cottage or student” ad. I luv, luv, luv #6.

  77. Go with the James sofa. You save so much money with all the DIY work you do you deserve it. I think you would always wish you had if you went with anything else.

  78. Kristi, I had two velvet chairs and my cats went to town on them. Yes, velvet shreds too. And it’s super ugly. Now I find a vet who declaws with great caution and care and my cats are fine. They actually treat their paws like fingers, seriously, it’s amazing what they can do and obviously have no pain following their surgery. Good luck with the new sofa.

  79. The one thing about pets and furniture that sits right on the ground is that pet fur tends to stick to the bottom of it… Definitely fur and lint magnets, especially in velvet, unfortunately.

  80. My cats do not claw any of my furniture. Here are my tips:
    1) Have at least one scratching post in each room. I know this is hard but there are some pretty chic looking scratching posts out there these days.
    2) Use an encourage voice any time you see your cats using the scratching post (think: “good boy, good kitty, get it, get it)
    3) Use load voice to yell anytime you see them claw your furniture and immediately take them to the nearest scratching post and gently encourage them to use it.
    4) I don’t clip my cats claws. At all. You heard me. Not at all. If you clip their claws, they are compelled to spend time sharpening them.
    5) Caveat 1: My bed comforter. Their claws get caught in it all the time. It gets a lot of abuse. I just buy a cheap white comforter and replace it every year. It’s worth the $35/year.
    6) Caveat 2: there is one rug they seem to be obsessed with and have clawed up a bit when they are on their “zoomie” rampages. I don’t know why this particular rug has become their victim but they leave all the other rugs alone.