sweet: sofas under $1000

by Grace Bonney

Over the holiday break, I had coffee with an old friend who recently bought her first apartment. We were laughing about that phase after you save up for and then buy your first home and can’t afford to immediately decorate it. I was trying to help her find a decent sofa under $1,000 and kept coming up empty on the style front. Except for the usual suspects (IKEA sofas), everything seemed to get better designed once it crossed the $1,000 mark (though I loved this chaise). I’d given up for a few days when a random Home Decorators Collection catalog ended up in my mailbox. I’ve never shopped there and was about to throw it in the recycling when I happened to notice a pretty gray tufted sofa for only $599! I immediately called my friend and told her I’d found her sofa. She’s got it on order, so fingers crossed, it will look as cute in person, but until then, it appears HDC has a few cute options under $1,000: the Emma Tufted Sofa (my fave, $599), the Olivia Love Seat ($569), the Rockford Sofa ($999, with nailhead trim), the Roberts Tufted Sofa ($679), the Martine Sofa ($799), the Laurel Sectional ($899), the Avery Sofa ($999), the Markham Sofa ($999) and the Gordon Tufted Sofa ($999 in leather). If you’re in the market for a new couch in the new year, click here to see the full range online. And if you’ve got any faves on the more affordable end of the spectrum, feel free to pass along raves/rants below . . .  xo, grace

*Here are my old favorite sofas and some new sectionals that are pretty nice . . .

All sofas above from HDC, links in paragraph above.

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  • I’m so happy you made this post. I’ve been looking around, for awhile, for some new living room furniture. This is giving me so many more options. Thank you!

  • Grace- these sofas are unbelievable! I just checked out there whole site and I can’t believe the prices of their furniture. Thank you so much for bringing their online store to my attention!

  • How on earth do you buy a sofa/couch without sitting on it first?! Looks are one thing but comfort is just as important. I don’t think I could buy a couch by mail order.

    • Kim

      Sadly a lot of people have to do that if they don’t have showrooms in their area. I remember a pretty eye-opening email I had with a reader when I was suggesting my go-to sofas from West Elm, Room and Board and Lee and she said “Grace, we don’t all live near places that sell these things.” I felt like an idiot, but learned my lesson, some people have to buy online or from catalogs. So while it’s not ideal, I hear from a lot of readers who buy this way because it’s their best option. (Or they just don’t have stores that sell more modern/stylish sofas in their area)


  • Oh so Smart Cookie approved! I love it because I am in the process of selling my apartment, moving into a bigger one and selling my old furniture! I am looking for a nice couch (non-Ikea) that won’t break the bank and this seems to have solved my problem. I hope they ship to Canada!

  • Please let us know your opinion when the sofa arrives; I’ve received HDC catalogs and have been curious about the quality of their pieces given the prices.

  • In my first teeny apartment I had the Ikea Manstad – it was phenomenal and under $1000!! It was comfortable, looked great AND had the most impressive “secret” storage and pullout bed ever. Brilliant!

  • I absolutely love the Markham sofa!
    We were very lucky and managed to get a great deal on ours (which is very similar to the markham but with a movable chaise) for only $400. Not everyone is as lucky to go shopping when great deals are on however! Best of luck to your friend (and may she find great deals!)

  • I just looked through the HDC catalog too…and tabbed 3 sofas. Would love to hear from anyone who owns some of their furniture. Very pretty stuff, but I keep thinking I’ll get what I pay for. Can a $1000 sofa hold up with 2 crazy kids in the house?

  • Thank you for the heads up! As a resident of St. Louis, I’m not always able to go to the stores you feature on D*S. Thankfully HDC’s flagship store is in St. Louis and as it happens, I’ve been looking for an affordable new sofa. Thanks again!

  • What a great source for affordable furniture! My husband and I are in the same awkward phase – we just bought a house and now will be slowing furnishing it over the next year or so lol. Some of these could be very good options for our front living room/music room! Also, I clicked in your link to your old sectionals post, and want to say that there is NOTHING wrong with planning your room design around watching TV lol! When we were house hunting we would immediately eliminate a house if the living room didn’t have a good blank TV Wall, adjacent to the Fireplace Wall. We have a nice big 60in. TV and LOVE to unwind in front of it every night, but also wanted a nice fireplace to enjoy, and these two things needed to be on connecting walls so our big comfy sectional faced both at the same time.

  • Heather, the photo on top is from HDC. Your coveted orange table is here:

    HDC is somehow connected to (owned by?) Home Depot. I’ve bought several pieces from them, including the nailhead sofa that’s actually scheduled to be delivered this Friday. I recently purchased another chair from them (http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Testoni_Wing_Back_Chair/270/) and would say I’m mostly pleased with the purchase–particularly considering we got it for under $300. If you keep an eye on HDC, they offer promotions on certain departments that will make your jaw drop. The sofa and chair were 30-40% off the listed price when we ordered it.

    I was also not thrilled with the idea of ordering upholstered furniture online, but in my small city, our only options seemed to be furniture megastores (a la Rooms to Go) or crazy high-end out-of-our budget dream sofas. For the ability to have more affordable options, we were willing to gamble. I have to confess, though–I’m freaked out about that sofa delivery!

    I’ll be happy to provide an update when it arrives. Until then, I’ll say that sites which provide user reviews like HDC and Overstock are a godsend for shoppers like me. Don’t forget to check out what other people have to say before making a purchase like that!

  • thank you so much for introducing this website. i am one of those live in a small town gals who has to shop online to afford anything (or get variety/style i’m looking for). what a great website!!

  • I am very curious to hear reviews from anyone who’s purchased from the site. I love the leather Chesterfield but am nervous about ordering online.

  • HDC is owned by Home Depot. I haven’t bought a couch but a client of mine bought a sink vanity. It is lovely and was a lot less expensive then the other options. Also wait for a sale to get a better deal or free shipping. They also offer some Martha Stewart furniture and rugs.

  • Have you seen Carolina Girl furniture? Beautiful sofas made in NC. I wish they would open a store near my house.

  • I can’t wait to hear how the sofa turns out. I hope you will give us an update once your friend receives it.

  • If anyone has ordered furniture from HDC I would love to know what you think about the quality of the furniture. There are a couple of chairs they have that look great but am leery to order.

  • Need an update! Has anyone seen, sat in purchased the Gordon Leather sofa? I too just received the catalog and am very interested in the Gordon, in Blue.
    Thanks! – great posts

  • Hi designers. I have a question. I am trying to find a creatively and economically resurface a wooden countertop to a long bar. We own a funky diner and we are trying to come up with a surface that can transition from a diner counter surface to a surface that in the evening would make a cool bar. Any ideas? Thanks

  • I’m a bit more than sad to see that these couches can’t be sent to Canada. I have been looking for the perfect economical grey sofa and there are a few here that fit the bill perfectly!

  • Sofa update: I ordered the Rockford sofa in beige linen back in November, and it was delivered yesterday. It looks exactly as pictured, and is more comfortable than I had expected. Of course, I kept my expectations low because I was a little concerned about buying a piece of furniture I’d never sat in. But still, the cushions are firm (but not too firm), the accompanying pillows are feather-filled, and the workmanship seems quite nice given what I paid. The listed price is $999; we got it on sale for $589. Tax and shipping bumped that to $835.

    The bad news? The guys who delivered it damaged the sofa getting it through the front door, so I get to go through this entire process again in six weeks when the damaged sofa is picked up and replaced with a new one. Fortunately, making the arrangements for THAT was painless and took five minutes.

    So, the short answer to “Is it worth it?” Absolutely, yes. For the price and admittedly, after only having it in the house for 24 hours, yes. I wanted something new, fashionable, functional, and affordable, and that’s what I got. Or will, in 6 weeks.

  • I purchased 2 loveseats from Broyhill (in a store), after 2 months the cushions were flat, and one of the backs went flat. They had someone come out and repair it. The cushiosns were replaced with the same kind of cushions and 2 months later the same thing happened. I had to spend $300 for foam insert all this prior to owing them for a year! I paid 900 for each of them. Next purchase I will spend more money on a better quality couch! PS: there are no obese persons or children in my home for all this to happen.

  • I REALLY want to order the new Gordon tufted sofa in brown – I just wish I could see it in person beforehand. I live in CA and am nowhere near a showroom. I’m also a bit hesitant to order the sofa based on the fact that it is actually made with “Bonded leather”, not leather (even though it says “leather” on their site and catalog). Yes, there is a huge difference, “Bonded leather” is actually not leather at all – it is a either a polyurethane or vinyl product with an artificial backing that consists of latex and less than 17% leather (usually left over leather scraps/factory waste). The surface of this man-made material tends to split after just a few years of use. Despite all of this, I am still very interested in the Gordon sofa – if it looks as amazing in person as it does in their photos, I’d be willing to take my chances with the whole bonded leather thing. Has anyone purchased or seen these sofas in person?? I’d really like to hear some feedback!

  • Jo! I JUST went today to go look at that very same sofa. Unfortunately, it IS too good to be true. While it looks GREAT in photos, it looks pretty cheap in person. The stitching is shoddy and the material is not soft. The brand is actually owned by Home Depot. While the quality of what I saw today looks akin to IKEA, the price is much higher. We found some great alternatives at CB2. We did a LOT of “couch surfing” today and I learned a valuable lesson: until I can afford to buy a quality leather sofa (which seems to start at 3k) , I think sticking to fabric seems like a safe bet.

  • Thanks Elise! Bummer. I’m really not surprised tho’. After reading your comment, I don’t think I’ll order the Gordon sofa until I can see it for myself. Thanks so much for the info.

  • The Encore Sofa from Room and Roard is amazing and they will send you fabric swatches in advance; it’s modern and all turns into a sleeper which is great for small spaces like mine where you have to improvise when you a have an overnight guest.

  • Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave
    it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

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