DIY, Review

My Time With The Article Sven Sofa

Well… I’m actually evolving. I took a big jump this year and ordered my first piece of online furniture… I KNOW. Even as a millennial I was full of skepticism at such an idea. I also felt like it was a double-whammy because on top of never having sat on it in person, it was also more $$$ than I originally planned on spending for a sofa. Big risk, for sure. But you gotta risk it to get the biscuit, amen? Also, the sofa was so beautiful that I couldn’t come to like anything else after I laid eyes on it.

It was the tan Sven Sofa by Article.com. sven1

Let me say upfront that I was not compensated in any way for this review.

EXPECTATIONS

Before making the purchase, I read nearly every online blog post about the sofa and the company (I considered this necessary due to the fact that I’d never heard of Article before and I couldn’t read any “amazon reviews” or anything). Therefore, I knew, based on what I’d read, that shipping would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4 weeks, and that the couch may not look like it does in the picture (due to leather variations). With my expectations set appropriately, I counted down the days until I heard from the carrier. Finally, that day came and we scheduled the delivery for April 21st. I couldn’t wait.I was very glad that the delivery personnel were willing to bring the couch in the entryway instead of on the porch (even though I only paid for porch delivery). My entry way is just a couple steps beyond the porch, however. But when you live alone, that is a difficult couple of steps for something this large.

The box is understandably huge, but not as heavy as you might expect. I carefully opened it and assembled the 5 legs, which is pretty much all the assembly required (props to Article). I managed to flip it on it’s upside by myself, but I’d highly suggest you have a helper because if you aren’t careful, it’s possible that doing it alone could put too much pressure on some of the legs and cause damage.

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The sofa wasn’t perfect (it was a very plain light color), but I was okay with that because I know how this kind of leather works… (also, please excuse my extremely messy home – I was in the process of unpacking from moving when this arrived). Most might not understand patina, so I’m sure many Sven purchasers have opened their box and gone… “WTF… How is this the same couch as the online pictures?!”IMG_6368

One of my close friends is a leathersmith. I once asked him to make a wallet for me and when he gave it to me, I honestly thought it was a total waste. It was nearly white and had no character. However, he insisted that with time it would develop a beautiful patina and become a very unique piece for me. He ended up being right. Thankfully, the sven sofa is a full grain aniline leather (which is not only the most expensive type of leather, but also excellent for developing patina!). I suggest you read about this type of leather so you know what to expect. Because of it’s size, it will take longer for the leather to develop, but it will eventually become darker and develop it’s own unique character. I can’t wait!

patina

These wallets are the exact same, but the one on the left has developed patina from use and age. This picture is to help you visualize the change.

NOTE: patina forms primarily by absorbing the oils and dirt from your skin over time. So, if you’re extremely eager to get the patina to develop at a quicker pace, try not taking a shower for a few days and then smothering yourself all over the leather on a regular basis. I’m not in that big of a rush, personally, so if you ever come over you can know that my sofa will be at least somewhat clean. 🙂 On the other hand, if you don’t want your leather to develop/darken, try your best to regular clean it and wipe it down with a leather cleaner.

Anyways… back to the sofa. I’m a loaner in my home, so it will take longer for the couch to develop patina/character, but here are a couple of pictures in case you want to try to notice differences. Please excuse my lack of decor as I’m STILL unpacking.

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2 Weeks After

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4 Weeks After

Having now owned it a month, here are my thoughts:

COMFORT

Comfort is a personal preference, so I can’t objectively say if this couch will be comfortable to you. However, I can express what it’s like so you can decide for yourself. Although it looks like it would be a somewhat firm sofa, it is certainly not. Everything is softer than I expected. Analine leather is naturally a soft leather, which I expected, but the cushioning fill is not very dense in the back and cylindrical cushions. I prefer decently firm sofa’s, so I was a bit disappointed (obviously not enough to return it or anything). The seat cushion is about perfect to me.

I decided to fix the matter myself and add stuffing to the 4 pillows (the 2 back cushions and the 2 cylindrical cushions). I read on Article’s website that the fill was polyester and duck feathers. So I went to my local Ross and bought some ugly clearance throw pillows that had feather filling in order to add more to the pillows. You can see here what the original cylindrical cushion filling looked like:

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I gently opened the article pillow lining. I didn’t want to cut anything here as I planned to sew it all back up. I did however cut open the pillow from Ross and dumped all the feathers in a big bag (a trash bag will do). Be sure to do put these in a large bag because these feathers go everywhere (the large bag helps keep them somewhat contained).

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I stuffed about 7 handfuls in each cylindrical pillow, mixed it around with the polyester, then sewed them back up. You will surely make a mess (if you decide to do feathers/down), but a good vacuum cleans all this up very easily. That being said, I would not recommend doing any of this for the faint of heart. It’s a very nice sofa and I’d hate to risk it being damaged if you weren’t confident in what you were doing.

When I lay my head on them now it is SO MUCH BETTER. Before it barely kept my head up at all (I know the pictures don’t necessarily really demonstrate the firmness).

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After Stuffing the Cylindrical Pillow

DURABILITY

It’s hard to speak towards the durability since I’ve only had it for 1 month, but I will try to keep this blog updated with my findings as it gets older.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Article boasts pretty strongly of their customer service on their website. I’d read a few things online that seemed to indicate this might not be true, but I went ahead and made the purchase hoping that I’d never need to contact them. However, I ended up having to contact them because my sofa was delivered with a small tear in the leather seat cushion. I feared that, with time, that tear could end up ruining the entire cushion (as that area was now compromised).

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As you can see, it’s definitely small. But considering it was a brand new $1800 sofa, I wanted it to be free of compromises. So, I contacted Article’s customer service team about it. They asked me to email them some pictures, so I did. A day or two later, they responded saying that it was simply a cosmetic defect and shouldn’t become a further issue. They offered to extend the warranty of the sofa an additional year and subsidize the purchase $180. I was grateful for the offer, but I felt like accepting $180 in the short-term would be regretted in the long-run (especially if this tear grew in size). I politely asked if we could just replace the seat cushion. I heard no response for a few days, but after additional pestering they got back with me saying they would send a replacement. That was several weeks ago, and I still have not received said cushion, but I do see a notification that it was shipped, so I’m hopeful it will arrive at some point.

That’s the only Article customer service experience I can speak towards at this time.

NOTE: save the box/packaging for a few days!!!! Article will not allow you to return your purchase if you don’t have the original packaging.

UPDATE:

2018-02-21

As you can see, the couch hasn’t changed too much in color. However, I do want to note that this couch is not used very often. And when it is, it’s used by one clean, fully clothed adult. If I had kids around or a wife who would be using it more frequently, I’m sure the change would be more noticable. I know the patina develops over use – specifically when the oils from your skin come in contact with the leather. Skin very rarely touches this sofa… So just keep that in mind when comparing the differences.

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21 thoughts on “My Time With The Article Sven Sofa

  1. Lou says:

    How has the leather been holding up?

    Can you tell me how thick the leather is? What does your Leathersmith friend think of it? We have been considering purchasing the sofa, but we have large dogs who have large nails, and I’m sort of concerned it won’t hold up to them.

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    • It’s not very thick. That being said, I’ve felt thinner leather as well. I’ve had a small dog on it many times with no problems, but not sure id be as comfortable having a large dog with big nails on it.

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    • I haven’t really had to clean it yet to be honest. I have noticed that some small drops of water have made it on various spots, and they’ve remained. They may come out with cleaning, but I kind of like the look of used leather – stains and all.

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  2. belmiel says:

    Hey. How’s the sofa holding up? I just got mine and am a little worried ….. I have 3 kids. I’m concerned the leather will grey like some others have experienced. And there’s there’s the soft cushion issue…..

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    • Mine is holding up well! However, I have no kids…

      My biggest problem with the couch at this point is the small gap that inevitably comes to exist between an arm and the seat cushion. Very annoying to see it always there unless I adjust the cushion every time after I sit on it.

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  3. K. Rolingher says:

    I notice the ‘gap’ in a few pictures – do you suppose this is because the seat cushion is one piece? Would you have still bought this sofa if you knew that was going to happen?

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  4. Interested to see how the color is changing? I’m reading a lot of people with similar experiences saying “wtf” when first seeing the sofa color. One reviewer had Article send him a darker variation which he was happy with. I’m thinking of getting the sectional but scared about the color!

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  5. Jennifer says:

    I am so disappointed in my leather sofas. I read a lot of positive reviews and ordered this Article sofa. I agree with you that the back cushions are too slouchy. I think I’ll try the extra stuffing NL as you suggested. I don’t find the sofa comfortable at all after less than a year of purchasing it. When I contacted Article asking for suggestions to improve the comfort of pillows, they said to fluff them up. Unfortunately, the leather is easily stained by darker denim. I tried to clean blue stains with leather cleaner. This did not help. My sofas looked beautiful when freshly plumped up, but as soon as a child or pet sits down, the sofa looks a slouchy mess again. Now the leather looks stained and dirty even though I’ve cleaned it with leather cleaner frequently. My advice, don’t buy this sofa. IFrom reading most reviews, it seems like a deal for such a high quality leather. It is the most expensive sofa I have purchased and the biggest disappointment ever. I feel like I have to keep these couches for a few years, but if someone would buy them for half of what I paid for them, I’d get rid of them.

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    • Jennifer – I feel your sentiments and the longer I’ve owned the couch the more I’ve become discouraged with it (between the patina not developing well and the cushions continuing to soften with use – which were already too soft to begin with).

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    • Patina hasn’t developed much. My other leather products develop patina quickly, but I’ve been discouraged at how little the color has changed over time (if I’m being completely honest). I suggest looking into the couch others have suggested on Josh and Main. It looks very similar and has better color/support (from what I’ve read).

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  6. carol henry says:

    Are you still liking it? I am reasearcing before I purchase. Another site, Josh and Main, has one just like Sven but much less. Idk if they are off the same quality or not.
    How is the color doing?

    Like

    • Honestly, after looking up that website and seeing that couch, I would go with that one if I was you. The color of my sven hasn’t changed much. It’s also too soft (for my taste) and there seems to consistently be a gap between the bottom cushion and an arm. My advice is to spend half the price and get that couch.

      Liked by 1 person

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