Seat Yourself

It's time to sit on your money for a while. But which high-end sofas make sense?

walter knoll together

Walter Knoll Together / Photograph by Michael Piazza

$17,500, M2L

The Look Rigidly architectural, the angular sofa is a minimalist’s dream come true.

The Details Form trumps function with anemic cushioning and spare pillows. But that form is stunning—and half the sectional pivots to form a queen-size bed.

The Cleanup If the seat gets stained, an upholsterer has to remove the cover for cleaning, but the benchlike base is open, so vacuuming’s a breeze.

The Bottom Line
It’s easy to sit prettily on the Knoll while imbibing “It”  elixirs, less easy to lounge around on its unsupported corners.



Minotti Hamilton

Minotti Hamilton / Photograph by Michael Piazza

$17,975, The Morson Collection

The Look A sharp right angle is softened by sink-into pillows and slightly rounded lines.

The Details The tall down-and-foam cushions hold their shape, and the entire piece can be broken down into two separate couches.

The Cleanup  Twice upholstered, in muslin and a linen-wool slipcover (the latter attached by Velcro for simple on and off), it can take plenty of abuse.

The Bottom Line This is the Super Bowl Sunday couch—assuming your party has graduated from bud light and Tostitos.


flexform long isalnd

Flexform Long Island / Photograph by Michael Piazza

$18,096, Showroom

The Look A little excessive— in a good way—this plump seat appears to be the ultimate lounger.

The Details Big, down-filled pillows are plush, not overstuffed; pull-out side tables are ideal for drinks and snacks.

The Cleanup Durable fabric covers can be easily removed for dry cleaning. A slender vacuum will reach under the low base.

The Bottom Line Better suited to movie viewing than cocktail banter, the Flexform is a couch potato’s best friend.



4500 / Photograph by Michael Piazza

$21,450, Rolf Benz

The Look Part Austin Powers, part Studio 54, the sofa screams “look at me,” just like that other Benz.

The Details It’s a centerpiece, and a comfortable one at that. The sections can be reconfigured or mixed and matched with added modules.

The Cleanup  The upholstery fabric is treated with a hefty stain guard so liquids bead up rather than sink in.

The Bottom Line The undulating seat depth poses a challenge for snugglers, but the ottoman makes putting feet up a cinch.


Ultra-Mobile / Photograph by Michael Piazza

$21,850, Roche-Bobois

The Look
Its vaguely orthopedic air is overshadowed by its clean, functional-comfortable dynamic.

The Details
The Mobile’s high-density foam cushions, moveable headrests, and optional motorized recliner offer La-Z-Boy-like perks.

The Cleanup
Its full-grain leather is durable and easy to keep clean—if you
condition it every four months.

The Bottom Line
Lumbar support and extendable seats make the queen of high-end sofas more like a luxury car than a couch. Alas, there’s no cup holder.