Like many city dwellers, I made the jump from renting to owning and found that my existing furniture was a bit too “large and in charge” for my micro living room. Get all new furnishings, you say? Oh okay, if I must! But where to start? As luck would have it, I ran into interior designer Jamie Gerus at a party, and she told me that when you’re starting over in a completely new space, that she likes to find a sofa she absolutely loves, and then build the space from there. Expert tip in hand, I hit the interwebs and zeroed in on these neutral warriors:

1. Andes, West Elm

There’s a West Elm on the South Granville home design strip in Vancouver and this was the clear Comfy Olympics winner (and I tried every sofa in the store). The legs are a bit jazzy, but the seats are deep and forgiving, like the eyes of a golden retriever. 2-seater sofa, $1,749 (but price changes by fabric).

READ MORE: Our Favourite Sofas for Sofa Season

2. Replay, EQ3

Gasp, I might die from its effortless chicness! The fabric on this is this soft, felty-wool-come-expensive-sweater material, too, and the oatmeal colour is warm, inviting and super popular. I dig a tapered leg, but the walnut complements nicely and who am I to mess with the structural integrity. Around $2,800 for the 91-inch model.

READ MORE: 9 Ways to Use Sofas as Your Room’s Source of Colour

3. Burrard, Article

No showroom (Article is exclusively online) means more savings, so I liked that I could get something that looked mid-century modern sexy, was good quality (otherwise, you’re on the express highway to saggy pillows!) and under $2,000 (so I can afford more than just a sofa). $1,549

The Winner

In the end, I ordered the Burrard in Seasalt Grey (rrrrooowwwrrrr!), and it came the next week! Shipping was $99 to get it into my house and all I had to do was twist in its darling little walnut legs. The return policy is great too, 30 days you get to enjoy it and if you don’t like it they come and take it back.

The Verdict

It looks just as slick in person as it does on the website, and the colour is perfect. It’s not boring office grey, it’s neutral, goes-with-anything grey, and the shape is clean and minimalist without being uncomfortable. It was slightly firmer than I expected it would be, but on the upside, these seat cushions are going to keep their shape for years to come, no matter how hard I flop down to watch episodes of House Hunters International. And once I get some plush throw pillows with geometric flourishes the LOOK and FEEL will be HENCEFORTH COMPLETE. My apartment is about a fifth of this size and tres incomplete, so for now this photo is here to help you envision how nicely this sofa looks in a real space. Happy sofa hunting!

Originally published July 2018.