11 English Roll Arm Sofas (and how we picked the one we love)

english roll arm sofa

I never in a million years thought I would be purchasing a $2000 sofa.  I am a dedicated thrift store, craigslist, IKEA, ebay, dumpster-diver for furniture and until now, I think $400 is the most I have spent on a couch (a Crate and Barrel sectional I got on craiglist and it came with a leather recliner!).  We have loved it hard for the past 4 years.  Unfortunately, it will not fit in our new living room, but it will be finding a new home  in our basement family/media room when that construction is done and we plan to enjoy it for many more years to come.  Here is our run-down of 11 English Roll Arm Sofas and how we picked the one we love.

The Cape is a charming little house with lots of little details. I have loved IKEA for many pieces during our time in NYC (most purchased from craigslist to keep the prices even lower:-) but IKEA’s straight lines and modern look will not always work in the Cape. We want a more formal feeling in the living room–still livable and casual enough for our family, but a little more “grown-up”. I am craving curves in our furniture.  I stumbled upon an English Roll Arm Sofa on Pinterest and the rest was history. I knew what sofa I wanted for the Cape. Adrian loved it too, so the search began.

Apparently it has a few names–English Roll Arm Sofa, Charles of London Arms, English Arm, Turned Leg Sofa, Bridgewater Sofa, Standard Arm Signature Sofa, Sherlock Sofa, and lots more.  I found lovely options at a wide range of prices, options, and detailing.  Here are some of my favorites that I wanted to share with you. Scroll the whole way to the bottom to see the winner and very, very close runner-up!

IKEA Stocksund-$799, pocket springs, foam and polyesther foam cushions, particle board, plywood, and hardwood frame, 37 3/8 inches deep and 78 3/8 or 90 1/2 inches wide
stocksund-seat-sofa-red__0340384_PE527534_S4 stocksund-seat-sofa-blue__0405185_PE575071_S4I absolutely love the red and blue versions of this sofa, but it is also available in neutrals like grey, taupe, and a grey and white floral print.   I LOVE that the covers can be removed for washing, there is a pocket coil system in the cushions, and that there is a matching chair, chaise, 2 seat option, and bench.  At $799 this is a good price for a new sofa.  The fabric is very soft and really looks lovely. Overall this could be a good option at this price point.  It must be said that sofas are one of the few IKEA items that I am not always pleased with, so I would do more research on longevity and durability before deciding to purchase this if it is going to be used regularly.  If it has to be replaced in a few years, it may not be the value it first seems, but if it is sturdy it is a lovely, affordable option.

Durham Sofa birch Lane-$1199. Pocket springs. Foam and down blend cushions. Wood frame. 46 inches deep and 92 inches wide

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Drexel Heritage Tisbury– Call dealer for pricing and construction details. 37 inches deep and 77 inches wide.

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Restoration Hardware Barclay-$3195 (goes up quickly depending on fabric choice). Standard or down fill cushions. I am assuming hardwood frame, but didn’t see confirmation of that on their site. 37 inches or 42 inches deep and 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 foot wide options

RH Barclay

 

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams London-$2659.  Sinuous wire spring suspension.   High density and high resiliency foam cushions with down options available,. Hardwood frame.  42 inches deep and 77, 87, 97 inch wide options

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Pottery Barn Carslie-$2099 (goes up depending on fabric choice).  Sinuous springs. Choice of polyesther foam or down wrapped foam cushions.  Not clear on the frame material. 45 inches deep, 70, 80, or 90.5 inches wide
Pottery Barn Carlisle

Williams Sonoma Bedford-$2995 (goes up quickly depending on fabric choices). Handcrafted in the USA by skilled artisans. Seat cushions have high-resiliency foam cores with inner springs for additional support. Cushion cores are wrapped in your choice of premium down blend (encased in poly/cotton fabric) or thick, double-layer poly fiber. Frame crafted of kiln-dried sustainably harvested hardwood. 42 inches wide by 87 inches wide.

bedford-sofa-87-o

One Kings Lane Sherlock Velvet Sofa-$2199 (84 inches).  Trillium down alternative foam cushions. Alder frame. 40 inches deep. 78, 84, and 96 inch options

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Rose Sofa from Interior Define-$1600. Pocket springs. Sinuous Springs. Down wrapped foam cushions. Kiln dried pine frame. 41 inches deep and 83 inches wide

Rose 83 inch sofa NEW_32

This was a contender for us. See the cleavage on the back:-) and the dreamy blue velvet…it is polyesther velvet but still, it’s lovely. Interior Define was super helpful, responded same day with detailed explanations (including a chart of their foam densities) and this description of their construction: We do not have other leg options available for the Rose; only the turned legs with casters in two color options: painted black wood or natural oak. Our frames are made of kiln-dried hardwood (pine). We use sinuous stainless steel springs for the support system, made by hand. The joints are glued and stapled; the corners are blocked and reinforced.   As for the high-resilience foam we use, I’ve attached the specs for the Rose seat cushions. The first column shows density and the second column is the resilience %. The second attachment shows the 4 different layers of foam we use, specific to the Rose sofa.  Shipping and delivery is included for our New York customers, and you don’t have to pay sales tax, either!  Their swatches were free and easy to order, the price is good considering it includes shipping and their is no tax in NY, and the sapphire velvet is lovely.  I don’t think the construction is as high a quality as our top two, and I couldn’t get past my dislike of the casters  and they do not have any non-caster leg options.

 

….DRUMROLL PLEASE….

 

The Runner-Up

Cococo Home English Tight Back Sofa-$1975 (86 inches wide). Benchmade in North Carolina. High-end spring systems.  Down-filled cushions. Kiln dried American hardwood frames. 38, 40, 42 or 46 inches deep and 86, 88, 96, 105 inch wide options for the sofa and 61, 66, 72, 78 options for  love seat. Option to add nailhead trim for an additional $100 and several non-caster legs to choose from.

Tight-backed-English-Amboise-Velvet-r-angle-510x286

This is our very, very close runner-up and I think is made by the same company on the back-end as our winner.  They seem to have the same construction specs and fabric selections.  Se below for all the things I love about it.

The Winner

The Basel from Roger and Chris-$1899 (86 inches wide). Bench-made in North Carolina by skilled craftspeople. Leggett & Platt’s Elite Series Soft Luxe pocketed coil seat support system. Seat cushions made from multi-density foam core, wrapped in channel-stitched down for plush, sink-in comfort. Custom-engineered frame built using blocks in all corners, double-dowel or mortise-and-tenon joinery, metal fasteners, and glue. 38, 42, or 46 inch depths and  63, 78, 86, 88, 96, and 105 inch wide options. Option to add nailhead trim and several non-caster legs to choose from.

roger and chris basel

AMAZING selection of fabrics, quality construction, and range of sizes. Their handy infographic helped me to understand sofa construction, so I will likely purchase from them, but if Cococo Home has better shipping/tax/total package options I may go with them instead.  Either way, we are getting the English Roll Arm Basel in Cannes Cotton Velvet in Pavo (which is a dusky teal that is a few shades darker than the Silver Sage shown in this picture) in whatever size combo works the best in our space–we are measuring next weekend. Likely the width will be in the 60s or 70s and the depth will either be 38 or 40. The top photo in this post is Roger and Chris Basel as well.

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Key Takeaways

In the end, I learned that I love Velvet and Leather and that was really what made my heart go pitter patter.  If I am spending this much on a sofa I want my heart to go pitter patter every day and I want to know that the sofa is going to last for a long time through our family’s daily use! I will say that Roger and Chris’s Sunbrella Action fabric is lovely, soft, and super durable.  If we were getting a sofa for our playroom (or even maybe if it came in more vibrant colors) I would have gotten that in a heartbeat as it would be a dream to clean.  I learned that I hate casters, am very committed to tightback sofas (though if you like back cushions, Roger and Chris and Cococo Home both have gorgeous options there as well check-out the Blythe and the Pillow back and there is even the Tufted Back Eastover), that I wanted a chunky dark wood turned leg, that quality construction becomes very important to me as I look at the total value proposition, and that a little back cleavage is amazing on this sofa:-)

So, that intense journey is how a dedicated craiglistin’, ebayin’ freecyclin’, Mr. Money Mustache-following girl falls in love with a nearly $2000 English Roll Arm Sofa!  I’ll circle back in July when we finally order it to let you know if I still think it’s worth it, but i am pretty confident that I will LOVE it (even if Mr. Money Mustache thinks it is totally face punch worthy:-)

9 Comments

    1. MamaBee Author

      Yes, Cococo home didn’t return my calls and Roger and Chris did so I went with them, but it seems the products are the same and the pricing is very similar. We are very happy with our Basels!

      Reply
  1. nevill mcinerny

    I just found your “article” on English arm sofas. It’s exactly what I have been looking for. Very very helpful!
    I am also looking for some sort of bench or trunk or ? to use at the end of a queen size bed to add personality to a room in my beach house. Maybe pine? Maybe…I don’t know what!

    Reply
    1. MamaBee Author

      Hi there, I am so sorry I missed your comment in the fall. So glad that this was helpful to you. I hope you found a trunk, if not I would check wayfair or joss and main for ideas and anawhite for plans if you want to try and build it yourself.

      Reply
    1. MamaBee Author

      We did go with the Basel and LOVE it!!!! It is super comfortable and sturdy and the Crypton Velvet is amazing, it’s been indestructible so far (and we have 2 little boys, 2 kittens, and a 16 year old dog)

      Reply
  2. Laura

    I’ve been considering the Basel as well but hate that I can’t see one in person to try it out. How has it held up? Is it comfortable? Thank you for the post!

    Reply
    1. MamaBee Author

      Hi Laura,

      It’s super comfortable and has held up very well. We are ROUGH on sofas (2 super active little boys, 2 cats, 1 dog, and my husband and I are not little:-) I am the kind of person who throws herself down instead of sitting gently, my boys spill things and roughhouse all the time, the sofas look as good now as they did when we bought them. The Crypton velvet is amazing to keep clean, liquids bead up off of it so they don’t soak in and it easily wipes clean with a baby wipe or damp cloth (ours has survived blood, vomit, yogurt, coffee, red fanta, cupcakes, popcorn, ice cream, pepperoni pizza grease, and who knows what else). So far, we are really happy with our Basels.

      Reply

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