The Look For Less? Cheap Couches From Custom Sofa Design

We recently saw a write up about designer-lookalike sofas by Custom Sofa Design on Little Green Notebook and were pretty astonished by the offerings and the prices.

We’re talking about sofas that are dead ringers for spendy Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Room & Board and Anthropologie versions with prices that start around $599 (with many many options under $799).

They even offer up chic designer-based upholstered beds at a serious markdown from the original versions. Apparently if you read the comments over on that post, lots of people have had a great experience with the company and rave about Don, the owner. And we were further surprised to learn that everything is manufactured right here in the US, that his company has been around for years, and that he’s based right out of Los Angeles. How on earth does he have such low prices? It’s mind boggling, isn’t it?

Apartment Therapy was also chatting about this very company back in February and the reviews generally seemed agreeable (there were more raves about Don mixed in with a few negative comments, but even things that have five stars on still have a few super negative reviews in the mix).

So it got us wondering if any of you have ordered something from Custom Sofa Design? If you have, we’d love to know what your experience was like. We’re just trying to figure out if they’re a reliable source for discount furnishings, because if they are they could really make those higher priced retailers sweat a little (while saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars). And even if you haven’t ordered from them, we’re always up for a chat about stunning sofas, so feel free to chime in with your favorite models. We’re currently drooling over The Elena (starting at $549), The Kentwood (starting at $799), The Paramaunt (starting at $599) and The Harward (starting at $599). Which ones tickle your sofa fancy?

Psst- On the subject of sofas, here’s what we learned (the hard way) about Pottery Barn sofas. Oh well, now we know!


  1. holly says

    I’ve never come across the company before but would love to know other’s experiences. we’ve just begun a search for a new sofa so this is quite timely!

  2. Jennifer says

    We spent about this much on a sofa and it’s craptastic. AKA I’d like a new one (the “old” one is less than a year old). I take it this company ships from CA? So far I am liking the Paramount and Brussels….but I haven’t looked at them all yet! Great selections! And it looks like you can customize any of them! Thanks for the info.

    • says

      Yup, it does appear that they ship from somewhere in California (they have a few different “bases” out there it appears). We’re certainly not experts on their company by any means though, so the best info you can get would be from their site or by calling them. And here’s hoping someone who has ordered one of these will drop in and share their experience!


  3. Cheryl says

    I’m in the market for a sofa so I am really interested in your responses to this post.

    Can you two or anyone here recommend a great sleeper sofa? I’ve read that AU furniture (sold by Macy’s) is reliable and a great sofa period (and a great sleeper too). But it carries a price-tag of $2200 smackeroo’s!

    Need a sofa in the den for spillover guests and I’d like them to be comfortable as I treasure my company.

    • says

      We love Rowe sofas and any local retailer should be able to hook you up with one for substantially less than a Pottery Barn sofa (just look up a local sofa dealer online or in your Yellow Pages and call to see if they sell Rowe sofas). They should have a decent amount of selection if they carry Rowe stuff, especially when it comes to sleepers. We’ve heard they’re extremely comfortable and we have a Rowe sofa (not a sleeper) in our living room and we couldn’t be happier with our choice.


  4. says

    Wow… I’d LOVE new sofas for our living room, but ours are the only furniture we’ve bought “new” (aside from our recent kitchen table purchase) – and that was five or six years ago! I feel like we can’t buy new sofas when our two bedrooms and office are still in need of furnishings…

    Unfortunately, the hubs and I were very much comfort-over-style inclined when we bought our complete matching, overstuffed, microfiber set (yikes) for our tiny little duplex rental. They’re beige and clean up like a dream, but they are SO floofy and far too large for our room. Any cheaper suggestions for what we should do with them? Slipcovers, perhaps? There is a large sofa, loveseat, AND huge chair. If it were you, would you cut your losses and buy something new, or would you try to work with these?


    • says

      Hey Kate,

      That’s always a tough question because we’ve seen people spend a ton of money trying to work with what they have and decorate around items that aren’t really their style, so if you find yourself painting rooms in colors that you don’t really like or doling out hundreds for a slipcover, pillows, curtains and accessories in an attempt to retrofit your furnishings even though they’re not really something you love it might be smarter to save up for something you’ll truly enjoy instead of putting that money towards “saving” what you have. Of course you can always sell things on Craigslist to get some money for them (to put towards your new items along with the money you’ve saved up). Here’s a post that touches a bit more on that subject. Hope it helps!


  5. Erin says

    I’m head over heels in love with the Parkland! It looks very similar to my favorite bright sunny yellow chair. I requested a shipping quote a couple of days ago but haven’t heard back (beyond that my request was received).

  6. Sara says

    Amazing! My husband and I were just discussing whether we should buy a new sofa and simply go out for a fun meal on our upcoming anniversary OR revisit Lake Superior. With these fab prices, I’m seeing a new couch in our future…

  7. Claire says

    Definitely interested in anyone’s opinion on sleeper sofas. We have had a regular one from sofa express for about 5 years now and have been pretty happy with it. We have been looking at IKEA sleepers but these look amazing as well. Anyone have any experience with the IKEA sleepers?

  8. Diane says

    Their Cynthia sofa is a fairly close match to Room & Board’s 75″ Hutton sofa. Some differences in the cushions, but the same basic shape.

    However, I always need to sit in furniture before buying it… it can look great and be mighty uncomfortable.

  9. says

    I think I will order one. Heck it cant be to bad. I mean, my kids would not be jumping up and down on it (not at their current ages anyway)…The old sofa has got to GO because they DID JUMP on it, at their younger ages. I need to save where a can, and I am picky on the next bad boy has to be new.

  10. Lee Golden says

    How about a post on affordable chairs next. I’ve been looking for an affordable chair for our living room and I’m not having much luck. Love your site by the way.

  11. Tana says

    Do all Pottery Barn sofas have a Pottery Barn label in them? The reason I ask is because I believe we have a sofa from Custom Sofa Design. It’s the Gemma, which is an exact knock off of the Greenwich sofa from PB. Ours looks exactly like the photo. We bought it from a thrift store, so I’m not sure where it came from originally. There are no markings on it anywhere that would indicate where it came from; however, there are a set of numbers scrawled on the underside of the sofa on the wood. Anyway, it’s held up nicely. We’ve had it almost 5 years and it looks great, and that’s after our three kids have bounced around in it.

    Incidentally, we also have a Pottery Barn sectional, and it has a PB label in it, so I would imagine all PB furniture has a PB label in it. We’re in your area, so if you ever want to take a look for yourself, come on over!

    • says

      We have a Pottery Barn sofa and it actually has a Mitchell Gold + Bob William’s label in it (since that line and Rowe are really two retailers that Pottery Barn uses, with some markups tacked on). We’ve learned that getting sofas directly from retailers like Mitchell Gold + Bob William’s and Rowe is a lot more cost effective than through PB (more info about that here).


  12. says

    How do I pick just one? They are all great! I’ve been searching for an affordable mod sofa and these are just fantastic! I can’t wait to hear about the quality in a follow-up post.

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