Carlyle Custom Convertibles

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By conservative estimate, I've visited 30 sofa stores in the last week. It's kind of embarrassing that I only discovered Carlyle yesterday. Part of the reason is that I was steering clear of sofa beds. The weight. The metal bar. The agony. So, I was somewhat unprepared for how much I liked their stuff. Many good looking couches, all available in every possible permutation.

Carlyle, it seems, would be the Cadillac to Jennifer Convertibles Chevy.

I got the pitch from Jack Sonshine, an impeccable, silver-haired Upper East Side salesman, transplanted for the week to their their Chelsea showroom. They're an on old school New York operation (40 years.) The factory is in Jersey, and they'll get the sofa to you in less than six weeks -- that is if you are not buying one of the pieces off the floor. Sonshine handed me a catalog which details their patented "Steelweave" mechanism, and includes a very satisfying primer on the vocabulary of base finishes, arm details and back styles -- diagraming such terms as "knife welt cushion" and "camel back." These people obviously care.

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Check out their web site: they even have a showroom web cam! And take their policy on getting the couch into your home, which is often a serious problem: "At Carlyle, if we can't deliver it, we own it."

Naturally, you'll pay more for all this authentic local passion. The sofa I liked was discounted to $2395 in Chelsea, which also doubles as their "clearance center." Uptown I imagine prices start around $2500 and proceed upward. Clearly, if you want a sofa bed in New York, you must stop by Carlyle. OHR

(Edited from original post on 2004-06-09)

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