You Asked For It: Alternatives to the Coveted Liljevalch Sofa

You Asked For It: Alternatives to the Coveted Liljevalch Sofa

Catrin Morris
Apr 7, 2011

In a recent post titled Small Doses of Color for the Color Shy, Apartment Therapy readers begged for more information about a luscious sofa in one of the rooms profiled…

Reader tmoore came to the rescue with a link to the sofa's source. But the news was not good. The sofa, called the Liljevalch sofa, was designed by Josef Frank in 1934, the first piece of furniture he designed for Svenskt Tenn, an interior design shop in Stockholm, Sweden. The price tag? More than US $14,600. Fellow Apartment Therapy readers were crestfallen and asked us for cheaper alternatives to this superb sofa. Well, the good news is that we did manage to find some alternatives. The bad news is that while none of them come close to $14,600 most of the sofas we found are not exactly cheap.

Part of the problem, of course, is that the Liljevalch sofa really is a unique work of art. It is stylish and luxurious yet also impossibly inviting and plush. It is both a statement piece and a feel-good piece. Like gourmet comfort food. The arms are elegantly curved but not overly feminine. The seat looks sturdy and supportive but also low and deep and seriously nap-worthy.

Each of the alternatives we found shares at least a few qualities in common with the Liljevalch. To see the parallels you may have to squint your eyes and imagine each upholstered in the grayish blue fabric that envelops the original photo.

But our search continues and we are asking readers to help us!

FIRST ROW
1 The source of our inspiration: The original, authentic Liljevalch sofa in Josef Frank fabric. Svenskt Tenn. According to the Svenskt Tenn website, Frank designed this sofa in protest over "the prevailing functionalism and boring Swedish handicrafts." Made with a wooden frame and a core of hand plaited coil springs on a no-sag spring base, stuffed with foam rubber/polyether and synthetic batting. Back and side cushions of synthetic fiber/feathers. Armrest covers included. About $14,600 in US dollars.
2 A photo of the Liljevalch sofa in another setting. Blissfulb
3 The Ellipse sofa at Content by Conran. Like the Liljevalch, the Ellipse is large, informal, and boasts a deep seat and "a fresh take on a scroll arm."
4 EZE sofa by Zanaboni at Europe by Net. Here, the size and depth mirror the Liljevalch, as do the scroll arms. This sofa is shown in leather but is available in many different fabrics.
5 The Haute House Berlin velvet sofa at Horchow. Like the Liljevalch, the Berlin has a deep tufted single cushion seat and is shown in a similar velvet hue. $3,699.

SECOND ROW
6 Bentley sofa from Grange. This sofa is similar in its overall shape and size, but appears much more formal than the Liljevalch.
7 1950s Edward Wormley Sofa for Dunbar at 1st Dibs. This one reminded me of the Liljevalch in the way it's seat cushions jut out beyond the arms. $5,950.
8 1970s sofa at 1st Dibs. This velvet mid-century modern sofa measures at 9 feet long. Like the Liljevalch, it is both plush and tufted, cozy and tailored.
$3,850
9 The Selby from Room and Board. In most ways this couch is nothing like the Liljevalch but somehow it's overall effect is reminiscent. It looks elegant but comfortably deep and inviting. $1,599.
10 Lauren Ralph Lauren loveseat, Annalisa Collection at Macy's, $1,349.

Images: As linked above

Created with Sketch.