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My all-time favorite sofas

Plus, an event you won’t want to miss!

Yellow velvet couch on white background with black dot pattern.
Hay Hackney sofa, 3-seater, Lola yellow

Welcome! This week brings the next item on my nesting to-do list, some extra-timely Curbed stories, and an event you won’t want to miss. —Kelsey


Sofas on the brain: I’ve set Labor Day as a seemingly arbitrary deadline for my husband and me to choose a new-to-us sofa—which is not quite arbitrary, because I would never shell out that much cash except during a holiday sale, and we’ve missed out on both Memorial Day and Fourth of July markdowns. Much like the coffee-table conundrum, my platonic ideal skews more vintage Italian than Mitchell Gold—however, I’m also loath to make that significant of a purchase without taking it for a test drive with my butt. Which likely means a trip to Room & Board (a manufacturer that may not have the sexiest silhouettes, but fabricates its furniture in the U.S. and designs with a neutral enough hand that said sofa won’t look out of date by the next presidential election). Because this is my newsletter and I can, here’s a moodboard of my all-time favorite sofas:

Four sofas, including one made of brown leather and the other three in a red, yellow, and creme fabric.
Clockwise from top left: Yrjö Kukkapuro’s modular Ateljee sofa design; the Chiclet sofa by Ray Wilkes for Herman Miller, as seen in House Calls; Finn Juhl’s rare NV53 sofa; and HAY’s Hackney three-seater designed by Sebastian Wrong, which I am patiently waiting to be sold in the U.S. with this yellow velvet upholstery.

Speaking of decorating dreams, do you all have specific friends you go to for a temperature check on furniture? My go-tos are my friends Jill (who runs a site known for its cutting-edge perspective, which she manages to pull off while living in an apartment with two young children) and Emma (whose taste is the most exacting of anyone I know). This kind of relationship can transcend style preferences, too. I was that sage for another friend whose style I admire deeply but am not nearly cool enough to pull off (Iowa horsewoman-meets-’90s alt dream girl) when she moved into her first solo apartment.

Anyway, who do you call when you need help finding the perfect floor lamp or a credenza with an attitude?

This week in tabs

  • Absolutely to toot my own horn, a lot of what I’ve been consuming this week has been published on Curbed. There’s been a good deal of internal chatter about a theory written about by the Atlantic that the “future of the city is childless.” Alissa Walker, who’s known for enjoying the heck out of her city with her own kids, encapsulated the reasons why city living can be difficult for families. One fact in particular sure struck a nerve: “There’s not a single county in the U.S., urban or rural, where a person making minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment and have enough money left over to purchase basic necessities for living.”
  • An oldie but a goodie, and somewhat related to our ongoing look into the Snoo bassinet. You know what parents in Finland put their newborns to sleep in? Cardboard boxes.
  • If you’ve ever gawped at that one building at LAX or made a trip to Inglewood to grab a treat from Randy’s Donuts (or even if you just really enjoy seamless, visually led, animated storytelling!!), then this Googie’s for you.
  • If you’ve been reading this newsletter, you know that I lived in New York for a pretty long time. I haven’t even been away two months, but I’m already worried about the city I left behind. New Yorkers are incredibly resilient, priding ourselves on our ability to withstand inconvenience bordering on duress, but that hardiness will have to be matched with more resilient building practices if NYC is going to make it through the next major weather event. Rain—not even a hurricane! just rain—was the cause of major flooding in the boroughs this week, which followed two separate blackouts caused by an overtaxed energy grid. This kind of thing may be funny (and again: New Yorkers: so enterprising! so tough!) but this is the reality.

Shameless plug

Are you as distraught as I am that Season 1 of Nice Try! is over? Well dry those tears, because we’re coming back for one more episode before we start plotting Season 2. The podcast host you know and love, Avery Trufelman, will be onstage at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on Tuesday, August 6. Not only that, she’ll be in conversation with Caity Weaver (she of glitter, Amtrak, and the Rock fame) to talk all things utopia. Snap up your tickets here before they sell out!:

A tote bag with Nice Try podcast merchandise, including a noteook, pin, and sticker.
We’ve got swag! Purchase this tote bag full of Nice Try! merch at our podcast live taping in NYC. (Just bring cash.)
Photo: James Bareham/Vox Media

Sign up below for Editor’s Notes, a new newsletter directly from Kelsey Keith. Every other week, you’ll hear from Curbed’s editor-in-chief as she shares her latest observations, intel, advice, and shopping recommendations.