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At Home with Apt2B's Melrose Sectional Sofa: A Full Review

Apt2B is a Los Angeles-based company that makes premium sofas to order that are both kid- and pet-friendly.
Its highly customizable sofas are made in the USA and come in dozens of colors and fabrics.
I chose the Melrose sectional because it’s large, easy to move around, and it looked like it could take a beating.

When my mother’s Parkinson’s worsened considerably last year, my sister, her husband, and their kids moved in to help care for her. I also moved in for a year to help with the transition, meaning my mother’s one-person household turned into a six-person household (plus a rambunctious rescue pit bull) overnight. 

Her 20-year-old, stained and torn-up loveseat was the only sofa-like furniture in her living room, which certainly wasn’t going to accommodate all of us. We needed a large, sturdy sofa that had a fabric that could withstand a teenager spilling soda on it, a kindergartener coloring on it, and a pit bull traipsing in mud all over it.

Given the amount of additional furnishings needed in my mom’s long-neglected home (new paint, curtains, rugs, chairs, and end tables), we also wanted a couch that was flexible enough that it could still work with whatever future finishings would surround it. By the time the sofa arrived, we had purchased an area rug and several recliners and we were very pleased with how well everything matched each other.

Getting hands-on with the Melrose

Designing Your Custom Sofa

Shopping for a sofa online - or any furniture, really - isn't always a straightforward experience. Sometimes it’s difficult to drag and drop sectional pieces or you just can’t find leg and fabric covers that match your room - or each other. Apt2B has solved this problem.

Their website allows you to search and sort couches by type (sectionals, recliners), best sellers, those designed for apartments or that are on sale. There are even convenient sub-categories that make it even easier to find sofas that fit your particular living arrangement. For instance, the “apartment-sized” section further divides into apartment-sized sleeper sofas and those that recline, while the “sectional sofa” category is further categorized by modular, reclining, sleeper, leather, and ready-to-ship sectionals if you want your sofa right now.

When you're designing your sofa, Apt2B provides a vast choice of configurations, from armchairs and loveseats for small spaces to 8-seat U-shape sectionals, and everything in-between. With hundreds of size, shape, color, fabric, and functional configurations, it’s pretty much impossible to not find exactly what you’re looking for.

And due to the Melrose’s design you can always add to your sofa over time using Apt2B’s sectional builder if you wind up needing more space or if you just prefer a different configuration. 

Customizing the Melrose Sofa

Once you've decided on a sofa style and chosen your starting configuration, you then choose an upholstery from dozens of fabric textures {polyester, performance velvet, soft woven, etc.) and colors (some styles have up to 80 different color options). You also get to choose from a selection of three hardwood leg finishes (pecan, espresso, natural) and add-on extras like an ottoman or matching armchairs to go alongside your sofa. 

This was my first time designing a sectional sofa and the Melrose sectional builder feature made it uber easy to drag and drop different sections so I could visualize various configurations. Not only does this function allow you to see what the different configurations look like, but you also immediately see the difference in price as you drag sections in and out, which I found far easier than having to go back and forth between different windows.

Apt2B Sectional Builder
The Melrose Sectional Builde

Since our six-person household includes young children and dogs, we needed something large, comfortable, and durable. We opted to test out a three-piece Melrose sectional with Smoke fabric and Pecan hardwood legs since we felt the color and fabric were strong enough to handle kids and animals and that the somewhat neutral color would match our current and potential future color schemes, which might include repainting the walls and getting different arm chairs. 

According to Apt2B’s Pet Owner’s Guide to Sofa Shopping and Care, their 100,000 double rub count is “the highest durability rating that we offer…and more than enough for anything you (or your pets) throw at it.” The Smoke color we chose is a 100% polyester fabric with a double rub count of 100,000 and was described as being kid- and pet-friendly and spot and dry cleanable. The color was specifically mentioned in the “pets and kids” area of the Understanding Fabrics article, which pretty much sealed the deal.

I also really appreciate that Apt2B has an “Info & Inspo” resource library that includes helpful articles on everything from How to Measure for Your Delivery and Fabric Care 101 to Understanding Fabric, which breaks down pile, rub count, and helps you choose fabrics that are kid-and pet-friendly.

Apt2B Smoke Fabric
Apt2B Smoke Fabric

Delivery and construction 

Initially, we expected to receive the sofa in early June but the delivery was delayed until late July. Given the supply chain issues and massive delays plaguing so many manufacturers right now, that brief delay really wasn’t too bad (some couches my family looked at were 6-9 months backordered!).

On the day the couch was scheduled to arrive, the local third-party company handling the last leg of delivery nearly had to cancel because someone had called in sick. Fortunately, they first called and let us know they could make the delivery if they could leave it in the garage, versus bringing it inside, which would require a second person. Considering the couch arrived when I was out of town for two weeks, this worked well for us so the couch stayed in the garage, out of the way until I returned.

Though this couch is large and sturdy, it’s surprisingly easy to move around because its separate pieces are so much more maneuverable than one massive sofa would be. One of the pieces was light and small enough for my brother-in-law and I to carry through the door that leads from the garage into the house but the turn into the house would have been too tight for the other two sections. Since we had to carry the two larger sections out of the garage, around a sharp curve, up the main walkway, up two stairs onto the porch, and into the house through the main entrance, we enlisted my 13-year-old nephew. 

We put each piece on a small Radio Flyer wagon, which my nephew pulled while my brother-in-law carried the back end and I guided the front end. Having the delivery people drop the couch right in our front hall certainly would have been easier but my sister appreciated having the couch out of the way until I returned and I’m happy to report that our wagon solution worked beautifully. 

Because the couch comes fully assembled, all I had to do was cut off the plastic, Tetris the sections into our desired configuration, and call it a day. While I was able to push all of the sections on my own, my sister helped me carry the larger ones since we’re paranoid about scratching our new (fake) wood flooring. There are brackets on each side of the sections so you simply slide one section into the other. Unless you have kids jumping around (like we do), you probably don’t even need to lock the sections into place (though I’m sure Apt2B advises you do).

Living with the Melrose Sofa

This couch is extraordinarily comfortable and a serious step up from my mother’s last sofa (loveseat, really). The cushions are wide, deep, firm, and supportive while also being soft and springy enough to relax on. They’re made with a high-density foam that offers a cozy, yet supportive sit, and since the couch is made from breathable fabrics, it’s also comfortable to spend hours lounging around without overheating or sticking to anything.

Melrose Sectional Sofa
The Melrose in our living room.

My sister and I have been hanging out and chatting on the couch, I’ve been reading and watching Netflix on it, and my brother-in-law and nephew have been taking turns sleeping on it at night since we don’t actually have enough bedrooms for all of us while I’m in town. My niece has been using the couch as a bounce pad and base for fort building and my nephew brought his monitor and entire video gaming system downstairs just so he could set them up on the coffee table and enjoy the new couch (thanks, Max, you can go back upstairs now!).

I’m not going out of my way to spill food or drink on the couch but it’s clear that the material will hide stains quite well. Our pit bull ran inside during a muddy rain storm and made a beeline for the couch so he could rub his wet, dirty body all over the side of it. “Sampson - nooooooo!” I cried but he couldn’t be stopped. That polyester weave just felt too good on his skin and I’m happy to report that I didn’t even see any stains on it afterward. Dog hair is easily vacuumed up on this couch and stains can often be spot cleaned with your everyday stain remover.

Because the cushions have zippered, removable covers, it’s easier to take them off and spot clean or send them to the dry cleaner for a deeper clean. The cushions are also fully detached, reversible, and flippable, so it doesn’t matter how you put them on the couch - they’ll look good no matter what. I’ve been doing my best to keep the kids off the couch while they’re eating but I’m 100% certain that at some point, I’ll find hot Cheetos and Gatorade stains on the fabric that I won’t be able to get out with stain remover. If and when that happens, I look forward to just flipping over the cushions and keeping it moving.

Melrose Sectional Sofa
The chaise is perfect for sitting back and relaxing.

The configuration we went with has a “typical” sofa on one side, a chaise on the other, and a two-seater section between the pieces, creating a U-shape. While I’ve gone through many a couch in my day, this is my first chaise and I’m surprised by how much I love it. My sister has had them in the past and encouraged me to add one to the couch and I now know why. It’s the most comfortable couch section I’ve ever been on for lying down or napping. I spend most of my free time reading and this chaise is extraordinarily comfortable to lie on with a book. When I’m watching a movie on my laptop, I’ve appreciated the wide, sturdy arm rest on the chaise, which does a perfect job of safely propping up my computer while I watch.

I also really love the convenience and flexibility of the semi-modular design. Not only did it make it easier to get the sofa into our living room and set up, but it will be easy to move it around the house in the future should we decide to go that route. As much as we love the sofa, I feel like I ordered a couch that’s just a little too big for our space so we are considering moving the chaise section into another room. The two-piece sofa will still look fantastic in the living room and we’ll also have an uber-comfy chaise in the basement, on the porch, or wherever we decide to put it.

Pros

  • The high level of customization means you can get exactly what you want.
  • No tools or assembly required, just cut off the plastic and slide sections into place.
  • Free fabric swatches help you determine the perfect color and fabric style.
  • Sofas are typically shipped in 3-5 weeks.
  • Free shipping (or opt for White Glove Room of Choice + Assembly for $129)
  • Hassle-free 100 day guarantee
  • Lifetime guarantee on the frame and craftsmanship

Cons

  • The Melrose comes with a big price tag
  • Having so many fabric choices helps with customization but it may be difficult to narrow down choices among 80+ colors.
  • One leg of our sofa was damaged during delivery (and we're currently working on a solution with Apt2B support.

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Melrose Sofa FAQs

How comfortable is the Melrose Sofa?

The cushions are firm enough that you don't sink into the sofa completely but they don’t feel rigid or stiff. The back cushions are firm enough to keep you upright while also offering enough give that you could fall asleep on them. While I’ve definitely fallen asleep on the back and side cushions, I do think it’s more comfortable to sleep with small throw pillows on this particular cushion.

Could it work with any design style?

The Melrose is designed to be versatile and it lives up to that design. The couch could work in rooms with a range of design styles, depending on the color and fabric you go with. The design isn’t overly casual, upscale, or professional, meaning that it could blend in well with its surroundings.

What materials is it made from?

The Melrose frame is made from 100% hardwood, the cushions are made with high density foam, and all fabrics are cleanable, breathable, and hypoallergenic.

Melrose Sofa
A made in the US sofa with wide track arms.
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About Apt2B

Apt2B was founded in 2010 to deliver high-quality furniture at prices that are more affordable that luxury boutique furniture brands. The brand's mission is to mission to sell beautiful furniture that’s built to last and at real-life prices. Apt2B is based in Los Angeles and the brand offers a variety of stylish products, from furniture to decor, sized for your downtown apartment or large countryside home.

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Made-to-order Sofas, Sectionals and Sleepers

Apt2B is especially well know for its range of made-to-order sofas, sectionals and sleepers. Choose your configuration, fabrics, leg finishes and Apt2B's USA-based craftspeople will get to work building a custom sofa just for you. Apt2B is focused on making the furniture buying process easy and ensuring you have the confidence to purchase online without any worries.

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A Seriously Sturdy and Comfortable Couch

This couch has exceeded my family’s expectations; we expected it to be comfortable but we have been pleasantly surprised by how sturdy it also manages to be while also being soft and cozy. We love it, the kids love it, the dog loves it, and we are confident it will stay in great shape for years to come.

Cassandra Brooklyn is a freelance writer with bylines in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Daily Beast, and National Geographic, among others. When she's not writing product reviews, travel features, and deep dives into the intersection of technology and culture, you can find her hiking, cycling, and scuba diving pretty much anywhere in the world.
Disclosure: If you buy a product from a link in one of our reviews, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale. We sometimes receive products free of charge from brands to test and review. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended.
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