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At Home with Inside Weather’s Modular Bondi Sofa

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Inside Weather is a California-based company that plants a tree via the National Forest Foundation for every order placed.
I choose the Modular Bondi because it’s large, sustainably made, and looked like it could take a beating.
The highly customizable sofas are made using over 200 upcycled water bottles.

Because I help care for my mother, who has advanced Parkinson’s, I rotate between my apartment in New York City and her home in Milwaukee. I spend months at a time at her place and am helping renovate her home so that my sister, her husband, their kids, and I can all live there reasonably comfortably to help care for her.

My mother’s furniture is approximately 17 years old; I know this because she recently showed me the receipts. Her couch had faded, outdated fabric that probably hadn’t been cleaned in 17 years. Stuffing was also bursting out of one of the cushions and one of the pillows as a result of huge tears that nobody is exactly sure the origin of. It was bad. Since we have a full house, including a messy teenager, a kindergartener that colors on everything, and a rambunctious rescued pit bull, we needed a sofa that was big, comfortable, and, frankly, could take a beating.

Inside Weather sofas are custom-made to order and, initially, the estimated delivery date was about two months out. Due to supply chain issues (a common and understandable occurrence affecting pretty much every single furniture and appliance manufacturer these days), the delivery date got pushed back about another five weeks. Since we preferred to replace my mom’s couch sooner and I also needed a couch at my New York City apartment (my current couch was at least 12 years old and I’d already had the super drill the wooden support bars back into place twice), I rerouted the delivery to New York City.

Getting hands-on with the Bondi Sofa

The Modular Bondi Seating Collection by Inside Weather is a made-to-order collection of modern, custom-built sofas. Not only does the made-from-scratch line prioritize sustainability, but the sofas are also made right here in the good ol’ US of A.

Designing your Bondi

Inside Weather is known for its customization options and, true to form, The Bondi collection comes with a huge number of options. Because the collection is modular, there are a lot of different potential configurations so you can choose from 2-6-seater sectionals and one, two, or no ottomans. An armchair option is also available, which is essentially a one-seater version of the sofa.

Over 100 fabrics options are available, many of which are stain-resistant, pet-friendly, and even commercial grade. A small sampling of potential options includes: slate gray satin weave, jade green mod velvet, amber mod loom, indigo micro felt, Dijon linen weave, honey luxury velvet, rosemary vintage velvet, ivory vegan leather, whiskey micro suede, pink plush velvet, and olive green cross weave. If the range of options sounds a bit intimidating, have no fear, as Inside Weather is happy to send swatch samples to help make your decision.

Inside Weather Bondi Sofa Design
Designing my Bondi Sofa

After choosing the fabric type and color, you choose the frame color (latte, black, or espresso), then choose the type of filling blend that will be inside the cushions and pillows. The classic plush blend uses 100% recycled down alternative and has a sort of sink-in feel to it while the deluxe memory foam blend relies on temperature-regulating memory foam that is soft and smooth but doesn’t sink in as much when you sit on it.

Regardless of the type of fabric or filling you choose, all of the pillows and cushions are sheathed in a water-resistant nylon casing and the pillow and cushion fabric covers can also be removed for easy cleaning.

For my 2-Seater Modular Bondi, I chose whiskey micro suede fabric, classic plush filling, and a latte frame.

THE Modular Bondi Sofa: KEY DETAILS

  • The 2-Seater Modular Bondi starts at around $1,800
  • Its modular design means you can add new pieces at any time.
  • The material used to fill the pillows is 100% recycled down alternative.
  • It has deep 41" seats.
  • Frame is made from kiln-dried solid wood and baltic birch plywood that are FSC & SFC Certified.

Delivery and construction

As I mentioned, the sofa delivery date was pushed back but I was notified immediately when that happened. I worried that I wouldn’t be allowed to switch the delivery address (or that I would be charged a hefty fee) but the process was quick and easy. I sent an email to the customer service team, received a response the next day, and saw that the location had been updated in my account without there being an additional charge.

Delivery is actually handled by a third-party company, Metropolitan Warehouse. Once my custom couch was built and ready to ship, Inside Weather sent me a helpful email with all of the order information, the expected delivery date, Metropolitan Warehouse’s contact information, and details on what to expect during the delivery process. Since the couch could take several weeks to make it from the California warehouse to my New York apartment, I followed the tracking online. In order to provide a more exact delivery time, Metropolitan Warehouse called several days in advance to confirm an exact day that would work for me (Thursday) then called two days before the delivery to confirm a window (1-5pm). They also called me when the driver was about 30 minutes away to give me a heads up. I couldn’t have asked for a better process.

I live on the ground floor of my building so there was no issue bringing the boxes into my apartment. However, because the sofa is broken up across many boxes (my two-seater came in four boxes), it would still be possible for the delivery drivers to carry boxes upstairs if your building doesn’t have an elevator. Note that delivery only includes drop-off at “the first dry area of your home”, which might be your front hallway or your garage. If you want the sofa hauled down to your basement or up to the second floor, then that’s on you. The guys dropped the boxes in the hallway of my apartment and I easily pushed them into the living room for assembly.

It took me about two hours to assemble the couch and it was relatively simple set-up.

It took me about two hours to assemble the couch and it was relatively simple set-up. The process would be faster with two people, and a couple specific steps (like pulling the covers over the large cushions) would have been easier with a second person but if needed, one person could definitely put the sofa together alone.

I’m a fairly handy person and I’m pretty good at figuring things out so I didn’t encounter any major issues with set up, but I do think the instruction manual could do a better job of explaining certain things. For instance, regardless of whether you get a 2-seater with no ottoman or a 6-seater with two ottomans, you get the same instruction manual. The manual shows all the potential parts that every Bondi sofa would require for assembly but it doesn’t specific how many individual screws, washers, or clamps should be in your particular bag. 

Living with the Bondi Sofa

This couch is extremely comfortable and a serious step up from my last sofa. What I love most about it is that the wide, deep cushions make it comfortable for not only lounging around to read or watch TV, but also to sleep. The removable back and side cushions allow you to create even more space so the couch also works well for overnight visitors. Considering I don’t have a spare bedroom, I’m looking forward to offering the couch to friends and family when they visit.

This couch is extremely comfortable and a serious step up from my last sofa. What I love most about it is that the wide, deep cushions make it comfortable for not only lounging around to read or watch TV, but also to sleep.
Modular Bondi Sofa

The couch is sturdy and well-made and I feel confident just throwing myself down without worrying about the lower frame breaking (which happened twice on my last couch). Because it’s so easy to clean, this style couch is perfect for families with kids and pets even though I have neither in my apartment, I’ve still appreciated how easily I’ve been able to wipe drink spills off the fabric. 

The couch is sturdy and well-made and I feel confident just throwing myself down without worrying about the lower frame breaking (which happened twice on my last couch).

I try to avoid eating sloppy foods on the couch (I’m a messy eater and can’t even be trusted at a proper dinner table) so I haven’t gotten any chili or guacamole on the couch but because I chose a stain-resistant fabric, I’m confident either would easily wipe right off. This may not be the case if you go with one of the woven fabric styles so before choosing, consider how likely your household is to spill on the sofa.

Modular Bondi Sofa

After seeing the assembled couch in person, I do think the photos on Inside Weather’s website do a good job of presenting what the couch actually looks like. For this model, however, I will say that the cushions definitely are deeper than they look into the pictures online but since the actual measurements are provided, you won’t wind up with a couch that’s too big for your space. 

Though it’s a very attractive couch, I do wish I would have ordered the fabric swatches first since the color is a bit lighter and the design is a bit more striated than it appeared online. My fault for getting too excited about placing my order quickly.

Pros

  • The high level of customization means you can get exactly what you want
  • It’s sustainably made in the United States
  • Cushions are removable to create a deeper area
  • Pillow and cushion covers can be quickly removed and easily cleaned 
  • Free fabric swatches help you determine the perfect color and fabric style for you
  • 365-day at home trial
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Price
  • The instruction manual could be improved
  • Classic plush cushions sink in so much when you initially sit down that you have to readjust your position
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Inside Weather Bondi FAQs

How Comfortable is the Bondi?

I find the couch to be very comfortable. I lay on it for hours at a time without getting the cramp in my neck that I used to get with my old couch. I went with the classic plush blend and I’d describe the base cushions as medium firm and the back and side cushions as soft. While I feel well-supported when I sit on the couch and I don’t sink into the base cushions, there’s a lot of give on the back and side cushions. When I initially lie down on the couch, I sink so deep into the back and side cushions that I need to reconfigure myself to get the exact position I want. Some people may prefer the super sink-in feel but I think I might actually prefer the memory foam style, which has less give.

What is the lead time for customization, manufacturing, and delivery?

When I ordered the sofa, I was told that delivery would be about two months out. It was then pushed back another five weeks but arrived only four weeks later. I was informed every step of the way and I especially appreciated all the communication in the days leading up to the delivery so I could arrange my schedule around its arrival instead of having to spend several days at home or risk my package being stolen.

The Bondi Collection
Infinitely modular and customizable.
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Customized furniture, made for you

Inside Weather’s furniture is made-to-order from its workshop in California using carefully selected materials.

Almost every aspect of Inside Weather’s furniture can be customized from the arm height and cushion detail on its sofas to the surface design and base style on its tables. Inside Weather offers free shipping and a unique 365-day home trial, meaning you can return products at any time in the first year. Additionally, for every order placed with Insider Weather, one tree is planted via the National Forest Foundation.

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Quality and transparency

Inside Weather is all about making the best possible furniture at the best prices for customers. Every piece of its furniture is designed in-house and its 0-inventory model means Inside Weather only makes what you order. So the brand can cut out warehousing costs, waster materials, and make its products more affordable without sacrificing quality.

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A well-made couch, from a brand that cares about sustainability

My favorite feature of the Inside Weather brand is its focus on sustainability. Not only do they use non-toxic and upcycled materials, but their products are made in the United States, which cuts down global shipping emissions and supports American jobs, which is also important to me. Their website even has an accessibility section that allows you to choose a seizure-safe, ADHD, blind, or vision-impaired profile, which is extremely thoughtful. Having lived with the couch, I strongly believe it’s a well-made product and given the 365-day trial, I’d happily recommend the brand to friends. In fact, I already have!

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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