More Living Ideas

Our editors share their inspirations every day

Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Help me choose a sofa. Vote.

Posted by

I saw a sofa for my living room! In the window of Mondo Cane, the design gallery of Greg Wooten and Patrick Parrish located at
174 Duane Street in Tribeca.

This huge, long and low upholstered sectional sofa is attributed to Harvey Probber, USA, 1950s and measures 156” w x 33” d x 27” h.

I borrowed it to make sure it fits into the apartment design.

Wait, I found another sofa at Wyeth, 315 Spring Street, that measures 114” x 36” x 27.5” with a 16.5” seat height. This custom two-arm sofa with lathe-turned patinated brass legs is American made but that’s about all I know.
Readers, what do you think? Vote now and help me decide!

1 of 12
Here is the front entrance of the design gallery Mondo Cane.

1 Here is the front entrance of the design gallery Mondo Cane.

I adore the card holder.

2 I adore the card holder.

What a lovely design accent for my library.

3 What a lovely design accent for my library.

Love this freestanding mirror.

4 Love this freestanding mirror.

Here it is! The Modernist sofa attribute to Harvey Probber.

5 Here it is! The Modernist sofa attribute to Harvey Probber.

My trusted Cesar and Andres arrive to borrow the sofa. Uh, oh. It's covered with chairs.

6 My trusted Cesar and Andres arrive to borrow the sofa. Uh, oh. It's covered with chairs.

Andres contemplates the move.

7 Andres contemplates the move.

They begin to weave their way out of the gallery.

8 They begin to weave their way out of the gallery.

Up the stairs.

9 Up the stairs.

Around a tricky corner.

10 Around a tricky corner.

Finally, into the truck.

11 Finally, into the truck.

Wait. Here is the Wyeth sofa, too. Help me choose...

12 Wait. Here is the Wyeth sofa, too. Help me choose...

You May Also Like:

You May Also Like:

Comments (80)

  • The Wyeth sofa hands down. The L shape encourages conversation and is easier to compliment with other pieces of furniture. I think the Probber sofa would be more difficult to balance in the furniture arrangement of your room.

  • Frankly, I don't see either sofa in your apartment. Too vanilla and not stylish, they don't say, "Kevin"! Do we have a third choice?

  • The Probber wins. It is the essence of minimal, yet the most versatile. It will contribute to and participate in the room without demanding all of the attention.

    The Wyeth is lovely by itself, but the pillow detail is just too "busy". I believe that it would become visual clutter. Not Kevin-like.

  • I like them both - but if I had the space for such a large piece - I would choose Wyeth.

  • On second thought - I don't like the way the back pillows meet up in the corner - looks "messy"

  • Love the L-spape sofa. That's my vote.

  • Hi Kevin,
    I love both of them.. based on design only I vote for the Wyeth sofa.. love the lines. It would definitely anchor and define the living space.

    Thanks for taking on this journey with you. I've enjoyed watching the progress. Quite the inspiration!

  • Go with the is still sleek looking,but has a homey feel to it.

  • Kevin, I think the Wyeth sofa is best for you. Have you offered your help to Martha in her closet reorganization? Bless her heart, she has a lot less space than you.

  • Go with the Harvey Probber. Both are beautiful but the Wyeth looks like something you could buy at Pottery Barn, while the Probber is more unique.

  • Depending on the room layout I vote for the H Probber but do not like the low arm detail at least in the light fabric. The Wyeth as Brian says is "messy" looking.

  • The Wyeth for sure......

  • Kevin, This is a tough choice ya know. The vote is determined on many factors and I would have liked a frontal view of the Probber. I'm leaning towards the Wyeth because it also looks to be a more comfortable piece to the eyes. If I could sit/lie down on either of them I could give you a definite answer. I'm confident with your abilities and resources that you can find a fix for those two joining corners of the back pillows so my vote is for the Wyeth.

  • The Probber sofa is to die for. The scale is great and I adore the diminutive arms and that tufted bench.

    The Wyeth sofa on the other hand, feels very pedestrian. There's nothing about it that seems special.

    Good luck with the sofa purchase!

  • Which do you prefer to sit or lay on?
    Which is more comfortable - or will be if you are reupholstering?
    Which do you think would work best for when you have guests?

    I think the loose back cushions would make a sofa more comfy, even after its been reupholstered, so on that basis my vote is for the one from Wyeth.

    However, if they are equivalently comfy and functional then I'd go with the Probber. I like its clean lines!

    But I'm all about comfort - I hate a good looking sofa that feels like a rock.

  • Hands down- the Wyeth. It looks more inviting and friendlier. And as someone commented that it looks like something you'd find at pottery barn, I'd disagree (even though I LOVE PB). You'd never find a sofa a PB that doesn't have an arm on both sides so therefore it is unique in its own way. Go with the Wyeth- some nice throw pillows as you know will bring in color and texture- even if you keep neutrals. (not that you need to be told this!)

  • The Probber.

    It's the real thing.

  • Hands down: the Probber! fits more with the sleek yet eclectic vision I see you have for yourself and your apt., while it can serve as a jumping off point for all your other beautiful pieces and accessories. It has clean lines, tightbacks-no loose pillows that tend to be messy. The other one (Wyeth) feels a bit more like a "run-of-the-mill sectional for your place. Moreover, with the Probber you can find 1 or 2 additional side chairs for more seating, be it midcentury design or recover something of a diferent era in interesting upholstery. Go for the Probber!

  • The Probber. It minds me of Lucy and Ricky's fantastic sofa on I Love Lucy.

  • I really liked the Harvey Probber sofa but I am voting for the Wyeth sofa.

  • Kevin,

    Please post your apt floor plan as it would help define the flow from room to room and better envision placement of either sofa.

  • my vote is for the L shape, if you have space enough, you wont need another chair as a complement, and is easy to have a good conversation on it, everybody can be seated in the same place, besides the color i think is better, more neutral to combine.

  • My favorite is the Wyeth:-)! I like large sofas, so that as many guests as possible can sit there at the same time. I don`t like the kind of sofas that are so small that only a couple of guests are able to sit, and the rest have to sit on chairs (mismatched, assembled from around the apartment) or stand hanging around! I don`t think that is very welcoming, and all that work with the interior design is wasted cause nobody gets to see what the room really does look like, all they end up seeing are all the mismatched chairs! The best interior designs are the ones that look great both when you are home alone and when you are having a party.

    On another note, I agree with Faye that Martha needs your help with her closet reorganization. Even when she was halfdone, her shirts were still too long for the hanging space. Super-Kevin needs to come to her rescue!!

  • Hi Kevin, both are nice and will suit your apt. The Wyeth sofa will look beautiful in an open space area. I will chose the Wyeth sofa.
    Good luck!

  • I live in Pretoria, South Africa, where we are just not as blessed with the wide variety of choices you guys have, especially when it comes to mid-century modern ANYTHING. I adore the Probber sofa - while I appreciate minimalism, I think the Probber also possess those little details that make an item extra special. I will however hunt around in my neighbourhood for chandeliers similar to yours - they do crop up now and then.


  • #2, just because it has one arm. Like the asymmetry of that.

  • I'm in love with the Wyeth!

  • Hi Kevin!
    Your place is coming along beautifully. Just finished reading Sister Parish Design on Decorating. Based on that I say go with the Wyeth. It injects some warmth into what could be a very chilly room.
    Also could you have California Closets help Martha with hers. I think it would be a great segment for the magazine and the show. Yours is fabulous!!!

  • My vote is for the Probber because you'll be able to have more chairs to place near or across from it.
    What does Alexis think?

  • Probber hands down.

  • The Wyeth for sure, beautiful.

  • I like the Wyeth for your space and it looks much more inviting than the other.

  • Kevin,

    I would go with The Modernist sofa. You can always add toss pillows for color and comfort. With the other sofa you will be a slave to fluffing and puffing those back cushions.


  • WYETH!!! Looks stylish AND comfortable!

  • the probber - I think it's gorgerous. I agree with brian about the pillows on the wyeth. As a designer, I would like to see your floor plan though so I can get an idea for flow/layout, room configuration.

    Love your new chandeliers!

  • Kevin,

    No Question the Probber.

  • Kevin,

    The Wyeth for sure, just a awesome sofa.

  • The Wyeth.

  • I covet the Probber. The Wyeth appears to be knocked off at every West Elm in the country

  • I choose the Probber by default. I would have chosen the Wyeth if separating the two pieces and if it was to be upholstered in something else. Good luck with your decision!

  • If it fits, I would pick the Wyeth. But the other one is also fantastic!
    Martha needs help with her closet!

  • The Wyeth, definitely. Wish I had it for my family room.
    Great base layer.

  • Love the Probber! The Wyeth seems to be too common.

  • The Wyeth is the better choice. And if you ever lay on it and lounge around......Momma says "you will have to stand in the corner".

  • No to all of your picks Kevin, start over!

  • The Wyeth for sure

  • The Wyeth is a no-brainer. I love the surprise of finding another sofa when you are set on another.

  • Probber, Probber, Probber....

  • Love the Probber. It is so gorgeous and elegant! Very Mad Men.

  • I find them both very sleek and stylish but I think the L-shaped Wyeth is the way to go.

  • Kevin, choose the Wyeth. It's more inviting, and looks comfortable too boot!

  • I vote for the Wyeth, it seems both more functional and more comfortable

  • Probber. The design is better than the Wyeth and will allow for more variation in your apartment. The Wyeth would work better in Alexis' apartment.

  • Probber!

  • Probber. The design is better than the Wyeth and will allow for more variation in your apartment. The Wyeth would function well in Alexis' apartment.

  • Kevin - Definitely go with the Wyeth - it's a real "statement" piece and would look great with the clean lines of your place!

  • I prefer the Wyeth sofa. The color and lines are modern yet simple. The Probber sofa is too long and looks too retro. When you have guests it will feel akward having everyone all lined up, although, if you seperate the two pieces it might work better. Tough choice-good luck!

  • the L shape...without a doubt!

  • Kevin,
    I love the long elegant lines of the Probber for your apartment! Can't wait to see what sofa and upholstery you choose.

  • I realize your apartment, and your design for it, is modern with clean lines. But I would prefer to see a sofa which promised a bit more comfort. A place on which to nap, not just perch with a drink and be fabulous. And so I'm afraid I cannot vote for either choice, I'm afraid.

    Thanks for sharing this process with us and I'm eager to see the final results which I'm sure will be striking.

  • Probber- I don't like the loose cushions on the Wyeth.

  • I love the way the legs on the Wyeth are set so far back. I think it would make the sofa - even though it is large - feel like it is floating in the space, therefore, not feel so big. The Probber seems more old fashioned, even though it is a modern design. I'm not sure you'll love it for a long time. Is the living room large enough to handle the Wyeth and some interesting chairs? Would you be reupholstering both of them? Are you still looking elsewhere?

  • The Wyeth makes me f-e-e-l good just looking at it. Besides it looks the most comfortable.

  • Hi Kevin

    The "probber" sofa is more sophisticated. The other one looks a little more "common" and I'm not fond of how the pillows dont meet crisply on the inside corner. It's a little more "rec room" looking. Not what you are looking for in the quality space you are creating.

  • i think that you need to try each in your space and determine not only how they look but also how they comfortable, how wld they work/feel during a party large and small groups (you will know this without having groups over). I tend not to like long long sofas b/c I do not think people really like siting right next to each other on the same piece of furniture. If you pick the Prober you will have more room for chairs and maybe a fabulous chaise..

  • Kevin the Wyeth lounge the right angle corner is useless nowhere for anyone's legs if you have a crown, I thought they were both bland, sorry.

  • I vote for the WYETH awesome....

  • You must be more confused than ever!
    Love the Wyeth.
    Good luck with your decision, I'm sure you'll pick right.

  • The Wyeth because the super clean lines fit your building and apartment design. Also, it's better for conversation.

  • I do love both sofas. I think the modernist is more you, Kevin. Clean simple lines, very straight forward. I love the Wyeth but the pillow line in the "elbow corner" looks messy. It would be aggrivating to see that every day,in my opinion. If you recovered it and had different back pillows or none at all, I would certainly consider the Wyeth for the space it provides. Still...I love the Modernist.

  • The Wyeth. Better back cushions and I think it would sit better. Gotta have comfort.


  • Definitely Wyeth. The Probber's size is very limiting where the Wyeth would be very versatile to rearranging whims. In addition, the L-shape is very cozy and encourages conversation; it even inspires lazy day lounging with a throw, books and or movies!

  • The Wyeth appears to be more "inviting" ... a nice pillow arrangement in the corner should take care of the odd ball place where the pillows meet....
    the Probber is sexy,but stiff. Looks like your 'guests' would be lined up in a row much like those horrible memories of being selected for the recess kickball game! Good luck with your selection!!

  • I think that the L shape sofa is the best. I love the color, nice and clean. It also offers plenty of seating as well as incourages conversation.

  • oh kevin, kevin, kevin
    it's already almost july and i just found your post about the probber sofa i've been mooning over for two years
    i took a friend to see it and IT WAS GONE!
    how amazing to find out what happened to it!
    i am dying to see it in the new fabric; can't wait till september
    if you ever decide to replace it for any crazy reason at all, please e me!
    p.s. really wish you had gone with the wyeth
    p.p.s. isn't the new wyeth shop in wainscott terrific???

  • Kevin,
    The Probber. But it's going to need a major overhaul; it's in terrible shape and it is, shall we say, overpriced. I saw it in Mondo Cane, and sat on it, and when I got up I was covered in dust from the foam, which has broken down completely. Why not have your upholsterer make you and entirely new sofa in the image of the Probber? Then you can tailor it to fit perfectly. It might be tough to match the metal legs, though...

  • good sofa,and i think it depends on your preference

  • I would go with the Wyeth. It exudes a warm feeling in a somewhat chilly room.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.