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Our Leather Article Sofa – One Year Later

Every once in a while I go through my blog analytics to see what posts are doing really well, and which ones were a big ‘ol flop. Doing this is extremely eye-opening, because the posts/projects that do really well are never the ones I expect. The two most popular posts I wrote in 2018 were “How to Paint Shiplap” (this one surprised the heck out of me), my series and review of our leather furniture from Article.

The question I get asked most often these days is “How is your Timber leather sofa holding up, now that you have had it a while?”


Article furniture review

So let’s chat about that, and I’ll give you all the dirt.

First off, here is a link to the sofa in question, the Timber sectional from Article. 

Article is a furniture company that sells beautiful, modern furniture and very reasonable prices…but they are only online. That means you can’t see, touch, or sit on your furniture before you buy it, which is scary.

Article furniture leather quality

Hopefully I can help make your decision easier. The good news is that even if you mess it up and hate your purchase, Article has an awesome return policy. I originally ordered a different sofa, and when it arrived I didn’t like how it looked in my house. So I exchanged it, and it was the easiest thing ever.

Article furniture review

When the Timber arrived I was instantly in love, this one was beautiful and felt right in the space. Now came the dangerous and slightly scary part…letting my family live on it.

Article Timber - how does it hold up?

Since most of the hits on this post are going to come from Google (aka people that know nothing about me) and not dedicated readers, let me explain why our house is a great tester for how things hold up over time. There are actually four reasons, and their names are Elijah, Levi, Judah, and Abram. They are 9, 7, 4, and 2, and if something can hold up to the, ummm….attention that my four sons give it, then it’s a quality product.

We started out as most people do with a new expensive item, being extremely and overly careful with it. The kids had strict rules and treated it really, really well….for about a month. Then we realized it could handle us and we all relaxed and treated it like a normal member of the family. Here are a few pictures I snapped of life on the sofa….

Does Article make good furniture?

There has been jumping. There has been climbing. There has been so much cushion squishing. There have been spills, sharp objects, more smashed food than I care to admit.

Do Article cushions loose their shape?

Article furniture quality over time

So how has it held up?

Overall, it has held up really really well. I am very pleasantly surprised. My boys have left their mark on it on  a few places, but that isn’t the couches fault. Here is what it looks like today, after 16 months of constant abuse.

Does Article furniture wear well?

Have the cushions held their shape?

When I get questions about the couch, the thing people are most concerned about is the cushions not holding their shape over time. I’m happy to report that we have not had a problem with that at all, the cushions have held their shape beautifully. They aren’t saggy or sloppy, or really any different than the day we got them. There is one exception to this though, which I knew would be a concern with any sectional we purchased.

This is how my kids watch TV –

Article furniture cushions

That is just the baby in that photo, but all four of them do this…usually more than one at a time. That armrest cushion gets a TON of abuse and is in that squished position all the dang time. Even if they aren’t watching TV someone is usually sitting on top of that cushion, facing the other way and shooting their brothers with Nerf guns or something.

I expected that cushion to give up the ghost and just be flat permanently, but if you give it a few good whacks it goes right back to its original shape. I do wish that I could switch the two armrest cushions so that they would each get a break every now and then, but with the way the cushions are made (fabric on one side) that isn’t possible.

Here is that cushion the day we got it –

Article cushion quality


and now –

Article leather cushion review

You can tell it’s been lived on a little, but I’m really impressed that it still looks decent at all.


How is the leather holding up?

The leather is holding up amazing. It’s quality leather, and I LOVE that I can just wipe up spills, food, and all the other goo and disgustingness that my family admisisters to our belongings.

I do think it is important to mention that we do NOT have a dog, so I can’t comment on how it hold up to claws. We do have an indoor/outdoor cat, and I was really nervous about that. I could just picture waking up one morning and the back of the couch being shredded or the cushions being covered in cat scratches. Fortunately, the cat has zero interest in the couch. ZERO. I watched him jump on the sofa the first day we got it …and then immediately jump off. He hasn’t been back since…I guess leather just isn’t his thing.

Also, I have never conditioned the leather. I own the kit that Article recommends, but I’ve never actually used it. I know, I know… how hard is it to condition it every now an then? Not hard at all, it just made it to the top of the to-do list. You know how it goes. Anyway, if you think the leather looks good (it does), just know it’s not because I have taken care of it (I haven’t).

Things have happend though…horrible things. Unspeakable things. Things that the couch had no control over.

First is the artistic work of my toddler….

pen on leather

He scribbled on the couch with a pen, in about five different places. This one is the worst, mostly beacuse of me trying to get it off. All my attempts to remove the pen only rubbed the color off the leather (DON’T use alcohol based products on leather…learn from my mistakes). I e-maiedl Article to ask if they had any tips, but they said pen is impossible to get off without rubing off the leather color (should have e-mailed them before experimenting on my own). You can order replacement cushions if someting like this happens to you…but my leather color had been disconinued. Such is life.

Nex up…somehow there is some blue paint on the back.

paint on leather

Normally I get up paint spills by soaking them with rubbing alcohol, but having just learned my lession on the cushion I knew that was NOT the solution. So the paint stays.

Last up, is this spot I never noticed until I was photographing the couch for this post. So that spot on the cushion where my boys lay and watch TV? Evidentally they aren’t JUST watching TV and smothering my cushion….they are also using the sofa as a teether.

Article leather furniture wear

Look at those dang teeth marks, and the color loss on the trim has been sucked right off. Kids are the worst. Actaully, to be totally honest, this spot doesn’t bother me. The pen? Bothers the heck out of me. The color getting sucked off by my babies? It’s a sign of life. It’s one of those things I’ll look at fondly when they are older and know better.

A living room filled with furniture and a large window

I think that about covers it, but if you have additional questions, please ask! Also, if you own something from Article, how has it held up over time?

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  1. That is a nice review and that sofa seems like nice quality.
    I am thinking about what you think are the teeth marks. I wonder if it is actually stitching that is showing due to the weight of the bodies. The spacing is too consistent to be teeth marks and it seems like it would be discolored from saliva. I think the discoloration along the piping is just wear.

    1. You’re right, I think the piping and spots on top are mostly from wear…but the marks on the bottom are definitely teeth. It perfectly matches the teeth marks on the crib, haha.

  2. So the leather conditioner and leather cleaner should help a lot. The leather conditioner may actually help with those teeth marks even. You are in a warmer climate, so dryness isn’t too much of an issue. But, leather conditioning will keep it from peeling or cracking in the future. Leather cleaner specifically may get “some” ink out, I haven’t test that one. I used to work at a furniture store!

    1. Yeah, I really do need to do it…it’s not even hard or time-consuming. I did clean and condition the one cushion with all the pen on it in an attempt to get it off, but it didn’t help. The cushion looks moisturized though!

  3. So glad to finally hear from you again. I know 4 boys would slow you down, but am I somehow missing the mailings, or have you slowed almost to a stop? After all, you only have 4 little boys, a newish house to finish and probably a few meals to fix. But I really miss watching what is going on and seeing the boys grow up. So, if I am just not getting posts, please tell me how to fix. If you are just too busy, I understand but know you are missed.

    1. Aww, thank you! I slowed to a stop for the summer…projects and blogging are just too much to keep up with with all four boys around. I wrote this post last week that explains it a little better. I’m picking it back up now though, aiming for a post a week!

  4. Thank you for sharing. I just might consider a leather couch and have saved the one you got in my furniture wish list ;) I don’t have children, but I do have a hubby that can be hard on stuff and 2 small dogs that love to cuddle with us on the couch.

    Keep up the great work – I always enjoy reading your posts <3

  5. Just a thought – hairspray often takes out ball-point ink (I have no idea why), but I don’t know what hairspray would do to the leather finish. I remember from when my son was little (he’s almost 30 now…how did that even happen?) that the people who make Crayola crayons, Binney and Smith, sent me a booklet on how to remove crayon stains from almost anything. Nowadays I’m sure they have info on their website. Thanks so much for re-visiting things – I often wonder about decisions made. Aloha!

  6. When I was little, our coffee table had those same teeth marks all around the edge! I did it all at one time because I thought it made a nice pattern. For some reason my parents didn’t quite agree…

    The couch looks great. That end cushion, can you put it upside down so the same leather side faces out, but the bottom of it? And another thing you might try VERY LIGHTLY is a magic eraser on that paint mark. You could even tape around it so that you only got the paint mark with the eraser, so as not to rub colour from the leather. And if you could pick up some shoe polish in your couch colour, you might be able to rub it in where the pen is, to minimize the scrubbed look. (Maybe test it first under the bottom edge where no one could see it.) I find leather is so work-with-able! I think because it’s an actual organic thing, designed to be tough, resistant and waterproof.

  7. Thank you for this post and the one on the Mello. It has really given us so much of the information that we were needing. I’m a fan of your blog now!????

  8. Thank you for being exactly in my price range and having small children. Next to my 99,000 home this will be the largest purchase Ive ever made. I feel confident now from your experience IAM taking the plunge, Mello for me tho. Thanks for keepin it real!!

  9. Hi Ashley,
    Very many thanks for sharing your experience with Article. I bought the Burrard Sectional from someone on Craigslist who was downsizing and noticed there were a few stains (watermarks) on the upholstery. Got it for a decent discount as a result. After multiple failed attempts to remove the stains at the dry cleaners, I reached out to Article to ask whether they would sell me replacement cushion covers, but, they would only sell me a set if I had a valid order number. Not sure whether this policy is meant to limit 3rd-party resale of their furniture, but I found it a bit strange that even when willing to pay for replacement covers, their policy forbids it. Thoughts?

  10. Hi, first of all, I can’t believe you have 4 kids! You look like a teenager, that’s a compliment! After buying a beautiful burgundy leather couch, my granddaughter, aged 20 months, decided to paint her nails, fingers and toes, while sitting on the couch. You can probably imagine the outcome. Yes, it bothered me, yes, I wondered where her parents were during this, and yes, it’s a permanent shiny, sparkly stain. Now it’s a few years later, and it just makes me shake my head and smile, whatcha going to do!? Laugh, instead of crying!

  11. This is by far the most helpful review I’ve read as I consider buying one of these for my house full of ridiculously rough playing kids. Thank you!

  12. Fantastic “article” ;)

    Much like how you’ve posted this 1-year-later update, could you kindly post a 4-years-later update? Would love to know how it’s held up through multiple years. I’m sure there’s got to be some worthy content there. Thank you in advance!

    1. I don’t have the sofa anymore, I got divorced and the ex kept it. 2.5 years in it was holding up great though, and I would absolutely get the same sofa again. Loved it.

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