For the past two years, I’ve been begging my boyfriend to let me replace our old leather armchair. For starters, it was tired from years of use; A hand-me-down from his parents, it’s covered in scratches, drool marks, sweat marks, marks from… who knows. It was time.
Second, and more selfishly, I wanted a chic chair. Like, one of those cloud-like bouclé chairs all the influencer girlies have in their airy, modern apartments. A tried-and-true Cancer, I’m naturally a nester and a homebody. I love aesthetics and creating a spaces that make me feel good, places I can retreat to when I’m craving alone time, or can show off when I’m entertaining. That leather chair was not part of the equation—it was time for a change.
So when Sixpenny reached out to see if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their chairs, I jumped at the chance. The New York-based furniture brand makes stunning, timeless pieces using beautiful, eco-friendly materials, many of which are washable and easy to care for. An excuse to ditch the leather fossil for good!? And with something that looked like it was handpicked by an interior designer? Count me in.
Turns out, we don’t miss that old leather chair so much anymore. In fact, we love our Sixpenny armchair so much we often fight over who gets to sit in it, dog included. Find my full review, below.
Customizing your chair
I finally settled on the Neva Chair ($1,449) which, per the website, is “the fluffiest, comfiest ‘wow this is soft’ collection we’ve made. Neva’s playfully minimal style will turn any room into an effortless oasis.” Sold.
Before ordering, though, I was sent a box of fabric swatches to choose from, which I highly recommend doing, since this is an heirloom investment piece. Currently, the Neva Chair can be upholstered in 32 materials: cotton canvas, cotton linen, thread-dye cotton linen, washed cotton linen, washed cotton velvet, lightweight linen, medium-weight linen, and faux fur. Prices vary based on material. You can choose up to 12 fabric and leather swatches for free; anything after that is $2 a piece.
You also choose your fill, which is available in a feather down (a blend of ethically-sourced feather, ethically-sourced down, and vegan poly fiber) or a vegan poly-fill, “made to mimic the decadent, sink-in experience of feather-filled cushions.” Color-wise, I landed on a creamy washed linen called “Corn Silk” (since the slipcovers can easily be cleaned, I felt a bit more comfortable going with white than I normally would). As for the fill, I opted for the poly-fill, since I try to live as cruelty-free as much as possible.
Some of the color/fabric combinations are ready to ship, but the “Corn Silk” was not. Since the piece was handcrafted and contract grade (meaning it meets certain standards that make it approved for commercial spaces), it took 10-12 weeks to order. Depending on the materials you choose, the lead time can fluctuate bit, Still, 10-12 weeks is pretty standard for custom furniture.
Fun fact: Nearly every piece of furniture I own I’ve had to put together myself. From my bed-frame and dressers down to my ottomans, almost all of my furniture has arrived disassembled in boxes, leaving me and my disgruntled boyfriend to put them together. To my delight, the Neva Chair is made-to-order and arrives fully assembled (for free) at your door, no flat-lay boxes or Alan wrenches to be wrestled with. Scheduling your delivery is easy, and if there are any special requirements or arrangements to be made, the company coordinates that with you ahead of time.
On delivery day, my Neva Chair arrived in one of the biggest cardboard boxes I’ve ever seen, which was promptly brought inside and opened by two delivery men. I simply told them where I wanted it to go, they stripped away the cardboard and other packaging, and set it up—easy as pie. It took all of five minutes and—arguably the best part—they discarded all of the waste for me, so I wasn’t stuck with mounds of cardboard until trash day. This was my first go at white-glove service and let me tell you—it’s luxe!
The Sixpenny Neva Chair: An honest review
Look and feel
My first impression of the stunning Neva Chair was, “Wow, it’s huge.” Measuring out at 44 “x 41” x 33”, it’s a big, boxy throne. While it’s not noticeably taller than most chairs, it’s definitely wider—the seat width is a whopping 38”, meaning there’s plenty of room for sprawling out in.
Size aside, as soon as it was set up I turned to my boyfriend and said, “This is the nicest piece of furniture I will probably ever own.” It’s stunning. The Corn Silk Linen is gorgeous and so soft, it practically drips luxury. I love its minimalist look, slightly mussy covers, and soft lines, and find it really opens up my space (especially against the ’70s-style wood paneling that’s been leftover in our living room).
More importantly, it’s a cloud a chair form. Holy soft. As soon as I sat down into this thing I knew I’d never want to get out of it. The poly-fill cushion is so sink-in-able but still supportive, so your body can completely and totally relax. Even more impressive is its width. At 5’9″, I can sit on my side with my knees curled up, almost like I’m on a human-sized dog bed—it’s that big. If we wanted to, my boyfriend and I could sit in it together with our legs sprawled out on my Levity Ottoman ($299) (which matches perfectly, BTW). However, if I do share it, I prefer to do it with my dog, who’s smaller and arguably a better cuddler. However, we all like our space, which is an issue because we all like the chair, and are thus constantly fighting over who gets to sit in it.
Quality and price point
As my first “adult” piece of furniture, I get why people pay for custom furniture. I’m not discounting drop-ship products, by any means. But there is something satisfying about having a piece that’s made for you, with the high-quality fabrics and fill you want.
The Neva Chair is undoubtedly my nicest piece of furniture because of its quality. Like I said, everything is handcrafted, not put together by machines or robots. The frame is made from kiln-dried wood and plywood, which is then reinforced with corner blocking and finished with a high-tenacity webbing (aka, you won’t fall through). The cushion isn’t just filled with poly-down but rather features three layers of foam for additional support. Each cushion in Sixpenny’s lineup is made with a foam core of high-density foam sandwiched between two “comfort layers” of medium-density foam. That way they’re still lofty but not so lofty you get stuck in them.
Its piece de resistance, IMO, are its slipcovers. Yes, slipcovers! If before you were scratching your head as to why I would let my dirty, rotten hound climb up on a $1,500 chair, it’s all because of the slipcovers, which can be unzipped and cleaned in a pinch. Technically, it’s a washable chair, however, you’re going to want to wash it carefully depending on the materials you get.
Per the Sixpenny website, natural linen (like mine) and cotton are better off dry-cleaned. You can definitely get away with a spot treatment (I’ve done it) and, if you’re really careful, a washing machine with cold water and mild detergent. Additionally, “while we always recommend washing every component of your slipcover consecutively to maintain color uniformity, it’s important to wash every piece of the slipcover on its own.” And with the zippers closed, as they can get snagged on the agitator when left open.
I haven’t found I’ve needed to clean mine yet. As I mentioned, spot cleaning has done the trick (heads up: there are some fabrics, like the thread-dyed linens, that can’t be) as has vacuuming with my upholstery attachment for dirt and dog hair. Even if I am forced to go to the dry cleaner, having slipcovers makes me feel so much better about the lifespan of my chair, which, given the hefty price tag, better be a long time.
In the year 2023, we should be doing everything we can do be sustainable. This includes shopping from responsible, ethical brands which prioritize the earth’s well-being as much as our own. Thankfully, Sixpenny does just that.
First are the materials, most of which are natural (pure linen, cotton), if not at least recycled. The fabrics are all hand-dyed in small batches, and nothing is treated or coated with any protective performance repellants—it’s au naturel. Certain pieces also feature reclaimed woods like oak and pine “etched with over 30 years of history in every knot.” There’s also the fill, which is ethically sourced, too. According to the Sixpenny website, their distributor “only uses non-live-plucked down feathers, which they obtain as natural byproducts of the food industry. They’re audited and inspected by the Feather and Down Association every year, and their certification is renewed annually.”
Each piece is also built to last. Considering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates an average 9 million tons of furniture end up in landfills each year, durability is automatically a win for planet Earth. The slipcovers are a big part of this. Rather than having to throw a piece away or replace something entirely, you can clean it in a jiffy. Perhaps a slipcover is beyond repair—that’s okay, you don’t need to nix the whole chair. You can buy another one on its own. (Just be prepared, it’ll cost a pretty penny—The Neva Chair Slipcovers currently start at $449 each.) But better than forking over another $1,500 to replace the whole chair.
A steep price tag can be tough to swallow but with eco-friendlier options, it’s worth it in the end if you can swing the cost. For you, the planet, and (maybe) your wallet.
Time for the million-dollar question: Is the Sixpenny Neva Chair worth it? Unequivocally, undoubtedly yes. In fact it’s so good, I’m trying to convince my boyfriend to let us buy the matching Neva Sectional, which is a cool $4,000. (He’s not having it.)
I think my mother—a tough critic with a natural eye for interior design—said it best: “Wow, this chair is the bomb.” She never said that about the old leather chair we replaced, so… ’nuff said