Our Dream Sofa

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Several weeks ago, I wrote about how we were looking to trade our stylish mid-century platform sofa for the cushiony lounging couch of Justin’s dreams. Even though I’m a huge lover of mid-century decor and decorate primarily with mid-century furniture, I wouldn’t necessarily call my style mid-century modern. I’d call it something more simultaneously vague/precise, like classic mid-century eclectic. Because we all need labels.

The point is that we didn’t want another strictly mid-century couch; we wanted something that would fit with our mid-century furniture but that embodied a timeless appeal. After doing some research, we targeted a tuxedo-style sofa, or something approximately that shape. Technically, a tuxedo sofa should have arms that are the same height as its back, though a strict interpretation of this style wasn’t super important to us. This is my number one dream sofa, but alas–at $2500, this green goddess is outside the reach of my budget.

allmodern sofa

(AllModern)

Here are a few other examples of sofas we love:

one kings lane sofa
($4000 at One King’s Lane)

dot and bo sofa
($1000 at Dot and Bo)

crate and barrell sofa
(
$900 at Crate and Barrell, though this little beauty isn’t quite big enough for Justin to sprawl as he so desires)

west elm sofa

($1900-2200 at West Elm)

We thought pretty seriously about ordering a new sofa (which gave me the excuse to go nutty ordering West Elm swatches), but true to form, we ended up scoring on a flea market find. ARE YOU READY FOR IT?

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Yep, that’s the real thing, and if it’s not quite what you were expecting, I’m with you. We thought long and hard about this couch and visited it several times before we finally bought it. It’s pretty massive (104″ to be exact) and of course the fabric choice and styling is awfully dated (I believe this is a ’70s era couch, though it was clearly redone during the ’90s). It is very comfortable, though, and we never really cared about the fabric anyway, since we were looking for something to have reupholstered. I wrote extensively about how to choose a piece of furniture for reupholstery here, and by all my own criteria, this couch is a winner. Even just with the skirt removed, you can start to see this couch’s potential.

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By the way, it took me about 20 minutes to rip off the skirt, in which time I moved the couch at least three times, yet Pepper was not even a little disturbed by it all. She actually appears to be dozing off.

We’re sending the couch to the upholsterer in a week or so, and I’m so excited to see how it turns out! For the new fabric we chose this dark blue velvet.

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It’s going to be totally modern and swanky, two words that definitely could not be used to describe it right now. I also think it’s going to end up being the most cost effective solution to our couch quest. I got a price estimate from the upholsterer before we bought it, so I have a decent idea what the total investment will be, but I’ll share a cost breakdown when the couch is done and I have a final figure.

Around the house itself, we’ve been painting, painting, painting, so I’ll have to give a first floor update soon. Though if you’ve been following work on the new house, you might remember that the wall behind the couch used to be orange (it’s the inset here)!

PS — Because of time constraints and the size of the project, this couch is going out to a pro, but you can see my upholstery projects here. You can also check out the chair I had featured on Apartment Therapy here!

Would you take a chance on an ugly couch (or other furniture item)?

VINE & LACE

18 comments

  1. Aww, I love it! I totally agree, with a new upholstery job, it’s otherwise the perfect couch. Just out of curiosity, in case I ever want to do something similar in the future, how much does it cost to have a piece like this professionally upholstery?

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

    1. Thanks, Cat! As for the cost of reupholstery…I hesitate to even take a guess as to what it would cost in your neck of the woods, but I will say, it’s not at all cheap. In most cases, you could buy a new couch for the same amount, so there’s always the question of whether it’s worth it.

      Now, a thing I just discovered is that if you are in/near a city, and you’re able to find someone a little out of town, that can help the cost. We’re taking this to a guy who’s about 45 minutes away, and he quoted me between $400-$550, not including fabric. I consider that to be extremely affordable for what it is. I would not be surprised if upholsterers in SF, LA, NYC, etc, might charge a couple times that for the same project. I think the cost swings that much.

      If you’re interested in finding out more, there was a thread on Apartment Therapy a while back where people around the country weighed in on how much it cost them to have a sofa reupholstered. Here’s the link: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-much-did-it-cost-to-reupholster-your-sofa-199598

  2. Fantastic Brittney! The vintage furniture is made better that anything you could buy now & there is certainly room for Justin to sprawl on that one. Well done! Oh the cozy nights on your beautiful new sofa, love the Blue Velvet! Now, will you add Pillows?

    1. Haha, no worries about the name! I completely agree about the quality, and this couch is in such great shape. It certainly is long enough for Justin to get comfortable, and occasionally the dogs can even be on it together without territory disputes. 🙂 I will definitely add pillows, probably 2 16″ square and two smaller rectangular ones–not sure what size those forms are. I plan on making them, but I haven’t picked out any fabric yet, so I still have some fun shopping ahead of me!

    1. Thanks, Kie, that’s so nice of you to say! The green one will always have my heart, but I think ours will turn out great, too. Always glad to pass along terminology when I know it, plus just calling it a tuxedo sofa sounds even swankier! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kaley! It’s going to look tons better with the new fabric, too! Is the one from One Kings Lane the one you love? That one is just dreamy, but man does the price hurt!!

    1. I’m sure that with the right accessorizing, the fabric currently on the couch could work, but it clashes horribly with our rug. I pulled the rug out for the photos so that I didn’t hurt anyone’s eyeballs! I absolutely love pugs! I know I don’t need any more dogs, but I would not mind pug sitting for a week or two. 😉 My dogs shed a lot, too. I imagine we will probably fill up an entire landfill just with empty lint rollers, but I’m going to try my hardest to make it work!

  3. Oh, Brittany – I feel like every chance I get to learn more about your style, the more I fall in love. It seems like you’re a person that has a knack for seeing “potential” in things – in spaces, pieces of furniture, etc. This couch really looks perfect. Or rather, like it will be perfect once it gets a little bit of a facelift.

    I feel like it’s so hard to find a couch that is nice looking and comfortable, and for that reason, older couches are often a better option. Maybe that’s just in my veryyyy small student budget though. I like to think that couches from real places (other than Ikea) have a better combination of style and comfort.

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

    1. Thank you so much, Kathryn, you’re so very sweet! I’m excited to see how the couch turns out. I think it’s going to be great–keeping the chihuahuas from wrecking it is going to be the hard part!

      Finding a good, comfy couch is tough. I was surprised that you can hardly find a decent quality couch for under $1000. I know that’s reasonable for something you may have for years, but it still feels like a chunk of change to me! I have the reputation of being a bit of a penny pincher, but I like to think I’m just thrifty. 😉

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