My parents are very…

My parents are very kindly helping us out with a bit of furniture for the new house, which is saving us from sitting on the floor. Not that I have anything against sitting on the floor, personally, but Kevin and our guests would complain, I think. So we finally managed to pick out a new couch today, after much searching in many many stores and online over many months. We had a lot of constraints -- not too long, because our living room is very narrow -- in fact, it's actually not a couch, but rather a big loveseat (73", I think). Not too deep, because my legs are so short. Not too modern for the house. Not too high arms, because Kevin likes to lie down on the couch and rest his poor weary head. (If it hadn't been for that last, we probably would have tried to find a Chesterfield, because we both like the look of them. Very ye olde English. But they are not so good for lounging, I think.)

The one we picked has a curved camelback, like a Victorian sofa in shape (which I think was called a Chippendale, although possibly only vaguely related to the actual designs of cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale). This version comes with somewhat cleaner lines. I think this is a picture of the right kind of sofa, the Norwalk Furniture Barton, if I'm remembering the name right:

We flirted with leather (practical for messy children), but in the end decided to go with fabric instead, since that let us squeeze a side chair into the budget. The nice people at Walter E. Smithe swore up and down that with their fabric protection, if we couldn't get the stain out, they would come and clean it, and if they couldn't get it out, they would cover the cost of reupholstering it themselves. So we took a deep breath and went with upholstery. And what upholstery!

I'm sorry I don't have real pictures for you; I was so tired by the time we finished deciding, I didn't think of taking photos. (Kavi got me up at 2:30, and then Anand got me up for good at 4:30. It's been a long day.) And of course, they didn't actually have it in our upholstery on the floor -- we chose based on fabric swatches, which I hope will work out well. (I was surprised to find that doing a custom sofa this way, if you went with the floor model options in fabric, was actually less expensive than buying a similar piece at C&B or PB. Odd.) This online sofa designer gives a rough approximation of what it'll look like:

Purple! It'll be 6-8 weeks until the sofa actually arrives, and in the meantime we will continue to use the Goodwill sofa that has had far too many fluids spilt on it and which makes my back hurt because the cushions are so wrecked. But by the end of May, we should have a lovely new sofa (loveseat) to sit on. And perhaps best of all -- it'll be purple. :-) Dark purple velvety fabric, even (not real velvet, but I can't tell the difference, so that's okay). With a light gold tufted armchair, in our family room with its dark blue walls. I feel very bohemian.

I admit, it's a bit nerve-wracking buying a sofa in a bold color (rather than a nice, safe neutral) and without even seeing it in person. But I think it will be kind of fabulous. I was browsing a design site, and someone described their style as richly-colorful with pops of neutral. :-) I think we might end up similarly. The floors on our first floor are a warm honey, pretty neutral, and the tufted chair in light gold will help neutralize as well. If the purple sofa and blue walls are too intense, we can also do rug and / or curtains in a light neutral, whenever we get budget to add them. I think it'll be okay.

At the new house, by the way, no one will ever eat or drink on this lovely sofa, and no one will get sick all over it either. Including the dog. Because that is the Fantasy of the New House, and I'm sticking to it.

6 thoughts on “My parents are very…”

  1. Oh, the caps lock…
    I am not typing my name over.

    This is wonderful, and a wonderful gift! Hope to see real photos after it arrives.

  2. Buying major furniture is so stressful for me! We just ordered a new couch, and we had a lot of requirements too. Brent is 6’5″ and doesn’t want his knees up in his face, but I have very short legs (for my height) so we had to sit on just about every piece in the showroom to find one that would work for both of us. I felt like I’d been on a stairmaster.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    In the end, I decided that the 21″ depth that is perfect for me isn’t deep enough to be comfortable for most of my guests — and most of the time, I end up tucking my feet up under me anyway, or resting them on the coffee table. So we ended up getting something a bit deeper. (Not a ton, though. 🙂

  4. Purple – bold, exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing pics of how the room looks with all that color richness in it.

    It took us forever to pick out a sofa. We spent a lot of time blocking out various options with newspaper on the floor of the living room before we finally decided on an L-shaped unit. It’s also deeper than is comfortable for some but we solved that with big cushy pillows that can be used as back support when required.

  5. You are setting yourself up for a spill on the first day. The dog will instantly be attracted to it the minute you say no! Best of luck!

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