Monday, November 26, 2012

Things to Consider When Shopping for a New Sofa

Not too long ago we bought a new sofa for our home.  This time around I researched and took about 5 months to find the perfect fit.  I thought it would be fun (and helpful!) to share some tips and tricks I learned along the way.  Some things I learned from working in the industry and others are mistakes (It happens, guys) I learned from.  Hope you enjoy!

Tip #1 

Decide on the style.

 I know, I know, kind of a given...But there are a lot more things to consider.  Do you like straight lines? Rolled arms? Lots of cushion? Search Pinterest. Look at your boards. I bet you've pinned a lot of similar looking sofas without even thinking about it!  Also factor in your home decor.  You may love retro style sofas, but have a more traditional styled space.  If you don't think it will mesh well in the "hey my home is so eclectic and and I don't even try way", don't do it.  You will be happier in the long run.  Cohesive is key. Don't rush this step, enjoy the process!

Tip #2


Measure your space. Then measure it again.  Don't forget the doorways! If you have a smaller home, don't try to cram a sectional in the space.  
Trick: Ask what a store's return policy is or if they offer an "on approval" service.  That way if you get the sofa in your space and it doesn't work you can send it back!

Tip #2

Make a checklist. 

 What did you love about your old sofa? What did you hate? If it is your first time buying a sofa ask around! Consider everything.  Do you have pets that like to sit on the top of the cushions? If so I would stay clear of cushions with polyfill.  Stick to foam inserts so you can avoid the indentions of your furry friend.  Will the sofa sit in direct light? A lighter color won't fade as bad. Some things will be deal breakers. When you are shopping and see a sofa you love, but on further inspection notice it features something that is a deal breaker for you-walk away! Just know that later down the road you will be complaining about it. Then pat yourself on the back because you have awesome will power.
Trick: One thing that was on my checklist were velcro attached seats.  I was pretty dead set on it until an employee told me I could take my sofa to an upholster or put the velcro on myself.  Not a deal breaker anymore!

Tip #3

Know what you are buying.

Here's the boring part, but the most important if you want a long lasting sofa: Avoid buying a sofa made from particleboard, plastic, or metal.  Eventually it will crack or warp.  The same rule of thumb goes for softer woods.  Kiln dried wood will last longer because there is less moisture in the wood.  The joints should be double doweled, corner blocked, glued and stapled for maximum support. 

Fabrics like leather or twill will last a long time and are easy to maintain.  A lot of people rave on microsuede, but personally I'm not a fan.  The fabric is clingy and always looks a little messy.  If you love it then go for it!  It's whatever works for you and your family!  Cotton and some synthetic fabrics will pill (annoying little balls) after a year. Fabrics such as linen, wool, or velvet are beautiful, but aren't as durable and are quite a bit more expensive.
Trick: If you find a sofa you like, go home and research the fabric it is made of. See what other people have to say about it's durability. It might save you a lot of heartache!

Know your guts. Low density foam is the least expensive but breaks down faster.  High resilient foam is more expensive and lasts longer.  Down is the most expensive and most comfortable, but you will be constantly fluffing it. It also might work the fiber through causing little feathers to escape at times.  

Tip #4

Take your time and don't settle!

It might take some time to find the sofa that works for you.  Don't rush into anything you aren't comfortable buying.  Employees want to sell it to you, and sometimes it can feel like you have to make the decision that day.  It's okay to tell them you need to take a weekend to think about it.  
Trick: I always ask for a business card.  If I end up buying the piece of furniture, I want them to get the commission.  They are putting in the time with you and deserve it!

Tip #5

There's always vintage.

I love the idea of buying a vintage sofa and then getting it reupholstered in an amazing fabric that I get to choose. It's a little scary though.  You might not know what the upholster will charge.  If you find something and that's the case, email them a picture and ask for a quote.  Don't forget to factor in fabric too.  It can get pricer than you might think.

Tip #6

Have fun.

Furniture shopping should be fun! If your main squeeze hates it then leave them at home.  Grab a buddy instead.  You will have more fun because you won't be worrying about them.  That doesn't mean buy it without them (unless they don't care and in that case high five), just go look.  I never took my husband (my mom usually went) with me unless it made it into the final round and I needed his approval.

A sofa is the main piece to the living room.  Not to mention it can get expensive!  If you have a system you will be so much happier with your purchase.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sofa Saga

Recently we had a little bit of a sofa debacle.  Let me just start from the very beginning. 

When we first got engaged we started looking at furniture. It was an exciting time and I was just so ready to start "nesting" that I was in a rush. We had limited funds and ended up buying the first thing we laid eyes on at a discount furniture place.  It was a chocolate micro suede sofa and a matching chair and a half for a deal. We were so excited!

Fast forward a couple of months later to the furniture place delivering what we bought.  After tearing off the plastic I noticed that there were two places where the fabric was ripped. One place was a cushion and the other was along the spine of the sofa. Kind of a bummer. We had bought the insurance so everything was fine, right? I called Evan (he was on tour) and had him contact them to have someone come out to fix it.

They never did. We had to take the cushion in and fight them tooth and nail to get it fixed. But the spine stayed that way. Really annoying.And in my anger I started noticing other things...

I hated the micro suede. It was really thin fabric. I also had to brush it in one direction to get rid of the butt prints.

The scale was off. Way too big.

The chair and a half was awkward for people. "Oh you guys just met? Sit really close to each other on that chair and a half over there." 

The cushions were polyfill. So I had to massage all the lumps out of them. The sofa always looked sloppy. 

I'm not a chocolate fabric kinda gal.

Poor Evan. I was a monster. I hated our furniture. It just made me so mad that we spent so much money on something that didn't work for us.  Part of it was my fault for rushing into things.  Two and a half years later, Evan gave me the go ahead to buy a new sofa.  But there were restrictions.  I had to do my homework and I had to like it for two months before we bought it.  

So that's what I did. I knew I wanted a dark gray sofa with great lines and good bones.  I researched the best kind of construction and type of woods for a sofa. I looked in all the stores and found one that I loved. Two months later, I still loved it.  When I went to go check on the sofa the designer told me it was in the process of being discontinued.  He pointed me in the direction of another one that they had just put on the floor.

It was the perfect color and style.  When I sat in it I just knew it was the one.  In the time being, I convinced Evan to sell our old furniture on craigslist because my parent's had a sofa they had just bought but had changed their minds on.  When we were done with it, we would sell that one on craigslist too.

Two months later I was still in love.  So Evan sold my parent's sofa and went to go order the dream sofa.  When he came back he had bad news.  The store didn't have any in stock and it would be until May 2013 until they got more in. They didn't have any online either.

So I started the search again.  I just couldn't get over that sofa.  Even though we just had a bunch of chairs in our living room and we were laying on the floor to watch tv.  It is also really hard to find contemporary furniture in Springfield.  And custom ordering one online was out of the question. 

But I wasn't going to settle. I didn't want to regret anything we bought this time.  The no-sofa-100-chair living room has been going strong for a month now.  This week  (at 3 am!) I randomly checked online for the dream sofa, knowing it wouldn't be in stock. 

It was though. I refreshed the page. Still there. I called Evan to tell him the most exciting news of the year. He wasn't so excited, mainly because it was 3 am.  I am a crazy person!
The next day, my sweet husband called to tell me he had placed the order. We aren't sure when it will be delivered, but I am beyond excited to see this baby in our home! It's taken 5 months to get to this place, but well worth the wait.  I know it's just a sofa, but it is the heart of the living room.  You sit, lay, read, eat, and snuggle on that thing!

I never thought I would feel so passionate about a sofa, but judging by how much I typed (sorry!) I guess I do!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

After a While Crocodile

I took my better half to the airport yesterday, so I am in a little bit of a funk.  Evan calls it my "mourning week" ha!  It's just an adjusting period where I mope around until I get into a different routine. I've already made a to do list of things I want to get done around the house to help pass the time. 

That guy works hard. I am lucky to be his girl. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

new bike

I have been wanting to get a bike for a while now. Evan recently found a new (to me) bicycle that tickled my fancy right before my birthday. The day we picked it up we rode to the record store and back, just to test the waters. And you know that old saying "it's just like riding a bike"? It doesn't really apply to me.

 I am terrible.

Like the afraid to go over a curve kind of terrible.

 Someone should make up a saying "it's just like roller skating" because then that would be more up my alley. I still am a pretty mean skater. But bikes? No, not really. But I am practicing. The other day we rode to the mall to practice in the parking lot. I need all the practice I can get! Evan made a little video. I filmed him for 2 seconds and then almost bit it.

So here's to trying! My guy leaves on Monday for almost two months, so hopefully the following days will go by at a slower pace. Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I decided on these chairs for our table and holy smokes I am in love with them.  Their shape is perfect! They are really comfortable too.

 I still can't get over that table either. 

It is a lot darker than I thought it would be compared to our floors...So I am going to keep it the way it is. Which I feel better about because I was conflicted about painting it! 

It really is fun to see everything come together!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let Them Eat Pie

On Saturday we had our annual  pie social with friends.  We had it a little early this year because Evan leaves for tour next week and won't be back until December. Which is a bummer, but I am trying not to think about it. So... back to pie!

    Guys, seriously, so much pie.  It is the stuff dreams are made of. 

Kyle and Lyndi. Kyle wins the best dressed award and best 1950's dance moves award for the night.


Kate made a brown butter pear pie. Such a great pie. I am craving it now.

Lyndi made Chicken Pot Pie (above) and Caramelized onion. She is the queen of savory pies!

And then this is where the pictures end because I started eating all the pie and lets just say I was more than distracted. Elated and distracted! Not much tops pie, coffee, and great friends.  

Next year we decided we are going to make a mixed tape with only pie songs on it. So excited for that! I am already looking forward to next year. 

I am thankful for sweet friends and family, the sound of laughter in our home, and of course pie.

*Thank you sweet friends who brought pie! Here is a list of "What kind of pie, and who's it by"
Cherry brought by Dusty, Squash brought by Lacy, Peanut Butter brought by Catie and Mike, Carmel Apple brought by Morganne, Apple and Pear brought by Carly, Oreo brought by Sarah and Caleb, Chicken Pot Pie and Caramelized Onion brought by Lyndi and Kyle, and Browned Butter Pear by Kate.*