Our living room is back to looking like this:
After its brief audition for “Honey, I shrunk the sofa!” last week:
What are we doing with the mid-century sofa?
To answer the question(s) many of you asked in the comments: The too-small mid-century teak sofa that we showed you last week is not staying. We *could* put it opposite the original white sofa or find another way to make it fit into the house.
Ryan and I do like the sofa, but we don’t need it. One sofa plus two teak armchairs is enough in our living room, since we like having the space rather open. When we have extra guests we can grab some more chairs from around the house. So we’ll sell the sofa and put that money towards upgrading our current white sofa.
Why not keep the C&B Sofa as-is?
The loose weave of the fabric has not worn well, and attracts stains like you wouldn’t believe. Before you say “that’s what you get for having a white sofa” let me tell you – years ago I had a white Ektorp sofa from Ikea, and that fabric slipcover washed clean up like a charm! It all depends on the quality and type of fabric used. From reading other reviews of the C&B sofa it appears that their fabric choice (at that time) was a major FAIL. Everyone complains about the fabric staining and snagging easily.
Where do we go from here?
Determined not to let this project lag on and on (a fate that befalls many projects at the Borrowed Abode) I started researching (aka pinning) new sofas right away. I didn’t really set a budget, but kept a ballpark of $1600 or so – figuring we’re a married couple now and we wouldn’t mind investing in a really good living room sofa.
I pinned a few, but none of them really screamed “awesome sofa” at me. Here’s what we discovered in the process:
- Ryan doesn’t like the style of the Pottery Barn slipcovered sofas, and I’m not in love with any of them.
- We really love the style of our current sofa more than any others we looked at.
- It turns out we both prefer a white or off-white sofa.
Then I thought – what about finding a basic, inexpensive sofa from Ikea, and pimping it out with custom removable cushion covers and a slipcover? The Karlstad sofa gets great reviews, and the $400 – $600 price can’t be beat:
It’s a good template to start with to create a mid-century sofa effect. There are some sweet hacks.
IkeaHackers showed how one woman boxed her Karlstad sofa in to create the great 1950’s look, while most likely discouraging her cats from scratching the armrests:
And these smart people at Our Mid Century simply switched out their Karlstad sofa feet and tufted the cushions – resulting in a sofa surprisingly similar to our current C&B Petrie one:
Photo credit: Our Mid Century
Ryan liked both ideas, and was practically chomping at the bit to “box-in” a Karlstad.
But then I started thinking again.
(That always gets me in trouble!)
1. Slipcovered sofas still require effort to keep clean. Especially white ones, and we want white. Pet hair still has to be vacuumed off them.
2. A good, hardwood frame leather sofa would cost upwards of $3000.
3. Our C&B sofa was hand built, in Virginia, from kiln-dried hardwood. In other words, it’s got better bones than any Ikea sofa will ever have. Why buy a new one just to make it look like the real thing, why not work with what we have?
We’ve decided to keep our dingy-but-solid C&B sofa and have it professionally reupholstered in an off-white pleather (aka faux leather). I’ve ordered some fabric swatches, and we’re budgeting $1,000 – $1,500 for the total cost of the job, including fabric. It’s still a hefty investment, but knowing that we’ll be able to brush the pet hair off easily has us pretty excited that we’re making the right choice.
I’m excited, because it means our living room will continue to look like this, minus the oh-crap-guests-are-coming sofa vacuuming sessions!
Now’s the time when I’d love to hear your experiences with leather or “pleather” furniture! Any advice? Horror stories? I can’t guarantee I’ll take your advice, but I would like to hear it so I can weigh it before we plunk down the cash.