Yesterday, you saw (and commented on, thank you!) my living room update and boy did you have enlightening opinions. I’m actually going to take the ones that most of you agreed on and well, experiment with them, but meanwhile, I have been secretly shopping for a new sofa (even before I brought this Article one down here…even though now, I’m wondering if I should just keep it?!). So today, I’m going to walk you through my thought process on what sofa might be next, if any, and how that would change the room.
But first some inspiration, and to be honest, I haven’t found enough. I’ve struggled with marrying the traditional style of the home, this long room in particular and my innate love of midcentury. Plus, the fact that we have kids, like “things” and want it to feel minimalist yet interesting. So here are some:
Those people are cool; that’s not up for debate. But what is is how I can bring in that personality without adding even more contrast and clutter.
Classic Windsor + cool art = I suppose that is something I’ll always love, RIGHT?
So while shopping, here is what I’ve been really drawn to, sofa-wise:
This collection is all vintage, and ones that I’ve loved but am not opting for for the following reasons.
Floral sofa: This is a statement and one that also looks comfortable and kid-friendly. It’s in LA so I could go test it out, but it is incredibly expensive (over $10k) so why go try on a wedding dress you’ll love but can’t afford and then cry about?
Blue velvet sofa: I love the curved back of this one that lends itself to the Danish traditional style. It’s so beautiful but again, above our budget (weighing in at $8k). Plus, it doesn’t look comfortable and we need extreme comfort in this room.
Red tufted sofa: This one is more affordable ($1,600) but I would reupholster it in a color that would be more timeless (adding about $1,500 to the price of it). I would put the same colored fringe on the bottom, to match the upholstery but it still feels like a risk as I felt my last tufted sofa was too traditional for me (plus would that low back actually back comfortable?)
Green curved sofa: This one I felt was PERFECT stylistically. It’s simple but special, long and the scale was great, but the cushions nor depth would fit our comfort expectations. Plus, it was also expensive.
So we nixed all of them and started looking at new pieces.
Navy fringed sofa: This lady from Jayson Home is a modern Victorian chesterfield piece that I could see working in here except for the fact that it’s not long enough. We need at least 96″ so we’d have to customize which is an option, but kept me shopping.
Chaise sofa: I love the chaise of the one that we currently have so was drawn to this Interior Define sectional (designed by friend Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy—see it in blue velvet in Arlyn’s living room for reference). I have had the sofa version and it’s really comfortable and deep, and the low back looked great in this room, letting the windows shine.
Beige modern sofa: Amber Interiors makes this simple, deep and comfortable version that has a low arm and low back (a profile we like in this room because it keeps it feeling open). I still love it and think it’s classic for sure.
Curved sofa: The room might lend itself to a curved sofa because of the bay window, so I started exploring rounded sofas. This would open the space from the entry, and still looks comfortable, but I didn’t know if it was something I’d love long term in another house if we moved. But it’s more affordable (around $3k, from Anthropologie) and it has personality. I also feared that it was trendy, and not as comfortable as we’d need but again, I never saw it in person.
Green sofa: The top left is from Modshop and the curved back, customizable fabric and relative affordability and fast lead time is attractive. I still feel like I should go check it out in person (they have a store here in LA…and yes, we can choose any fabric which is attractive).
Printed white sofa: The top left sofa is one of my favorite sofas of all time from BDDW. Those feet. Those hands. I’ve never loved a sofa limb before and, yes, it’s customizable, too. It has that mix of “modern traditional” in the edgiest, coolest way which I want for this house. Sadly, it’s over $20k (listen, it’s designed and made in the states, beautifully constructed…a real piece of art) so we are opting for our children’s college education over this one.
Gray curved arm sofa: The bottom left (from Lawson Fenning) is, well, perhaps the winner. I found a vintage version of this once and freaked out about it, in a “that’s my sofa that my soul has always wanted” kind of way. The rounded arms are great for the “visual invitation” that I want for this room (high arms can cut off a room if you are entering from the side of it). The single bench seat is comfortable (I sat on it, it’s a 10 on the comfort level). It has all the shapes that I want—round and square—and is totally customizable when it comes to the fabric. It’s in the $3,500 to $5k range which is a lot. My one big fear is that if I spend that much on a sofa (sure, my dream sofa), that it will be knocked off in 2 years and I’ll wish I had just waited for the copycats to save money. Dark, but true.
Navy velvet sofa: The last one is from Lulu and Georgia and I do think that it’s a modern traditional sofa that fits in this house perfectly. There are some length constrictions (might not be long enough) and color restrictions (comes in a lot but might not be exactly what I want or have the flexibility at least). But it was a strong contender and $1,500 cheaper than Lawson Fenning.
Considering all of that, I went to go sit and see the Lawson Fenning sofa and in not so shocking news, I fell in love with it. So we started playing with colors…
How would she look in my house? With the things that I already love?? Here are some options:
VERSION #1: A medium gray (with a hint of green in it) with vintage black leather chairs:
OH SNAP (the G-rated version of my real thoughts). The chairs that I have currently I love for many reasons, but like love at first site unlike a comfortable relationship, when I saw these black leather ’70s weirdo chairs, my heart skipped, my breath sucked in and from what I read in my teen romance novels of yore, that’s a good indicator that I’ll love it for a long time. Or maybe not because I’m me and being me means a level of furniture fickle that annoys even, yes me. I could give back the original chairs to Midcenturyla or sell them here, and I have a decent credit towards the company that sells these new chairs so they aren’t a fortune for me and would make up the cost ($1,500 for the pair). At the same time, I’m worried about how shiny the black leather is and I’d likely have to refinish the legs which would cost likely $400 for both. RISKY BUSINESS.
So naturally, the next question is WHY NOT A PINK SOFA???
I went fabric shopping on Saturday and brought home a bunch of options, with a rose linen as one of them. It looks soooo pretty and warms up the room so much, but it’s MAUVE and that concerns me long-term. If it were for a shoot or a client that was open to it, I would do/force this, but Brian looked at me with side-eyes and a “kinda grandma” comment and I’m also worried that in 2 years a mauve sofa is not what I will want. At the same time, I’ve always loved pink, it’s just the shade of pink that has changed. But look how good it looks with the fireplace???!!!!
Back to safety for a second:
A light denim gray sofa (it’s bluer in person but not BLUE) with the vintage black chairs. I get my hit of blue (kinda) and yet these dope chairs that as forementioned do in fact make my heart skip that beat. HOWEVER, I haven’t seen them in person, sat on with my butt cheeks, or assessed how shiny that leather is, so I’m nervous. There are risks in buying vintage online. There are.
Next, denim sofa with vintage eclectic chairs:
Last week when I was planning this post, I was like, wait, why am I conforming to symmetry? I don’t believe in a perfectly designed room and never have, so let’s shake up those chairs!!
I remembered that I have this awesome vintage Børge Mogensen chair from the flea market that I can either live with as-is or refurbish/refinish/reupholster to make it the perfect color. And then I’ve ALWAYS loved these Adrian Pearsall UFO chairs that are huge and graphic in such a playful way. Why not correspond the fabric and create a room that is truly UNIQUE. One is more square and visually light, the other is low and round and grounded. They are meant for each other. Sure, there are some risks (they might not look that great in the room). The Adrian chair might be too big. The wheels might prove terribly annoying. The Børge chair might be uncomfortable. The investment in them might not be worth it. But if we reduced the stuff in the back as many of you want me to do then are two eclectic vintage chairs perhaps the most interesting choice? And if your answer is yes, then do I do that blue-ish denim sofa with them or the medium toned gray one? And if you are like Brian, you might not even notice the difference in their color (to quote him: “what the eff are you actually talking about?”…we’ll explain it to him later). Living with a designer who is a laid-back perfectionist is a real treat, I promise.
So what say you? Keep as-is? Medium gray sofa? Rose sofa? Denim blue sofa? Black leather chairs or the charcoal chairs we already have?