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Design

My Farmhouse “Ok To Shop” List – Chaise Lounge, Fainting Couch, Daybed Or A Visually Open-Backed Sofa… I DOVE DEEP

The decorating part of the farmhouse is certainly not a priority and yet I’ve started shopping. A lot of you asked about timing and while of course we don’t know anything firm, our plan is to move up in August to acclimate the kids to the new school/neighborhood and live in a rental house til it’s ready. We are hoping early 2022 to move in an as of a few days ago we have a magazine shoot scheduled for late April (for August reveal). We have demo’d and have applied for permits while we order all tile, appliances, plumbing fixtures, flooring, etc. I know that rushing it will only stress me out greatly (which is bad for the whole family), plus I’ll make more mistakes and nobody really wins that way. Of course, I say that now while living in this nice house enjoying my summer down here in relative renovation denial. I’m sure once we get into a furnished rental I might be like, “OKEEDOKEY LETS MOVE THIS TRAIN ALONG”.

When we renovated the mountain house I told my contractor that I wanted “fast and good” but would forego “cheap, “and we ended up getting “slow, good, and expensive”. I’m starting to think that a renovation of this scale can never be rushed and it will always be expensive if you want “good,” which we do. He agreed to the “fast, good, and expensive” route but ultimately it came down to subs and him wanting to only hire people he trusted (BORING). So it was just slow with so many days just sitting empty, waiting for subs. And guess what? the good subs are expensive. So my expectations this time around are more realistic. It will take a while. It will not be cheap. In exchange for that, we will get a fantastic high-quality result (RIGHT??). So that’s the timeline update… Hoping to shoot in a year, making the whole process about a year and a half from purchase, and 16 months from demo.

But on Saturday mornings I can’t help but to shop. Part of it is the addiction, the thrill I get going down vintage rabbit holes, even without purchasing (no need, the dopamine hits my brain just by looking). So I’ve put some rules in place for myself though – I’m only allowed to actually shop for and purchase anything that A. takes my breath away and B. I can see its place in our home (aka we need it). You know when you see something and you suck your breath in real fast and your heart stops for a second? This is likely either because it’s A. unbelievably good, or B. unbelievably cheap. A caveat: I may not and will not pass up a vintage or thrifted “steal” even if I don’t “need it” – because if it’s GREAT and cheap then I know I can find a place for it and it’s just bad business to not snag and hoard it. But in regards to my actual “list” I know for sure (HA is anything for sure at this point?) that the living room layout would benefit from a visually low/light backed sofa that still has weight and can help ground the conversation area while staying visually open to the big scenic doors that lead to the back yard.

This is VERY specific, I realize. The living room layout is HARD because there are so many walkways, entries and exits, and focal points. I’ll show you more later (we played with a bunch of stand-in furniture last time we were up there) but what we decided would be ideal is to have a sofa, a fainting couch, and two club chairs. Why a fainting couch? Because the big scenic doors to the backyard are behind it so we want it to visually feel open to them, but still have a place for leaning against it (not just a bench or flat daybed). So I was on a MISSION to find one and last weekend I did!!!!

FIFTY BUCKS!!! Now I was pretty open to what it could look like, I just needed to LOVE IT. So this one has this amazing deco feel, but it’s still SIMPLE, with not a lot of ornate details. It looked comfortable, had a nice open back giving view to the backyard, and yet in a new fabric I could see it just being simple and classic. I text Ken immediately, at like 7 am, and begged him to go get it before it got taken. I had no idea how it was on Craigslist for 2 weeks at that insane price ($50!!!). He agreed, probably annoyed but he didn’t show it and left his family on a Saturday morning to do my craigslist errand bidding. Then he sent me this photo…

IT’S FOR A CAT. We don’t have a cat. We couldn’t stop laughing, like the whole family – even the kids. I appreciated that he held it in his arms for scale because apparently I don’t read dimensions and need a large brother to stand next to something in order for me to understand sizing. After we stopped laughing I got sad because had it been human-sized it would have been the BEST steal. Then I went back to the listing, sure that they hadn’t put dimension but it said it right there!!! “miniature fainting couch, 18″ x 48”. I was so emotional about it that I didn’t even read the not-so-fine print!!! The level of stupid I felt was high, and just thank god it was only $50. OBVIOUSLY, we are keeping it and going to upholster it in something FABULOUS and then start shopping for a cat. Charlie wants it for his “reading nook” but I think it’s even too small for him. The ultimate hand-in-face emoji.

So with that box totally unchecked, on Saturdays I have been searching around for something that would work there (mostly because it’s fun). Now let me be clear that I don’t even know if we really NEED this piece of furniture because now that we’ve changed the layout to include a dining nook in the corner (not floating), we have WAY more flexibility with the furniture layout. But I spent hours searching nonetheless.

1. Divan | 2. Tremaine Chaise | 3. Neva Daybed | 4. Brady Chaise | 5. Bella Curved Chaise | 6. Grand Sofa Chaise Lounge

I love a half back of the chaise because it can “face” forward and to the right whereas a typical chaise can only face left or right if that makes any sense. So this is like 1/2 sofa, 1/2 chaise. It keeps your eye moving past it (towards the view out the big scenic doors) and yet is substantial enough to be balanced near an actual sofa. I have a couple of favorites from up there that you’ll see at the end.

1. De Sede Ds 80 Patchwork Leather Daybed | 2. Discipline Sofa | 3. Mello | 4. Serafin Leather Daybed

All of these are low enough (but still substantial) to be able to see past them, not stopping the eye. I like all of these a lot – they are cool, although perhaps not quite classic enough (and that de Sede vintage one is awesome but $$$$ and Brian hated it :))

1. Diego Sofa | 2. Jody Chaise | 3. Lupra | 4. Rico Divan Sofa | 5. Continuous Chaise Sofa | 6. Adrian Pearsall Mid Century Cloud Chaise Lounge Chair

All of these would be contenders, that simple unfussy curvy shape could work with most other sofas and they feel modern and cool in a way that this farm might need. And no, we aren’t sticking to any sort of “modern farmhouse” vibe inside. I’m really just doing whatever I want to with the furniture and accessories. Sure I have some more primitive and utilitarian pieces that I think will look awesome here, but I’m not limiting the styles because it’s a farmhouse (I’m more careful to reference the style with the permanent finishes – flooring, lighting, tile, etc).

1. Pavo Daybed | 2. Pacific Daybed with Wood Legs | 3. Brooklyn White Daybed | 4. Shelter Daybed | 5. Jasper | 6. Hunter Lounge | 7. Elvi Chaise | 8. Asher Daybed | 9. Loft II Cream Daybed

Now the totally flat day beds won’t work here because, well, I prize comfort over most things and most people don’t want to sit on a bench for a long time without leaning on something. But these above have substantial enough arms that they can be leaned against on both sides. I love the idea of reading here where I can see out the back and still feel in the living room.

1. Vivi Tete-A-Tete Chaise | 2. Custom Tete-a-Tete Sofa Bench in Grey Velvet with Walnut Base by Adesso Imports | 3.

What about a tete-a-tete? Are we still doing these? I reaally like these modern ones, but the antique victorian ones remind me of Bridgerton where the men/women shant sit next to each other in case their bodies doth touch. I don’t think we’ll end up doing one of these but again it doesn’t shut off the room to the backyard and yet is still a part of the conversation area (but there is something the feels highly impractical about them and like you are shunning the person that is facing outside).

1. 2-Seater Sofa w/ Side Tables | 2. 2-Seater Sofa | 3. Originals Studio Couch | 4. St. Charles Daybed | 5. Oiled Walnut Spindle Back with Brass Accents Bone Chaise by Casey McCafferty | 6. Distrikt Sofa | 7. Mollis Sofa | 8. Mogensen Spokeback Sofa | 9. Tateishi Shoiji Oak and Walnut Chaise Longue

Now these you have to picture without most of the back sofas, exposing the woodwork. Picture throw pillows but allowing enough of the line of site open through the wood. These also mix really well with more substantial upholstered sofas. #9 is SICK – it’s vintage and was only designed to face that way (and we want it to face the other way) but that is an insanely beautiful piece of minimalist furniture.).

MY FAVORITES!!

1. Oiled Walnut Spindle Back with Brass Accents Bone Chaise by Casey McCafferty | 2. Brady Tete A Tete Chaise | 3. Lupra | 4. Bella Curved Chaise | 5. Continuous Chaise Sofa | 6. Adrian Pearsall Mid Century Cloud Chaise Lounge Chair | 7. Elvi Chaise | 8. Serafin Leather Daybed | 9. Originals Studio Couch

Seriously all of those up there are AWESOME. #1 is my #1 and I might commission that to be made or if the designer Casey McCafferty can’t (he’s focusing more on sculptures which are crazy good) then perhaps Fernweh – a local Oregon furniture maker – can design a windsor backed version of a daybed. So good. The pricing is all over the place with the Article one being SO good and affordable and the Horne one being very expensive, but those lines are gorgeous. The Lulu and Georgia one is soooooo cozy looking and the Crate and Barrel one is postmodern and perhaps trendy, but the lines of it are so simple that I think it’s timeless enough. And of course, I’ve loved everything Adrian Pearsall (#6) and always lean towards vintage (I SCOURED 1st Dibs and Chairish and found very few that would work).

But essentially unless I found #1 at a flea market or on Craigslist I’m not pulling any triggers yet. I will “come up with a plan” and even “take time to design the space” because none of our sofas will work in this living room so I should probably not box myself into a piece of furniture that is new and can be purchased in 6 months from now. But I feel very well versed now in what’s on the market so if I don’t find that random vintage steal or design something custom with a local maker then I have some pretty awesome options that I know will work well with a lot.

Most importantly I learned the benefits of reading the fine print, designing for scale, and making sure that I’m buying human-sized furniture. So glad that 20 years into my career that I’m still buying dollhouse or cat-sized furniture online thinking I found a score. If it happens again please expect a #brotherforscale hashtag to start because apparently my brother near the piece is the only way I can confirm sizing. Have a lovely weekend, folks.

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Rusty
13 days ago

Hahaha!!!😅😂🤣I love that you share the mistakes with us as well as the successes!
That’s hilarious! Maybe Sara or Caitlin or Bowser would love it for their kitties?
The ONLY piece that got me excited was the #1 from last dibs!
Do you think heading down the ‘fainting’ sofa direction is wise when you already have the reupholstered chaise??

Vera
13 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Ooo good point, maybe it will go elsewhere in the house or office?

Suzanne
13 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Oh, yes, her beautiful chaise! I imagine it in her bedroom for a cozy reading nook.

Vera
13 days ago

😂😂😂 EXCELLENT way to kick off the weekend!
I am super bummed too – I LOVED it as well. But the other options are all good! Can’t wait to see what you do. 😊

Amber
13 days ago

Love this!

Am sure you are aware of custom furniture delays, but I just placed an order for a couple of Lee Industries chairs, and the estimated lead time is 20 weeks (?!?). Other things I’ve purchased had similar delays due to covid and then a fire at a foam production plant in Texas during their big freeze. So maybe don’t wait too long…

Jessvii
13 days ago

I have an idea for a new series – Em finds furniture for readers’ specific problems. Example: I need a dining bench with a back and padding for comfort, in a tough fabric that can be wiped down such as faux leather (b/c kids = grape jam for lunch, then playing with slime in the afternoon) and not more than 55 inches wide. Seems easy enough to find? I’ve been looking for two years – the width seems to be the problem since I see wider ones like this that won’t fit under our specific table which is a non-standard size (note: the table is the perfect size for our dining area, so she’s staying). But then again, I do not have nearly the shopping skills that the Em team has, so surely this dream bench solution exists somewhere??

Melissa Matthews
10 days ago
Reply to  Jessvii

check out Ballard Designs. they have them and you can get outdoor fabric on them.

Emma
8 days ago
Reply to  Jessvii

Depending on your budget you could get a custom one made or DIY it

Brigitte
13 days ago

My favorite from your list of favorites is #8, the leather daybed from CB2 which almost never happens. I ALWAYS end up falling in love with the most expensive choice🙂 Have a great weekend!

Annie K.
13 days ago
Reply to  Brigitte

I also love #8 the best…actually, I like #2 the best but don’t think it would fare as well with dogs + kids. Wahooo!

I have made that kind of mistake SO many times. My favorite thing to do is to make a shopping list, take it to the grocery store, leave it in my pocket, consider looking at it at the end of my shop, deciding “nah I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anything,” then realizing when I get home and unpack that I left out the ONE thing I needed most. HA. It’s a great habit.

Lisa Kieraldo
12 days ago
Reply to  Brigitte

This was the best story because we have all done something like this before but the details of yours were priceless. Thank you for sharing and adding some levity to our day.

Cris S.
13 days ago

This was hilarious – thank you for sharing the failures as well as the successes!!!! I’ve done this several times with online auctions. Hmmmm, why did everyone else stop bidding and I win that piece? Because I overpaid a bit for something that everyone but me recognized as tiny. Love and learn (and then learn again if you are like me)!

13 days ago

I love this story! Mostly because I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who gets weirdly emotional about furniture and forgets to think about the practical stuff.

Monica Benzmiller
13 days ago

Well if it leads you to getting a cat then it was worth it in my mind!

Rusty
13 days ago

😹

Jenms
13 days ago

HAHAHHAHAHAHA this is so great

Alice
13 days ago

Actually that fainting couch is pretty big for a cat. I think the dogs would use it.

Rusty
13 days ago
Reply to  Alice

I reckon the dogs themselves are pretty BIG by now too!
PLEASE, CAN WE HAVE AN UPDATE ON BUTTERCUP N OSCAR?!?!
🐾🐾 🐾🐾

Lori S H
13 days ago

Of all of your contenders, I’d say the CB one looks the most comfy and functional for a farmhouse with kids and pets. Would you consider actually trying the functionality of one of these daybeds/chaise/fainting couch out before purchasing? I’m betting most of the time everyone will fight over the chairs and sofa in lieu of the daybed. The story of the mini chaise is great! It reminds me of the time mysister once bought a French “oil painting” on eBay and it turned out to be 2″x2″. She was literally shocked!

Courtney
13 days ago

OMG I laughed out loud at the second photo! Sorry the cat couch didn’t work out. I loved #3 and #4 of the fainting couches. I agree on the daybeds–they look great but I can just see my toddler climbing up on side and rolling off the other. They’d work better up against a wall. Your #1 choice is beautiful, especially with a custom upholstered cushion, but … $8000? Ouch.

Lane
13 days ago
Reply to  Courtney

Toddlers climb on coffee tables too. They have that need to develop motor skills. You can redirect to a pickler triangle or something else. Yeah the fall off furniture all the time but they are okay afterward. I don’t know. Mine was a very independent kid. I was with her all the time, but you can’t control every move, and too safe of an environment doesn’t allow them to develop appropriate risk taking skills. So you minimize risk, attach furniture to walls, hide pills, magnets, and whatever else you need, teach them how to get off beds and sofas. I like daybeds. They are pretty good for 3+ yo kids to play games or puzzles, use as a table for dolls. I’d put one in my office if I had the space.

Sara
13 days ago

Oh my gosh I laughed so hard! It’s so obvious how thrilled your brother is too about the mixup!

Definitely have to keep it — basically forever because it’s such a funny story!

LMK
13 days ago

As beautiful as #1 in favorites is, it looks uncomfortable for sitting or lounging. The CB #4 looks the most comfortable for both activities. Sometimes comfort just has to win. Plus you might actually be able to find it at a C&B and sit on it to test it out.

Roberta Davis
13 days ago

Oops! Well, as you say, at least it was very inexpensive mistake! I fell like buying furniture online is risky even if you do read the dimensions.

Suzanne
13 days ago

So many great choices! I love the number 1 on your favorites list. It’s the one I actually clicked through to, because I might want it, too. I love that it can be customized. It’s the perfect blend of Shaker and modern, which is my favorite design style. Regardless, all the choices you have are beautiful. My fingers are crossed that you find a great vintage piece. Such fun to be on this design ride with you.

Heather
13 days ago

Oh my gosh, the cat fainting couch made me laugh. So good!

We have a similar situation in that our living room sitting area backs up to our back porch, and we placed our Interior Define Maxwell sofa in front of the sliding glass doors. Because it has a low profile, it doesn’t obstruct the view at all, and everyone has a comfy spot to sit/lounge.

13 days ago

Beautiful selections! But I’m going to toot my own horn, since I’m pretty sure you haven’t seen my furniture line made right here in Los Angeles 😉🙌 F|C FrancoisCollective.com check us out!

JJ
13 days ago

What a fun post! Full of helpful resources too!

Jen
12 days ago

Keep the couch – your pups might use it??

Brigitte
12 days ago

Would the cat lounge work as a footstool/ottoman?

Solstice
12 days ago

That will be a great story FOREVER. Hilarious and a much-needed laugh today. Can relate. 🙂

Elsie
12 days ago

We have a Crate and Barrel daybed in our bedroom that looks similar to the Lulu and Georgia one you like. It turned out to be a brilliant purchase because when our toddlers/preschoolers didn’t feel well, they used it as a bed for a night or two, to be near us. Now teenagers, they love to come sit on it in the evenings and “spill the tea,” before they retire to their own rooms and shut the door to adults. So it’s been a parenting tool as well as a comfy perch to read in for over a decade in our home. Good luck!

Grace
12 days ago

So… if none of your current sofas will work in your new house, where are they headed? Did I miss this? Because the latest sofa in your old house (the custom blue one) is my dream sofa for my new tudor-y craftsman (or crafstman-y tudor)…

Jessica
12 days ago

I want that Serafin leather number from CB2 so bad.

Victoria
12 days ago

Chaise longue is my spirit animal, so of course my favourite is $15k
sigh

Love the story though and it’s nice to remember that professionals can make mistakes too!

You even shared us your mistake your blog is different from others lol hahaha. Thank you for being honest!

Melissa
12 days ago

Omg, thank you for the belly laugh! That is hysterical. I’ve made mistakes by jumping on something quickly because I didn’t want to lose it only to get it home and realize it’s not that great. (Damaged/not special). I hate when that happens!

As for the sofa situation- you found lots of great options and while #1 is beautiful it looks insanely uncomfortable, even with pillows.

Sarah
11 days ago

The cat chaise looks pretty simple…You have lots of contacts in the custom furniture world…Maybe you could have a human-sized one made? Might give you a little inward grin whenever you look at it and make for a funny anecdote whenever a guest compliments it 😉

Michelle R.
10 days ago

Oh man, thanks for the laugh this morning. Always read the feline print.

9 days ago

beautiful interio design

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