Friday, October 21, 2011

Phone-A-Friend: Brinie's Sofa

Happy Friday, Readers!

This Friday brings us another installment of Phone-A-Friend! Blythe's friend of over 15 years, Brinie, wrote to us with a question about her sofa situation (warning: this is a lengthy read, but it is worth it! very funny!):

Blythe and Deweese!

So I'm here in Boston, on a gross, rainy, Friday afternoon--just checked out 75th and Sedg, a daily routine for me.  Loving it, as usual.  Now, Blythe knows I've been tinkering with this question a bit lately, so I figured I'd finally bite the bullet and ask for your professional opinion(s).  You guys have seen our one-bedroom apartment, and that means you also saw the craptastic furniture we have in it.  The curmudgeonly New Englander in me has a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude towards furniture.  Skis, hiking gear, outerwear--that is a different story.  But I don't really give a damn about furniture.  Which leads me to our ridiculous, and I mean, RIDICULOUS, "couch" situation (I use quotes, because it is really a love seat).  When we moved in (THREE years ago), we basically just took stuff from my parents' house.   A lot of it is actually nice, like our hutch, desk and oriental rug.  But the love seat had been around the block, and was living in my parents' basement, not being used--it was not a pretty thing, but it was a free thing, so we took it (*note, the couch originated with some family friends of ours, so it didn't even start out as my parents' couch).  I had every intention of replacing it with a real couch (I was thinking Pottery Barn, perhaps) upon my first pay check, but then I realized there was other stuff I should spend my money on, and couches are expensive (damn!).  As the months went by, we got used to our ugly little love seat, and found that it fit right in with our mishmash of other stuff, and our spartan walls (no pictures/paintings went up until after year one of living there).

Then one day, I noticed it tilting--like, hardcore, tilting to the right.  So I sat on it to try to shove it straight, and the whole thing collapsed to the ground!  Yes, the 6 inch little legs on the love seat busted right out of the wood frame.  My brother-in-law is an engineer, and he took a look at it, declaring it was un-fixable because we had actually busted the wood base, not just the little legs.  SO--the legs came off, and the love seat now sits right on the ground, making it appear like it is intended for very short people (which, as you know, we are not).   In addition to the height issue, little Helen (our elderly cat) decided that the arms of the love seat needed some attention from her, and she scratched the hell out of them--stuffing started coming out, you know the deal--it was a bad situation.  After continued hemming and hawing, I decided that instead of getting a new couch, I would just get a new COVER.  With a wedding present/gift certificate from Pottery Barn, I bought a cute port stripe slip cover and threw it on.  I thought it spiced up the apartment quite a bit, and with our wall covered in legit-framed photos and prints, and new book shelf, we were cooking with gas!

Then along came Helen, again… as soon as we put that slip cover on, she was sinking her geriatric little claws right into it.  So, the slip cover arms are now covered in claw marks (and tinfoil, in an attempt to stop the clawing), so we're sorta back to square one with the looks of our love seat.  Which brings me, finally, to my question.  We are likely in our last year in our beloved one bedroom (our 4th year here--can't believe it!), so I wonder--between potentially moving in 10 months, and our clawing little cat, do we even bother getting a new couch? Or do we figure we've lived with our sad Lilliputian love seat for 3+ years, might as well hold out until we finally move?  Thanks in advance-- you guys are the best!

Love always, your furniture impaired friend,

PS:  And I have a follow up Q--I had long dreamed of getting a pull out couch, but I know they are insanely heavy, and I'm not sure if it's worth getting one now, esp since we just got a new air mattress that is more comfortable than our bed (ugh, our bed--that is a whole 'nother can of worms!).

And here is a pic... (Brinie, thank you so much for sharing this. Woah.)

To Brinie we say: We are impressed that you and your husband have lived with this love seat for three years. That is something truly impressive in terms of mental patience.  But, dearest Brinie, it is time to move on.

1. To buy before or after a move.  BUY NOW.  Here's why: you have a very set style and are not too particular about furniture, so we are sure that something you buy now will work in your next place. Others might disagree, but we think its worth it. Also, Blythe can speak from experience that moving is expensive and moving into an empty/couch-less apartment can be very frustrating because moving funds diminish furniture funds. Buy it now and enjoy it the first night in your next place!

2. To sleeper or not to sleeper.  We say no sleeper.  They are more expensive, heavy/difficult for your walkup, and lastly you already have a great air mattress! Your sofa will be cheaper and more comfortable as a result!

Now, on to our suggestions.  Disclaimer: After knowing Brinie for so long, Blythe can bet that a classic khaki Pottery Barn sofa will appeal to her taste. But it is really easy to just go online to PB and look for a sofa.  So these suggestions are simply to do some thinking outside the box a have a little fun.  Enjoy!

1. Cool Comfort. All about being comfy without sacrificing style.

 2. Updated Upscale. We think this sofa beautifully blends both traditional and modern lines.

3. Malleable Modern (we hope you are enjoying these almost alliterations). This modern shape is easy to find. We think it could be used within TONS of different styles of decor.

You gotta keep us updated on this girl. Oh, and "HI HELEN"!!!!



  1. I think the tin foil makes this current sofa particularly epic! Good luck, Brinie!!!

  2. haha, thanks! We DO pull it off when guests come over :) But yes, it is pathetic.

  3. Another disclaimer: We cheated and used a pillow Brinie already owns, the Maine one, since I LOVE it and have admired it forever. It was actually the starting off point for everything and the inspiration for your classic New England style!

  4. May the memory of the short couch live forever, but these are great options! Loving the throws and pillows - perfect compliments!