Friday, January 3, 2014

120 Our Sofa Story

A few weeks ago I shared our home tour in a holiday fashion, and you all noticed something different in our living room, which I have yet to post about.  After the post went up, I received quite a few inquiries via comments and emails about our living room sofa.  So here is the story!


I should win the award for worst blogger ever.  The couch is no longer new.  New-ish maybe.  We actually purchased it in February of 2012.  Ouch!  Stop throwing things at the computer screen!  Many long time readers probably even noticed it way back in my Better Homes & Gardens Storage Magazine feature, or when Jackie from Teal & Lime came to check out our abode.


So, shortly after the questions came in, I snapped some photos of the couch so I could finally share the story.

Long, long ago we purchased our initial living room sofa.  It reminded me of the ones we would see in Pottery Barn catalogs and it had me at hello.  And you know what?  We found it at a steeply discounted furniture store known for moving furniture at the lowest possible prices within only a few days.  Being young and excited, we thought we were superstars for snagging a sofa for $300!  We wanted to start a secret smart shoppers club for finding such great deals!


But.... ultimately, we got what we paid for.  This.


Although the bouncy kids were an added cuteness factor, the couch was a hot mess.  A total of 17 extra large safety pins were trying to prevent the cushion covers from sagging {and apparently not working well}, and all of the seams holding the skirt were shredding and ripping.  Don't even get me started on those back cushions, which were basically half filled with batting and spent more time on the floor...


Every day I would straighten, stuff and arrange the couch to make it look fresh and new, and after one person would sit on it, it was back to the state of sloppy.

The couch was comfortable.  We really loved piling on it, but as the boys grew, we ran out of room to all fit comfortably as a family of five.  And we are big movie watchers during the winter months here in this cold Wisconsin weather.

We were barely able to give the couch away for free on Craigslist; however, one family's trash is a college student's treasure, and we were happy it went to a place where it would live on.

Oh the lessons we learn.

I was determined not to make the same mistake twice.  So this next sofa purchase was a big deal.  A "real" piece of furniture that we would purchase for our home, as the majority of the items are IKEA, Craigslist or thrifted.  Considering a couch is something we use daily, and is located within the first room of our home where our guests relax, we really wanted to do it right this time.  Here are a few of the things we did differently the second time around:

  • We made a couch wishlist.  We knew everything we didn't want given our past experience with couches, and how our family has grown.  A few of those wishlist items included:
    • Zero pillow back.  After dealing with the need to fluff the couch cushions daily, and worrying about attached options eventually looking frumpy with no ability to fluff, we opted for a streamlined, worry free option of not having any pillow back to deal with.
    • No skirt around the base.  The boys just used it as a step to get onto the couch, and eventually the piping and seams where the skirt attached to the couch, came loose.
    • Easy to clean.  We have three boys who are going to continue to grow, smell and be dirty.  We have two dogs, which have the freedom to enjoy our home.  I am the messiest of us all, with zero ability of actually getting food into my mouth before it falls out of my hands or off of a fork.  We would need something that could withstand our messy habits for years to come.  It came down to two options, which were slipcovers or a stain resistant upholstery.  I wasn't 100% against slipcovers, however, majority of them require pillow back sofas and also require me to add to my laundry list, so ultimately, the stain resistant upholstery won out.
    • Big enough for all of us.  Our time together is precious, and snuggle time is important to me.  Although I am sure five years from now my boys will think it is odd, right now they are all for it.  I wanted to find a sofa that would hold all of us at once.  But also didn't want something that would swallow our small space.
  • We planned and measured.  Completely seems like common sense, but I admit this is not something we have always done in the past, and always live to regret it.  We measured the width and length of our room, measured walking space, measured distance to the TV.  Measured like crazy.  And then we started looking for options online we found that typical apartment sized sectionals would fit us best given our long and narrow living room.  So, we taped a few sizes out on the floor.  Literally moved our old couch into the dining room, and used painter's tape to mark out couch dimensions.  Then, like the goofballs we are, lived with the tape on the floor for a day or two, while we walked around it, and even sat on it.
  • We looked at inspiration photos.  I looked at sofas that were purchased by other bloggers and read what they had to say.  I looked at magazines, catalogs and even took note of sofas seen in some of my favorite rooms on television.  My hubby and I made sure we were on the same page, and interested in the same features.  We didn't always agree, but were finally able to narrow our list own and come to a compromising vision.
  • We took our time.  We visited about 28 furniture stores around the Twin Cities area.  Discount stores.  Consignment furniture stores.  Way too expensive stores.  Pottery Barn, West Elm and Crate and Barrel stores.  You name the store, my tush probably tried out every last couch there.  It really helped us figure out what we loved and what we didn't.  Fabrics we liked, curves, etc... 
  • We talked to sales associates to find out when the biggest sales were.  Many mentioned to keep an eye out for sales run in conjunction with a holiday.  So once we found "the couch", we waited for the right sale.


We ultimately selected a Rowe sectional from Becker Furniture.  It came with the ability to remove the chaise to fit our space perfectly.   We purchased it during their President's day sale for "50%" off.  I am always skeptical of those sales as I am guessing that means the couches are typically marked up just to mark them down, but in the end, we feel like given the qualities and options for the couch, we still snagged a pretty good deal.  It was more expensive than a couch I considered at IKEA, but less expensive than anything I loved at Crate & Barrel. 


We had over 500 fabrics to select from, which at the time was overwhelming and challenging and completely nerve racking.  After over an hour of touches and pulling on multiple swatches, we selected a dyelot microfiber {which is not the type that you can basically draw on with your finger, it is a softer, more velvety finish} in a putty color which comes across as both gray and brown.


It is a heavy wear upholstery and has held up wonderfully for the past year and a half that we have been using it.  Although we don't typically allow for meals to be eaten in the living room, I always give in to beverages and popcorn.  And even through dirty fingers and occasional spills, everything has cleaned up extremely easily and well. 



As much as we were head over heals in love with our decision, there is one thing I am still not completely smitten with and that is the way the room now feels more "closed" off.  Although we measured and taped, we couldn't account for the height of the couch.  On one hand, it keeps the living area quite cozy and intimate, on the other, it did make the room feel smaller.  I think I just keep waiting for the day we pull that big wall down between the kitchen and living room, and then I know all will be right again.

That said, we love the clean lines and the fact that it should remain timeless as we evolve our home.  It allows me to add pillows in any color story and can handle the crazy life that three boys throw at it.  And speaking of boys, they are the reason this couch is our most used piece of furniture.



And kids will be kids... They sit on the arms, climb over the back, and jump on the cushions on almost a daily basis.


So that is how we came to purchase and fall in love with our living room sofa.  Hopefully that answered most of your questions, but if not, feel free to leave a comment below.

Being that a sofa is such a large investment, what other tips and tricks do you have for finding the perfect fit for your family?  Any other advice to help first time sofa buyers avoid having to live and learn?

120 comments:

  1. Thank for sharing! You are lucky you have many shopping options to sit your tush on:) I bought a cheapy couch in 2008 and it is broken. I still do the same things you did. My husband and I talk, search, save money, shop everywhere then after a year or two (when the sale hits) we purchase! Funny to hear you do the same! Happy New Year!

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  2. Hi! I really like your couch and I agree, no more pillow back! Funny to hear we do the same thing! We talk about it, shop, save money, shop again, wait for a sale then a year or two later we purchase! Our couch is only 5 years old and we are so ready for a new one because it's broken! Happy New Year!

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  3. Making a list of must haves is KEY. I drew upon what I didn't like about my last sofa when I purchased a new one this summer. I have a big hairy dog who tends to lick the sofa when I'm not looking (don't ask, she's a weirdo), so washable slipcovers were KEY for me. But it also couldn't look slipcovered and had to have a mid-century vibe. I went with the Karlstad from IKEA (and I switched out the legs!) because I also didn't want something that I would be too sad about if my dog (or future dog) decided to destroy it. It looks great and is JUST what I wanted in the end. It's all about knowing yourself and how you'll use it.

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    1. The Karlstad was also high on our list. Happy to hear you love it! Our dogs lick random things as well, so funny!

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  4. Rowe is made in USA too!

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  5. Love the sofa! I also see that you updated the ikea cabinet behind the couch with some hardware. Would you be able to share where you purchased that? I love it and would like to get something similar for mine!

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    1. Hi Danielle!

      I found the brackets from Home Depot and the pulls from HomeDepot.com. You can see more details in this post here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-little-credenza-styling-challenge.html

      xo!

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  6. Rowe is a fantastic company. They also manufacture sofas for Pottery Barn or at least they used to. I purchased a sofa from them about 8 yrs ago and still love it. This year I'm taking our living room in another direction so it will be reupholstered and used in another area of the house, but I bet it has another 10 yrs in it! Great quality! Enjoy! It looks fabulous!

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    1. That is so great to hear! Thank you and have fun with those living room updates!!

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  7. Oh I do love this! The color is perfect, the fabric looks great, and it looks like it's withstanding three boys just beautifully! Thanks for sharing the links!

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  8. We were looking for new furniture for our den, because of the configuration of the doors and windows we had to go with a sofa and a love seat. A sectional just wouldn't work. We measured and measured - then found "the one"…go it home and had to take the trim off of the doorway to squeeze it through. Thankfully, this leather set is going to last forever - we might sell our house with it!

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    1. Oh my! So happy to hear you were able to make it work!

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  9. I want this couch! I love that Becker Furniture World, but holy cow it is overwhelming to shop in! It is a beautiful piece, color me jealous!

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  10. How lovely that u finally found your dream couch! I had the same problem, i know quality but i can't afford it new. So my option was to hit Goodwill, Salvation Army thrift stores on a regular basis, looking for a well made good quality sofa. It HAD to have 3 legs in front, that means good, one in the middle is good. It also had to have down over foam cushions, this is really good quality. The color was not a big deal as i use linen color drop cloths to cover my sofas. I got a great deal on the drop cloths from Amazon, (9.99each) the trick is to use 2 of them on a sofa, one on the base and one on the sofa back, this way they dont mess up when u sit on them. I found my high quality sofa for 79.00 at the Salvation Army and with a 10 pair of slip covers i have a really comfy sofa for 100bucks!

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    1. Such an inspirational story of resourcefulness! And I commend your patience in searching thrift stores until you found just what you were looking for!

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  11. We have a sectional as well and I love that our whole family can fit on it for our weekly movie night tradition...popcorn and all. :-) Great choice on the couch...it looks great!

    ~Sarah

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  12. I love the couch story. Here's how we bought our last couch... We were at a friend's cabin, and they had just bought a new chair and a half and love seat for the cabin's living room. My husband proceeded to spill a glass of red wine on their new love seat (!). When our friend and I cleaned it up and there was not a trace of red wine to be seen, I knew that was the couch for us and our family and three dogs. It's on the way out (it's 10 years old!), so we need to do the couch researching like you did. I hope we can purchase as well as you did. Yours looks great!

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    1. Love that story! So great that you were able to get the wine out, and find the perfect furniture as well! Win win!

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  13. Love the couch and the story. We overpaid for what we thought we loved only to realize we aren't fond of it, next time around I will do more research! Although our putty colored sectional is good for our three wild children and two cats.

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  14. We had our Rowe sofa/loveseat for what seemed like ever. It remained really comfortable and sturdy to the end. We wound up ordering a Broyhill in the living room after my father complained that his was too firm. His lasted several years and the pillows still look perfect. Also have a Karlstad in the playroom. Thing is brilliant in that capacity. The slip covers change when hands get too grubby, easily laundered or replaced. And it's low and the edges are soft for face-crash-landings.

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    1. That was a huge reason we considered the Karlstad as well. Love the fitted slipcovers! Glad to hear you have sofas the whole family can enjoy!!

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  15. I can't thank you enough! I am a first time couch buyer and hopelessly lost. My fiance and I decided to check out IKEA for the first time last weekend. BIG MISTAKE! We will NEVER go to IKEA on a Saturday again! That aside...Their couch selection was disappointing and they also do not finance. With no luck, we tried to leave but not without difficulty. Hats off to whoever conjured up that floor plan.
    We decided we need to take it slow and check out more stores in our area. The couch wishlist sounds like perfect starting point. Having no skirt is on our list for sure. We have two cats and I can envision the destruction now. Thanks so much for all the ideas! I love your blog :)

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    1. Yikes! Yes, Ikea+Saturday=Crazytown. Glad you were able to survive it, lol! Best of luck as you search for the right piece!

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  16. We have your "bad" sofa. The worst part is we actually have two of them, a sofa AND a love seat. We have much better luck with the sofa, the loveseat is awful!! But I too saw the Pottery Barn-esqueness of them and we've had them for about 11 years. After many years of being used only by grownups, the kids and dog have taken their toll on them. I hope someone will want them because they are beyond comfortable. I would love a sectional like yours but my husband worries about losing lamp and drink space. So we'll probably do a sofa/loveseat combo again but Rowe furniture rocks so we'll probably go that route, our last two sofas are Rowe (two living areas means two sofas at a time). Great post, I forwarded it to my husband so he knows we're not alone! BTW mine did not cost $300...probably 1.5 times that. :)

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    1. Such a bummer on the sofas. Sounds like we got a really good deal ours, haha, they must have wanted it out of the showroom, and fast! At least we got quite a few years out of ours, and sounds like you have as well.

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  17. I just love your newish sofa and all the planning that went around it. I'm loving the color combo too (gray/brown) such a good choice and well planned out. I wish my living room allowed for a sectional sofa. We will be purchasing a new sofa/furniture for our living room area sometime this year. I guess I'm better start my research!

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  18. Thank you so much for such a detailed post. My husband and I bought our first home (a TH) year after we married. The funiture in the TH was custom and the owners didn't want to move it out, so they gave us a deal on the LR couch with custom pillows and a great "love chair" with matching ottoman. Well, fast forward 12 years and an 8 year-old later and we're beginning to be in need of newer furniture pieces. I've always wondered what to consider when buying a new couch and your post fit the bill totally. Thanks for sharing. I've pinned this for future reference.

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  19. Love your sofa! We have a similar style from Walter E. Smithe here in Chicago. Can you also share where your pillows and rug are from? I've been looking for similar, affordable options.

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    1. Hi Betty!

      The rug is from rugsuSA.com, I purchased it during a huge 4th of July sale this summer: http://www.rugsusa.com/rugsusa/rugs/rugs-usa-moroccan-shag/natural/200HJMRC1A-8010.html, it is super soft!

      The pillows are:
      Gold heart: Found on a flash sale site but believe it is this one - http://www.goodsbygrinn.com/products/heart-pillow

      Light Blue: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20236634/

      Dark Blue Chevron: (found mine on sale in the store, not sure why still full price online) http://www.westelm.com/products/chevron-crewel-pillow-cover-blue-lagoon-t708/?pkey=e|pillow+cover|163|best|0|viewall|24||134&cm_src=Quickbuy&sku=880369&qty=1

      Gold Dot: https://www.jossandmain.com/The-English-Room-Circles-Pillow~INHR1227~E4517.html

      Blue Dot: https://www.jossandmain.com/Joss-on-TV-Piper-Pillow~PICO4552~E8226.html

      Grey Stripes: http://www.hm.com/us/product/11983?article=11983-B

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  20. Love the sofa!! We need a new sofa so bad. Hopefully in the next few months or so. Thanks for the ideas of the "must haves" list. Did you know that you can actually negotiate furniture prices? Just like we do when buying a car. I didn't know this until earlier this year. That is why you got 50% off. There is such a huge markup on furniture. Hope that helps future furniture buying purchases.

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    1. I just heard that also! So great to know! Thanks for the reminder for the readers! <3

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  21. I love it! I read your blog regularly and I never noticed it. I am so excited to say that I own the same IKEA coffee table as Jen from I Heart Organizing too!

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  22. Your couch is beautiful. Do you mind telling me where you purchased your cute blue dot pillow and the chevron pillow? I too have those beautiful gold dot pillows! love them!

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    1. Thank you Amy!

      Dark Blue Chevron: (found mine on sale in the store, not sure why still full price online) http://www.westelm.com/products/chevron-crewel-pillow-cover-blue-lagoon-t708/?pkey=e|pillow+cover|163|best|0|viewall|24||134&cm_src=Quickbuy&sku=880369&qty=1

      Blue Dot: https://www.jossandmain.com/Joss-on-TV-Piper-Pillow~PICO4552~E8226.html

      xo!

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  23. Since you have a couple of fur babies, do you have any organized dog spaces? For example where do you keep the dog beds and food, etc. I'm looking for a creative way to allow our dogs to be part of the family with their stuff fitting into our space.

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    1. HI Leslie!

      Here is a post I did on organizing for our pets: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2013/10/five-super-simple-ways-we-organize-our.html

      We have two puppy beds, one that stays in our bedroom for at night and another that floats around the house and just gets tossed wherever we are at the moment. :)

      xo!

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  24. My advice on sofa purchasing is for renters and that is to buy small/short in length! Find a roomy love seat or a sectional that has two short pieces. I live in New England (i.e. old, old homes with narrow doorways) and was crushed when my big sofa investment wouldn't fit into my new apartment. We now have recliners. I dream of the day when we no longer rent and I too can find my dream sofa again!

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  25. Hi! I was wondering if you could share with me where you got your gold heart pillow from?? Thank you!!

    becca

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    1. Hi Becca!

      I found it on a flash sale site but believe it is this one - http://www.goodsbygrinn.com/products/heart-pillow

      xo!

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  26. Love your couch!! And I like the "closed" look in the room. Your entire house is beautiful. Congratulations, you are a very talented lady!! I hope one day my house can looks beautiful, tidy and uncluttered like yours... Love your blog!! Best wishes for the 2014.

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  27. Loved this post! So fun to hear your story behind the sofa. :) I love having a sectional for the cozy seating it allows our family of five. I have painfully learned the importance of measuring before buying too. I think it is a great fit for your space and I loved seeing your boys sitting there in "action!"

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  28. Hi
    Love your new couch. Have a quick question. We have a tri level home. In our lower level family room we have a leather sectional couch. We have a smaller living room upstairs. We desperately need new furniture in there. right now we have a couch, loveseat, and chair with ottoman. The living room is not real big. I think we should go with the same set up but my husband thinks we should get another leather sectional. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated (Is having 2 sectionals in the house OK). Thanks Jane

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    1. Hi Jane!

      We actually have a leather sectional in our lower level family room, so we have two in our home. I initially was a bit worried two sectionals would be a bit much or not the most pleasing to the eye, but in the end, you have to do what makes sense for living comfortably with your family. :)

      xoxo!

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  29. Jen- been a lurker for a long time. Such a helpful post. Taping off the floor and living with it for a couple of days is brilliant! Love your blog- can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for 2014!

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  30. I have a sad set of couches looking to be replaced later this month. I absolutely love Rowe sofas. Your seat cushions still look fluffy too!
    My sectional budget is only $1,000 right now, (impossible) so I think I'm going to have to settle for a Karlstad for the time being. I'm a little nervous how long that's going to last with 4 boys:/

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    1. I have heard good things of the Karlstad! Hope it works out well for your fam! I know that sofa was a top contender on our list.

      xo!

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  31. Its incredible how super observant your readers are! There are definitely some household essentials you shouldn't skimp out on - bed mattresses and couches!

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  32. Jen, love it! Where are the pillows, rug and throw from?

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    1. The rug is from rugsuSA.com, I purchased it during a huge 4th of July sale this summer: http://www.rugsusa.com/rugsusa/rugs/rugs-usa-moroccan-shag/natural/200HJMRC1A-8010.html, it is super soft!

      The pillows are:
      Gold heart: Found on a flash sale site but believe it is this one - http://www.goodsbygrinn.com/products/heart-pillow

      Light Blue: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20236634/

      Dark Blue Chevron: (found mine on sale in the store, not sure why still full price online) http://www.westelm.com/products/chevron-crewel-pillow-cover-blue-lagoon-t708/?pkey=e|pillow+cover|163|best|0|viewall|24||134&cm_src=Quickbuy&sku=880369&qty=1

      Gold Dot: https://www.jossandmain.com/The-English-Room-Circles-Pillow~INHR1227~E4517.html

      Blue Dot: https://www.jossandmain.com/Joss-on-TV-Piper-Pillow~PICO4552~E8226.html

      Grey Stripes: http://www.hm.com/us/product/11983?article=11983-B

      Throw: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10212129/

      xoxo!
      Jen

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  33. Fantastic Sofa!

    I have a brown leather sofa for 9 years and still love it. Soft, warm skin and no wrinkles or scratches. Of excellent quality.
    If we were to change certainly take something small, for 2-3 places.
    Congrats!

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  34. Love this post! I would have loved it MUCH more had you stuck with the word "sofa"!

    (leave the word "couch" in the dustbin!

    Sofa is the correct and far more elegant word! And that sofa sectional is elegant!!

    I love, love, love your datebook system! I went to Staples today to find the things!
    They are "sold out" online! I am sure because of YOU!!

    Bravo!

    Elegant and affordable!!

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  35. My current sofa looks like your old sofa - and its covered in the microfibre you can draw on with your finger :( Sofas are such a difficult purchase. Its definitely a decision you don't want to rush or skimp on.

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  36. Very helpful post! We bought our first couch set right before we got married and wanted something a step up from IKEA but not too expensive. Who knew couch shopping would be so difficult! I love your sectional!

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  37. Hi Jen! Have you ever thought or tried to put a table behind your couch to help make it flow more?

    I actually have almost the same couch and almost same floor plan! In the past few days I have been contemplating if I could pull off your DIY media beauty but my only concern was making the room feel closed off but then i thought a table behind the couch would help. Then today you post this pic and I am amazed! It is like the same couch!! I felt compelled to write to you and ask this question....maybe you have some insight if you think that would help? :).

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Madalyn!

      I have thought the same thing, and then one day as we were bringing our DIY console table up from my studio to my son's room, I tossed it behind the sofa just to try it out. I LOVED how it looked. For us, the problem with doing that is that we also have the school cubbies on the stair wall, and the two were competing. It also caused a weird flow through to the dining area for us. But it looked awesome otherwise. Wish we could have made it work, hopefully you will be able to pull it off with your space. :)

      xo!

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    2. Hey Jen,

      Thanks for your reply! I was happy to hear you think it would work! Now we are totally going to make the big beauty! :).

      My space is a bit bigger the yours as I said so maybe we could also make the DIY console table to use for behind the couch!! Oh boy!! Thank you so much!!

      Take care!

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  38. I knew what it was the second I saw it. We just picked out the same sectional, and we had the SAME criteria for it. Too funny. Great minds! I love it in your room!

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    1. No stinkin' way!?! You and I are destined to be great friends! And the best part is that MI is right next door! ;)

      xo!

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  39. Wow! I admire all of your hard work and thought you put into this decision. To be perfectly honest, I just was happy to find a used leather couch for $25. It was in great shape, big enough for our whole family of 3, and cat hair doesn't stick to it. I just found it in an e-mail put out by a fellow homeschool family. The only one who sits on top of the cusions is the cat. And she only weighs 10 lbs.

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  40. Our sofa purchase went a little different than yours: needed new sofa, wanted a sectional, walked into favorite store, found the biggest one ever (just happen to be titled my last name) bought said couch and had delivered next day, didn't measure and only two pieces fit in our live room with the chase in the baby's room. Although with two young boys myself and Michigan weather being balls cold, we LIVE on the couch in the winter and was the best unplanned purchase we've made!

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    1. SO happy you made it work. Sounds like such a cozy couch and a chaise in a baby's room sounds both relaxing and charming! And yes, these cold climates sure cause a lot more movie watching! Brrrrrr! My neighbors always say farewell to me in the fall because they know they won't see me for about six months while I hibernate. :) xo!

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  41. Thank you so much for this post, we are in the market for new sofas as well :)

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  42. I love it! I have just looked at the same sectional online. I wondered how comfortable it would be without the back cushions. I wish we could find it in a showroom. Thanks for the post. The only other thing on my list is to be able to vacuum under it without having to move it.

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    1. I will say that pillow back sofas are typically a little softer and cozier. We just add in throw pillows to make up for it. :)

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  43. Buying nice furniture is so stressful to me! If I spend a lot on it I feel like I'm married to it forever.

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    1. Such a great way to explain it! Totally felt the same way!

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  44. You mentioned feeling like the living room seems "closed off." Have you considered putting your couch in that room's opposite corner (half on wall where TV is and other half on window wall). Then move your TV onto the wall with your photos? That way people walk right into the room with no walking around back of sofa and if you have a large group, the walk space can be filled with chairs.

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    1. Hi Jill!

      Over the past 12 years, I feel like we have tried every last arrangement in the room :) But the TV directly across from the window was a huge "no-no" for my hubby, the glare made it nearly impossible to watch TV, and I prefer not to have the curtains closed every time that it is on. Also, our built in's don't fit there. So.... it is OK for now, I still love the room, it just feels a little portioned off. But as I mentioned, we have plans to open everything up and that should help with it all.

      xoxoxo!

      Delete
  45. The color is pretty, especially with the bright throw pillows. I really like the no pillow back idea. I'll definitely keep this in mind when we shop for our next sofa. And, I'm with you; I always disliked the curtain around the bottom.

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  46. LOVE this couch! I just bought a sectional at World Market, and you've got me questioning my decision already! Those pillow backs really are a pain. I love the sleek, but comfortable look of yours.

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  47. Thanks for this! I actually have the Karlstad, and I HATE it... I can't wait to replace it when we get a new house. The idea of making a list of what bugs me about my current piece and what I want in a new one is such a "duh" idea, but it never occurred to me :)

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  48. Nice sofa, it looks REALLY comfy! I have a sofa that I think looks nice, but isn't the most comfortable. It's always nice when you can find both features in the same couch.

    ~D
    http://bmorebungalow.blogspot.com/

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  49. Your new sectional is perfection! I love the layout, color, & fabric. That's awesome that you got it for 50% too. You'll have many years of enjoying that couch!

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  50. Your timing is as usual, impeccable! :) We've been sectional shopping for the past year and my "must-have" list is simple and very similar to yours, but it appears to be very tricky to meet those requirements! One of the biggies is, like yours, no pillow backs! We have IKEA Ektorp couches right now and the back cushions are SO saggy, I can't stand it! We have four kids, so the sectional must be able to seat at least six people at once, and the fabric needs to be stain resistant since we snack on ours and have pizza-movie nights sometimes. But I must be asking for the world since I've been searching for months and can't find "The One"! Thank you for posting this, it helps me realize I'm not crazy for holding out and also I now have a new brand, Rowe, to look up! Woohoo, the search continues! Love your sectional, enjoy lots of cuddly family time on it! - Jessica

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  51. I just want to give you a little input on our Rowe couches. We bought two sofas in 1999--our first real furniture purchases. We used many of the same criteria that you did, and ended up choosing a tan chenille for its wearability, neutrality, and dirt hiding capability.

    Fast forward over fourteen YEARS--seven kids, three dogs, three houses later. We parted with one of the sofas a year ago, giving it away for free because my kids had jumped on it so many times that the frame eventually gave way (thirteen years that sofa hung on). The fabric still looked almost brand new and the style of the sofa was completely timeless. The other sofa? Still in my family room. Still used every single day. Still jumped on and climbed over. Still looks new in the fabric and shape departments. It's beginning to lose a little of its zing and I'm sure it will wear out soon, but I have to say that I WOULD BUY A ROWE SOFA AGAIN! The wear on those couches has been incredible and they have been so tough. I hope you have as much luck with yours as we have with ours.

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    Replies
    1. You have no idea how excited and happy I am to hear this! I was hoping that this would be a couch we could use until the boys are grown, and it sounds like we got it right! Wahoo! Thank you for letting me know, and can I just say "wow" to the seven kids and three dogs comment? So fun! :) xoxo!

      Delete
    2. We bought a Rowe microfiber chair 13 years ago. It has seen daily use & abuse (2 adults, 3 kids, 2 cats + plus family, friends, etc) and it still looks great!

      Delete
  52. I love your new-ish sofa! We too, researched and measured and bought a sectional, microfiber sofa this summer. I hate it! I'll have to look into the type of microfiber fabric you have. I don't like ours because everything shows on it, even water marks, I can't get the dog hair off of it without duct tape, the bottom cushions fall off all. the. time., and I didn't think about the fact that they pieces don't attach to each other. With our pergo floors the piece that's not against a wall just slides all over. We did get the perfect size and look! I just don't like to sit on it. I'm going to use your post for tips the next time we are able to buy a new sofa! Thanks! Julie

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  53. Love it! The shape looks great for family movie nights and big super bowl parties!

    Abby
    http://thepreppycoxswain.blogspot.com/

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  54. You might want to try some Sure Fit Pet Covers for the sofa. They are more of a fitted throw than a full slip cover. You can still see the shape and style of the sofa.They take the wear and tear, protect from spills and other accidents and wash&dry up like a dream. I have them on for daily use (cats, sigh) and just whisk them off when company comes. Bought mine from Wal-Mart online and did a border run (Canadian here) to pick them up.

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  55. This has nothing to do with the sofa post but.....I would appreciate a post about how you organize the bookshelf/studio console desk in your office/studio this year. I'm about to organize a new bookshelf myself. Thanks!!

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  56. Love the couch, not sure it goes with the colour on the walls. But looks comfy. And you, messy? Naw! Dust and crumbs would take one look at your house, scream in horror at the cleanliness of it and run the other way! Lol. Love your house, so when am I moving in?

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  57. Jen! I love it! It reminds me of my West Elm sectional but I am LOVING your choice to forego the individual back cushions. I find myself fluffing and flipping over and over...!

    The whole room looks fab and seeing that heart pillow makes me want it again!

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  58. LOVE it!!! Any chance you can tell me the name or number of your fabric selection? We have a local store that carries Rowe!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! You can find all of the fabric specifics here: http://collectichome.microdinc.com/Rowe-Plain-X-Puddy/10583-75-338/CoverInformation.aspx

      xo!

      Delete
  59. You totally described my life with couches! We found a "killer" deal on a couch a year and a half ago and you get what you pay for!!! We still have this couch and will probably have it for another 3 years (if it lasts)!

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  60. Oh I hear you on the pillow backs! Our first couch had them and after ten years, I knew I would never buy another one. We also settled on a Rowe, with a microfiber fabric. Love how it cleans up, love the clean, non-sagging back. We've had it for 4.5 years now, and planning on at least ten more! - LauraC

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  61. I AM IN LOVE!!!! I have the sofa you used to (it is a nightmare) but do not know what i want, well it is in your living room!! Do you still have the dimensions to share???

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  62. Thanks for this post on your sofa! I love your list, and your tip about taping out your room with the sofa dimensions is a great idea! For me, choosing the color is always the hardest!! We already have a chocolate brown sofa, and I am hesitant about getting another brownish one. My husband and I found this Rowe at multiple furniture stores nearby. We're thinking about getting the chaise option, but still have to measure. Now the waiting game begins to see when the best sales appear!

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  63. What a great living space! Where did you find the round coffee table? Thank you!!

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    Replies
    1. Hello! We actually lived without a coffee table for the first year and a half of having the couch, and just picked the round one up before Christmas from IKEA for $50: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80213309/

      Fit like a glove! <3

      xo!

      Delete
  64. Really interested to know where you found the frames behind your "new"ish sectional. I have been dying to get my hands on something like this without having to break the bank. Any thoughts?

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      The frames are from Ikea. I don't believe they still sell the same line, but do offer similar styles and colors.

      xo!

      Delete
  65. The couch is beautiful! I love the fabric you chose too. We have ikea sofas now and I've just started hunting for something "real" and grown-up. (I have a dresser I bought a year ago that I still haven't blogged about! Totally feelin' ya!)

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  66. My biggest pet peeve with our couch is that the seat cushions move! Every day I need to readjust the darn things so that my butt isn't slipping in between the back and the seat cushion!

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  67. We're actually in the process of looking to buy a new couch/ sectional. When my hubby and I got married we were so excited to buy furniture that we picked the first thing we saw. Big mistake ,5 years later our section looks like a bunch of pillows thrown in a hot mess pile. Dents ,stains,ripping,floppy pillow backs...it's become very embarrasing to even call it a sectional. Lol. Now I'm doing my research and I am finding it soooo difficult to find a good quality sofa in our area for a decent price. I love yours it's almost perfect to what I want but we live in FL. :/

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  68. Can you tell me the dimensions of the frames behind the sectionl?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer!

      Sorry I missed your initial question. The frames are 23" squares and I found them from IKEA. I thought they stopped selling them, but I found them here: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10156326/#/30109782

      And a similar option here: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30174777/

      xoxo!

      Delete
  69. What size are the prices and frames behind the sectional?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl!

      Sorry I missed your initial question. The frames are 23" squares and I found them from IKEA. I thought they stopped selling them, but I found them here: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10156326/#/30109782

      And a similar option here: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30174777/

      xoxo!

      Delete
  70. Love the couch! What wood finish color did you choose?

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    Replies
    1. Is this the espresso finish?

      Delete
    2. Ooops, I apologize I missed your first comment. I believe it is the espresso finish. :) It is a deep brown.

      Delete
  71. I am curious if you still love this couch. Is it holding up well with 3 boys?

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    Replies
    1. It is still holding up great to our daily use and looks great! We love it and I hope it lasts with us for many more years to come.

      Delete
    2. We just ordered this couch! SO excited. Thank you for the feedback on the wear and tear! We have been looking for a couch for several years but we could never settle on something we both liked and had a good reputation for a decent price (torture to wait so long!) Part of my excitement has to do with Rowe and all of the wonderful things we read/heard about the company!

      Delete
  72. We're likely going to order this couch soon! Do you still love it after all these years? I've been reading your blog for years. I was surprised that after I found the Rowe Martin in a store recently and googled it, your blog came up in the search! Also, I saw your comment in the home tour about the Midwest loving Oak and I couldn't agree more (I live in Milwaukee).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa!

      We are still extremely happy with the sofa. It has endured a lot of love and wear from our family and is holding up amazingly well. The upholstery cleans up nicely and the cushions are still holding their original shape. We give it five thumbs up. :)

      xo!

      Delete
  73. So happy to find this post and site. Great stuff. I'm literally about to order this couch and was hung up on fabrics. Any chance you could let me know the exact swatch #? "Dyelot microfiber in gray" didn't give them enough info. Any further details about the fabric would be soon appreciated. THANKS!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amy,
      Unfortunately, they may have discontinued our specific fabric (just based on a few emails I have received since this post). However, you may also find it titled as Dyelot Microfiber - Putty. I don't know much more than that, but I selected it right in the store based on their fabric sample offerings (I do not personally trust online images to determine color and softness). My guess if you were to ask an employee from the Rowe retailer you are purchasing the sofa from, they may know a little about the fabric we selected and any comparable options to consider.

      I hope you love your sofa as much as we do!

      Delete
  74. Do you still love it?? We took all 4 YES 4 kids furniture shopping :) We love to decorate and change and thrift and well my time and efforts are often times spoiled these very busy days with an 8, 6, 5 and newborn-year olds! :) We are getting rid (well moving into the basement...) of our 10 year old chocolate brown (which has muted all the terrible stains that probably exist!) couch for a new one and looking into the grey! We fell in love with this same couch at our local store too! So I'm off looking at reviews and such - we would like to invest this time instead of thrift up a bargain. I was hoping to hear if you still love it as much! Is the couch TOO deep or super saggy in the cushions? We don't want super firm - we need to be able to get cozy :) BUT our current couch is so cozy at this point that it's awkward for guests... you either kick off your shoes and jump up into it or you feel awkward trying to sit and just cross your legs like an adult. Thankfully, there is very little adulting at my house. HA :) I also love that you have a section with the back exposed. WE have that currently and I think it goes against he grain for some folks but it provides us some space and enough seating! Still trying to decide between 2 sofas, one sofa and 2 chairs or the sectional again! THANKS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristi!

      It is crazy to think we have had this sofa going on three years now already! And short answer, YES! We still love it! I am impressed with how it has held up to our family and our usage of it for movies, napping and fort making. The cushions are still sturdy and look close to new. The back is solid and we haven't had anything crack or break or tear. I appreciate that the kids can lay and play on it all they wish and it still bounces back to something clean lined and simple without any maintenance or excessive pillow fluffing or slouching (our previous sofa was always sagging). And of course, a few throw pillows amp the coziness factor. It has endured a few spills over the years and cleans up extremely easily. Overall, we are huge fans. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars, only because I wish it were a tiny bit deeper (but that may have been our decision when custom ordering the size for our space - I can't remember if depth was an option) and a little less firm.

      Best of luck to you with your sofa search!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for responding!! :) I will say we currently DO have a deeper couch that is al little less firm. It's great for us to sink into BUT whenever anyone is over - it's awkward! It's a kind couch that you sink into, pull your feet up and relax but it is just awkward to sit with your feet still on the ground because it's too deep and too soft. SO we were specifically looking for one a little less deep and a wee bit firmer ;) Te one we have now will head to the basement where you can jump on in and sink into your spot for a movie.
      THANKS for responding!! My kids will most definitely spill things as will they jump over the back, sit on the arm, yada yada yada. I also enjoy picking out fun throw pillows!!

      Delete

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