home dec friday...

As you may know I've been on a serious hunt for a sofa, couch, or anything besides the floor and office chairs to sit on.  This search has all but worn me out for the last month..


I'm happy to report that I found the perfect sofa for me with freecycle!  


It's perfect for a few reasons:
  1. It was free
  2. Removable cushions that can be easily recovered
  3. Small enough to move on my own
  4. Funky cool!
This piece of furniture had been in the owners family since the 50's and it was obvious she was having a hard time letting go of it.  The wood frame is solid maple and the cushions have the original fabric.  Speaking of the cushions, these things weigh a ton and are full of all kinds of amazing horse hair and steel spring stuffing.  You notice that they haven't broken down at all for the last 50 years, and likely never will.  It's not a soft squishy sort of comfort, firm, but with give.

First let me say that I'm extremely grateful to be able to sit on it exactly like it is without getting any ick feelings whatsoever.  However I need to transform this sofa into something a bit more comfortable for lounging around on.  First order of business is those arms, wood is not comfy to rest against in this case.  I took a trip out to Building 19 which specializes in deeply discounted everything and anything.  They had some standard square throw pillows that were a little small for $6.99 that I was going to try and get away with using.  Browsing through the bed pillow section I found a twin pack of big squishy king size pillows for $15.99.  Out went the throw pillows and I came home with some new ideas.

During the sofa search I had picked up some fabric at IKEA that had been discounted to $1 a yard, now you know that's my golden price point as far as fabric goes.  One of the pieces was this strange print that reminded me of lizards but only the tails, legs and feet.  It's heavy weight and pretty much made for my pillow project.  You'll have to excuse the photo, it's two pieces of fabric which is why the print seems a bit off.  I didn't think to take photos until it was all cut into smaller pieces.  

Snakes and lizards right?






I wanted to make a very firm pillow that would fit the end of the sofa and not squish through that space below the arm.  I also wanted to avoid zippers and use buttons to hold the overlap closed.  This was my first attempt at making pillows and I learned a few things along the way.  You can see the finished size is much smaller than the king size bed pillow meaning when it's all squished in there it's quite dense.

I will eventually make covers for the cushions, but for now covering the whole thing with these cool thrift shop afghans is really easy and extremely cozy.  Also they can be thrown in the laundry so easily.

Here's a little before and after slide show:

7 comments :: home dec friday...

  1. Fabulous, Brian. Congratulations on the find!

  2. That is a quality find.

    By the way, your blog is very cool with all the videos and slideshows. It's a lot of fun to visit. :)

  3. Hi Brian,
    The couch is lovely. I wish I had known how to sew back when I had my own free-cycled couch of questionable origin. Free is always good, I have never purchased furniture in my life.

    Now completely off topic - regarding the welts on the cargo pants. Have you tried Kathleen Fasanella's (Fashionincubator.com)tutorial on welt pockets? She recommends using a jig to get the folds right on the welts before you stitch them down. I've been doing it this way and the result is perfectly lined up welt lips, rather than the overlap that you mentioned. If I am lazy and don't use the jig I get the overlap thing going on.

    And $1/yrd at IKEA? I've only trekked down there once and they did not have any good fabric deals when I went through. I can't believe you moved to the state next to me and already have found better places for fabric.

  4. I have not used Kathleen's welt guide and thank you very much for the reminder. She has some seriously good tutorials over there that I always forget about. I've actually taken to printing these guides just so I have a hard copy on hand I can keep right next to the machine as I work.

    WooHoo for $1 fabric! I wish I had bought more but isn't that always the case? Makes what I have that much more unique to me.

  5. Great couch. I have a similar one ($20 at Goodwill) that I've had for over 15 years. I took off the back cushions (because they wouldn't stay put) and it is still surprisingly comfy. If I bought a new couch today, I'd probably look for a similar style because it has held up so well.

    Your pillows and afghans look great. I just threw some upholstery fabric over my couch (tucked under the seat cushions) and bought some pillows for the back. I'd love to be able to find an afghan like that at my local thrift stores. Around here they seem to specialize in tacky colors.

  6. I love your couch. I have an entire house full of furniture that I've collected in similar ways over the years and I think it's way more interesting. You end up with a more eclectic look and you can have different parts of the house in different styles or periods. Can't wait to see what else you come up with.

  7. love the couch, the blog makeover & you!

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