happy birthday to my baby girl
best spring break, like, ever.

let's talk about sofas

my dear husband led me astray last night, and now i'm left reeling, reassessing, wondering what to make of my life.

he made me fall in love with a sofa i have no business loving.

the kids are with the grandparents this week for spring break so marc and i can use our days purging and packing and fixing, without interruptions by things like work and driving back and forth from schools. it's been ... am i allowed to say ... heavenly. we get along so well and work so well with each other that even though we're crazy-busy all day long, we're having just as much fun as if it were a vacation on a beach.

which is a little nuts, now that i say it out loud.

anyway, we reward ourselves for a day well spent by having a nice dinner and doing something fun in the evening. last night it was dinner at cheesecake factory and then i said, "let's run to crate and barrel to get fabric swatches for the bed and sofa so we can make sure our white paint choice is a good one."

so, off to the galleria we went.

we wandered through crate and barrel and doubled-checked that we liked the bed (oh yes indeedy, we do) and sat on the sofa. okay. got the swatches ... and the sofa is a warmer white than i was planning. hmm. okay ... well, let's swing into pottery barn and see if their white slipcovered sofas are more white. so we went there, sat on more sofas, got more swatches. their white is more white and linen-y, but i didn't like the lines of the sofa as much as the crate and barrel one.

here was my dilemma: the vision i've had in my head forever is two sofas, narrow square arms, comfy and slipcovered in white, casual goodness. sofas that look timeless and appropriate regardless of season.

something like this:

after leaving pottery barn, i told marc i was going to have to think about the sofas. we were right next to restoration hardware, and he suggested we look around while we were out and about.

we went in, looked at some tables, marveled at the drab, institutional uniformity of everything in the store (where did the retro charm go, restoration hardware??). we asked an associate a question about a table and she led us to a vignette to answer our question. we sat down on the available sofa to talk, and once she was done and left, marc stayed. he rubbed the leather. he settled in. he said, "THIS is the kind of sofa we need."

now, i need to explain something here: marc has no opinion of furniture and style and color and shape and form. none. could not care less. he is all about function and feel, and that's it.

and he did not want to leave this sofa.

my immediate reaction was, "yeah, it's comfortable. but it's brown. and it's leather. so, no." then i realized how huge the thing was and had a sudden desire to lay down on it. so i did. and giggled.

"i feel like a midget on this thing!" i said.

"you look like a midget on this thing," he replied.

nine feet, ten inches long. that was the size of this sofa. but it was brown. and leather. so we pulled ourselves off and kept walking. then i hear:

"what if it was in fabric?"

there was the sofa again. in a belgian linen. sort of sandy-gray-oatmeal in color. tufted. a chesterfield, restoration hardware-style.


nine feet, ten inches of gorgeous.

he sat down at one end. i sat down at the other. i stretched out my legs. they weren't even close to touching marc.

the. most. comfortable. sofa. ever.

but seriously ... not white. not slipcovered. not casual. not streamlined. not square.

this sofa is large. curved. tufted. tailored.

one of these bad boys costs as much as our budget for two of the other kind.

and marc doesn't care.

we had to pry ourselves off of that sofa. we were quiet leaving the store. we were quiet on the drive home.

"that was a really great sofa," said marc.

"it would change every plan and every vision i've had in my head for years," i said.

"it was really comfortable," said marc.

"i would have to rethink the style of the entire main floor," i said.

"do you think the 9' one or the 10' one?" asked marc.

i said nothing.

i would NOT fall in love with this sofa. it was the wrong style. wrong size. wrong color. wrong vibe.

we sat on our couch at home, watching "chicago code." i found the restoration hardware catalog on the coffee table and flipped to the sofa. i saw "fabric options" were located on page 240. i flipped to it.

lord help me, it can be ordered in white army duck.

Rh kensington

i'm sunk.

"it's still too big," i said.

i pulled out the ipad, tapped on the floor plan app (yes, i have a floor plan app. whatever.). i typed in our great room dimensions. i selected "sofa" and typed in its dimensions. i added a second one.

whether we go with one or two, 9' or 10', they would work in our space.

lord have mercy.

at this point i was still all NO. not what i have in mind. not gonna work. i want slipcovers. i want casual. then marc and i talk more and i realize that while i was growing up, my grandparents had a large great room with two long sofas. and that's where the family hung out and sat and talked during holidays. those sofas flanking a coffee table and set perpendicular to the fireplace were THE spot when the family got together. and today, my parents have a home with a large great room and a large fireplace, and they have my grandparents' long sofas and coffee table, and those sofas are STILL where the family sits and snuggles and gathers to talk. it isn't the small accent chairs. it isn't the peripheral cozy chairs by the lamp. it's those long sofas. we sit close, we stretch out, someone naps while three other people sit and talk. they are the most versatile, memorable piece of furniture in the room.

and i realize at this point i have just emotionally sold myself on these sofas.

"they are so expensive," i tell marc.


"but we'd have them forever," i finish.

he gives me a side-eye glance and smiles.



Rachael Rydbeck

Michelle I just love this post! You have such a way with words and I can't wait to meet your sofas some day. :)


i love how you tell a story :)
the couch is gorgeous. i'd get it if we were in the market for a new one.

Kids fitness

I feel so much happy that we are in the feeling today...

fabric Sofas

You talk about the casual sofa. You post some pictures of the sofa in this article. It is best for the putting in the living room.


Hi, I am an editor at Chesapeake Inspired magazine. You are a great great writer. Love this piece! Andrea


Are they really good quality? I've heard mixed reviews. If I buy something this expensive I would like it to last over a decade.

The comments to this entry are closed.