Monday, August 17, 2009

A Tale of Two Sofas...

Before I begin this post I need to write a little disclaimer to my mom. Mom, I know how you hate it when I brag about how little I spend on things, so you may want to avert your eyes now!

I seriously love craigslist. If I did have a fairy godmother, her name would be craig.

A few months ago I was beyond thrilled to find this sofa on CL. Hello, lovely! I bought it for $200, which is a big splurge for me (that's the most I've spent on any piece of furniture in my house with the exception of my bedroom furniture and the couch in my basement, which were both purchased before I was married)

I love everything about it. The shape, the velvety butter upholstery, the pretty bolster pillows, the down-filled cushion...

It's about 10 years old, but it just sat in the formal living room of the previous owner, so it's still in really good condition. I recently had it professionally cleaned which did get out the few minor spots it had.

I was super excited to come across this article which places my sofa in the $5K price range! I can tell you it's definitely well made. The frame is so heavy that when I tried to lift one end of it to adjust it a little, I couldn't do it.

This is why I love CL. I would probably never be able to afford a piece like this new, and if I ever did scrape together the money, there are too many other more important things that my family should be using that money for.

As much as I LOVE decorating, when it comes down to it, this is just material stuff. There are much more important things.

However, for $200 I got a piece that I sigh over every time I walk by. And I don't have to feel guilty about what I sacrificed to have it.

Here's the photo from the O. Henry House website:

I knew I was in good company when I spotted the same sofa here:

Suzanne Rheinstein

Wanna see my favorite part?
Check it out from the side!
How gorgeous are the arms?! I think this arm style is called a Charles of London arm, or a London arm or an English arm, but basically it's a small, low rolled arm that continues down the front.

Now on to sofa number two.

Would you believe that exactly one week later I got this sofa on craigslist for free!!!
Windsor Smith

Okay, I didn't really get that sofa for free, but I did get this one for free and I knew I could make it resemble the one above after making a slipcover for her to cover up the slashes in her cushions.

It's okay, sweetie, nobody's perfect. You just need a little makeover.
Yes, I'm talking to my sofa. Get over it.

It's a Lee Industries sofa that was sold at Crate and Barrel for around $2000, I think. Here's a pic on the Lee Industries website:

Oh, and my homegirl Jenny of Little Green Notebook (okay, so she doesn't exactly know she's my homegirl yet, but I seriously love her blog. She's got mad style) has the same sofa in the two cushion style.

You can read what she has to say about it here.
Here's a pic of my same sofa in a slipcover made especially for it by Lee industries. I priced out what it would cost and it was about $1500 just for the slipcover!

That was when I decided to try making a slipcover myself. Armed with a $20 Joann's giftcard and a 40% off coupon, I bought 8 yards of beige linen at $7.99 per yard for a total of just under $20.
Here's what I came up with:

I tried to copy the Lee industries slipcover, except I decided to save some money by doing it in one piece instead of covering the cushions individually. I used less yardage this way. At some point in the future I may make the individual cushion covers in the same fabric, but I'm satisfied with it for now.
I decided to do bigger boxpleats and I still wanted the pretty feet to show so I started the pleats right under the cushion line.
And I didn't want to lose my favorite part, the arm, so I piped out the pretty curve on the side:
Now I'm a little torn. I really don't know which I like better. I never intended to have two sofas in this room, and I'm definitely aware that this is probably one sofa too many in this space, but I'm not ready to part with either of them. Plus, it's really nice to have the extra seating.
What do you think?


  1. Wow. I think YOU have some mad skills. Nice finds and gorgeous slipcover.

  2. I found your link from ASPTL, and I LOVE your slipcover!!! How did you do it? I have a sofa that is in great condition, but it definitely needs to be recovered!!

  3. Wow! You did a wonderful job on that slip cover. I've tried it before and it ended up a MESS. Love both sofas!!

  4. looks AMAZING! You want to come make slipcovers for my couches? ;)

  5. WOW! FABULOUS! Can you come make me some slipcovers? That came out beauitufl.
    First, you have great thrift shopping skills and second, I would definitley keep the reupholstered one in the room you have it. As for the other one. Sounds like it is a very well made sofa and I would keep that too if I was you. Hopefully you can find a home for it in another room in your house.

  6. Both of these sofas are just beautiful. They look like the ones in the magazines. Good job!Rhonda

  7. Wow! You are talented with the sewing machine! Your slipcover turned out great--love the pleats.

  8. #1 That slipcover is HAWT!!!
    #2 I love reading your are too funny
    #3 Keep up the good work

  9. Wow, great slipcover. I'm so impressed that you even added piping, awesome!

  10. FABULOUS girl.I started a new KNOCK OFF KNOCK OUT party and I bet you have some things to put in the party-it's every Monday. I would love to have you submit this idea next Monday. I hope you come over and become a follower and subscribe and I will do the same.
    Its So Very Cheri

  11. Absolutely Goooorrrrgeous!!!!!

  12. WOW! You did a fantastic job! I am right in the middle of a slipcover/reupholstery project on a craigslist sofa myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. I'd keep both, it looks cozy and intimate to me.

    I have a poll up on my blog about my BIGGEST decor dilemma. Come on over and vote, I need all the help I can get!

  14. I have two sofas in my living room and wouldn't have it any other way. I say keep them both! Amazing job on the slipcover!!

  15. Hi This is Kelly's mom - I saw your comment about the couch I did on her blog and just had to see how yours came out - all I can say is "Beautiful!" I've often thought about doing slipcovers rather than upholstery, but always chickened out - but this is really inspiring! I love the piping and the pleats!

  16. They look beautiful. I have some couches here that I've been putting off re-covering for ages now because it just seems so daunting.I'll get aound to it one day.

  17. Amazing design!! Check out the wide range of Sofas from

  18. These are good looking furniture. You can get these furniture at affordable prices. living room sofas


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