Back in blue

As you well know (because I’m apparently torturing everyone by dragging out this reveal), the decor in the living room needed a bit of an overhaul thanks to a fancy coat of white paint and a stunning new rug.

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I mean, come on…

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I’m happy to report that our Craigslist find has shed it’s sad, brown covering and been returned to us in a perfect shade of blue. Boom:

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Holy cow! We are absolutely in LOVE. To prove it, here are way too many pictures.

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The workmanship is flawless. Gomez Upholstery did an amazing job! We asked Jose to shape the middle cushion to match the curve of the couch (turned out fabulously) and to eliminate much of the piping to clean up the lines. Halfway through the project he called to recommend that we take out all of the piping due to the thickness of the fabric. His suggestion was spot on, and we appreciated that he shared our vision for the sofa.

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I know I originally wanted a green couch, but I think this one was meant to be blue.

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I never knew I could love a piece of furniture so much. It’s the most comfortable thing we’ve ever sat on and the 3′ depth is amazing. I’m not saying that we accidentally fell asleep on the couch the other night, but I’m not saying we didn’t.

For now we’re using some old pillows, but we’re going back to Gomez Upholstery to have a few pillows made in the same fabric. Actually, we’ll be going back to Jose whenever we need anything reupholstered.

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The space is coming together. We opted to move the arc lamp out because it’s been bothering us ever since the new lighting was installed. Hopefully we can find a new home for it down the line. Now the walls are screaming, “give me art!” and someone (me) really needs to work on styling the end tables a bit.

For now, I’m just happy that the sofa is back AND that it made it up the stairwell. It was questionable at points thanks to the small opening on the first floor. We both ended up bleeding during the process (just surface scratches), but it was all worth it for that sofa.

Upgrading the upstairs sofa

While the living room was still in a state of chaos and we were holed up in the captain’s bedroom watching TV, Aaron turned to me and said, “Now that the living room is going to be white, we should think about getting a bright rug.” My reponse? “What we need to do is think about getting rid of this. (Motioning to the off-white couch) Have you thought about how ugly it’s going to be an in a bright white space?”

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Honestly, the current couch wasn’t even our first choice when we bought it several years ago. We had our hearts set on a white (so predictable) couch for our FIRST studio in the basement of our suburban house (my, my how things have changed.) In our typical we-decided-let’s-do-it-NOW fashion, we didn’t realize that choosing custom fabric for a couch meant several weeks of production time. Instead we opted for this in-stock, “it will do” off-white sofa.

It’s always been “just fine.” But with the new paint job and lighting, this space is feeling so much more finished and that couch is looking so much dingier.

So instead of spending money on a rug… oh wait, we bought one of those already… So, before spending money on a rug, we decided to do some serious sofa shopping. We checked a few online stores and were leaning toward something mid century inspired when Aaron found this on craigslist:

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It’s a great size: 8′ long, 3′ deep. We keep sitting on it exclaiming, “We’re not touching.” Apparently after many years of a too small couch, you get excited when a piece of furniture allows you to lounge without being on top of each other.

The clean lines and the legs had us more than interested. It’s also in phenomenal condition – very sturdy. The woman we bought it from nabbed it at an estate sale about 8 years ago, making us likely only the 3rd owners.

But what really got us was the curve on the front.

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Hello sexy!

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Ok, ok, she’s not quite beautiful yet, but at a negotiated price of $400 we thought we were getting quite a steal. We went in knowing that we’d have to reupholster this piece to make it feel right for our space. The color and condition of the fabric confirmed it. This couch has had a good run… and it shows.

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Recovering it will allow us to have the middle cushion cut to mimic the shape of the base. We can also get rid of some of the piping to make the whole thing feel a little more modern.

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Legs: You’re staying. I love you.

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With the couch safely tucked into the car, we mulled over colors. Yep! We’re going with a color. We love white spaces because they allow your eyes to really focus on pops of color. Usually that means artwork and other furnishings, but I had been secretly pinning and falling in love with the idea of a bold, jewel toned sofa. Emerald green had me drooling and Aaron was quickly on board.

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(via Pinterest, original from Melissa Mercier)

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(via Pinterest)

The hunt was on for an upholsterer. We learned that you should definitely get a lot of quotes. Many places will let you email a picture to get a rough estimate on the labor. Fabric will always be extra, but they can give you an estimate of the yardage you’ll need for a particular piece.

The estimates for our couch ranged from $2,900 to $750 (all without fabric). We were shocked at the discrepancy. We opted for a mid-range quote from an upholsterer who is also an artist and lives above his shop. His space was profiled in the newspaper and he talked about his love of white walls and bright accents. We’ve clearly found a kindred spirit… and it didn’t hurt that he called our couch cool when we sent him the photo.

After a little online searching we were coming up short in regards to emerald green fabric. We headed to the upholstery shop to peruse some swatch books and couldn’t find anything even close to the green we had been lusting after. After flagging some jewel toned blues (and even eyeing a bolt in his showroom) we changed courses and opted for a deep blue. Not surprisingly, a check of my Pinterest board confirmed that deep blue was also on my wishlist.

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(via Pinterest, original from Design Milk)

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(via Pinterest, original from JCPenny – oh! And it’s on clearance!)

The swatch we finally settled on as “perfect” rang out at $100/yard… also known as “not gonna happen.” Luckily, the bolt of fabric in the showroom had nearly the same tone AND he was offering 50% off all in-stock fabric. So we walked away with a gorgeous peacock blue at just $25/yard. He even cut me a sample to take home.

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I’ve been a fool with this fabric swatch – caressing it, toting it around, showing it to everyone. It’s a little bit too Frodo up in here. (Please note: that will be my first and last Lord of the Rings reference. Sorry/you’re welcome.) Suffice it to say, we’re very excited. The couch was picked up yesterday and then we have an excruciating 6 week(ish) wait. Good thing I have that swatch to keep me happy…

Has anyone else taken the upholstery plunge? (It seems to be the season for it based on Yellow Brick Home’s recent find.) What piece did you get done? Were you surprised by the variance in quotes? Did you have trouble finding a fabric?