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>The sofa search (an update)


Well hello there! I think it’s high time I fill you in on our search for a sofa in our family room. I wrote about the impending purchase a couple of months ago, and I so appreciated all of your feedback on that post.

As I mentioned one or 15 trillion times, our family room is an odd configuration of open layout, a wall of windows, a corner fireplace and a walk way into the rest of the house:

It makes for a very frustrating furniture set up. I may have mentioned one or eleventy billion times that we’ve tried every way possible when it comes to arranging the furniture. Except one , which I’ll tell you more about in a minute. 🙂

There’s a number of things we’re looking for in our new sofa – it has to be easily cleaned (I mean, with water and soap), comfortable, and oh yeah…EASILY CLEANED. 🙂 That’s the biggie. It’s my biggest complaint with our current sofa.

At first we were looking into a Pottery Barn sofa with a chaise. My sis helped me out and did a quick count of the comments on the previous post, and 31 or so people LOVED their PB sofa. About nine did not. Funny how the negative comments make such an impact, eh?

If I remember right, the biggest complaint was that the back cushions get smooshed over time and end up…well…smooshed. I believe the PB folks suggest a fluffing ritual, but I know me and me would NEVER keep up with that. I know what I’m made of peeps. 🙂

I mentioned IKEA sofas as well, and about 24 of you loved your Ektorp sofas, and five weren’t thrilled. This time the negative reviews were more about general quality – some said they just plain didn’t hold up.

On a recent trip out to IKEA, I tested out the floor model, and crossed it off the list for comfort reasons only. If I didn’t sink into the model that thousands of people sit on a week, I’m guessing my tush isn’t going to sink into ours at home. 🙂

I would totally consider it for a less used space like our playroom though – the price, size and washable slipcovers can’t be beat!

So from there I did some more research – I went oh so many places and sat my booty on OH so many sofas. And then I found…the one:

baldwin sofa arhaus

It’s the Baldwin sofa from Arhaus. A few of you mentioned it and I had to check it out. We’ve had an Arhaus in Indy for at least five years now – probably many more than that. I’ve never stepped foot in the store before now, but as I mentioned before, this is not going to be a thrifty purchase by any means.

For the first time in seven years, we’re going to purchase furniture with cash, and it’s going to be a purchase we plan on keeping for (at least) the next ten years. Our other sofas have lasted about two years, at best, and we’re done with that.

And I gotta say…if you haven’t visited an Arhaus, you must visit just for the eye candy. Lordy, it’s gawgeous. SO many pretty things to look at, great decorating ideas, and plenty of knock-off projects as well. 😉

Anyhoo, the Baldwin had me at “washable slipcover” and I was a goner after I melted right into it – it’s that comfy. Oh my.

One little detail I’m looking for this time is a lower profile arm, and it’s got it:

You can see from the picture of our family room above that the current sofa’s arms take up about ten extra inches of valuable space in the room.

There’s also another option called the Lansbury:

It’s a bit more modern, a little more contemporary. But it doesn’t come slipcovered. I mentioned before that I really didn’t want to go with a microfiber, and I had two reasons for that – years ago when we tried them out we were nearly shocked out of pants. They were literally…shocking. 🙂

I’m also not in love with the way microfiber leaves imprints if you swipe your hand across it – you know what I mean? But I did find out that those two issues have be greatly improved on over the years, so I don’t think either would be an issue for me anymore – especially because they are so easy to clean!

So now there’s a few things to figure out – the first is how the heck to pay for it. 😉 No really, it’s going to take months of saving, obviously. And we also need to make a decision on another big change in the room.

Last year I finally figured out a solution for the furniture placement. This is our current layout:

I used Homestyler to create this floor plan and I highly recommend it – it was SO easy, fun (and free!) to use.

It’s not perfect (I messed up the placement of the windows on this one), but it gives you an idea. Right now we have the sofa facing the corner fireplace, with the TV to the left of it.

My idea is to move the TV above the lovely Henredon (Craigslist!) dresser:

I was planning this before, but kept hesitating because the dresser that was there before (which is now in the Bub’s room) was just slightly too small – and moving the TV over there meant I’d have to lose my lamps. I LOVE those lamps. 🙂

The new dresser is super long, and the absolute perfect size for our TV and my lovely lady lamps. I have no idea how the TV will look flanked by lamps, but I’m hoping I’ll like it. Cause I LURVE.

Anyway, because our basement is unfinished, we can have all of our cable and surround sound stuff moved over to the other wall, which will free up the wall near the fireplace.

Initially we were thinking of a sofa with a chaise, and if there’s room, we’d add a chair next to the fireplace:

Moving the TV completely changes the orientation of the room. It makes it longer and wider, because in the past that area in front of the dresser didn’t really feel like part of the room.

Hubby’s only concern is that people may walk in front of the TV, but usually it’s just the three of us, so we figured it’s not a huge issue.

And yes, to watch TV, we’d have to sit turned a bit, but after some of my own private research over the past few months, I’ve realized we sit angled anyway. We gravitate towards the window end of our sofa and angle our bodies that direction.

So now I’m trying to decide if we should do the chaise, or go full-on sectional:

My only hesitation is putting a sofa in front of the window – I’m not avidly against it, but I’d rather not do it if I have the option. After seven years trying to figure out this room – I’ve realized there is no other option. 🙂

The pros: the sectional gives us so much more usable seating! (And no, the sectional can’t go the other way, longest part against the windows. Not enough room.) It still keeps the focus on the fireplace, but also allow for easy TV watching. It makes usuable space so much bigger – and with a slightly bigger rug (some day), it would be fantastic.

The cons: the sofa in front of the windows (which I think I could get over) and it may crowd the fireplace a bit. (It would be about three feet from the corner of the fireplace.) BUT, with the TV and stand gone to the left, it would open up the other side of the fireplace.

I’d love to be able to add a smaller chair and ottoman to the spot where the entertainment center is now – something thinner like this:

Or this (it rocks – literally!):

The chair would wait though – I’d need to live with the space to see how it worked out first.

So…two things I’m wondering about from you all – those of you with slipcovers, give me the pros and cons would ya? Love them or hate them? Do they always look messy? How often do you wash yours?

And I’ve heard conflicting reports on whether or not the Arhaus sofa is the same as the Ballard Designs Baldwin sofa. Arhaus and Ballard tell me no – but they have the exact same specificiations – construction, measurements, etc. Any insight?

Whew, you still with me? 🙂 That’s where we stand now – no new sofa, yet. Lots of ideas swimming around in my head though. Honestly, at this point I’m hoping we’ll have a new sofa sitting in our family room by fall. Between saving and the time it takes to have it made, it will be (at least) that long.

Have I mentioned patience is not my strongest virtue? 🙂


P.S. I did a ton of research about what to look for in a quality sofa, and found this Good Housekeeping article to be the most helpful. The Arhaus option has won out for us because they incorporate so many of these recommendations.

P.P.S. And yes…we’ve tried arranging it that way. And that one. And…THAT one. 🙂 We’ve tried it all.


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