Thursday, November 7, 2013

I'm in Love with Another Sofa.

Love at first sight. 
I can be an impulsive shopper. I’ll often conduct research for a new piece of furniture for months on end, but if something speaks to me aesthetically and the price is right, I’m pretty powerless in the moment. That’s what happened with our living room sofa. We knew we wanted to use our Le Courbusier LC2 sofa (part of the marriage dowry I mentioned here!) in the living room, so I was searching for something to mimic its rectangular lines on a larger scale. This chesterfield-style sofa from ABC Carpet & Home fit the bill, a classic shape with a modern twist. Even though the color wasn’t perfect for the room (the walls were just painted so couldn’t change them) we went for it. 
Looking good! But looks can be deceiving...

This sofa has many great qualities: It’s fabulous for entertaining. Four people can sit on it comfortably. It plays nice with the other furniture in the room. It's so. damn. good. looking. But I'll let you in on a little secret...behind closed doors not everything is as it seems. There’s practically nothing this girl loves more than a solid afternoon snooze, but I've never once been able to take a nap on this sofa. Not once. I've tried pillows, cozy blankets, big meals, therapy. It's just not working out...

The English Roll Arm Sofa ("ERAS" from here on) has always been in the back of my mind. Solid, dependable, smart, comfortable, versatile, classic, and handsome. It's basically the sofa version of my husband. So it should have been an obvious choice! Alas, I caved to the chesterfield in a moment of weakness, and am stuck for the foreseeable future with my hot but disagreeable sofa. 

Why does my heart belong to the ERAS? The low arms and soft cushions practically beg you to curl up on it and take a nap. It can work in a room with both traditional and modern furniture. It looks elegant and refined, yet still beckons you to grab a drink and have a seat. If you have an ERAS in your house, you should watch out, because I either have or at some point in the near future will sneak in a nap on it, because it's that good. Here's a peek at some ERAS I've been eyeing: 

1. The perfect yellow George Smith sofa. By now everyone has seen this image of J. Crew’s Jenna Lyon’s Brooklyn brownstone, featured in Domino magazine in 2008. 
2 & 3 George Smith and George Sherlock make the crème de la crème ERAS.
4. Pottery Barn Carlisle Upholstered Sofa $1,399- $2,249 (on sale now) A beautiful sofa for the price. Not on castors (I do love the look of castors…) but its turned legs have a nice shape. The loose back cushions are nice because you can flip them if you accidently stain one side.
5. Ballard Design Eton Sofa $1,400-$2,381 Very similar to Pottery Barn’s. Nice that it has three cushions, but isn’t enormously wide.
6. Bluebell Sofa is a winner. $1,740 for a 2 1/2 seater, and $2,290 for a four seater (but at 95.3” this could be too big for a lot of spaces) This is probably my favorite for the price.
7. Crate and Barrel Essex Sofa with Castors $2,199. A close second…
8. Restoration Hardware English Roll Arm Upholstered Sofas. $1,865 - $4,350
9&10 Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams London Sofa. Comes in fabric and leather.
11.  If you can find an old ERAS with good bones, reupholstering is a fantastic money-saving option. Pure Style Home’s Lauren Liess found a Lee Industries sofa on Craig’s List and had it reupholstered in a gorgeous green velvet.
12. A quick search on Washington DC Craig’s List turned up this Ethan Allen sofa It’s in pretty decent shape. The tight back is attractive, and with a new fabric, it could be fabulous. I do like this one, but I would probably keep searching for something with a lower arm and castors.  If I ever go through with this sofa swap, I’ll most likely look to the Craig’s List gods for help. 

In the meantime, it's probably better for my career and relationship if I save the 3 hour naps for vacation. Frannie, my in-laws' dog (who happens to be the greatest dog in the entire world) found our sofa perfectly suitable for a little shut-eye during John's birthday party last year. I'm glad it works for someone!