We have a sofa in my family room that I dislike. We bought it at Crate and Barrel many years ago and it was the cheapest sofa at the store. Instead of wondering why a particular style of sofa would be so much cheaper than everything else (it wasn’t on sale. It was just not very expensive), we considered ourselves lucky and bought it on the spot.
After about a year I started to realize why it was so cheap. The cushions started losing their oomph almost immediately and no amount of fluffing up lasted more than ten minutes. It also wasn’t terribly comfortable and was quite low to the floor. Yet we kept it because sofas are expensive and we always needed money for more pressing things. Like food.
Last week, though, I reached my fill. I decided I had had enough of that thing. I looked for some good deals online and couldn’t really find anything. I checked on Craig’s List because you just never know what amazing treasure you might find. Nothing turned up.
Last Friday the thought popped into my head while I was out running errands, “I should go down to the Pottery Barn Outlet!”. I wasn’t think about looking for sofas at all. I really needed some picture frames for my living room, which I still am in the process of redecorating. A lot of times there are some great clearance deals down there in January. The Pottery Barn outlet is 45 minutes away and requires driving through downtown Austin which I avoid at all costs because the traffic is always horrid. But the kids were all in school so why not? (Do you know how many years I have waited to be able to do things like that? Decide at the spur of the moment to drive 45 minutes away and not worry about childcare? About 17 years, that’s how long.)
So I toodled down to Pottery Barn and was lazily browsing around when I figured I might as well check out the sofas because you never know. There are usually about 25-30 sofas all crammed together at the outlet and they’re often about 50% off the regular price (which is kind of high to begin with). I was going along sitting on sofa after sofa when I noticed the price on a white velvet grand-sized Buchanan sofa: normally $2100 it was marked down to $349. Three hundred and forty-nine dollars??? For a Pottery Barn sofa? It wasn’t covered in horrible fabric. There were no cuts or tears. It had a few marks and one big footprint on the front, but that should be easy enough to clean off. All I can think is that the angels brought it down for me. While I like the style, it’s similar to the chairs in my family room and I don’t like my furniture to look too matchy, but we can work on that.
Now let me just pause to say I have never wanted a white sofa. I know all the home dec bloggers have one and Joanna Gaines wouldn’t dream of decorating a house without one; but I’ve got better things to do with my time than yell at everybody to not get the sofa dirty. Maybe some people are OK with that or have tidier children, but that’s not my case. But I do have upholstery skillz. And once the budget allows, I will be recovering that thing faster than you can say, “Bob’s your uncle”. In the mean time it’s white (it took some elbow grease but I got nearly all the marks off. It matches. That’s good enough for right now.
However I didn’t want to buy it without knowing if it would fit in our family room. So I waited a few minutes until the kids were home from school. I called and was informed that Arabella had just gotten in the shower (which meant that she would be incommunicado for at least 45 minutes), so I had to have Jasper measure the old couch. Jasper is ten and is a typical ten-year-old boy. Which meant something like this:
Me: Jasper, I need you to go find a measuring tape to measure the green flowery sofa. Go find a measuring tape.
Jasper: [ten minutes later] I can’t find one.
Me: I know there’s one in the tool box in the garage. Go look there.
Jasper [ten minutes later] I can’t find one and I can’t reach the top drawers.
Me: Ok, I’ll call the neighbors and see who has one you can borrow. [Calls everyone on our street until I find a neighbor who is home and knows where their tape measure is.]
[Another 10 minutes pass as Jasper runs to the neighbors house.]
Me [now having looked at every single item in the Pottery Barn outlet by this point]: Ok, measure from the outside of one arm to the outside of the other arm.
Jasper: Does Dad know you want to buy a new couch?
Me: Yes! Now measure it.
Jasper: The tape measure keeps sliding back in; I can’t do it.
Me: OH MY GOSH JUST DO IT!
Jasper: OK, OK, it’s 81 inches.
Jasper: Wait, did I say 81? I meant 85.
Me: Ugh, close enough!
So the new sofa was the right size and I hurried and paid for it before anyone else could snatch it up. And then I thought about getting it home. I had driven my daughter’s Prius. No way it would fit in that. So back home I drove, swapped cars and drove my Suburban back to the store (I took a different road and got a little lost and overshot the outlet mall by 20 minutes. Duh.)
It took a lot of pushing and shoving but we finally got the sofa in the back of my Suburban. The rear window had to be left open (and of course it was 22°, the one absolutely freezing day in Central Texas), but it was a small price to pay.