New Sofa, New Quandries

We did it.  We finally got a new sofa, which means a couple of things: 1) we're grown ups, and 2) now I must buy a whole new living room to go with my new sofa (not really...sort of).  But first, let me share our tale.
Here's where we were a year ago...
My Own Jumbo Houndstooth Pillows

Sad brown blob of a sofa.  We got this bad boy for about $250 from Ikea, and it served us well.  However, it was time to move on, and here were our stipulations:

1. Cat-friendly fabric (i.e. no velvet, no leather).
2. No detachable back cushions.  They sag and make me sad.
3. Versatile fabric to go with a changing decor.
4. Built to last.
5. Tufting.  I should really have put this as #1 because tufting is just that important to me.

As a Christmas present to ourselves, we went on the hunt and had basically narrowed it down to the following sofas:

Z Gallerie's Benny
West Elm's Chester
 cb2's Avec Tweed
As we became less and less satisfied with the reviews and lack of options for each of these sofas, our budget started to creep up a bit as we weighed the marginal value vs. marginal cost of a quality sofa.  I convinced Michael to take a look at Crate and Barrel's Petrie, which had long been the apple of my eye.
In the end, the cost seemed awfully high and the reviews were mediocre.  We ultimately ordered ourselves Ethan Allen's Bryant.  Because everything on it is basically custom (fabric, cushion material, tufting, leg finish), the gratification was delayed, but it arrived this week and we're super excited.
But first we had to get rid of our Ikea gem, so we took to Craigslist to offer her up for free, and I have to share with you the email exchange my husband had with the guy that ultimately picked the sofa up because it may be one of my favorite things to happen ever.
Date: Feb 6, 2012 10:57 PM
Subject: A Grey Couch for Great Champion
To:  XXX

My legend dates back to the 12th century. Many years I have quested and many couches I have found but nary a couch has met my great expectations. That beautiful grey stallion of a couch whose picture you posted has piqued my interest (as well as the interest of my other poor college roommates). I will pay thee thine asking price of free shillings, and include a bottle of fine mead to sweeten the deal (natural light can). Do you accept my offer? If so, please send a messenger falcon to the castle of testudinae with news of your decision.
Date: Feb 7, 2012 10:11AM
Subject: Re: A Grey Couch for Great Champion

My response is but a tale of woe, for though thine missive was indeed exceptional, and thine offer of mead besting all others, many a suitor hath already laid claim to the couch you seek, striking with the speed of a coiled serpent.
But, if the guy doesn't pick up the couch tonight like he's supposed to, you're jumping to the front of the line.
Date: Feb 7, 2012 12:44PM
Subject: Re: A Grey Couch for Great Champion


And indeed, we were rewarded...

And look what we found...SEVENTEEN twist ties.  Cats are such hoarders, man.
So, anyway, that's quite enough chit-chat...
You'll also notice we got a new coffee table, which I am also loving infinitely more than our Ikea hunk of particle board and veneer.  It's the Martha Stewart Living Lombard from Home Decorators Collection.
The fabric is super cat friendly.

Of course, now that we have a shiny new couch and coffee table, I'm questioning all these other details in there / realizing some issues that I need to address, and  I'd love some feedback on some of these items.
Problem Areas

Some observations/questions/call for feedback:
  • I thought I'd never say this, but I think there are too many accent pillows going on.  They're sort of overwhelming the couch, no?
  • Are these drapes still working, or should I consider a change?  And if so, solid or pattern?  Warm or cool colors?
  • Do we like these keys I've hung between the windows?  These are a new addition, and I haven't decided yet.
  • I for reals need a solution for the printer/paper collection situation in the corner.  This is the only place for this guy in the condo, and it has to stay convenient.  I'm thinking some sort of end table with a cabinet so that I could tuck it in there.  Thoughts?
  • I'm not really digging this mirror/milk glass situation on the coffee table.  I've looked around for round coffee table styling idea, and many of them are super impractical.  I have a gold bowl on order, and I'm hoping that will work out.  But then what to put in it?
  • Not shown in this picture is the disappearance of our wine fridge, which we got as a wedding present.  That sucker broke already, and they're so inexpensive that they're not worth fixing (as much as it hurts my environmentally-conscious sensibilities to say that).  So now, we sort of have a hole on the other side of the couch and no place to put the wine.  I'm at a loss. 
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  1. 1. Maybe this couch needs non-square throw pillows?
    2. I am thinking the curtains look ok, but may need something new bc of the couch. For some reason them don't seem to go that much?
    3. A cabinent for the printer would be good.
    4. I am a fan of interactive coffee tables, like having a small chess or s rabble game or cool puzzle that people can actually add to. I have seen really artist versions of these!

    Love the new couch!

  2. Well friend, I am not the girl to answer your questions. I just think it looks "real nice." :)

  3. I love the new couch! Cats are definitely hoarders. There is a ball of aluminum foil under our couch that I leave there because it's just too funny. Unfortunately, my bf did not do an adequate job of teaching the cat not to scratch in his early years, so I'd be worried about a new couch. I can see why you want to make changes, but in the meantime, I love it!

  4. -Love the couch, but the awesome throw pillows do hide the tufting. Sniff.
    -The curtains still look good in the overall room shot, but the tones aren't quite right in the close-up shots, so it may be time for a change. I would probably pick a patterned curtain and ditch the keys, or pick a solid and keep them.
    -Go to Goodwill and find an end table with a cabinet you can revamp, or find one that at least has a bottom shelf to better hide the printer on and free up some space for placing beverages or accessories. I have my printer tucked in the cabinet of my entrainment center.
    -Also, have you looked at getting a charger to put on your circle coffee table? I've seen some grossly oversized ones that would function just like your try but flow with the table's lines. I can send you the gold one that looks like the "lasso of truth" coiled up that we had candles on in the Wonder Woman dining room in S-5.

    And for the record, I think it looks super-cute as it, but I am addressing the questions.

  5. i love your new couch!! and i agree with sheena, the pillows hide the tufting. but i also like the idea of round pillows.

    maybe some lighter curtains? since you have a lot of dark furniture in the room.

    and i have a round coffee table that i end up dividing into quartiles (yay math!) with books, magazines, a tray for remotes/coasters and a vase (sometimes). photo here, at the bottom: http://oliveourhouse.blogspot.com/2011/07/continuing-tour.html

    the craigslist exchange is hilarious!

    1. did i really type "quartiles"? ugh. you got what i meant though.

  6. There's no such thing as too many accent pillows.

  7. I'm wondering if you still like your Bryant couch and are happy with the purchase. We're looking at purchasing now but I've never done the whole Ethan Allen experience and, truth be told, it frightens me a little!

  8. I am looking at buying that sofa this week. How have you like yours? Would you buy it again?

    1. We have loved it and couldn't be more pleased!! It has been incredibly stain resistant, and I never see cat hair on it. It's been great. Looks as good as the day we got it.


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