I'm not an interior designer, but I play one on my blog diywithADD. Two years ago, when Scott and I married and bought our apartment, neither of us had a sofa that was worth the back ache of moving, so we immediately started shopping for a comfortable, quality, down-stuffed sofa for our living room that would last for years to come. After test driving snazzy sofas at ABC, Crate & Barrel, Jonathan Adler and Mitchell Gold, I began to feel like Goldilocks herself. Nothing seemed to fit the bill for comfort, long-lasting quality, and affordability. They, literally, just don't make sofas like they used to. Down stuffed cushions, kiln-dried hardwood frames, and eight-way hand-tied construction seem to be a thing of the past — at least, in our price range they are.
Fortunately, my father was willing to part with the eight-foot-long, mid-century, "tuxedo cut" sofa that he inherited from his mom. Like its original owner, Granny's sofa is a classic beauty and it fits perfectly in our long, narrow brownstone living room. The base was sagging and the slipcover was threadbare, but there was no mistaking the quality in this family donation.
The more I shop for furniture to fill our freshly-plastered rooms, the stronger my commitment grows to salvaging distressed, but quality pieces, whether they be family hand-me-downs or thrift shop finds. I've recovered several old chairs, an ottoman, and even a simple loveseat, but re-upholstering an eight-cushion sofa is well outside of my DIY skill set, so I found a local professional to tackle this monster project. I give huge kudos to the folks at Brooklyn Mercantile, who transformed our sofa from Granny to GRAND while our apartment was being gutted. We couldn't be more thrilled with the quality of their workmanship. And the sofa was finished just in time to move in with us to the renovated digs.
Continue reading to see the before picture to compare.
I chose to cover the sofa in a heavy weight Kravet cotton velvet. I went with a stain-resistant Sunbrella woven blend for the contrast piping. Lots of folks cringed when I described my contrasting color/texture idea for the piping, but I love it. The navy velvet dresses up the sofa and the rope-like piping breaks up the long lines and brings a casual, nautical vibe to our eclectic home. Most important of all, the sofa is now comfortable. Our living room décor is still a work in progress, but Granny's spiffed-up sofa will always be the focal point (unless Dad decides he wants it back after seeing the transformation).
Let me know what you think! And I'd love some suggestions on how to spruce up the rest of the living room. Comments on diywithADD are always appreciated and reciprocated. Happy decorating, ADD
All photos © Moya McAllister