Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We Can't Have Nice Things: My Thrift Store Fail

When Amy and I bought our house 2 years ago, we were in love. It's a lovely 70s split level which, believe it or not, is exactly what we were looking for. (Utah houses have so much square footage eaten up in basements, that are haunted and that no one wants to spend any time in. The split level gives you the chance to actually have basements with windows.)

Anyway, as we started picking decor for the home, we spent a lot of time shopping in vintage and consignment shops. I'm a big believer that the interior of your house should match the exterior and match the place you live in. Nothing drives me crazier that faux-Tuscan villas in Kearns, Utah and Travertine marble bathrooms in Traverse Mountain. Our house was an East Salt Lake split level brick home built in 1969 and I want it to feel like a modern version of that when you walk inside.

Our house has a big loft type room up a few steps from the kitchen which is an office/ library/ TV room/ computer room. It's really big, so we have tried to divide the space up a bit but it can handle some big furniture. So when our favorite vintage store called us to say that they had a peacock blue and green 15 foot sectional, we knew we had to have it. And I love it.
 When we bought it I notice there were a couple of spot where the fabric was wearing a bit thin, but it was a great price and I figured it looked great after being in someones house for the last 40 years, surely we could get another 10 years or so of use out of it and then reupholster it somewhere down the road.

Wrong. We've had the sofa for about a year and my darling children have destroyed it. Why are kids incapable of just sitting on a couch to watch TV? Why must they be doing back flips over the couch and pacing back and forth on top of it and putting the cushions all over the room?? Isn't a cushion more comfortable on the couch? I think the sofa has doubled in weight since we bought it due to the amount of gold fish crackers squished into the cracks. And the cushion now looks like this:
Here's the armrest, close up:
What have those little upholstery monsters done?

I've tried to fix it. I've tried to add stitch-witch where things were fraying and I've ironed patches inside the cushion. But to no avail. And to recover a 15 foot sofa would probably only cost about $5000, plus the cost of fabric, so that's sort of out of the question. So currently the cushion is wrapped in a big purple blanket to protect it from further damage until we can sort out a permanent solution. A friend of mine who is a designer gave us some great ideas on how to make it work without covering the whole sofa, but it's still going to take some money, which there just isn't extra of right now.

And that's what I always wonder when I see those blogs about those amazing houses (usually in Sweden) where the kids wear scarves and play lovingly with carved wooden horses. How do those houses look like that and have children in them at the same time? Somehow those houses always seem have a giant glass sculpture in the middle of the dining room table and all I can think is how that thing would be broken in 10 minutes in my house.

So, we'll probably never be featured in one of those blogs about people who have it all and have amazing houses and smart, well-behaved, wooden-horse playing kids. My kids would break the legs off that wooden horse and then leave it out in the rain where it would become swollen and waterlogged. And if you want to take photos of our amazing 40 year old sofa, you'll have to brush off the pretzel crumbs and crop out the tears holes. But wait until you see our Mediterranean Grotto with all marble tiles. It's amazing.

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