Sitting Pretty: The Agony of Finding The Perfect Sofa

Ever since we moved into our house, two months ago, we've been searching for some new sofas. We sold our old sofas to the buyers of our house, you see, and since then we've been using (in order of comfort) a bean bag, a chaise longue, a cheap two-seater sofa and a dining chair to watch TV at night. It gets rather awkward when more than two people come to visit. We've had to pull out the folding camp chair on occasion.

A few weekends ago, I became fed up with the lack of class in our house and trawled the stores in search of a stylish couch. Has anyone done this lately? It was agonising. All the sofas I love were either insanely expensive, or too exorbitant to contemplate. I don't know about you lovely library readers but we have a huge mortgage. We simply can't afford $3000 for a couch. Let alone $6000 for two.

There's an old saying that I love: desperation breeds determination. Or is it: When the going gets tough, the tough resort to creative measures? Anyway, I was so disillusioned by the over-priced sofas I decided to go on a sofa mission. Two sofas for under $1000.

I targeted the auction houses, the second-hand stores and even ye olde eBay looking for classic styles. Finally, I unearthed two beautiful old wingback sofas at a cute little second-hand store in the countryside. They were $100 each. I only wanted one. "You might as well take them both," said the lovely owner. Then I found two bolts of stunning cobalt-blue herringbone tweed marked down to $5/metre. I took 15 metres – $80. An hour later, I found a delightful 70-year-old-upholsterer willing to do the job for $400/sofa. He was also happy to collect the sofas up from the shop. But he said he couldn't do the job for another month because he was "going on a caravan holiday with his wife: their first in three years".  I told him we could certainly wait, and I hoped they had a romantic break. It took me two days of driving around the countryside, so the fuel was probably another $40. Total price for two gorgeous wingback sofas in navy herringbone? I don't care, because I'm just so THRILLED we finally have something to sit on! 

But the moral of this story is: Look before you leap, or you sit, because now that we've decided on cobalt herringbone I've discovered that everyone else in the world is choosing PINK! Yes, that's right, a pink sofa is still the seat du jour, apparently, even after all the saturation we've seen of this pretty shade. Orange, green and grey are also fairly fashionable, but pink is the top choice, it seems. This cute one, above, is Diane von Furstenberg's. 

Pink sofas. Who would have thought they were the height of sitting room chic?

The sitting room of Number Sixteen Hotel in London, designed by the always stylish Kit Kemp.

A room by one of my favourite designers, Mary McDonald. Too much pink, do you think? I like it. I think it looks very English.

Here's another beautiful English home, this time by Harriet Anstruther, in London.

And yet another space designed by an Englishwoman with an eye for a good design, India Hicks. Her mother, Pamela Hicks, also has a pink sofa, I noticed in one of her posts.

Even India's daughter, Domino, has her own version.

Lilly Pulitzer's also doing a few pink numbers. I love the ottoman. The flip side is actually a different colour. Aqua, from memory?

Anna Spiro's famous pink sofas, as featured in Vogue and Canadian House & Home. I always adored the hot pink cane couch. So whimsical and unexpected.

Here's another sofa that Anna recovered for her home. Slip covers. Don't you just love them?

Another English version of a pink sofa, this time by Ros Byam.

Which reminds me of this pretty number, from the lovely Chinoiserie Chic blog...

Even Miles Redd is taking to pink sofas now...

So is John Stefanidis...

But this little cutie was my favourite of all of them... 

(Source of this image and image at very top unknown. Please feel free to notify me if you know, so I can credit accordingly.)

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