Happy Monday, everyone! I spent the good part of my weekend resting my arm, hanging out with the family, doing a little bit of cleaning, and looking at some new magazines I picked up at the store. I love decorating, but the last few months have been busy and I haven’t had as much time to do sewing and furniture rearranging and projects as I would like. Now that I’m in a sling and restricted from doing these things, I am itching to do some decorating! Isn’t that how it is?
Anyway, as much as I love color and pattern, I must admit that it’s much easier to go neutral with an investment piece like a sofa. And, historically, that’s what I’ve done. I will then add color, texture, and pattern with pillows, quilts, and accessories. I think that is a good decorating strategy and there’s nothing wrong with it, but I have recently found that I’m more attracted to deliberate, bold choices. So, as I’m replacing the sofa in our living room, I am pushing myself beyond the easy, obvious choice.
Let me talk about the current sofa for a minute first. We got this sofa about four years ago and it has held up very well given the price. It took a huge beating in our move, though, despite being well wrapped. One entire section was so damaged that we had to remove it and throw it away. One of the sections that we’re currently using was also damaged, but it is on the backside, so it’s not very noticeable. I have also learned that back cushions can be a little problematic with boys who like to climb around the top of the sofa. Over the years, some of the cushions have been misshapen and I’m not able to fluff them back into form.
Those faults are all forgivable and fixable if I wanted to put the time and money into it, but since this is our formal living room (this was in the family room in our last house), I decided to wait and replace the sectional with one more fitting for the room. And, for quite a while, I have had my sights set on this one…
It’s the Outerbanks three-piece sectional by Arhaus and it is just what I’m looking for. The size is just a little bit bigger than the current sectional, but the shape is the same and it still fits nicely in the space. I love the turns legs, the rolled arms, and the neatly tailored back. It looks structured and a little bit dressier, but still comfy.
With the sofa selected, it was time to pick the fabric. For some of you, the idea of selecting fabrics from online images and 5 x 5″ swatches might be terrifying, but I’ve become desensitized when it comes to ordering things online. I have bought so many things online now from tile to toilets that it has become my go-to way to shop. This is most likely due to the fact that I lived for 11 years in a two-stoplight town. Online ordering becomes your friend in those circumstances!
I selected five fabric swatches, so I could see them in person and compare them to the colors and fabrics already used in the room. I picked three neutrals, one solid color, and one pattern.
At first, I was drawn to the safety of the neutral fabrics. I was concerned the whitest one (Team Oyster) would be toast in my house, but I’ve heard amazing things about this high-performance fabric from people who have it in their home (see reader comment below.) I still felt it might be too light for my space, though. I really liked the other two and at first, those were the frontrunners. They are Cary Linen (middle) and Team Quartz.
In the end, I felt like it would look too similar to what I already have. It also blends in with the rug and, while I know the sofa would be beautiful, it would be the safe choice. So, after a couple of days of living with the samples, I started to focus on the olive green (Leolaris Forest) and the blue Buffalo check (Ponder Lakeland).
Fortunately, I had some of the exact same fabric, because I used it on a couple of chairs I upholstered for the eating area. I still have some yardage left, so I was able to drape it over the sofa to get a good visual of what it would look like.
I loved it! I am a sucker for blue and white buffalo check, anyway, and this just worked. It’s interesting and bold, but still traditional and timeless.
So, my plan is to order the sofa in Ponder Lakeland and then make a neutral slipcover for it down the road, so I can change out the look whenever I want. That’s one of the nice things about investing in quality pieces – they can be updated with the slipcovers and reupholstery as needed and used for decades. I already have several pieces from Arhaus (including my bed frame and drafting table) from working with them as a sponsor and as a customer, and I am confident in their quality.
I also inquired about ordering some of the olive green fabric, since I loved it so much. It works with my painted kitchen island and butler’s pantry and I think it would make nice pillows or upholstery for side chairs.
Which way do you go when ordering a sofa? Do you stick with neutrals or do you go bold? If you went bold, did you regret that decision?
I’ll give you an update on the sectional and also share about a huge giveaway from Arhaus soon!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Arhaus. All words and opinions, as always, are honest and my own.