Couch Problems

Do you have a room you just can’t get to work? Mine is my family room. Every time I share I say the same thing. It bugs me that I can’t get my favorite room in our house to submit to my will. And even though I have big fun future plans in here to warm the space up with some wood wall features, and even though we’ve finally cleaned up our TV cords and put in new baseboards (hey-oh!), nothing can bring it together as long as one thing remains: the couch. I’ve had a hunch it was the problem piece for a while but have been trying to incorporate it anyway. And today I give up. I love the design, size, and in theory the color. But it reads blue in some light and at those moments it throws the whole room off; I’m letting it take the fall for the reason this room always feels unfinished. A big blue sore thumb sticking out in a room of warm earth tones…
You feel me??? I’m resolved to solve the prob.

My first attempt was to look for a new couch, one that was bigger with mid-century lines in a warm tone. And I actually began the process of clearing out old blue in anticipation (and even sold the matching behemoth chair that I’ve never found a spot for yay!). But the more I looked at new couches (and prices), the more I realized I only wanted ones in similar profiles to the one I already have: tailored mid-century with bolsters. Buying a new one just to erase a tinge of blue is dumb. I was reminded that, even though I’ve felt aggravated with it for quite some time, I actually like this couch. Just not in this room.

So I’m experimenting with a swap. The vintage sectional from the den is in here right now, the blue couch is in there, where it reads surprisingly gray amongst all the other blue. The sectional is a great scale and color for the family room, though it blocks off the fireplace a little. Even so, I think I might be on to something and it was free, so I got nothing to lose. We’re gonna sit with it (ha!) a bit and see what we think.

Sources (most is vintage/DIY, but here’s a few links if you are wondering about something…)

couch pillows : round and square
bullet planter similar
Bertoia diamond chair cover
black and white painting (which you may have noticed that I reworked)
small circle paintings
tulip coffee table
rattan stools
fireplace screen DIY

In other news: 1. Our school year has begun. Getting back into that routine of waking up two hours before I’d like to and making not one, but two meals (B + L) before 8am is just not coming together like I’d hoped. You can’t be who you are not. 2. I’m purging my kitchen like crazy and donating/selling so much. Feels freeing and I recommend getting rid of stuff to everyone who will listen! 3. I’m picking white paint colors for the exterior of our house eeeekkk!!! 4. We got a new dog…and he’s been sneaking onto big blue while the rest of the house is sleeping ha! Happy weekend! xoxo

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Diamond Chair Cover Thoughts

I think I need to start a blog post category just called “Chairs and their Covers.” I have a problem. You may remember that I bought this dream vintage Bertoia diamond chair a few months ago but the pumpkin-orange original cushion cover was unexpectedly unsalvageable. It was immediately clear that this was a job beyond my sewing abilities/wants. I thought about having an upholsterer do it but I wasn’t at all excited about putting forth the effort of finding fabric on my own or getting on my upholsterer’s long list or paying the high price I was expecting. Are you catching the lazy vibe I’m throwing down? Clicking buttons on a computer sounded so much better so on the suggestion of some IG friends, I purchased a reproduction cover from an ebay seller. I’m here to share the details in case you are A.) in the same boat B.) lazy and C.) can’t afford a billion dollar replacement from Knoll!

You can find the seller right here. They manufacture other Bertoia cover replacements for those large diamonds, birds, and ottomans too! The cost for a regular diamond chair cover came in under $200 after shipping and, although it took months to arrive, for the price and convenience, I’m generally happy. The fabric and construction are good enough, though obviously the quality of the original and Knoll replacements I’m sure are on another level. The cushion ships folded in half, so that right there sets it apart from the completely molded foam originals which are shaped perfectly to that curve. A bit of manipulating is required to get this cover into place and the results is wrinkled areas on the back sides. Sad, as that back view is the best view! The fit is actually pretty decent from the front.My biggest worry was that the fabric would be cheap looking and in an off color. I picked a vivid dark orange from their fabric choices (Persimmon) and, while not as nubby or as thick as my adorable original, it has some texture and is better than expected. The color is surprisingly great! The foam itself is thinner, which I’m fine with, but it arrived with a few areas where the foam isn’t totally adhered to the fabric causing bubbling. And a few more bubbles popped up within a few days of fitting it to the chair. Not ideal, but you only see it in certain lights and it’s not a deal breaker for my lazy butt.The tether system is my biggest complaint, being rigged a bit differently and not hidden. On the originals, one piece of twine encircles the entire cover and clips inconspicuously under the seat. This cover has two tethers that need to clip at the sides, the angles of which are not at all forgiving when trying to hide the clips. The look is super clunky and the one thing I would change if I could!Some shots of the original for comparison. (Does anybody want it for a pattern/other reason? Foam is lumpy/deteriorating and there is slight smoke smell but if you still have a use for it, hit me up!)Overall, for the price and especially THE LACK OF WORK ON MY PART, I’m happy with the purchase!

I’m really just so thankful to have this chair.

I’m basically exactly this at minute 1:50…

But no really, ashtray/lamp/chair hits a little too close to home.

Circa50 Butterfly Chair Covers

Somehow this has turned into a saga. Two years ago I bought some replacement covers (actually two different kinds ugh) for our backyard vintage butterfly chair frames and wrote this long post on places to find them. I have detailed info there, but to summarize: if you want replacement canvas covers for your (non folding) vintage frames, check out Circa50, D & J Patio, Unique Contemporary Solutions, or Amazon (if you are willing to dig around in the reviews to make sure of sizing!). If you want replacement outdoor vinyl covers, only Circa50 and D & J sell them, as far as I know.

Since I needed outdoor covers, I opted for the cheaper ones from D & J and, while I was previously mostly happy with the purchase, both covers met their end last month within 20 minutes of each other – and while we were sitting in them ha! The weakness in these covers is that the edging is not made of the same outdoor fabric as the seat (and the color doesn’t even match) and that minor annoyance proved to be the literal weakest link. I repaired a small ripped seam last fall in one of the covers, but both covers ripped straight through at the edges in multiple places last month when we went to use them for the first time this year. After less than 2 years of full sun/weather exposure in our backyard, the canvas binding and thread just didn’t withstand the elements in the same way the vinyl seat did. So now my cheap solution is turning into a costly one that could have been avoided. Arg.

I ordered a pair of vinyl outdoor covers from Circa50 last week, like I should have done to begin with. They arrived quickly and are an upgrade. The fabric/edging is great and the choice of sizes meant that I could get a better fit. My chair is a weird size, 29″ across the top and 27.5″ across the bottom. Since I was in between sizes and I’ve heard that sizing up is a good idea, I went with a size C and it fits great. I think I could have even gone up one more. Reviews claims that these will last for like a decade instead of a few years, so my only regret is not ordering them in the first place!

Here are some side by sides for comparison.D & J:Circa50:The weather magically turned wonderful this week and I’m in full freshen up the yard mode, which right now mostly involves pulling 10,000 weeds (and doing my annual google search of DIY swimming pools). If backyard season is hitting you too, you may find these posts useful: on firepits, on finding vintage cone fireplaces, a modern screen door, my backyard mural wall, drought tolerant landscaping on a budget, and a mid century inspired patio. Happy yard work everybody!