Dave and I bought our first house nine years ago this summer. It was the first time I’d lived in anything other than a furnished rental and we spent a lot of money in IKEA in those first few days after moving in!
I seem to remember in the run up to moving day we had spent ages wandering the various sofa shops – neither of us completely sure of what we wanted. We bought two black chenille sofas – one fairly standard three-seater and an enormous four-seater with a chaise end and scatter back. I loved it them. They were so comfortable and have slept many a guest over the years.
As time went on I grew to hate the scatter-back which seemed to be persistently scruffy (especially once we’d had children) and I was increasingly frustrated with the amount of space the fairly pointless chaise end took up. The supposedly practical black chenille became marked and faded, the edges were worn and frayed showing the scars of years of heavy use and the black that I had once loved felt heavy and dark in a room which already lacks natural light.
Although the smaller of the two sofas looks a bit scruffy it remains comfortable and has a good few years use in it, the large sofa has been past its best for a few years now. The springs were broken, the cushions saggy and my preferred seat definitely lacking the support my back (or anyone else’s for that matter) really needs.
Dave and I had decided that this year we would have to replace the sofas. They’d had their day. They’d served us well and didn’t owe us anything. What we couldn’t decide on however was what we wanted to replace them with – two new sofas? Some arm chairs? A matching set or different patterns and colours? Dave wanted reclining seats, I really didn’t. We couldn’t picture how the room would look with different furniture and it’s an expensive mistake if you don’t like your sofa. Of course there was also the concern that the kids are just that, kids. They might be getting a bit older now but I’m not convinced they could be completely trusted to keep a new suite clean.
We had a bit of an epiphany last weekend and decided that rather than completely replacing the whole suite at the moment, we would invest in a couple of cheapish arm chairs from IKEA as a “put me on” – without spending too much money we would be able to resolve the issues with the large sofa no longer being fit for purpose and at the same time try out a new combination of furniture to see if it worked for us. I’d already had my eye on a grey arm chair for quite a while so it made perfect sense to work towards buying a couple of those in a few months time.
As it was, I went to IKEA on Monday with Amy to return something and there, in the reduced section, sat two pairs of arm chairs. The very ones I’d been planning to buy. It seemed too good to be true! I told Dave what I’d seen and we decided to have a bit of a think and discuss it later. After a bit of tooing and froing and working out where we could get the money from (no hair cut for me this month!) we came to the conclusion that it would be foolish to leave them there when we could buy them now and save over £100 on the pair. Of course, when Dave went back to purchase them they grey pair had gone and someone was sat on one of the yellow ones. He said he just hung back and the moment the lady stood up whipped the chairs up onto this trolley. Winner.
So . . . we are now the proud owner of two yellow “thrones” as my friend Ange called them! I’m so pleased with how they’ve brightened the room and the space they’ve created. At some point, when we’ve actually budgeted for it, we want to add a matching footstool and a side table to go in between the chairs. And in the meantime the old black three-seater is under going a bit of a makeover with some new yellow cushions and throws! We’re also planning to take the fireplace out and repaint the room later this year as it hasn’t been decorated since Chloe was born!
Ben was quite sad at the thought of getting rid of our old sofa. I was surprised at him for being so sentimental but when I thought about it, that sofa has seen us bring home three newborns, it was where Dave proposed to me on Christmas Eve with a tub of pick n mix, it has seen tears, laughter and more than it’s fair share of baby puke. It has slept many a guest, survived two years of building work and dust and been my office. That sofa has observed so much of our family life but it’s time was done and it has gone the to great sofa heaven in the sky . . . or the local tip. Whichever.