Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Great Sofa Debate

Welcome to Athens, Ga, where the husband and I are currently involved in the Great Sofa Debate of 2009.

That may be overstating it a bit. It just sounded more exciting that way. Also, it sounds even more exciting if you pronounce the word 'sofa' like this: 'sofer.' I love mispronouncing words that end in -a and making it an -er. It's so much fun. That's why you'll hear Matt and I call our daughter 'Loler' instead of her given name, Lola. I wonder if there's a part of the country where people really do pronounce words that way? I should move there...I'd be constantly entertained. Anyway, I'm off on a tangent. Let's get back to the topic at hand here: The Sofa.

We have a couch. (Note: I use the words 'sofa' and 'couch' interchangeably. In my opinion they are the same thing. You can correct me if I'm wrong.) We got it off Craigslist right before we got married. Actually, we got it off Facebook Marketplace, which is highly underrated. We also found our Civic there. Kudos to Facebook. At any rate, our sofa was several years old and used when we got it (and the previous owner had a dog), but in pretty good shape. I like the color (lightish green) and style, and it's served us well. However, we're not overly finicky about it...since we only invested $100 in it, we don't exactly treat it like a priceless antique or something. It's well-loved and well-used. Lola (Loler) particularly enjoys leaping onto it immediately after coming inside from the mudhole backyard. It's seen a looottttt of spot-cleaning this year. Anyway, it seats 3 (4 if you're close) and is our only sit-able furniture in the living room. If we have more than 4 people over, folks get to sit on the floor or on a dining room chair (not comfy). So we tend to not have many people over, which makes me sad. But our living room now just isn't big enough for more furniture.

However, we are buying a house (have I mentioned that before?). The future homestead has a much much larger living room. Actually, it looks like this:

Not that you can actually see anything in this picture except the fireplace (and my purse on top)...I was standing probably 2/3 of the way into the room (that's the back of the living room you're seeing) with my back to the front door and front of the house. It's a big ol' empty room with white walls and no floors. And big windows. Anyway, in a few weeks it will have lovely laminate floors and nicely painted walls and be all ready Which brings us back to the topic at hand: the sofa. We like our sofa, but it's seen better days. And we would really like a bit more furniture to a) fill up the space in the new living room and b) sit on (crazy, right?). So purchasing a new sofa, or sofa and loveseat or chair seems like a good move. However, we have a lot of things to be spending our money on...things that are really necessary, like flooring, a water heater, and a stove. Replacing stuff that works isn't really at the top of my list of priorities. With this in mind, I spent Saturday morning doing a thorough sofa-cleaning...I took off all the cushion covers and machine washed them, and while they were washing/ air drying I scrubbed down the rest of the sofa (the fabric that wouldn't come off) with a mixture of hot water and upholstry cleaner...and a lot of elbow grease. It look like a tornado hit my house:

That top picture has one of the cushions tastefully draped over the vacuum cleaner as the fan blows it dry...classy, right? Then I got the brilliant idea to move them all to the front porch for some sunlight and wind (between rainstorms). It worked for awhile but then I noticed like a million flies landing on them...sick. So they came back in. Anyway, it took all day for them to dry (and the final product is actually pretty great)...but in the meantime, we had nowhere to SIT, so Matt and I had to get out of the house for the day. We passed the time by doing a little shopping...and we stopped by our local Big Lots.

Big Lots is pretty amazing. I never actually went to one until well into my college years, and I'm sad about all the quality shopping I missed out on in my first 20 years. Oh, what could have been. Anyway, our BL here in Athens has a sizeable furniture section, and as fate would have it, they had quite a few living room sets for some pretty decent prices. They had one set, though, for a freakin steal. Check it out, comrades:

Nice, right? Nice dark brown color (the better to hide Lola's dirty pawprints), comfy corderoy-ish fabric, cushions that aren't all squished down and lumpy (I appreciate the small things)...and better yet, we can get both the sofa and the loveseat (6 people could sit!!!!) for around $550!!! The sofa is normally $400 and the loveseat $350, but through May 30 if you buy both of them they take $200 off! So the questions is...should we get them?

Interesting, potentially significant fact: Because our closing got moved to June (which was very depressing initially), we will not have to make our first mortgage payment until August. Previously we had planned on making our first payment in July, along with our last rent payment in we knew we'd have overlapping payments that month. So we budgeted accordingly and have that money saved up. But now we won't have overlapping payments that I'm thinkin...sofa?? Or should we save the money and be content with what we have? Or buy Lola a brother or sister? Or buy something else? Have a huge party? Go on vacation?

So many choices, so little time. We must decide before the sale ends May leave a comment with your opinion!

PS. Just now when I was looking for a picture of the set online, I found the same sofa for sale (just the sofa, not the set) at some online store for a little over $1000!!! Are you KIDDING me??!! I really don't think this is an issue so much of it being that great of a deal at Big Lots...I think this other store is just realllllly overpriced! But still!


  1. That is a really amazing price for a set. If ya'll really love it and have the money put aside (albeit originally for something else,) I would go for it (but I'm no Dave Ramsey.)
    Ask yourself this question, "Are you going to regret NOT getting it?" and this question "Will you regret buying it?"

  2. Here's my thing: is it really a good deal, or just a low price? It would stink to spend $500 (or whatever the price was) and then only get a couple of years out of them because they don't hold up. I'm no sofa expert, but I do know that you want 8-way tied springs as opposed to wire coils, and you want the frame to be screwed together rather than stapled. Also, find out what wood the frame is made out of. Sometimes companies use pine, which doesn't hold up. Anyway, there's my two cents. :-)

  3. ooh.. tough predicament. patrick sounds really smart.. investigate more. you have a few more days.. but it really is a great deal. our friends got a sleigh bed from BL for a steal also.. what's the return policy??

  4. erika, you would LOVE my grandmother. she calls a pillow a "piller" and a window a "winder." she's lived in alabama all her life - so there's your answer. :)

    i think by "i'm no sofa expert" patrick actually meant that he has a wealth of knowledge regarding sofas and knows more than anybody else around. the seating looks great in the picture, so if the things he mentioned check out, that seems like a great deal!

  5. I say Indianer instead of Indiana and it drives Scott crazy. I only do it with states though. I say if you like the couches and they seem well made, go for it! That's a steal. Love the living room... It will look great with the flooring!!

  6. If you get them, make sure that you put one under the winder.

  7. And make sure you get lots of pillers to go on them.

  8. I checked out the set at BigLots.. and I really like the chair and ottoman. You must get them!! At least for when I come visit..


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