Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Life as a Couch - 1 Couch, 4 Covers, 8 Years

I have always been deeply attached to my couch - probably because I spend so much time sitting, lying (and occasionally snoring) on my super comfy cushiony couch.  In my opinion, a comfortable couch is one of life's great pleasures!

I think my obsession with couches started when I moved out of home at 18 and my mother gifted me with her old leather chesterfield couch.  I loved that couch because it was the only thing I had from my childhood prior to my parent's divorce.  Can a couch be sentimental?  Well, the couch is now over 30 years old and its still sitting in my family room.  The cushions are beyond repair, there are some holes in the leather and it no longer has any feet but I can't bear to part with it and have dragged it across the country more times than I can remember.

Here is a photo of my trusty leather chesterfield in 2003 just before the birth of my first child.  My couch had served me well for 14 years by this time (and lasted longer than my first husband).  Did I ever live like this?  I can hardly believe it.  Look how clean it is, how neat, how - dare I say it - elegant.  There are no crumbs on the floor, no finger prints on the furniture, no books with torn off covers, no toys cluttering up the space....oh yes, this was couch life B.K.  (Before Kids).
After the arrival of my first born, I was somewhat shocked to realise that for the foreseeable future I would be spending about 50% of my day breast feeding this child on my couch and the other 50% sitting in a dazed stupor wondering if I would ever sleep again.  And as attached as I was to my leather couch, it just wasn't that comfy to breast feed on.

So hubby and I decided it was time to buy our first couch together.  Budget restraints were in place as we were living on 1 and a bit wages so Ikea seemed a practical and inexpensive choice.  With the money we had we could either buy one leather couch or two fabric ones.  We definitely planned to have more kids (although having 4 never came into my mind back then) so we opted for two fabric couches instead.

In the end we went for a pair of Ikea's Ektorp 3 seater sofas.  I liked the classic shape with rolled arms, I liked the feather cushions (still feathery after 8 years) I liked that it was long enough for me to lie down fully stretched out, I liked the price (around $499 depending on the cover)  but best of all I liked the fact you could wash and change the covers.  And change the covers I have!

Originally we started off with "Red".  It was winter when we bought the couches and Red seemed like a nice cosy colour.  It also matched my favourite painting in the house perfectly.  Here is my couch in Red - I am actually sitting on the other end of the couch breastfeeding in this photo haha.
Red lasted us a long time.  We were happy with Red and I think Red was pretty happy with us.  It seemed to put up with the baby vomit, mushed in biscuit, slight wee accidents (not just from the kids!) and spilt milk bottles with good graces.

But then we bought a house to renovate, it was the middle of summer, and I think the heat must have gone to my head because - against all popular advice - I decided "White" was the way to go.   Here is my couch in White - I believe this photo was taken 5 minutes after we bought the new covers which coincidentally enough was about 5 minutes before they got their first stain.

I really don't know what I was thinking - other than that I wasn't thinking.  Yes, they looked lovely and fresh against our bright lime green walls and hardwood floors  (we were living in Perth then and lime green walls were very hip and tropical, oh why am I trying to justify myself haha) but with 3 boys in the house under the age of 4 they stayed lovely and fresh for about 2.1 nanoseconds.

Within 6 months, even with washing and bleaching, I couldn't stand looking at our now "non-white" White covers anymore without leaving the house and going shopping getting depressed.  Out they went and in came "Floral".  I really liked Floral.  It was pretty but relaxed and had an English cottage feel to it.  The floral pattern was not too in your face and did quite a good job at hiding marks and stains.  Here is my couch in all its florally glory.  Pretty, isn't it.
Floral was a part of our lives for about the same length of time as Red.  They both hold special memories for me but after taking the brute force of 4 little boys and another interstate move, Floral was looking a little worn.

What to get this time?  The first thing that came into my mind was ANYTHING THAT HIDES THE GRIME.  So "Black" it was.  Black might sound pretty ominous but I am loving the whole black and white decorating theme right now.  Plus, Black matches the favourite thing in my house (not counting the kids) - my pair of antique black lacquered hall chairs.  Here is a photo of Black, you have to admit he's quite suave with his matching black ottoman (also from Ikea).
Yep, I'm feeling quite happy with Black at the moment.  I think Black and I will be best buddies for a while.  Maybe not as long as Red and Floral, but definitely longer than White.  Who knows, maybe after Black I might go nautical - blue and white stripe....ohhhhh, I like the sound of that.....

Got any furniture addictions?  Something you just can't get rid of even though its seen better days?  Ever bought a couch and now you hate the sight of it?  I'd love to hear all about it!


  1. This post had me in giggles - what a journey! We have had the same couch for 11 years, and boy could it tell some stories! It has been used as a dining table, breastfeeding centre, makeshift bed, and has all manner of stains (I try, but it is a navy blue!) Nice to find you from WW. Following along now!

  2. Navy blue sounds very practical - much, much more practical than white hehehehe! Thanks for following me xxx

  3. wow! What an epic couch adventure! We have a 'Love Sac' (not me being silly- its the actually brand lol), it's kinda like a giant bean bag and we've had it for about 8 years. I just can't bare to part with it!

  4. @wait until the sunset I can only imagine the beanie disasters if we had a Love Sac in the house! *shudder* hehehe

  5. You are a very good writer! I love the lime green walls with the crisp white couch but agreed that white isn't the best with children. My hubby & I are currently looking for a super modern true white couch but it is hard to find (other than Ikea). Of course we don't have kids!


Thanks for commenting, I appreciate you taking the time xxx

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