Tuesday 15 January 2008

My space

One of my little pleasures is to sit at our kitchen table (well its in the dining room actually, next to the kitchen and isn't smart enough to be a dining room one), with a cup of tea or coffee in a pretty cup and have half an hour flicking through Country Living, gazing out of the window listening to the radio. My littlest man had a lovely long snooze after lunch today so I got to indulge myself with this month's edition, which is very gorgeous indeed.
But soon I will be abandoning my post for a new corner to lose myself in. What do you think of this as a spot?

I can't believe I own this beautiful little thing (ok the colour is grim but that will change).
Our conservatory is a lovely room, looking out over the garden and the hills and runs off the dining room and the kitchen. Its a bit chilly to spend too much time in there just yet but when it warms up I think we'll be in there lots with toys, plants, pretty things, music and books.

The hunt for a small, bargain sofa hadn't been very fruitful until Monday when someone was definitely smiling on me. I have a little dream in my head of coming in from my flower-filled garden on a lovely summer evening, with a cup of tea, my scrapbooks or a nice book, and relaxing on my pretty sofa and this is where I'll be.

Someone's cat's been having fun!
The best part of the story though is that I got it from the dreaded Oxfam shop that has so let me down recently. At first I thought it was a modern two-seater with dusty covers, but after coercing the shop assistant into moving the 27 suitcases displayed on it, we discovered it was a beautiful vintage style sofa with a drop down end (does this make it a day bed or a chaise lounge?) and dainty legs.

There was no ticket but I already knew it was coming home with me so the furniture manager was duly called.

"Very sorry madam we're not allowed to sell it as its been recovered at some point and the foam probably isn't up to modern H&S standards"

GULP - cue a weak moan of "oh" from yours truly.

"But if you're happy to acknowledge that, you'd be doing us a favour if you took it away, in return for a donation. I just can't give you a receipt."

GULP - cue a high-pitched, full of joy "oh" from yours truly.

Scanning the shop I spied another vintage sofa for £85, (two in a week and none for months, honestly!), and began to panic that I'd gone and got myself into one of my regular, very English dilemmas, where I've engaged a buy/sell conversation that I probably can't afford but am too humiliated to try and wriggle out of. Is it me?

Nothing for it, go for it I must...

"Errm, how much were you looking for," (desperately scrabbling around my brain, trying to remember what state the bank account is in and how much in penalty charges I'm setting us up for).

"Would £20 be ok?"

THUD - me hitting the floor.

Can you believe this divine thing is mine for £20! I'm absolutely in love with it and I've spent too much time already just staring at it.

For the first time, Woody thinks I'm a thrifting genius, "looks really nice there doesn't it". (I nearly fell on the floor again.)

I've broached the recovering subject but typically he couldn't see anything wrong with it. I'm torturing myself over whether to cover it in a pretty floral fabric or play it safe and stay neutral so that I can swap cushion covers with the seasons (flowers in the summer, checks and stripes in the winter). What do you think?

New brakes and an exhaust on the car have cleaned us out again so I just need to Google - how to re-upholster a vintage sofa because I've got completely no idea! Wish me luck, with enough I'll hopefully be sitting on it before the London Olympics start!


Jennie said...

Good luck with it, I'm sure you will do a wonderful job, what a lovely sofa and what a bargain!
I joyfully skipped home with my copy of Country living on Monday. Great issue.

French Knots said...

What a lovely shape! Does your local school do adult classes, perhaps you could learn upholstery? It looks just the right size for your consevatory, and what a bargain!

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

Oh Steph ...What a lovely elegant sofa ..
I would have been over the moon to find this!!!
I had a bit of a sofa saga when we moved to our new home last year. I bought three sofas on ebay and decided that they didn't feel/look right in our newly decorated rooms... I am still not happy with the one we have but my beloved has threatened to leave home if I change it!!! Now I would be happy with the one you found.. just the right shape... now where is this Oxfam ???
My CL hasn't arrived yet.. I hope they haven't forgotten me this month!

jessica daisy said...

Hi Steph, what a fantastic bargain, and in such a beautiful shape. I keep meaning to make a new slip cover for the antique tub chair that I inherited from my mother. The original slip cover was made for it when I was a baby, and lets say it's started to look more shabby than chic, it got huge rips in it where the old cotton fabric has started to rot. I think it would be a good idea for you to have a go at making a slipcover, if like me your children or their friends tend to suffer from sticky finger syndrome! then you can give it a wash. I remember seeing a fellow blogger who was making a slip cover for her chair here: http://www.yvestown.com/archives
which should give you some idea. When I do mine, I will make a pattern from some cheap curtain lining, or calico so I can draw and make mistakes on that, then use the finished pattern as a guide for making the 'good fabric' (it also means I can keep the pattern to use in case I fancy making a new cover in a couple of years)
As for the actual fabric, I'm going to do mine in a small blue gingham from ian mankin, that way I won't have to pattern match. Although I would be tempted to do it in a pretty floral, my dog tends to use the chair as a face wipe when she comes back from a muddy walk! I have seen a picture od a sofa similar to yours that has been upholstered in a neutral fabric, but then they have appliqued it with flowers for a pretty touch here:
Good luck, I hope all goes well, It will probably take a good few months to get my act together with doing my cover, I'm finding it a bit daunting!

P.S. I had to cut the links in half to get them to fit the comment box, so just copy and paste them.

Anonymous said...

what a bargain, and I'm sure that you will have it looking beautiful in no time! and what a lovely view you have out there from the conservatory window, it's the perfect place to put your sofa and have some precious moments to yourself.

No one is you ...& that's your power said...

That is a great place for the sofa and the sofa has a beautifull shape to it . Need I dare say at a very very beautifull price too!. I have every confidence in you with your lovely style you will work wonders with your magic touch. Love the shape & style
well done you on a great find x Dominique

mollycupcakes said...

You lucky girl you, £20 what a bargain and it looks so happy sitting there ready for use and new covers. I think floral covers, go the whole way with it and bring it back to life again lol
Good luck with the google search, I'd be just the same no idea on how to do something as clever as that. Although I did turn the girls toy box into a box with sit on top. the trusted old staple gun, foam and fabric method.
Look forward to seeing how it turns out.
Catherine x

tess said...

what a fantastic buy, lovely to think of you sitting there with your country living!

Kathy said...

Steph, What a fab find and it looks so lovely in your conservatory. We have a sofa very similar to that one which we have reupholstered - in my next blog I will post a picture of it. Ours has a drop down arm on it too and it is really comfy. When we had it reupholstered we also added featherfilled seat pads to it so it is very snuggly!! Today I received my copy of Country Living and have been very good and not opened it yet! Hopefully this evening, maybe on the sofa...x

Reginas Cottage said...

What a wonderful sofa and a great deal.One nice place you've found for
your sofa,it's perfect.I think white
would be beautiful,like this can one it everytime change again,in the summer roses,in the autumn with autum
nal colours and in the wintertime with red and white.So I think.
Loveley magazine.
I wish you much fun with your new sofa.
Have a nice evening

OhSoVintage said...

Wow you did well there! think I would play safe and stick to a neutral colour and change the cushions, throws, eiderdowns etc etc according to the season and other decorations.

Alchamillamolly said...

Wow - I am so envious of your bargain - what about an evening/day class? - sometimes even if you dont want to go the students are happy to reupholster something for you if they dont have a project or they want to learn some other skills. I still havent moved - I bet your wait has paled into insignificance now......... - what a lovley view you have from your windows that sofa was made for the palce. We have always had an oil filled radiator just ticking over in winter months it takes the chill off when there is no winter sun to warm it through - you have some gorgeous days ahead in there.

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Steph

I have an upholstery book in front of me with instructions for a loose cover for a sofa ... you're welcome to borrow it, so email me!


Carol said...

Fantastic Steph, what a brillaint buy.
I love to indulge mysself with a mag and sit quietly in a fav spot...not often enough though!
Carol xxxxx & Guy XXXX

Lucy Bloom said...

Hi Steph, you really hit the jackpot this time, what a fantastic find. I would definately go for florals, but maybe subdued rather that bright. Your conservatory looks lovely too, as you say it will be a great place to sit in summer.
As for my screen wallpaper, it's CK's wallpaper which I found a picture of somewhere, I'll see if I can locate the pic and I'll send it to you.
best wishes,
Lucy x

Ragged Roses said...

What a wonderful find!!! It will look lovely covered in cushions, wonderful. All that thrifting has paid off. You've just reminded me that I bought a copy of CL the other day and have forgotten to read it (I must be very distracted!)

Anonymous said...

That is exactly the kind of sofa (with that view!)i would love to own. i need to re cover our sofa but where do you get loads of cheap thick neutral material? mmm, I shall be watching and learning from you!

Perfectly Lovely said...

Oh Steph, What a great find, I think im going to have to come up to your neck of the woods to do abit of bargain hunting, you find the best things!

Doesn't this months copy of country living have the most wonderful front cover..proper eye candy!

I've read my copy from front to back several times over.

Jen xx

Pretty Practicals said...

Hi Steph, I found your blog via Michelle of Cowboys and Custard. What a gorgeous sofa and such a wonderful bargain! I would go down the slip cover route, so that I could change it in the winter (or if small people spill things on it). I'll pop back and visit again soon to see how you've got on. ~ Liz

Unknown said...

thats a steal for just 20 pounds. you are lucky to have got one for yourself. i am also shifting so i was looking to purchase new sofa for myself, i enquired a lot about it in th elocal market, all were out of my budget. wish i can become as lucky as you.
then someone suggested me to surf the net, i got one exquisite sofa for myself, i will post it on the net.
leather sofas

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