sofa remorse : living room inspiration

continuing on in the great saga that is our sofa conundrum…

If any of you guys are our pals over on our facebook page, you probably know I was freaking out last week, over this little triumph from craigslist. I snapped that puppy up, and I’m currently on the hunt for some major killer fabric. I’ve been searching…but I’ll come back to that.

…These chairs, will be thrown in as part of the room redo, as well, given a fresh face with an upholstery makeover. When I purchased them at JCP a few years ago, on sale, I knew they were most definitely not going to stay that way forever. I loved the shape, but the fabric didn’t crank my tractor. And my {revised-because-I-finally-grew-up-and-into-my-own-taste} policy that I am now adhering to states that I am only allowed to bring things into my home that are swoon-worthy. Stripes are swell and all, but I’m kind of over that shade of gold. And they are GOLD…and I am not swooning. I think those chairs are begging to be reupholstered in two fabrics. With contrasting piping.

and in the meantime…

This one from Macy’s is a little out of my immediate price range. Unless I want to save for a while. And I’m not really sure what I want to do. Read: I’m selling my leather monsters, so we shall see.

I’m looking for an ‘anchor’ sofa. I know. This one {the linen one above} is classic and safe and it is not a chesterfield, as I originally proclaimed my tufted love to the world. The dangers of talking about my design ideas is that I may very well change my mind from one post to the next, but…I’ve been scouring living rooms, and I’m just drawn to the white classics. This was my original original plan. The more I think about it, the more I know I will enjoy something completely classic. And Washable. And versatile. And soft. And snooz-y. Is that a word? No.


But there’s something I love about the juxtaposition of combining classic with the interesting.  So I’m thinking that my signature piece in the space, thanks to the brillz suggestion of my wonderful major talented upholstery genius friend who will be taking on this task for me, will be the Duncan Phyfe. Surprise!

Purists hate me.

Oh. And the chairs with have some kind of a funky redo, as well.


“come and play with us, danny” is all I can think of.

I’m sorry. There’s just something hilariously awesome about legos reinacting stuff. But that’s another topic. {via}



I love some funky versatile pillow action. So I want pieces to last the long haul. Now that I’ve officially decided to take the plunge, I want it to feel right. I’ve surprised myself with what I’m drawn to, but I’m scouring everything. From Craigslist for pieces, {I feel like if I’m patient, the right one will present itself…} to fabrics for reupholstery… which brings me to…


I’m just not seeing any fabric that’s floating my boat in the fabrics for sofa re-juvination department. There’s something so intimidating. So, FOR-EV-ER about it. {say that in your best sandlot voice}

So I decided that I’m designing my own via spoonflower. But more on that, later.

In the meantime, I really have been obsessing over just about every living room photo I can find, and every inspirational photo that strikes my fancy. Whether it be a tiny element I love, or the whole shebang, I’ve gathered a few to share with you…a little inspiration for us all.


You’ve probably noticed that linen can have a formal and casual vibe. It all depends on its execution, and the surrounding accessories + complimentary pieces that are used with it.

I love the great contrast between this fabulous sofa and the rest of the space.


Velvet can have the same effect as the aforementioned linen…

It can be relatively easy to go either way with the two materials. SO, I basically need to think about how I want my room to feel. And start gleaning elements that I love to bring them into a space for our family.

via Whether it’s a drool-worthy chandelier.

or sofa with a super cool pendant light, for a modern appeal,  via

via Or those curtains, the sofas, and those fabulous vintage floats on the coffee table. Not so sure those would last a day here, but one day. Yes, please.

via This sofa has the elements of some tufted love. I love the contrast of the floral against the rustic elements of the room.

via: I love this room arrangement.

via funky pillow love.

via Great crisp on dark action.

via I’m adoring the entire composition of this space…

via Why yes, one day, I WILL have some incredible sliding doors.


via Sofa Swoonage.

And more sofa swoonage. via

LOVE the giant houndstooth.

quite possibly the world’s most beautiful mirror. via

chesterfield! And I’m storing away this polaroid idea for later…




via There’s something about the composition of this room…

via curtains…and the ever elusive rolled arm sofa…

via Loving those windows…


wowsa. via

and a tribute to one of the most fabulous chairs ever

I guess the fact that I had to stop posting these photos before my thumb fell off, should attest to the fact that the possibilities truly are endless. Just a glance on the inner obsessions workings of my head. There’s a lot swirling around in there. What design approach have you taken for your main living space? And please spill those beans…what’s your favorite type of material you’ve used for a sofa? I’d love to hear!

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Responses to sofa remorse : living room inspiration

  1. Jennifer says:

    well you know I like leather for the “toughness” but we are in agreement about the black hole effect that they cause!! your inspiration pictures are making my head spin in a good way. I can’t WAIT to see your spoonflower design; i’m sure it’s going to be spectacular. Ooh, and the polariod thing, wouldn’t it be great to do an instagram collage like that? i have an incredibly comfortable old upholstered chair that’s faded to the extreme; I would love to take an upholstery class so I could diy it and stick it in my living room. ok, my comment is all over the place here; have a great weekend!

    • HILARIOUS! I AM doing an instagram one like that! SO handy!!! 😉 I’d love to learn upholstery too…its just sometimes I feel like I do TOO much. Does that make sense? Like Maybe I should just stick to what I know now and beg borrow and steal {and trade} for the rest. :)

      • Jennifer says:

        Haha I can’t wait to see your instagram project! I want to get some good ones gathered to do one myself; and I totally know what you mean about doing too many things. You blow me out of the water in the project department and I already feel like I have too much lined up!

  2. Roxanna says:

    I have been keeping my eyes open for a vintage couch for a long time. A couple days after your couch post I went to my local thrift store. I walked in and there in front of me stood a couch the colour and similar fabric to the two blue chairs you posted, in the shape of the brown couch you posted above that. It was on sale for $75!! I stood there for a long time, knowing that my husband would have a heart attack if I dared buy the couch. I slept 2 hours that night, all I could think about was the couch 😛 But when I finally told my hubby about it, he said “why didn’t you buy it?” Upon hearing that I drove straight down to the thrift store and bought the couch on the spot. Now I just have to figure out how to fit it into our rustic/cabin feel of a living room!

  3. Nancy says:

    See I have the standard traditional sofa in a safe solid neutral fabric and want to go to a large pattern and do something fun so I feel your pain!

  4. Tonya says:

    Well, Ashley, once again your pics make ME swoon…and remind myself that good things come to those who wait…and wait…and wait…
    Personally I am trying to go from the warm to the cool, which, for one like myself who CAN sew a simple slipcover, should not be a monstrous task…if not for the beautiful, HUGE, antique, almost all RED rug that I must work around. let’s be honest here, while my husband does spoil me often, replacing a rug that measures 11×14 (i did say huge) is a ta$k that even I can’t stomach…so work around i must…for now ;)…and i would also be up for suggestions from your fabulous readers :)

  5. Alima says:

    Great post!
    How did I miss the fb post with the couch? Somehow I never saw it!
    Anyway, have you checked Ikea for the white slipcovered couch? They have lots of them and the price might be better than macy’s. I’m not sure if they deliver though so hmm…that could pose a problem with getting it back from Atlanta.
    Who knows…just a thought! 😉

  6. laura says:

    why are you doing this to me?
    I was absolutely inspired by one of the {many} inspiration photos that you posted, and now I have to change my house.
    and then my husband will divorce me.
    do you really want that hanging over your head?

  7. Jessie says:

    I love white couches with bright accent pillows. :) So very versatile if I ever choose to change my decorating scheme, not that I’m about to anytime soon! I found a set of sheets that I fell in love with, made into curtains, and then built the rest of the design off of that. Most of that design is still in my head, but once it’s done it’ll look amazing.

    I did our couch cover in unbleached denim. It has the look of linen (being unbleached cotton and all), but the denim wears and washes amazingly. I’ve gotten stains from both ends of the baby washed out of it without too much trouble. Even with my very unprofessional spot treatments (aka anything that I find under the kitchen sink).

    My couch…

  8. Dorothy says:

    I want them. All. Ever single one. I can’t help you whatsoever. I love color and cozinesa and I love white/light/neutral. Argh. I know you’ll choose somethiing great. I’ll be waiting for everyone’s comments too. I’m wondering how various colors and fabrics fare with dogs and people and kiddies, and how washable/removable slipclovers work for people.

  9. amanda heaberlin says:

    so what i noticed in every single (fabulous) picture – there were no televisions!!!!!!!!!!! But don’t all us have our living room space built around that box???? I ADORE the way that almost 90% of the couches were across from each other to create a truly intimate space for conversing with one another, whether it be family or friends. This makes me want to throw out the tv (okay not throw out, I have to watch the office) but maybe put it elsewhere and totally rearrange my living room! Does anyone else feel this way???
    Can’t wait to see what you find!

  10. Epiphius says:

    The inspiration for our family room was purely comfort. We have super comfortable furniture that we love and it pleasant enough to look at. It won’t be featured in a magazine but it fits our family. If we had furniture in our living room, that would be where the pretty goes. Instead, there’s toys. :)

  11. Emily Johnson says:

    So, I pretty much stalk your blog, and every time you post I have to wipe up a puddle of drool from my computer…these rooms are ah-mazing. They make me want to max out my student loans to re-do my entire apartment. I have a white sofa that I LOVE; however, an icky tan slipcover pretty much stays thrown over it until company comes, because it IS a major pain to keep clean- and I don’t even have kids. If you decide to go the white route, I highly recommend a spot-bot or some sort of carpet/upholstery shampooer. If you’re willing to scrub the occasional stain, I think it’s totally worth it. I can also relate to the gold chair…I’m stuck with two gold wingback hand-me-downs that I’m DYING to recover/throw away/ax-murder…unfortunately that’s hard to when you’re un-creative {i.e. couldn’t sew for the life of me}, and you and your husband are on a graduate student budget! All in good time, though, right? Good luck with your room re-do and thanks for all of your fabulous insperation, and if any one has suggestions for my chairs bring ’em on!

  12. Cindy says:

    Wow, tons of lovely inspiration, I love too many styles to ever make up my mind about anything, I’m so glad I don’t have to find a new sofa. I’ve had mine for more than ten years and I will keep it for a while still.
    I love your kitchen, it is the nicest that I have seen in a long time.
    Hugs, Cindy

  13. Kelley says:

    Hi! I would so love a post about upholstery choices with kids…I know you’re planning to reupholster the Craigs List couch, and researching fabric choices. I am in the same boat, about to have 2 accent chairs reupholstered. I have 2 young children and a dog that sheds (lab mix–sheds A LOT). I need something durable but want something pretty! I would love to know your thoughts? I’m not so much looking for a specific recommendation (you’d have to see my room), but more of an overall evaluation: cotton? linen (I found a great deal on linen and I love it….but would I be an idiot to use linen in our main living space?)? Synthetic? I want something classy.

    Slipcovers are not out of the question, but the chairs currently have button tufting which I like, and would have to lose that if I went with slipcovers….

    Would love for you to share your thoughts as you make a similar decision. Thanks!!

    • Hey! Certainly will keep you updated as I go about this process… We are definitely in a similar situation. I will also be calling on a few pros for their input as far as fabric grades, etc. Its funny to me, and comforting, how many of us are faced with the same predicament! Can’t wait to write some more about it!