So fa, no good.

A sofa for appreciating the view.  Source:  Houzz.

A sofa for appreciating the view and conversation.  Source: Houzz.

While the builders are preparing to cavity fill our brick retaining walls with concrete, I’m doing important things like browsing sofas.

The current state of sofa affairs is not up to standard.

Exhibit A:

I've repositioned the seat cushions at least 3 times already today.

I’ve repositioned the seat cushions at least 3 times already today.

  • Ikea’s Ekeskog sofa bed.
  • 8 years old.
  • Very comfortable for television viewing as long as no one moves.
  • Can seat the whole family at once.
  • Performs well as a sofa bed, being sag free and able to accommodate bodies that are longer than 6 feet.
  • Removable, washable covers.
  • Ripped on the corners.
  • Categorically cannot keep the seat cushions in place.
  • Daggy/slouchy.

The greenie in me will not throw out sofas without a good reason, so here’s the plan:

Move Exhibit A to the second floor, out of sight.  It can see out its days in the upstairs living room that will be a multipurpose space: study, secondary television viewing area, kids’ hangout, spare bed when we have a full house.  If it lasts, it will be palmed off to the first lucky “Little Pig” to leave home and require share-house furnishings.  I will consider recovering it with off-the-shelf slip covers such as these made by Comfort Works:

Not bad for $460, but it wouldn’t solve the problem of the slipping seat cushions.  I’d staple those in place except for the need to remove them to use the bed.


Exhibit B:

Actually, having a looking-good day.

Actually, having a looking-good day.

  • Freedom 3 seaters (x2)
  • 10-15 years old.
  • Dignified survivor of 3 projectile vomiting babies.  (Okay, you probably didn’t need to know that.)
  • Good bones.
  • In some light you can see heat damage from spending years in storage/transit.
  • A bit of light wear on the arms.
  • Old fashioned shape.
  • Has a green tinge in some light.


Use Exhibit B in the library.  These couches are too old-fashioned and small for the large space that will be our main living area but they’ll fit nicely in the smaller library.  I’ve been researching the cost of re-upholstering these sofas.  Without actually asking for quotes I estimate that each couch would cost approximately $700 in labour, plus material.  Roughly, a minimum of $1000 per sofa, more likely $1500 considering my love of 100% linen.  Too much.  I’m not into sewing, although I did buy a sewing machine years ago for the specific purpose of recovering a foam couch.  My skills are basic, but some of these simple sofa cover options are within the realms of possibility (if not for me, then certainly for my handy Mum):

(Pictures:  1.  The Design Files  2. Graham and Green  3. House of Turquoise  4. Alvhem Mäkleri  5.  RTL Woon Magazine.)

Finally, this leaves a vacancy in the main living room, open to the kitchen and dining room, for

Exhibit C:

Any of these will do.  (Picture sources: 1.  Houzz.  2 & 3.  Jardan.  4.  Domayne.

  • Modular, fabric sofa.
  • Australian-made (except for the first sofa).
  • Expected to last 20 years plus, with a warranty to prove it.
  • Not too slouchy so that you can converse with guests.
  • Not so modern that it goes out of fashion in the next 5 years.
  • Price unknown – $5000-10000.  (The Domayne sofa is just under $5000, but Jardan do not list their prices which is never a good sign.)

I really like the sofas with a “chaise longue” (the bit without the back rest) for their flexibility.  You could perch on the end to face the kitchen or turn around to admire the view or fireplace.  Or rest your feet on it at the end of the day.

Have I missed any Australian-made options that might fit my criteria?  Have you successfully breathed new life into an old sofa?  Got a sofa that you can’t bear, but it stays because you don’t want to add to landfill?



22 thoughts on “So fa, no good.

  1. trixee says:

    Totally with you on the chaise thing, that’s exactly what I’m planning on buying (but in leather). I’m struggling to figure out where we’re going to put our current red lounge suite – like your exhibit 2, it’s still in good condition but a bit too old-fashioned, and yes, the current contender is also the library. On the other hand, I might just sell it.
    Incidentally, have you figured out how you’re doing your fireplace? The one in the first picture looks nice 😉

    • So much to love about that first picture! We are getting a Stovax wood fire in the end. (“Studio 2, Profil edge”. It will go into rendered brick wall. Will consider stone fire surround at a later date, but only if we think the room needs it. Subiaco Restorations – ask for Mr Stokes! That reminds me, I must pay deposit….)

      • trixee says:

        Great choice! Thanks for the tip, by the way, looks like they have lots of stuff and just down the road as well, will have to scope them out at lunch time.

  2. I love the charcoal slouchy linen….is that a cover? I have three very ugly floral hand me down (from my in laws) couches that are in good shape. I plan to recover or slipcover them and use in the kids loft upstairs.

    I love the sectionals with the chaise. That is my dream couch….for now we will be using our leather sofa and love seat in the living room.

    I hate adding to the landfills too.

    • The “charcoal slouchy linen” sofa is from a U.K. shop, not covers – but that look (i.e. not upholstered) works, don’t you think? More so in your barn house than our “modern Australian” home though.

  3. Miranda says:

    That photo of your first couch made me laugh! I almost feel sorry for that sofa – it’s rather cute! But probably wouldn’t fit in with your new main living area…
    I love Jardan’s things, especially their sofas. Unfortunately they are – as you expect – very expensive. We really liked one of theirs that came in sections, but the price was just ridiculous. So we did lots of research on Pinterest for inspiration and got something similar made for us locally. (Bay Furniture in Dunsborough organised that for us, although the furniture maker was actually in Perth. Maybe have a look at the Bay Furniture website too?)
    Next time you’re in Perth, you can see some of the Jardan things (along with lots of other lovely furniture) at Table and Chair in Subiaco. Jardan recently had a 30% off sale, which would make a big difference, but I think that was pretty rare. Since you’re not in a hurry, you might be able to wait till another good sale.
    You might also like to look at Bespoke Furniture Gallery (Nedlands, but also with a good website). They will make things in different sizes and fabrics for you, and have some really nice designs. (Their Colebatch sofa came a very close second for us for our living room sofa. In the end we got one from Natuzzi instead, but they’d fail your “buy local” test.)

    • Thanks for those suggestions Miranda. I’ll look them up. I’m justifying thinking about sofas now so we can be ready when sales come up. I can’t wait to see a pic of your new sofa in situ.

  4. If you decide to send your couches on another sea adventure then there will be options. Home made covers on big blue couch and cushions tied in place would work. Your 2×3 seaters would cover well. Expensive? Probably. Our 3 piece club lounge cost $2000 + to re upholster 12 years ago, expensive fabric has lasted well. I think your old foam couch ( which you did not mention) needs to be laid to rest…$60 second hand in 1990’s. Early Settlers has sale buy one get one free… Big couches at the moment. Wait and see and don’t feel bad if a well used couch has to be retired.

    • Thanks Leanne. Somehow I missed this comment earlier. Just checked out their options. The prices are good. How are you finding your sofas? I’ll try to find yours on your blog now.

  5. Judy says:

    King Furniture have just opened in Perth and they have some great designs. Not sure if they are made in Australia though.

    • Thanks Judy. Their sofas look good, but they are made in Shanghai. I’m hoping a little bit of extra research and I can get the same thing, same price (??) locally made.

  6. LOL love it! My husband wanted a cream suede modular sofa, this was a couple for kids were in the picture. I told him no. I told him that he would put his feet on it, kids (when they come along) would squish muesli bar into it and it would just end up looking a right mess. No, no, no said hubby ‘you’re getting ahead of yourself, it’ll look great.’ Thankfully common sense prevailed and we ended up with a dark brown leather modular. It’s looking VERY shabby these days (we keep willing it to hang in there so we can wait til the house is built to purchase new sofas too), would loathe to see sort of science experiment we would of ended up with if we had bought hubby’s suggestion. We had a cream rug and with a reflux baby … that was bad enough (now been long disposed of). I’ll be interested to see what you end up with.

  7. Africadayz says:

    Good to see you again! Fascinated by this post… I had someone come round just this morning to look at furniture I want re upholstered too. Will write about my various options soonish.

  8. Looking great. Your sofas look as sad as mine. Jardan do beautiful sofas and they would suit the sort of house you are building. Don’t forget King furniture – high quality, made in Melbourne and 10 year guarantee. One of the best things about their sofas is that at anytime you can replace just one cushion or armrest. Their fabrics are gorgeous and all of the colours are tasteful.

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