The Couch Chronicles

Here in the SangriaLover household, we have a bit of a couch conundrum happening. Our current couch, comfy as it is, is starting to come apart at the seams. The seat cushions and armrests are fraying, and the back cushions have all but detached from the couch. It’s gotten to the point where we’re embarrassed to have people over and ask them to sit on our sad, split-cushioned couch. It was a good couch, while it lasted, but it’s past its prime, and it’s time something be done.

What, exactly, to do, however, is what’s causing the current conundrum. Last weekend we went couch shopping while Labor Day sales were still going on to assess the situation: What’s out there? What can we afford? Can we possibly fit both a couch and a loveseat in our living room so we’ll have more seating when friends come over?

What we learned was this: There are a lot of couches out there, most of them ugly and/or uncomfortable. We can afford a couch/loveseat set we like, but we’d have to spend more than we were planning…the furniture would probably end up being our Christmas present to each other (admittedly, not such a bad Christmas present). And no matter how many different layouts we try in the online room planner, there’s just no good way to put a couch and a loveseat in this room without making it feel too crowded.

So we moved on to option B: slipcovers. I’ve heard all about how ugly slipcovers are, but somehow I convinced myself that everybody was wrong and a slipcover would be just the thing we needed to spruce up our poor little falling apart couch long enough to tide us over until a couple of years from now when we can better afford new living room furniture and have a house with a more appropriately sized living room for the furniture we want.

Off we went to Bed Bath and Beyond, where we selected a camel-covered slipcover and marched it up to the register with a 20%-off coupon lovingly donated by Tim’s sister. We felt good about our purchase. We’d looked at our options online before buying and had seen several examples of non-hideous slipcovers, and we were confident we’d picked a good one. We took it home, put it on our couch, and…

…and our couch looked like a big lumpy piece of poo.

I’m sorry for the vulgarity, but that’s the only accurate way to describe the crappiness that was our couch in that slipcover. I’d choose frayed cushions over the poopy slipcover look any day.

Here’s where we stand right now. The slipcover is in its packaging waiting to be returned for a full refund. Craigslist has some non-hideous couches, but they’re not much less expensive than the brand new options we saw on our shopping trip last weekend. I’m tempted to buy the couch and matching chair (smaller than loveseat and therefore more likely to fit in our living room) we found last weekend but still hesitant about dropping such a substantial chunk of change. I’d rather wait and buy something specifically for our next house, but we don’t intend to move for a couple of years, and I’m not sure the current couch is going to last that long.

So what do we do? Do we go ahead and invest in some new furniture? Do we get something used and less expensive, but still drop a sizable sum on something we don’t love? Or do we just buy a few more throw blankets and strategically place them to cover our ever-disintegrating cushions any time we have company over the next few years?

Help me out, friends. Your input and ideas are much appreciated.

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