I'm going to start posting "treasures" or awesome finds that I'm super excited about on occasional Tuesdays. It won't be every Tuesday, but sometimes. I will be posting items that I score at thrift stores, Ross and Home Goods and those types of stores, and just great buys I find on clearance. Mostly though, it will be thrifted items that I haven't yet repurposed.
This awesome wooden couch I found at Goodwill in the middle of November. I've just been too busy with the holidays until now to do anything with it. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it, and you better believe I made a beeline straight to it, just hoping that it wasn't already sold. It was available, and for only $25. I would have paid much, much more.
I have wanted one of these for years. A few years ago on Sara Richardson's design show, I saw her refinish some wooden couches for a family's retreat lake cottage. She painted the wood white and reupholstered the cushions in a modern fabric. I fell in love with the way it looked, and instantly decided that I would keep my eyes peeled for my own. I, of course, had seen a ton of these in thrift stores prior to this. But naturally, as soon as I had a vision of what I could do if I became the proud owner of such a couch, I couldn't find any, anywhere. So, I been casually looking for one every since. I just couldn't believe my luck when I found this beauty, and it was in a Goodwill that's in a newer part of town. Usually I find the awesome antique furniture in the thrift stores in older neighborhoods.
I plan on reupholstering the cushions. The cushions themselves are in great shape, but the current orange fabric is frayed and faded to a light coral in many places. I found the perfect (for me) fabric last week. It's a thick woven upholstery fabric with an awesome spring green and cream design. The green is a perfect match to the green stripe in my living room curtains.
The wood shows a little wear. There are a few scratches and scuffs. I know that I can paint it and they will disappear. But, here is my dilemma. I'm not sure I'm ready to paint it. With all of the turns in the wood, once it's painted, that's it. I can't go back. I can change colors, but it would be nearly impossible to strip the paint down to the bare wood again if I ever wanted that. The main reason I am hesitating is that in my living room I have an enormous antique upright piano which I love.
The piano is a nice dark walnut, and it too is a piece that shows its fair share of wear. The couch would be placed directly across from the piano, where the wingbacks are in the picture below. I will remove the dark leather pieces and put a wingback on either side. If I keep the couch's wood stained, it will mirror the look of the piano a little bit. Plus it will also balance out the visual weight to the room since the rest of the furniture will be light. And since the ceilings are sooooo tall, the visual weight of the furniture is somewhat important. I don't really want to room to look like it's going to float away.
I sorta like the idea of 2 pieces of furniture left in their natural state, directly across from each other. If I keep the couch stained, I will still need to sand it a little bit to smooth out the deep scratches and make it look evenly worn, then add a nice dark wax to smooth everything out. I think it could look nice. Nice and safe, and maybe not that much of a remake.
On the other hand, I also know that I will really love the look of the wood once it's painted. I haven't regretted painting any other piece of furniture. I've always really loved the way paint seems to bring new life to old pieces. So, why am I so hesitant. I think because I'm a little emotionally attached to this couch. I've been looking for one for so long, I am afraid to accidentally mess it up. If I don't like the way it looks painted, I can't go buy another one.
So, what would you do? Would you pick the safe route and leave the wood as is? Or paint it cream, still a fairly safe option since I've seen a wooden couch done in cream and already know it looks fabulous? Or take a big risk and paint it spring green?
I'm still not sure what I will do. I might sew the cushions first and just wait on deciding about the wood for a couple more weeks. Really, deep down, I want to paint the wood, and I want to paint it green. I'm just worried that I need the visual weight of dark brown furniture in the room. Ahhhh, decisions, decisions. But I still LOVE the couch.