Design and Style Tips

Geekin’ Out from my Chesterfield Sofa Love

Oooooo!  This is a big day for me folks.  I just got back one of the big main loves in my life (behind my husband, children and doggies of course).  My sofa came home last night from getting a complete and fantastic makeover!  She’s utterly fantastic and amazing and incredible and and and…. There aren’t words for how much I adore this piece of furniture.  Ok so let me back up a sec and fill you in on the whole journey that led me to this lovely day.

Here’s a before shot from last spring.

This was our first big purchase almost 3 years ago, as in seriously adored and lusted after for a very long time before taking the plunge.  In other words well thought out.  I had been searching for a leather chesterfield for almost 5 years prior to finding what would become this beauty.  I craigslisted, not just locally but nationally.  I was willing to go wherever there was one in a decent (low, cheap, inexpensive) price point.  I would rent a uhaul or hire a ushipper, I was ready to go anywhere for one of these elusive beauties.  I ebayed, I one kings laned, and joss and mained.  Alas, it just wasn’t meant to be.  Apparently, and I can testify to this, a vintage leather chesterfield sofa is the holy grail of furniture lovers.  Darn near impossible to find and if you do, consider yourself to be among the very blessed.

So I began looking elsewhere, we moved into a new house and had lots of space in our new open concept living/family room and our old sectional was shockingly saggy in various areas.   I knew of Restoration Hardware (who hasn’t?) but their prices are incredibly high and no regular consumer, like myself, would be willing to pay or could afford to pay their prices.  I couldn’t help but adore their chesterfields from afar, until I discovered there was an RH store in Denver.  I had to see and feel it for myself, because I’m a glutton for punishment.  We made the quick trip down and behold, they were as amazing as I had hoped they would be.  Still knowing there was no way we could afford one, I started researching ways to get my hands on one at a big (I mean BIG) discount.  I stumbled upon the information that you can sign your name, number and pieces you are interested in on a list.  So every year or 2 when they rotate out the floor display pieces you can purchase those at 50% off.  I immediately went down and put my name on that list but much to my dismay I discovered that they had just replaced the sofa I wanted just prior to my name getting on the list.   Sadness ensues but I am will to wait, so another year goes by while I continue my search via cragistlist, ebay, etc. and I continue to go visit her in the showroom every now and then.  It was at this point we replaced the old sectional with a cheap modern one that we ended up hating (which is a good thing it was cheap).

It was one of these trips to visit my beloved chesterfield that forever changed my fate.  A very nice saleswoman came over while my brood was sitting, and I was carressing the lovely leather, and asked if she could help me.  I told her I was on the wait list for the floor sample and did she know when they would be rotated out?  She stated probably not for quite a while yet, but “did I know there was now a Restoration Hardware Outlet?”  OMG, it took all my strength  as I almost ran out of the store pleading with my husband to take me there NOW!  He made me wait another week, ugh, what a meanie.  But we made it down there (a bit more of a trek as it’s south of Denver) but when we walked in I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  They were having an extra 25% off the store sale.  Every piece was already marked down 20-30% for outlet pricing plus the extra 25%!!  Whaaattt!  And there towards the back of the display area sat the chesterfield sofa, wasn’t leather, but I didn’t care.  It was a big 116″ luxe depth charcoal linen chesterfield sofa, calling me, beckoning me.  We made the leap and purchased the sofa for 50% off retail.  Wouldn’t you know it, it rained on the way home, we covered it hanging out the back of our truck bed with tarps as best we could, brought the massive cushions in the cab, but still the base of the seat (underneath the cushions) got ugly white marks from the rain.  Tempered my excitement a smidge but no one ever saw it but me.  We managed to carry it in the house through the front door, as it’s the only door that was wide enough to fit it through sideways.  And there it shined, like the heavens opened and there were angels singing.  I loved, adored and cherished it.

Fast forward 2 years and the linen began to fray, the seams in the tufting started to pull apart and I felt my heart cry.  I attempted to hand stitch every little spot that was beginning to pull apart and I thought I fixed it, because I was not letting it go.  Another month and every spot I fixed pulled apart more along with new spots opening up.  I couldn’t keep up with hand repairs and pretty soon the seat cushions developed holes.  I was devastated.  This sofa had been through my 3 boys jumping on and off of it, sleepless nights listening for sick kids and cozy naps. I waited SO long for it, what was I going to do?  I knew reupholstering it was going to be a big and probably expensive project so we figured it was best to just replace it.  So, on a visit this last summer to the RH Outlet, during a 40% off sale we found a very nice couch that is a modern clean lined sofa, leather, luxe depth in a beautiful gray color.  We purchased that at 60% off retail and decided to sell the chesterfield (for hardly anything at all).  We had the new sofa in here and the chesterfield in the garage maybe a week and I just couldn’t do it.  I started calling upholstery shops and getting quotes, the guy I ended up using actually tried to talk me out of it, more than once.  I wanted to have this sofa forever and if we did it right, using a good leather and got a quality upholstery job it would.  I researched for a month to see what the cost would be to just buy a new one in leather and a color I wanted and it was a good 60-70% more than reupholstering.  So we switched gears and brought her back inside and placed the 2 sofas opposite each other.  Turns out we loved the configuration and it gives our family of 6 (with one son, almost 13, already a few inches taller than myself) plenty of comfortable seating.  While sitting on my holey, but still beautiful to me chesterfield I spent  4 months sourcing out my own leather.  It’s expensive!  But I managed to find a great fabric and leather seller on ebay, designerfabrics, who worked with me to get the perfect powder blue leather hides in just barely the amount I needed for an awesome price! Buying sight unseen was scary (especially after I had ordered several samples of leather from multiple other suppliers) but the pictures were beautiful and he was great about describing and answering my many questions about the leather.  It arrived and was beautiful!  4 large hides ready to go.  I called my upholstery guy and a couple weeks later we dropped her off for her new look.  I’m not gonna lie, I was sceered.  What if he didn’t do a good job, what if I don’t have enough leather, (this was all they had in this dye lot) what if, what if.  3 weeks and multiple phone calls from me later, she was ready to come home.  Last night, with the help of a friend we picked her up, loaded her in the truck and I drove like somebody in a glass car home.  Once home we  finaggled her in the house, attached her lovely wooden feet and there she was.  A huge sigh of relief after months of anguish, pressure (I put on myself, if I was going to spend the money to do this I better get it right), and fear it was done and it was perfect.  So here she is folks, in all of her powder blue leather gloriousness.

 

 

 

My husband has been saying for a year now I have an unhealthy, unnatural attachment to this sofa.  And he’s right, I most definitely do.  She will always be by my side, or under my butt.

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