our walls have been nude for a long time. we wanted to paint the wall behind the sectional, you see, and we couldn't possibly know what color to use until said sectional actually materialized, grey meaning different things to different people and all. it materialized on friday, thirteen weeks and a day after we gave up and ordered it. (it's no accident, incidentally, that the last piece we settled on was the biggest and squishiest by far; couch-shopping-weariness seeps into your bones and steals your will to live. i was on the verge of napping under a generic yuppie coffee table when we decided to buy this thing.)

the sectional is transit grey, i'd say, for it is the size of a bus.

day 173: Бегемот

joe sent me a photo on his blackberry. "it's the david byrne big suit of sectionals," he said. the big suit was an arty statement, though, and the sectional is an "i order furniture drunk" statement. it's not returnable, for grey was one of the sort-of-standard-but-not-standard-enough-to-take-fewer-than-thirteen-weeks color options. i suppose we could try to unload it on craigslist, but i don't have a lot of interest in selling at a serious loss, squiring skeevy craigslist types around in our apartment,* or shopping all over again.

so we slapped ten pictures on the wall in a granny cluster, the theory being that a big vertical gesture might counter a big horizontal one. we also added a scorpion pillow, for scorpions just make things better. it's possible that my design ego is just buffering itself at this point, but i...think i don't hate the sectional quite so much now?

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 have you ever made a terrible furniture decision? how did you deal with the mistake?

02 how would you un-bus this sectional?

03 {esoteric kidchamp bonus question} one of the ten pictures we slapped up on friday is of tucson; another is chicago, another is oxford, and another is detroit. which is which? (large version here)

*i know we ourselves are skeevy craigslist types; this is my point.


Rachel (heart of light) said...

Eh. I'd say it isn't bad. It looks super comfy, which is a point in it's favor. I know that I'm too lazy to get rid of something as big as a couch unless I got to the point where I literally couldn't look at it every day.

We've made very few furniture decisions, and our apartment is a motley mix of hand me downs. But we stepped it up this weekend and purchased a new (used) couch. Mindful of your bedbug experience, I interrogated Dustin when he came home from the initial viewing -
me: "Do you think she might have bedbugs?"
d: "no"
me: "are you sure?"
d: "how could i possibly tell?"
me: "well, did she look itchy and stressed out?"

jamie said...

01) like rachel, none of our furniture decisions have been big enough (financially) to come with much regret/trauma if they did not work out.

02) i think you are on the right track. the throw pillows really help. maybe a throw blanket? and really, i don't think it is as bad as you think it is. again i say, it is like a new haircute, or wearing a hat when you usually ever do. (i used to work in a hat shop. everyone who tried on a hat who didn't "wear" hats said, "I look so funny in hat's" They didn't look funny.)

a. the two towers (heh) are chicago
b. the fancy framed one with the sunlight coming in the warehouse windows is detroit

i call unfair on the rest. i mean, i *know* tucson. maybe it is my crappy work computer screen but i can't see the others. the one on the bottom left corner could be a very photoshoped picture of tucson telephone wires. or it could be a painting. i guess my final answer is that dusk street scene with something burning on the left side of the image (?) would be tucson and the tiny square with a stage light (?!?!?) is oxford?

east side bride said...

I kinda like it. plus, comfy is not to be underestimated.

ma said...

I ordered the big blue chairs and the couch that went with them w/out your dad having seen them; his reaction upon first viewingthem in the family room? c."Those are the biggest fucking chairs I've ever seen! What in the hell were you thinking?" And yet, the couch was an all time (and Joe's) favorite, and the chairs live on here, amazingly comfortable and destined to be recovered yet again in 10 yards of fabric apiece.

Always throw pillows and blankets--they're what personalize it!(think how much throw pillows and blankets would help mass transit seem more personal). Good job on arranging the art, too.

jen said...

01) yes: a few weeks ago i found THE DESK CHAIR I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR for sale outside of a vintage shop in Berkeley. i went inside and asked the price: $80. well, i wasn't planning to spend $80 today, but it was awfully nice...but like a good consumer, i decided to go on to breakfast and errands as planned, and if at the end of the day's tasks I still wanted the chair, i could go back. 3 hours later i still really wanted the chair. i went back and lo! it was not out front. i went inside to ask, *just* in case he shop had taken it back inside. as it turns out, it had been stolen that afternoon. so now the shop keeper ws grumpy, not a little bit suspicious of me (why would i call attention to the missing chair if I was the one who stole it?) and we were both out of a chair. lesson learned.

02) if it's a sectional, does that mean you can split it up into separate piece? maybe you could take the chaise portion and position it in a corner opposite the love seat portion, in order to group seating in a manner that encourages conversation, etc (I can't see the other side of the room to see if you've already done that with other chairs...). at any rate, it looks comfy, and sooner or later i'm sure i'll be sleeping on it. thanks for getting a new couch for me to crash on! :)

03) i picked out the corn cob towers as chicago right away, of course. i'm lost on the rest. off i go to hang some pictures in my own house.

kidchamp said...

the wilcoan and the chicagoan are right re: marina city, of course; jamie, you're right on detroit as well. here's a close-up of the mysterious bottom left picture; it's a watercolor.

part of the angst here could be that we've never really spent much on furniture, either; our last couch was $175 on craigslist, the previous one was about the same, and the one before that was a gift. (this makes us sound like destroyers of couches; actually we moved away from the first one and the third one wouldn't fit in the elevator. we did destroy the second one, but it didn't need much help.)

@ma: that's good to hear about the chairs; god, i do love them. you folks are undoubtedly right on blankets, as well, though i would note that plush things don't always help public transit; BART had carpet for awhile, and it got pukey in like three days.

@jen: joe's already fallen asleep on it...twice? it is a fine pair of pieces for snozzing, i confess. it's across from our TV, so we can't really put the other piece across the room, but the splitting idea is kicking around in my head anyway.

kidchamp said...

...and did i never show you guys the jewel in my weird cheap-vintage-pendleton-blanket-hoarding crown? i found this back in the fall and thought it might work as a throw for the couch. yes? maybe?

Amanda said...

01 My major furniture decision was not treating my brand-new, beautiful sofa before drinking wine on it.
And as ESB says, comfy is nice. I love my sofa, but that beautiful, carved frame whacks my guests (and me) on the head every time. And I NEVER want to eat pizza or drink wine on it again (see above). What is the point of sofas, I ask, if not to sit all schlumpy and drink wine and take a nap?

02 Splitty.

Jamie said...

Am I the wilcoan?

I'm not from Chicago.

kidchamp said...

you are indeed (you and ben left are big wilco fans, no?). as i recall, you're from vegas, yes?

marina city in chicago always makes me think of 1) yankee hotel foxtrot and 2) that time the dave matthews band crapped all over those poor people in a tour boat.

wabes said...

oooh!!! your sectional looks like the larger american cousin to my berlin couch, which had crazy compartments and became a sofabed in two strokes. if they're even distantly related - even if only in hue and fabric - there will be some hidden wonderful dividend coming to you. i like it.

also like the grouped art. i've been wanting to try that with our transit posters for years, but now that our walls are back to normal size, it doesn't work as well...

vvm said...

Lower the pictures! They should probably start not more than 6" above the sectional. When you hang art above furniture, it needs to look connected to the furniture, not floating in the air above it. Also think about the scale of the artwork in connection to the size of the sofa. Add some bigger stuff to the collection, or reframe what you have. Pillows also way too small. Lot's of good decorating advice available on internet. Google.

kidchamp said...

i agree with you that we need bigger pillows, vvm; i was working with what we already had, and will be adjusting scale as we can afford it. that said, i'll always skew a bit smaller- we pulled the big pillows that were included with the sectional because it made the whole area look too dowdy.

i disagree on the 6" clearance, though. while the cluster needs to interact with the piece on the floor, and i think we should reconsider spacing a bit since we don't have too many other pieces for the wall, i wouldn't go lower than a foot from the top of the sectional; i'm just not a fan of grazing things with my shoulders. i'll sacrifice look for that.

i agree on the need for bigger pieces as well - like the pillows, those will come in gradually.

vvm said...

Right now your "cluster" has more interaction with the ceiling than the sectional. Your shoulders will not graze if you lower them. Try it and see. The back of the sectional and then the cushions keep your shoulders away from them (assuming the sectional is properly placed and not sitting with the back actually touching the wall). The area does not look dowdy because of the sectional so you should put the original pillows back on and then add some colorful ones. Nothing cheaper than decorative pillows. I'm sure you will figure it out. You are probably a much more experienced designer than I am.