A Couch Story

Is TLC’s “A Baby Story” still on TV? Regardless, I totally think HGTV needs to parody it with “A Furniture Story” and it can be a full 30 minutes dedicated to a person’s emotional search for the perfect sectional. Heed my pitch, HGTV, and let the following story inspire the next great television phenomenon.

We started looking for furniture a few weeks ago for the same reasons I am obsessively researching every single item that will be in my future home: 1) because I don’t have anything better to do, 2) because I want to get the best deal between now and April, and 3) I have this idea in my head that buying things little by little over the next 8 months will feel like less of a jolt to my bank account than waiting until we move in to buy all the things.

Somehow I’ve convinced Troy that this is a sane  practice, so we took a day trip to the big fancy-pants mall a few towns over and spent a long morning looking at furniture.

At the end of that first day, we were pretty convinced we were going to be buying some Arhaus pieces, specifically the Landsbury sectional and the  Desmond chair. The sales consultant at Arhaus told us that their biggest furniture sale of the year was coming up soon, and thus we decided not to pull the trigger, even though I loved the pieces and the fabrics we chose.

photo (18)

When we got the sale prices about a week later, the new-found couch excitement had worn off and I realized the Arhaus pieces were more than I really felt comfortable spending. In addition to that, we’d also gotten a chance to take some measurements at the model home and found that the Landsbury was too large for the configuration we’d planned on. Those things combined sent us back to the drawing board.

We did make some progress during our Arhaus research, though: Troy now knew he really wanted a couch with a chaise, and I knew I really wanted a fun, patterned accent chair.

We also learned that we disagreed on the subject of which side of the sofa the chaise should be on. But as luck would have it, while searching the Pottery Barn website, I came across not one but two reversible chaise options: the Buchanan and the Cameron.


Photo via Pottery Barn

The price was much less than the Arhaus couch, and the reversible chaise seemed like the perfect solution to a living room that hasn’t been built yet. I liked the color options I saw online, so I went into the store across the street from my office building a few days later.

I wasn’t able to see the sectional in person, but they did have a Cameron loveseat that I sat on. Unfortunately it only took a second to figure out that it was way too firm for what we’d want. I also tried out the PB Comfort line, which was incredibly soft and squishy — I could totally imagine myself curled up with a good book napping on this couch — but it did not come as a reversible chaise. I was told that the Buchanan was somewhere between the Cameron and the PB Comfort, which sounded ideal, but I wasn’t ready to drop some serious cash on a couch that I had never sat on. I picked up some fabric samples anyway and planned to scour the outlet in the hopes that a Buchanan would show up in the next few months.

photo 1 (9)

Don’t act like you’re surprised by this color palette

Before I left that day, the sales consultant at Pottery Barn was able to look at some other stores in the area for a floor model of the Buchanan, but the nearest one was in Skokie, outside of Chicago. I joked that my good friend worked in Skokie…and realized that it might be a perfect excuse for a impromptu visit. A plan slowly began to formulate, and two weeks later we were driving to Illinois over Labor Day weekend.

Amidst various good times had with good friends during that trip, we made our way over to the Skokie Pottery Barn to sit in the Buchanan chair they had in the store. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to be perfect — call it furniture intuition, but the chair just looked inviting and comfortable. And we’d travelled so far to see it!

And the icing on the beautiful Pottery Barn cake? A Labor Day weekend 25% off sale! We just couldn’t pass it up.

buchananThe Buchanan chaise sofa in Flagstone, the color we ordered in, via the PB website

We ordered the couch, but held off on any chair purchases. The Skokie store claimed that the striped fabric I liked had been discontinued, even though I had just picked up the fabric swatch (which I failed to bring with us to Chicago) and it says “Fall 2014” on it — might need to return to the local store to investigate that mystery.

photo 2 (9)Wouldn’t the stripes just look darling with the dark couch? 

Also, unlike the other stores we had contacted, Pottery Barn won’t hold on to our furniture until the spring (Arhaus, and also Macy’s, was willing to store our [paid in full] items in their warehouse until we were ready to accept delivery). Since we wanted to take advantage of the sale, we’ll just have to find room in the storage unit, somehow.

I’m super happy with our first furniture purchase for the new house, and I’m even a little glad that we have 8 months to pay it off before it’s time to close on the house (just a little bit, though).

Coming up after the break, we investigate the tumultuous world of patterned accent chairs…

Now come on — doesn’t that just sound like the makings of some seriously good reality tv?! … Anyone? Just me? Ok then.


14 thoughts on “A Couch Story

  1. There are plenty of shows out there with farther thinner plots! I’m glad you found the sofa you wanted (and yay, sale!!!) and that stripe has some definite potential.

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  4. We bought the Cameron Roll Arm couch at Pottery Barn (a little bit more firm that I wanted, but husband loved it) and when it was ready, they called us to arrange delivery. However, I couldn’t take the couch because I was with guests in my house, so I went to a store and spoke to a manager and he set my delivery on hold, and they held it 8 more weeks! Maybe you can do this?

    • Maria, thanks so much for the comment! Great timing, we were just talking about the couch, haha. Due to delays in manufacturing and then the holidays, I was able to delay delivery by a couple months, so we will only have to live with the couch in an awkward spot for about 3 months. I really appreciate you sharing your experience! How has your Buchanan held up since you bought it??

      • Oops! I never realized that you replied! So our couch is great, it’s a little too firm, but we also don’t use it a lot. We have a spare bedroom (we currently live in a 2-bed 2-bath apt) where we have set up as our “TV room” and we have an Ikea sofa bed for everyday use and for guests if/when they come. However, the PB couch is comfortable and fits enough people when we have company over, which is the point of it all. We are moving to our first condo this summer and I’m excited to purchase some chairs to go with it… I’m already obsessing over my imaginary furniture!

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  6. I, too, feel the same way about purchasing a sofa; it’s hard work to get what you want. I pour over the minutest details to get the best deal, compromise with hubby and quality. And I must admit, you don’t always get all three in the same purchase! I’m still looking for the “holy grail” of upholstered furniture. You know what I mean, y’all. I’ve been stuck with the same couch for nearly 20 years, and back then, I thought it was “classic” and would go with everything. Nothing lasts forever! LOL.

  7. Can you tell menus the Buchannan sofa is holding up and still comfortable ? We are considering it , but it is not available to sit on in our local pottery barn. Thanks .

    • Hi Maddie! Overall, we still like the Buchanan a lot. Two critiques: the fabric we purchased the couch in hasn’t held up remarkably well — if I had a do-over, I might have upgraded there (on the other hand, I haven’t done much by way of upholstery cleaning, and a quick spot treatment might do the trick). I also think the dark color of the couch and the light color of our dog don’t exactly mesh.

      My other critique is that the cushions don’t always stay in place and I find myself pushing them back into place quite often. Granted, this is our main couch and we sit, lounge, sleep, etc so maybe people with normal couch habits wouldn’t have this problem.

      In terms of the couch itself, it is still in really good shape. The cushions are still adequately fluffy and we still think it is the most comfortable couch either of us have ever owned. Despite my small critiques I would still recommend the Buchanan!

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