December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Monday, June 29, 2015

Redoing the Living Room - 4: The Search for My Perfect Grey Sofa

Hola darlings!

The hunt was on!  I did next to nothing for at least a week except look at probably 4000 sofas online.  I swear I looked at absolutely every single sofa available at Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair and Lamps Plus, and Bellacor. Then I moved on to other online furniture vendors I'd never heard of, and looked at more, and more and more.  And then I kept going back and looking at all these sofas over again - several times. I printed out tons of spec sheets and images.   It is a wonder I slept at all.

I quickly discovered that the cost of my perfect sofa clashed horribly with the reality of my perfect budget :)  I did not even bother attempting to get a price on the Pearson or the Lee Jofa grey sofas in my inspiration photos, I knew either one would cost more than all of the furnishings in my house combined.  Another reality was that very few sofas were offered with single-cushion or bench-style cushion seats.  Some sofas had a bench-style seat but it was "built-in" - not removable.  Removable was a must have.

I was also looking for a length not much larger than 84" to 86", and a depth under 40".  That automatically knocked several otherwise potential sofas out of the running.  The whole point of going with the new sleeker furniture lines is to create a smaller furniture footprint in my 14' by 15' living room.

I wanted to keep the sofa in the range of $1,000, which for me is a LOT of money to spend on a sofa.  I knew I would have to compromise.  I decided that I could live with two removable seat cushions if necessary, but I would not sacrifice the style I was after.  As the search continued I came across potential sofa options priced below $1,000, but I later deleted them from serious consideration based on online reviews and a worry about overall quality.

I slowly narrowed down my potential sofas to these two:


Sofa above at Lamps Plus, the Portsmouth Grey Portico Sofa with nickle nailhead trim, $1,400.


Sofa above at Lamps Plus, the Maggie Tufted Bella Granite Sofa, $1,500 (but as of this posting, now on clearance with only 2 left for $1,300.00).

Then, one night as I was yet again looking at an expanded sofa search at Wayfair, I stumbled across this beauty:

Image above is the A&B Home Group Provo Camelback Sofa.  Not grey, not velvet, not tufted, but a removable bench seat, a lovely curved back, the sleek lines, the right size, and best of all, a FABULOUS PRICE:  $899 WITH FREE SHIPPING!

I hemmed and hawed - did I want it?  It wasn't grey, it wasn't velvet.  I loved it.  I hemmed and hawed two days too long before making up my mind after going through a pile of printed out images of sofas with my buddy Ann.  When I made my decision on a Friday night to buy the Provo Camelback Sofa, it had DISAPPEARED FROM WAYFAIR.  Could not find it anywhere  it was not shown as Out of Stock, it was GONE, not listed.  Then, I could not even find it offered for sale elsewhere on the internet, whereas a few days before, I had found it available at a few vendors.  The Provo Sofa had disappeared from the internet, except for cached images and outdated listings!

OHMYGODDESS!  Let's just say that I was rather distressed.  All that looking, all that effort, all that work, only to discover that the sofa I was ready and willing, finally, to buy was no longer available for sale!

Guess what?  About a week to 10 days after suffering that trauma, the Provo Camelback Sofa reappeared for sale at Wayfair, for $1,541.  I'm so over it.

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