I have been wanting a new couch and loveseat for our living room for at least a year. I didn’t think this was an unreasonable desire as the current set was 17 years old.
It spent the first 4 years of it’s life looking like this.
What can I say, it was my “country” decor phase – lots of mauve and blue. It is a beautiful set and exactly what I had wanted as a 22 year old fresh-out-of-college and still pretty newly married. Mark’s parents even paid for half of the set (there’s a loveseat too) as a housewarming present for our first house.
It spent 4 years in a living room that rarely got used. In our next residence the couch was in the den and the loveseat was in storage. When we moved to Arizona in 2000 I was kind of done w/ the stripes and it got slipcovered in a basic tan twill with some pretty rose print pillows. Seven years ago when we moved into this house they got new slipcovers to match the new colors and then looked like this…
Can I just say, I LOATHE SLIPCOVERS.
My annoyance with them quadrupled when we added two kids to the family. I guess we use the room a lot more, because I am constantly tucking and re-tucking and IT DRIVES ME INSANE!
So I began to mutter under my breath every time I was re-tucking them – you know, really grown up behavior 🙂
Mark had but one request – the new set needed to be leather (or at least “pleather”). Our family room set is, and it’s been amazing for 15 years – easy to clean after kids, etc.
Oh, and of course it has to be a good deal, because living room furniture is not really high on his financial priority list 🙂
So six months ago I did a freelance job and set the cash aside in an envelope for my sofa fund – $500.
We did a little looking. Most of the upholstered stuff that gets to thrift stores is pretty trashed. I would sporadically go into Craigslist stalking mode. Then I’d set it aside for awhile. We found one couch at Big Lots that was $300. It was comfy, but not my favorite style. We decided that just a couch would work in the room, so we kept it in the back of our minds. But, with neither of us working full time, it got shoved even lower down the priority list, even though the money was still set aside.
So I started praying about my couches. That either God would help me not be frustrated OR, pretty please, could He help me find a really good deal on a used set 🙂
Yesterday I had 3 out of 4 kids in the van with an hour to kill before the 4th got out of basketball, so I dragged them to my favorite thrift store for furniture. As we pulled up, I gasped!
Sitting outside was a leather couch and loveseat in a nice medium brown color. I barely got the van in park before I jumped out. Of course no price on them so I had to ask. $400…but furniture was half off that day…so $200. The couch was definitely “worn in” but still in pretty good shape. The loveseat, however, had a really bad spot on one cushion.
I called Mark, all excited. We went through the “what do you think”, “I don’t know”, “can you come look at it” routine. Mark has severe allergies (especially cats) and that was our one concern when it came to buying used. I was REALLY leery of buying something without him. (Mostly because I didn’t want to hear about it later if he didn’t like it.) So he drove down and we discussed some more. Obviously the loveseat wasn’t in great shape, but I figured either we could put it in our bedroom with a blanket over it, or just donate it and we’d still have a $200 couch in a style I liked. Mark wasn’t feeling it however, and figured for an extra $100 the Big Lots sofa was a better choice. So we went with Mark’s gut (‘cuz his gut is always right as much as I hate to admit it sometimes) and we walked away.
Today after Mark left to pick up the kids from school I was stalking Craigslist again, and saw a brown leather sectional advertised for an INCREDIBLE price. It was only 8 months old and looked (from the one picture) practically new. I emailed the owner and hit refresh on my email every 90 seconds until I got the reply that yes, he still had it, no they didn’t have inside pets, yes it was a smoke-free home, etc.
I practically tackled Mark when he walked in the door and dragged him to the computer to see it. Couple emails back and forth and we were headed to the owner’s house. By God’s amazing providence we still had Mark’s parents pickup truck which they had almost picked back up yesterday.
They were pulling the set outside as we pulled up and I was giddy. It looked amazing. We looked it over, double-checked about the no cats thing and happily handed over the money.
So now this sits in my living room…
I almost felt guilty….ALMOST.
Of course on the way home, with it all strapped into the truck, Mark had to throw out a “Aren’t you glad I didn’t let you buy that one yesterday?”
“Yes dear…you were right dear…”
Don’t you love that God cares about the desires of our heart – even when we know that it’s not something hugely important in the scheme of things.
P.S. That bench/coffee table? $10 at a garage sale, cleaned it with a damp rag and painted the legs 🙂