Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Couch Part 1!


Spring has finally sprung over here, and while it is still bouncing into the chillier temps, there are hostas a popping in the front yard, and we are officially at punch list in the basement!

This means that I am spending chunks of my day making a zillion small decisions.  Punch list time is a lot like going for an eye exam.  "Do you want this here, or a half an inch over?"  "Do you want this on the left?  Or the right?"  "Do you want this higher?  Or lower?"  Is it better now?  Or now?


Seriously. Every decision checks something off the list.

Toilet roll holder I found and sourced eight months ago?  Stage right, please.

The Flor carpet tile in the media and exercise rooms?  All the way to the walls, and not area rug style, thank you kindly.

It also means we can begin doing some furnishing, which is my favorite part of all.  I'll be taking you through those as we go room by room, but for the moment, I want to talk about the couch.

Or I should say, THE Couch.

Remember our adventure with our designer MaryJo over at Walter E. Smithe?  And how we finally pulled the trigger on a fabulous sectional for the media room? 

(I'll wait if you want to go re-read those posts and get up to speed)

Well, the big day finally came.

First off, this is how the room ended up when empty:  Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn on the walls, and FLOR carpet tiles in Charcoal Fedora.  I love this tile, because it is like a very thick felt, no pile at all.  It looks like someone took all of Cary Grant's hats and flattened them out on my floor.

This is the steel beam that helps hold up the second floor.  All polished up and glowing.

And this is the shelf that will be behind the couch, a great place for the phone, a box of Kleenex, or to rest a drink.  I love this shelf.

For those who aren't in Chicago, Edward Hines Lumber is a local company that has been providing building materials since 1892.  Our old girl was built in 1907.  This was in the ceiling, it was the place the ceiling joists butted up against.

Nothing like being tucked into the ceiling for 108 years to keep your stenciled name looking fresh!

I love how it looks against the steel!

Then, the truck arrived.

This is Truck 86.  It is manned by Mario Estrada and Jose Granados.  They are, quite simply, the best furniture delivery guys I have ever worked with.  Let's watch them maneuver a massive sectional in four pieces into a building that was designed for daintier furnishings, with nary a nick in a wall or a bit of damage.  Magicians.

Our contractor Dennis was awed a bit..

The first piece coming in, this was the biggest single piece, 9 feet long, and 3 feet high and over three feet deep.  Did I mention the sectional was massive?

 In safe and sound!

Here is Jose attaching the feet to the couch.

Unwrapping the pillows.

Here comes the next piece!

The sectional consists of one couch with one arm and a corner, one armless loveseat, one wedge shaped corner and one couch with one arm, which all come together to make a U shape.

Getting the last piece unwrapped.  It is at this stage I should tell you that I am having trouble capturing the true color of the fabric, it is a much deeper less blinky red than it appears in these photos, a red with a lot of blue in it.  Think classic 1960 lipstick red.  If you are a fan of The Women, it is definitely Jungle Red.  Frankly I think it is the most perfect red on the planet.


Here is the couch with the other corner.

They get connected by the armless loveseat, there are actual connectors underneath so that the pieces don't come apart when you are flopping on it.

Getting it all hooked up.

MaryJo, helping get it all tricked out with our custom gray and blue pillows and our fun throw blankets.


Walter E. Smithe doesn't forget a thing, even though we got the SmithKote stain protector, they also gave us this little kit with a stain remover spray and two special cloths just in case one of us is a little klutzy and spills something.

We all know this will probably be Jen Lancaster.

I know I was effusive before about the Smithe experience, but let me say this.  I undersold it.  This is the single most comfortable piece of furniture I have ever perched upon.  It is exactly what I had in my minds eye, and the fact that I could walk into their store and meet MaryJo and end up with something that exceeds every expectation?  Smooth as silk, with delivery guys who were skilled and funny and sweet and insanely efficient (less than an hour all-in!), and a designer who came to our house three different times to make sure everything was perfect, for no charge?  In a process that can be fraught with decisions that go awry, with people who push you to do things that match their aesthetic and not necessarily your own, when things beyond your control can send things quickly into chaos?  To have an experience where everything isn't just competent, but exceptional.  Where everything is exactly on time, on budget, on schedule, as promised with no changes or excuses?  Where you end up with THIS:

That is priceless.

I'll fill you in more on the fabulous tables (yes, those are steel frames that match the beam in the back, and are on casters so we can move them around as we need them) and other bits and pieces as the room finally comes together.  But in the meantime, I'm gonna go snuggle up into that there wedge corner with a book, and tuck that throw blanket around me, and make all the pillows squish around me in a nest, with a glass of bubbly from the bottle that MaryJo brought us to congratulate us on the delivery.

And I may start dreaming about the future living room...I know where I'll be shopping!

Yours in Comfy Taste,
The Polymath


  1. It all looks fabulous, the couch, the walls it fits divinely together. Well done and congratulations on another piece being completed! Mia F

  2. hahaha Jen Lancaster spills first hahahaha

  3. I love the couch! The shape is amazing.. I have the same color couch (two regular ones) in my living room and I love the color.....

    I'm having the best time watching you and this renovation.... It is so fun and exciting... I feel like experiencing everything along side with you, minus of course cleaning up the dust....