Living Room Upgrade #1: Adding a Sofa

In the spirit of my recent bathroom storage upgrade post, I thought I’d try to cover a few more of the non-baby-related house upgrades that we’ve tackled since moving in, such as our living room furnishing situation.

Back at our old apartment, our living room contained two secondhand black leather sofas, both of which we obtained through Craigslist. They were mismatched and a little shabby, but functional in terms of providing a place to lounge about in the evenings:

Secondhand black leather sofas at our old apartment.

Now it may not be evident from the photo above, but the three-seater on the left was in pretty bad shape, with the legs falling off and the cushions wearing through in places. When we moved into the new house, we didn’t even bother to take it with us, figuring that we would make do with just the two-seater until we could upgrade to something nicer down the road.

But it only took a few weeks before a good wallowing couch made its way to the top of the list of things we wanted to work into our house budget. There’s just nothing like having a big, soft, comfy space to sprawl out after a long day at work, and plus it would be nice to have places for people to sit if we ever had visitors over.

So what kind of couch? Well, after a few years of the leather, we decided that leather wasn’t for us — it just gets too sweaty and sticky when sitting on it for any length of time. And even though the two black couches had been gotten through Craigslist with no problems, we’d heard that bedbugs have been increasingly turning up in the Chicago area (more info about that in this article)… so bringing in a large upholstered item of uncertain origin no longer seemed like the most appetizing idea.

So that’s how we ended up shopping around the various furniture stores for the biggest, cheapest, comfiest new non-leather sofa we could find. We had a few awkward run-ins with sales people desperate to sell us high-end living room sets to the tune of $5,000 (!!!) but we eventually managed to find something much more affordable — the Soho Cobblestone 2-Piece Sectional from Value City Furniture.

Just to work in some fun before-and-after pictures, here’s the living room as it looked before we moved in:

The living room prior to moving in.

And here’s the living room from a similar angle showing the comfy new sofa:

The new sectional sofa in our living room.

(Kindly ignore those still-unpacked moving boxes tucked away along the right side of the photo.) As far as wallowing couches go, this one is pretty great: it provides enough space for five or six people to sit normally, and plenty of room for two tall people like us to stretch out on. And sure it takes up an entire end of the living room, but I can’t think of anything else better to put over there anyway.

Grendel also seems to approve:

Our cat fast asleep on the new sofa.

Oh, and you’ll also notice the paint job the living room’s been given — we replaced the plain, smudgy white with a creamier shade that seemed to fit in a little more nicely with the wood trim. We also tried painting the previously-white upper crown molding, but I don’t think we got the color quite right. Maybe down the road we’ll try a different paint color, or better yet, restore it to a dark natural finish to match the woodwork around around the doorways.

Anyway, even though the walls are still bare, overall it already feels quite a bit more comfortable and homey than our old apartment did. And that about wraps up what’s been going on with the living room (or at least the one side of it). In my next post, I’ll probably be back to talking about baby-related stuff, since there’s only three weeks left to go now!

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