Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My (Half-assed) Vintage Couch Quest

Ever since rearranging the living room I have been on the look out for a vintage couch. (And a new desk, and chairs.) I say this quest is "half-assed" because while I have been looking whenever I am at the thrifts, and sporadically checking Craigslist, I haven't really gone out digging for one.  While I do expect a little serendipity to help with this venture, I can't really expect it to do all the heavy lifting.  Just when I think I'm going to give up, I get inspired by my fellow bloggers, and my late nights are spent combing Craigslist with a serious case of couch envy. (And Craigslist envy for that matter.)

Of course all of my problems could be solved by living close to Dana and her and her Son-In-Law's store Mid2Mod. Look at this beaut they just picked up:

Texas, however, is a bit of a hike.

This couch was spotted outside a Salvation Army by One Gal's Trash. The kicker is I know she lives near my Mother in the Portland, OR area. Unfortunately I saw this picture a few days after it was posted. Otherwise Mom would have gotten a phone call.

On the same day I saw the couch above I was looking through my backed up Google Reader and saw Oh So Lovely Vintage had a post about decorating your retro modern home. I was immediately drawn to this photo:

Coincidence?! Well, yes, I guess it is. I'd like to think this is a sign that the thrifting gods will soon bestow me a beautiful aqua sofa.  Crazy, I know, but I feel like I'm getting closer.  I have found that the best place in the New Haven area for decent furniture is Helping Hands, which I have raved about before. I keep stopping by and they keep almost having what I'm looking for.

A few months ago this took my breath away:

It was in perfect condition, under $100, mid century, tufted, curved and...white. A white couch is something I just cannot do. I have lived with one before in a roommate situation, I don't recommend it. Especially when you have cats that are prone to vomiting.

Recently, on the trip when I picked up the gingham mugs, this set was siting in the front of the store:

Again: perfect condition, each piece under $100, curved. The color is actually stripes of orange, gold, and chartreuse, the fabric is velour.  Oh and Helping Hand's delivers?! My only gripe? Those little cushions all over the place. They didn't quite snug up against each other along the backs.  Those little end bolsters were overstuffed and rolled around a lot. I just know the cushions moving around so much would  have driven me nuts, and I know the cats would be knocking them all over the place. (What can I say, they are rowdy and they've got hairballs.) Ultimately this set is close, but not quite perfect. Had the backs been a solid back with some tufting, I would have bought them in a heartbeat.

So the hunt continues and maybe when Fall rolls around I'll have a little more time to look. At least I keep whittling down my criteria.  And until I find the perfect couch I have plenty of photos to look at and dream about.  Oh yeah, and there's a Pinterest Board.

ETA: In March the fabulous Pam at Retro Renovation put up a post where folks could upload pictures of their fabulous couches. (Mr. Modtomic uploaded several, natch) Whilst scrolling through and pinning I discovered this:

PEOPLE THERE IS A SECTIONAL!!! This one is/was at a shop in Orlando, FL. Again, a bit of a hike. But it warms my heart, and gives me hope.  (And yes, I think that might be a taxidermy giraffe.)


  1. You need one of those couches monogirl! - figure out your key words and do a CL search. Click on that RSS thingy that shows up on the search results page, add to Google Reader and save yourself the drudgery of typing in searches frequently. Be the first on your block to know when a new ad is posted. I've even got an iphone app called CraigsPro that lets me save regular searches. Obsessed with the hunt? Moi? :-)

  2. Uncle Atom-you are right I absolutely do need one of the aqua couches! (I just updated the post with an even better one!) I did successfully find the exact portable dishwasher I wanted on CL with the RSS, so I'd better kick this couch search into high gear. I have the iphone CraigsPro App too, and have been using it's search setup to look for a Hassock Fan (no dice, yet.) Thanks for the words of wisdom!

  3. I think my daughter has decided to keep the couch my SIL just won...but it's silk, and I'm not sure how that will fare with two boys under 2 years of age, plus 2 cats that are 13 years old and barf...a lot.

    Check the online auctions in your area. We're really getting into them big time, and we're getting great bargains. There are tons of them in the northeast, all of which would be a shorter hike than Texas or Florida. :)

  4. That turquoise couch is amazing! I hope you're able to find one close by. Makes me kind of want one too. haha...

  5. this post has convinced me i need a vintage sofa....now off to convince the husband..ummm!

  6. The aqua couch is super fab. I have almost the same couch but in pink....but after looking at the pictures above I now wish it was aqua.....and a sectional! Don't worry once you start digging you will find your couch.

  7. I'm on the same hunt. Good luck!
    That couch is gorgeous, and the sectional is even better.
    - Kitty in Iowa