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Help me buy a couch

johnnynorman3

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My wife and I are in the market for a couch. Our new apartment will be pretty small, and we're leaving behind our old couch. Our furnitute is mahogany stained cherry wood, and it is pretty classic New England rustic in terms of design -- not modern, and not baroque; clean lines. Basically, it looks like a lot of the stuff you see at Restoration Hardware. In our living room, we'll have a large coffee table and a medium-sized entertainment armoire. We also have an antiqued pewter floor lamp with a cream linen lamp shade. We have not purchased a new rug or side table yet.

I'm a little confused about what I should get for a couch. I really like a dark brown, burnished leather sofa that is about 89 inches long. But I'm worried maybe that will introduce too many dark, smooth surfaces into the living room. I was also looking at a cotton canvas or washed linen couch in a dark khaki or sage color. But I'm really partial to the leather. Would that work? Could we add color and texture with our rug, throws, and then things like lamp shades, flowers, etc?

What do you think about high quality leather couches? They will last longer than fabric, don't you think? I find them very comfortable.
 

philosophe

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Leather wears really well, and comfort is definitely the key to buying a couch. If it's not comfortable, you just won't use it.
That said, the other colors would probably be less dominant in the room. How would the various couches fit with the available natural light, the color of the walls, and the items you'll hang on the wall? I have, for example, a chocolate brown sofa with a pony skin texture in my study. It works well with some framed antique prints and also with a wall of books.
 

Cliff

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Where you're short on room, I would recommend opting for a love seat rather than a couch. A love seat looks like a smaller couch but for two people, the couch is ususally a three seater. My wife and I just got one for her mothers place which is also short on room.

This opens the space up nicely and seems to add room. Also what the previous posters said was true, comfort, comfort, comfort.
 

Etruscan

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Nothing wears so well as good leather seating furniture. I wouldn't worry too much about chocolate brown being too dark as you can always introduce lighter or more active colors in curtains, rugs, and smaller accessories (pillows, lamps, vases, etc.). At the same time, the caramel tones of saddle tan leather, if that is an option, would be a very attractive alternative to the dark brown. Olive leather, while less commonly available, is another possibility. Have fun feathering your new nest. Are you going to root for the Yankees?
 

johnnynorman3

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We were thinking something like this in the "sleeper sofa" size (about 87"). Â Â Our entertainment armoire is this , only in a slightly darker shade (and different feet and hardware). Â Our coffee table is this , in the same shade as our entertainment armoire. Â We will be adding a bookcase (not sure what it'll be, but I was thinking of a sanded down, rough finished wood, sage color or something like that). Â We like this rug, or something with the same color scheme . Â The walls are white, though we will be trying to get permission to paint them. Â We have a lamp with a cream linen shade, and we'll get some warm colored throws and blanket for the couch. Â We'll be buying some kind of artwork for the walls when we get there, and would be looking to introduce some warmth and texture there as well (we are looking for oil on canvas, as opposed to photos or prints).
 

philosophe

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I think that the dark leather sofa will be fine. Something in a saddle brown would also work. To my eye, the RH sofa looks a little bulky and low, but I haven't seen the piece in person and so say this only tenatively. It's a true success to find a sleeper sofa that's really comfortable.
 

johnnynorman3

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I see what you are saying about the Morgan couch's "silhouette." Â It is something that is both a turn on and turn off for me. Â Having sat in it, it is really comfortable and visually takes up space (which I like) without having quite the dimensions as something like the the Harrison collection. Â I really like the Harrison, but I'm not sure my wife loves the nailwork, and the dimensions are a little bigger. Â I love the saddle leather that the Harrison comes in (the Morgan also comes in saddle, but it takes an extra 8 weeks for delivery, and we really are pressed on time here). Â I'll remeasure our living room when I head up there next month to start moving in and see if we could fit the Harrison in there. Also, I don't think we're going to get a sleeper sofa. I just wrote "sleeper sofa" because that is what the picture said on it on the RH website. The "non-sleeper" looks just like the "sleeper," but we really don't need to spend the extra $800 for a bed that will rarely if ever be used.
 

Ambulance Chaser

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Are you sure you want to buy a really nice sofa considering you are leaving after one year?  That may lock you into finding a subsequent apartment/house to fit your furniture, rather than the other way around.
 

johnnynorman3

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I'd rather spend the money now and get something that is easy to work around and that coordinates with our current furniture.  In terms of "fit," do you mean physically or stylistically?  If the former, I find it more difficult to coordinate pieces with each other, as opposed to coordinating pieces with an empty apartment.  In terms of size, our next place will be an upgrade, that is for sure, so fitting physically isn't a real issue.

Also, befitting the Styleforum buying theory, if I get something from Restoration Hardware it will be at a discount price.
 

Ambulance Chaser

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I was thinking about physical fit -- the sofa may not work in your next place. Â If it is going to be bigger than your NYC apartment, the living room may "swallow" the sofa. Â Nevertheless, it appears that the piece you are considering is sufficiently versatile that it will be able to make the transition to your next apartment/house. Â Living with a woman also demands that your place be presentable, I would imagine. Â I live alone, and my decorating style is most charitably described as "Random Stuff My Folks Used To Own." Â
 

Valerie

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The brown leather is fine. I'd steer away from the fabric just because it's difficult to maintain and keep it looking "new", especially if you're moving.  I have leather and it just looks better as it ages, IMO.

As for size, if you have a much larger living room later, adding a chaise longue or two larger-scale chairs will help to fill the space.

If you can eventually paint, a richer shade on the walls than white will bring out tones in the leather and make it look less like a big dark brown block.

The colors in the rug are very pleasant and will blend well with what you have.
 

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