MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S COUCHES
My office has gone through a bit of a rearrangement — the huge wooden drafting table that used to take up a large part of the office has been sent to live in the basement to make room for the two newest additions to my vintage furniture collection.
Ummm…let’s not count them right now, okay Leo?
Let’s just say these couches — like so much of my furniture — have family history. These cute little 1950s era couches were my great-grandmother’s. I never got the chance to meet my great grandmother — so the couches didn’t come directly from her — and they weren’t “living” at my Grandmother’s house either. Here’s the story:
When my Great-Grandmother passed away (sometime in the 70s maybe) my Uncle had just built his house. Being a bachelor, he didn’t have much in the way of furniture and he ended up inheriting these couches to help him furnish his place. Since then, they have been sitting in my Uncle’s living room (with slip covers over them). Recently, I found out that my Uncle and Aunt were planning to get new couches and thus were getting rid of these two. When they discovered my love for retro furnishings, they asked if I’d like Great-Grandma’s couches. Since I thought they were cute — and it is nearly impossible for me to turn down free awesome retro furniture — I agreed to adopt them. Now they live at the Retro Ranch.
The couches themselves are still very sturdy and strong — it is the upholstery that has seen better days. The material is stained and in some spots even completely worn down to the threads from years of daily use.
f you couldn’t tell from the other photos — the one above will confirm — there is no saving this upholstery. Blech.
On the backs of the sofa, the material is not as worn and actually look nearly new. See the bits of gold thread woven through the texture of the fabric? If only the whole couch were in this good of shape, then I wouldn’t have to recover them.
Bottom line — these will need to be recovered. They also won’t be living in the office forever. Jim and I someday want to finish the basement to include a rec room (maybe with a tiki theme!) and I’m sure after spending money to properly finish the now completely empty area, we will have little left to purchase furniture for the space. In the meantime, I’m keeping my eye out for new or vintage discount upholstery fabric in a color/texture that is appealing as well as wallet friendly. Once the fabric is found, it will be time to teach myself (or find a class) how to use my Nana’s 1939 sewing machine (that’s hiding in the garage) to reupholster these couches. Wish me luck!
Probably one of the reasons that I have so much vintage furniture with family history — like these couches — is because I come from a long line of thrifty people. I wonder what my Great-Grandmother would think of me using her couches? I can’t really venture a guess since I’ve never met her — but I’d hope that she’s looking down from heaven and saying, “That’s my girl.”