Sofa, part I

Going out + 4 kids < 5 years old = difficult

Going out + 3 kids < 5 y.o. + 1 baby with 2 tubes, respiratory problems, and secretions issues = impossible

This would be fine if I was pulling a true Emily Dickinson (pressing flowers picked on a morning constitutional, writing poetry, perhaps attending a piano forte concerto), but I'm at home with all these crazy littles. At home all the time. I'm sure it is a natural progression that I would become obsessed with my living space.
Growing up, the only mothering I envisioned for myself was you know, to Sudanese refugees or Thai orphans or something on assignment as a photojournalist for National Geographic. But my humanitarian mission has another name: E-L-O-I-S-E. So if I ever want to leave my house, it takes self-sacrificing from my awesome sister, cousin, mom and/or my husband. It takes planning, effort and help from others for me to leave.
So I become fixated on making my house beautiful. It is something I can do while my children are awake, as opposed to researching art history or reading, or following my academic passions, which cannot happen in the 12+ hours my children are awake.
So I'm going to rock it. I budget, I cut coupons, I Pinterest and plan on projects I want to do in my house. For months I have wanted a different sofa - a tufted, elegant, long settee type with sculpted wood. You know, something like this, ha ha:
Since this sofa resides in a museum in Italy, and I don't have $4000 to spend on a sofa, I have been casually trawling KSL for sofas I could remake in my own image. I've been looking for about 6 months. An old granny in Salt Lake listed a sofa her parents bought in the '40s, and I knew it was the one.
For $150, I pounced on it. My mom and sister fetched it for me (bless their souls). I'm going to paint the upholstery a gray-violet, and the woodwork white. Very shabby chic, bien sur. I started in earnest yesterday. The sofa is in freakishly perfect condition for how old it is.
Step 1: Clean cushions
Step 2: Figure out how to protect the upholstery while sanding the wood (my solution, my mom's idea: duct tape and plastic drop cloth)
Step 3: Sand the heck out of the wood.
Step 4: Clean the wood thoroughly, then start painting. It will take 4 coats probably, this is with 2:
AND - I accomplished all of it while my kids were awake, by involving them. Four-year-olds can wipe down wood, even if they can't sand. I'm mildly worried I will find my twins with contraband spray paint, but its worth it!
More to follow...


  1. Oh, I cannot WAIT to see this! This will look fabulous in your little bungalow. (Can I call it a bungalow?)

  2. I LOVE those antique couches. Definitely want some for my music hall some day ;) Can't wait to see how it turns out!