Well I sold our sofa. Our nice, comfy West Elm sofa. Crazy decision, yes, but just hear me out. When I make changes in the home, I justify the money part by how much I can sell whatever I want to get rid of and how much the new thing is. If those two numbers are very close, I don’t feel too guilty making changes. The amount that I got from selling our WE sofa is very close to the amount that I paid for our new rattan sofa, fabric and upholstery. I do feel bad for the disaster that our home becomes during the transition period, but as long as I don’t tamper with Parker’s leather chair, all is good with him.
When we moved in this house almost a year ago we were couch-less and wanted something quick. We went to West Elm, bought a floor model and that was that. The Henry sofa is super comfy, but the shape is all wrong for what I have going on. It’s so bulky and so much bigger than our leather recliner and barrel chairs (both vintage). Furniture nowadays is made much bigger and bulkier, and while most people would think that’s a good thing, it looks out of place when you have small, low to the ground furniture surrounding it.
So while I did go out and buy a sofa without considering what would be surrounding it, I can’t blame myself too much because being couch-less is terrible, and I think most people would go out and buy a sofa that day or at least make a decision that weekend.
Fast forward almost one year later and I decide to do something about the bulky sofa. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I started scouring Craigslist. I found this rattan sofa and texted back and forth for about a week with the seller until I made up my mind. It was 45 min outside of Austin, plus we had to borrow Parker’s friends truck, so it was an ordeal.
I know, doesn’t look too comfy just looking at the rattan base, but there are big, thick seat and back cushions. I’m having my upholsterer remake the cushions because the ones that came with it were moldy and vinyl….My upholsterer is really reasonable and charges $20 per cushion (6 cushions total), so the upholstery job will be $120 plus supplies to make the cushions. Really, that’s one of the reasons I went with this sofa because I knew an $800 upholstery job wasn’t an option.
Some would think I’m crazy to go from this:
(HAD TO) ….to this….
So why did I go from a perfectly fine sofa to what is now an unusable sofa that might look like sticks tied together to some? Why does vintage ALWAYS HANDS DOWN win in my book?
The Value. Let me begin by saying not all vintage is worth something. Vintage in general is having a moment, and some people seem to think that posting a “vintage” side table on Craigslist that looks like its been outside for 50 years can get them $150. Not so much. There is terrible, ugly vintage furniture out there, and I’m very picky about what I like. However, when someone lists something with a designer or a brand, I immediately google it. The brand of my new rattan sofa is Ficks Reed. This is a Ficks Reed vintage sofa on 1stdibs going for $4,000.
I’ve never shopped from 1stdibs and I probably never will for obvious $$$ reasons, but ebay is more my style, and they have a more “reasonable” price of $700 for this Ficks Reed rattan vintage sofa.
Not the same piece, but imo, my piece is a bit more unique?? It’s actually half of a “U” shaped sectional. I didn’t buy the other half – the Craigslist seller still has it, and I told him I would call him in several years when I wanted to sell it because a full U Ficks Reed sectional would sell for a lot of money to the right buyer.
Buying a good piece of vintage furniture vs buying a brand new piece of furniture is just like buying an old, classic car vs. buying a brand new car. I know NOTHING about cars, but I do know that the day you drive a new car off the car lot, the value depreciates a lot. The same goes with a new sofa from West Elm. You can never sell it for more than what you paid because the buyer can go to westelm.com and see how much you paid. BUT when you buy a 1960 Mustang, the value increases as long as the condition of the car is good. Same goes with a good piece of vintage furniture. It will always be a classic piece and worth something. I can buy a unique, vintage sofa for $200 on Craigslist, put some work into it (new upholstery) and resell it for $800 as long as I find a buyer that appreciates good vintage. That is why vintage wins every time in my book.
Aside from the value, I love the aesthetic of vintage. It’s unique. It’s often one of a kind. My friends don’t have it. The list goes on. I’m a vintager lover because I love the hunt and the thrill of finding a valuable piece for a steal. Not everyone enjoys the hunt, but when you do, it’s a lifestyle.
Honestly, this sofa change is slowly becoming a room makeover. I shouldn’t call it a makeover because it didn’t need a makeover – it’s a room change. So far this has happened….
I blogged a few months ago about wanting to paint the bookshelves and deciding between F&B Pelt, Hague Blue & Arsenic… Three very different colors, but I went with Pelt and love it. Hopefully a game plan will evolve soon.