Let’s Call It Vintage Even Though That Just Means It’s Old

One of the things we enjoy the most about our neighborhood is that there are lots of kids in this neck of the woods. Almost every afternoon there’s a pack of young’uns that rotates from our house to our neighbors’ house to another neighbors’ house – kind of like a progressive play date. Usually you’ll hear the kids before you can actually see them, and that suits me just fine. I can typically track their location by standing in our driveway and listening for All The Yelling. They have a blast together.

For the last couple of months D and I have been talking about turning the little room off of our kitchen into a place where the kids can congregate to play games or watch movies or whathaveyou. It would also be a great place to keep the Wii. We have a hard and fast NO WII ALLOWED policy during the week, mind you, mainly because I am of the opinion of GET THEE OUTSIDE, CHILDREN, but on the weekends, we’re a little more flexible. A and his buddies will play outside for awhile, then come inside and play the Wii or watch a DVD for a little bit, then head back outside – and etc. and so forth and forever and ever amen.

The only hitch in our repurposing plan has been that the room next to the kitchen needs some extra seating. I could throw some beanbags in there, I know, but the clutter of it all would probably make my left eye blink uncontrollably, and I’d really like to use the room as a den for grown-ups when it’s not occupied by kids. I’ve thought that a loveseat of some sort would be the perfect solution, but loveseats can be pricey. Not to mention that the room isn’t big at all, so I can’t really use some huge overstuffed something-or-other – I need a sofa that’s smaller in scale.

And also inexpensive.

I am such a fan of the inexpensive.

This past weekend my aunt C mentioned that there was an estate sale at a house in my parents’ neighborhood, so in a fit of spontaneity we drove over to check it out. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but since we’d watched an episode of “American Pickers” on the History Channel the night before, I was feeling sort of intrigued by the idea of finding some unexpected treasure. Plus, it was the third day of the sale, so everything was half price. You can imagine my delight.

We’d been in the house about ten minutes when I walked in a little sunroom off of the living room. And this is what I saw.

I know. I KNOW. It SCREAMS 1968, doesn’t it? But I was intrigued. I didn’t know what style it was. I didn’t know what brand it was. I didn’t know what in the sam hill you’d call that color, either. But I loved the scale of it, and I liked the overall look of the lines. Now granted, I knew that the sofa was probably older than I am, but it was in excellent condition – sturdy as could be. Nary a hint of spilled coffee or Coke or sweet tea anywhere on or underneath the cushions. So I asked my aunt to take a look at it.

C immediately saw the potential. She inspected the upholstery and said that if I was okay with the color (which I totally am – I like a hint of funky in every room, you know – and there are actually flecks of a kicky green mixed in with all the muted gold), I could initially get away with just cleaning the sofa (it was a smidge dusty) and adding some fun throw pillows. Maybe recover the bottom cushions just for kicks. But all in all, she determined that it was in fact a very fun find.

Her approval really got me thinking. And then – AND THEN – I remembered that everything was half price.

Which meant that I could buy the sofa for AN INCREDIBLY AFFORDABLE AMOUNT OF AMERICAN DOLLARS.

So I believe the word you’re looking for is SOLD.

As a couple of nice men were loading the sofa into my cousin Paige’s ginormous vehicle, Paige noticed that there was a tag for Karl’s Furniture underneath the cushions. Karl’s was my aunt’s favorite furniture store in the 60s and 70s – it was a local business, and I can remember being a little girl and hearing Mama say that everything in Karl’s was “modern” and “contempo” (that’s Mama-slang for “contemporary”). It made me so happy that I’d run across something from Karl’s some twenty-five years after it closed. It’s like a little piece of our hometown has joined our family.

We took the sofa back to Mama and Daddy’s – with our fingers crossed that we’d be able to make it fit into D’s SUV – and for a few minutes I thought it was going to have to hang out on the driveway indefinitely because NOPE, NOT GONNA FIT.

(We had not taken the time to properly place the cushions.)

(I do hope you can forgive us.)

But then Paige and D worked their magic, and LOOKY HERE.

Snug as a bug in a rug.

Or as a sofa in a Chevy, as it were.

The sofa is now resting comfortably in our garage. Just as soon as I get it cleaned up, it’ll be moving into the room off of our kitchen. I bet that our neighborhood crew will make sure that the sofa gets a very loud, very enthusiastic welcome.

Welcome home, sofa-of-undetermined-style-and-era.

We’re just as tickled as we can be to have you here.

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  1. One word.

    (and more words -love a bargain!!)

  2. I LOVE it. What a great idea to have that room be the hang out room for the kids. You may now be the “Cool” house to go to. Get ready….the kids are coming!

  3. At first I thought it was (as in the words of my husband) the hyde of a nauga, but I then figured out it was fabric. What a find! Watch out, American Pickers. Your boy and his friends are going to name you the Best Mama in the Neighborhood – a room all for them.

  4. I love it when it all comes together! Fun on so many levels.

  5. Personally I love a gold sofa-what a great find! And you’ll be glad as time flies (it does, trust me) to have a place for kids/teens to hang in your own house.

  6. You are my kind of girl.

  7. OH MY! You are a natural at vintage small scale sofa shopping. What fun it will be to get it in it’s new home:)

  8. I cannot adequately express how perfect I think it may be! Cute throw pillows with maybe a touch of bright orange! I shall bring a 6 pack of TAB and we’ll break-er-in!

  9. Great deal! And I bet it’s super sturdy. May I suggest Scotch Guard? :-)

  10. Jennifer says:

    Girl, if I’d seen this, we’d been fightin’ in the street for it. Love it. Love it!! And where does your aunt find out about these estate sales?? I can never find out these things. I must know. We’re moving soon, and I need some bargain basement items.

  11. First, I LOVE that sofa! The lines are beautiful! Karl’s must have had some very nice selections when all things were gold and avocado. Second…I love that your house will become play central for the marathon monopoly games of the future. My mother’s house was neighborhood central for the longest…HOWEVER sorry botcha if you had to use the restroom or needed a drink of koolaide. Her house may have been the neighborhood house but she was NOT the neighborhood mom. Thirsty? There’s a hose. Have to go to the bathroom? There is one at your house. If you can ride your bike here then you can ride it back home. She always made us the most fantastic picnic lunches but now I know it was just so we would stay outside and not mess up the house.

  12. I love the sofa, but I love that you mentioned American Pickers.
    I love, love, love that show. It is a jewel!
    My kids absolutely love all of the stories and the junk digging, and it is just plain fun to she a Daisy Duke pinball machine or Planet of the Apes lunchbox (with thermos) and talk about the Golden TV years with my hubby.

    Good times. And good shopping, Boo Mama. Well played.

  13. ANDREA says:


  14. So do you watch Secrets of a Stylist on HGTV? This is just the sort of sofa that Emily Henderson would buy and then reupholster in a blue or grey linen. And then make it all funky with pillows and vintage finds and make me covet every little thing in the room.

    I salute you and your find.

  15. Vearnail says:

    I love the sofa. I can’t wait to see it in your room with some KICKY pillows! Reading about the kiddos in your neighborhood made me smile. I explained just that scenario to someone recently about my neighborhood in almost the same words!

  16. Sofa for $$$. Pillows to go on sofa $$$ Memories for you and your child – PRICELESS

  17. Melissa says:

    Wonderful find, will look smashing in the new entertainment room, and by the way – the sofa isn’t old, it’s retro (since I’m approximately the same age as the sofa!). LOL – great post, and great sofa. Can’t wait to see with the Kicky Pillows.

  18. When we moved here to our little city in 1988, we moved into a house without a basement. It had an upstairs with one bedroom and another one we finished up (attic space but very livable). But there was no room to have TV, games, movies. So I used one of two bedrooms on the main level. Put a tv in there and the Nintendo (dates me doesn’t it) and a VCR and a very nice, comfy love seat. I bought it used for 20 bucks and it’s still in my house. I take naps on it lol.
    My 3 sons and all their friends used that room for 20 years and many movies were watched. Dates were brought home and they sat in there for movies.
    (is this rambling yet?)
    My point is that a bedroom or a small room CAN be made into a very usable family room and your sofa will be just perfect in there. The COLOR will cover everything lol.

    Hugs from Minnesota,

  19. Love it. I love anything vintage…. well, not anything, but you get my point. Love funky 50s-60s kitsch and this is perfect.

  20. We had a gold crushed velvet couch when I was little that I swear was seven feet long. A grown man could stretch out and his feet wouldn’t touch the end. You have no idea how many times I wish we still had that fun “vintage/old” couch that wasn’t made of pressed wood like nowadays. They sure don’t make furniture like they used to! Congrats on your find! :)

  21. What a fun idea to have a hang out room!

  22. I am SO in love with that style – that contempo look from the 60s/70s. I must say I love the word contempo. And will be using it a lot from here on out. This look is so totally my fave thing to look for when thrifting. I LOVE that sofa. Pillows in the fabulous lattice prints that are all trendy these days would look so fab. Well, any kicky pillow would look great because the sofa is AWESOME!

  23. Love, love, LOVE it! Now you’ve got me thinking about new seating in our playroom…….

  24. Meredith says:

    I would shriek with joy if that were mine!

    And it’s too funny that someone else already mentioned Emily from HGTV. I thought the same thing.

  25. Awesome find! And the fact that you want to create that perfect little hangout for A and his friends? Love that! They will appreciate it so much and you’ll have the added benefit of knowing the kids better and being an influence in their lives.

  26. I think my grandparents had that sofa in the 60s/early 70s shade of green! I’d love it, too. ;) Great find!