The red couch

Six years ago, I bought a couch. I’d say “we” bought a couch, but it was me who saw it, me who coveted it, and me who coerced Beloved into buying it. It was a red couch. And five and a half years ago, I said to myself, “What was I thinking? I will never impulse-buy furniture again. A red couch?” And for the last five years, every time I thought about redecorating, every time I watched one of those home-improvement shows on television, every time I visited friends’ houses with fancy new furniture, a cautionary voice in my head said, “Hey, you. Next time you buy a couch, try to think beyond the moment.”

You can see it in this picture:

I'm your big brother!

It’s not that it’s a bad couch, it just doesn’t quite match the blue carpet and the hunter-green with cranberry and cream cottagey loveseat. (That one was my first post-divorce furniture acquisition, way back in 1995, and has long outlived it’s life expectancy as well.)

So for five years I’ve been (barely) tolerant of the red couch and the green couch and the blue carpet (you can cringe, it’s okay, I’ve made my peace with it) and I’ve pined for the day when I could go out and buy actual grown-up furniture that actually, you know, matched. A living room set. Imagine.

Except I’m kind of cheap when it comes to this kind of stuff, and couldn’t consider buying new couches when I had all this perfectly comfortable, if not mismatched, furniture in my living room.

But, this past week has been dedicated to refinishing and carpeting our basement to turn it into a playroom / family room. A desperately in need of a — you guessed it — couch. Finally, a guilt-free way to get rid of at least one of the couches that have haunted me for years! The red couch won’t fit downstairs, but the green couch surely would. And since I have sworn by all things holy that I would buy a furniture SET the next time the opportunity arose, I’m more than half way to a clear conscience in the disposal – through sale or donation or curbside “Free” sign – of the red couch, too.

As if that weren’t enough angst for one person’s living room, add to the mix my lifelong desire for a chair-and-a-half. Okay, maybe not lifelong, but we’re talking at least 20 years of coveting. I still remember the first time I ever saw a chair-and-a-half, and instantly desired it. It was salmon and teal, which will give you an idea of exactly how long ago we’re talking here.

So with all this percolating in my understimulated little brain, I hopped on the Internet for a first exploratory peek at furniture options, promptly fell in love. The second set I looked at has been haunting me for days. I can’t stop thinking about it.


It’s red.

And green.

(Well, technically, it’s beige with red and green accents.)

I think I’m broken. With all the furniture options in all the world, and with five years of swearing up, down and sideways that the next sofa upon which I will rest my tender bits upon will be anything BUT red or green, I cannot get this set out of my head.

What do you think? I looked at more than a hundred, possibly as many as a thousand, (okay, at least twenty) living room sets since I first saw this one, and nothing comes close to the emotional response I had when I first laid eyes on this set. I haven’t actually, um, sat on it or anything. I don’t even know if it’s comfortable. But I think I love it. The question, I guess, is will I continue to love it, or will I be writing the “Red Couch Redux” blog post five years months from now?

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

23 thoughts on “The red couch”

  1. It’s gorgeous! I love it!

    I must say I am in the same position wher I can’t wait to get real adult furniture. We currently still sit on a futon in the lving room. Granted it’s a very nice futon, but a futon none the less. I am very tempted to go to one of those places where you can “Buy now and don’t pay until 2020!” That’s how desperate I am.

    But back to your couch… I love it!

  2. Forgive the tough love here but I think the set looks great because it is set against a really complimentary shade of paint on the walls. Just looking at your picture of the red couch, it looks like you have white walls. If so, that couch set will look really washed out.

    Also, because of its light colour, every jammy handprint or spilled beverage will show up on it. And with three little boys, keeping the pillows neatly arranged will be somewhat of a challenge and it doesn’t look like you’d simply be able to remove them because the couch doesn’t appear to have any back cushions, just the pillows.

    Sorry, I told you it would be tough love. Chalk it up to me not having had any coffee yet this morning.

  3. Hehehe… I have a red couch. Three months in I still love it, but I have neutralish walls and wood floor so no competing carpets or other furniture.

    As for your newest love, I’ll agree with Nicole that those pillows will be a pain in the butt to keep in place. Throw pillows are fine but you gotta have a proper back thing, otherwise you’ll be constantly adjusting and re-adjusting.

  4. Love it. And you can change the accents. It’s the ultimate “What not to Wear” neutral, and you can switch up the accessories whenever you feel like it.
    Will it not get pretty grubby with 3 small ones hanging out on it though?

  5. I love the set….love it. But I have to say my first thought was….the cushions. Our first hand me down couch had cushions for a back and it was a royal PITA always adjusting them, and that was without kids. You could still go with something neutral and then just punch it up with some accent pillows when you get bored and need a change.

    Good luck, it’s such a fun purchase as it totally transforms your living area. Happy shopping!!

    (tee hee, my captcha is evergreen tanner…a sign of things to come?!?)

  6. Speaking of the light neutral… I have one in my living room, but it’s slipcovered that color – so I can wash it. Which I have to do at least once a month. So with kids, I’m not sure how well a non-washable version of that color would hold up, as we all know boys are just noise with dirt on it. That rubs off on your furniture. Anyway, something to consider.

    My non-practical side LOVES this furniture tho! I love that you could change up the colors just by changing the pillows! I think that’s brilliant!!

  7. I do like that couch, but the pillows seem like a recipe for mess–will that bother any of you guys? On the flip side, the pillows are easily moveable for various purposes–my girl moves pillows around as props for various games, and that would be fun. And is is scotchguarded? and does scotch guard really work?

  8. If you love it, of course you should get it. The first thing I think when I see it, however, is that all those pillows would be on the floor in 3 seconds with my boys. Then I’d have to put the couch back together and rearrange the cushions 28 times a day. Toys with many pieces that have to be reassembled over and over again are the bane of my existence.

  9. And the award for best line in a comment goes to Rebecca for: “boys are just noise with dirt on it”. Ha!!

    Yeah, the cushion thing occurred to me, too. I will be cursing them, I’m sure, if I do succumb to the siren song of this particular set. But is it enough to sway me? Not sure yet.

    I love all your comments! Excellent feedback both pro and con. And as for the dirt? Well, that’s going to be an issue no matter what we get. The red and the green couch have both been remarkably forgiving, so we’ll hope for the best with whatever else we get.

  10. It looks nice at first but I have to take a practical look at everything. It’s my nature. I have to agree with the comments about the pillows. I’ve had that kind of furniture and it becomes a pain to have to straighten things up all the time. I would imagine that the day you install the couch will be the only day it will look like $1 million. After that the kids, dog, and hubby will probably drive you crazy. I don’t know that you want to buy furniture that you’re going to be afraid to have people use. That sort of stuff belongs in a showhome. By the way (from experience), the pillows make nice weapons too! hehe

  11. Hi! I have that exact same couch in blue microsuede! I recognize the pattern on the throw pillows ๐Ÿ™‚ I love my couch, except for the back pillows. They aren’t attached so i’m always pushing them back and refilling them since they get flatened (sp?) easily. I love the new set! I want a chaise lounge in my next living room, but will most likely end up with a sectional. Darn small townouse living rooms! Good luck with whatever you decide to go with!

  12. That is not a red couch. That is a beige couch.

    I picked my couch based primarily on comfort – I sat on every couch in the store and that narrowed it down to the two that felt comfortable to me (the others were horrible). Then I picked between those two based on looks. I ended up with a beige couch with a sage green thread running through it. I don’t really like the sage green very much, but I figure it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t matter much – the main impact is beige. And only the seat cushions have removable covers, so I’m sure it will get very dirty.

  13. I agree with previous posters about the cushions. They will end up squished and never be that comfortable. We got a set with proper backs and it’s the best most comfortable furniture of anyone I know.

    If you are stuck on this one, most furniture places have many options to choose fabric not only for the sofa itself but for the cushions. So you could choose ones that were not red and green. Which I always feel is an unfortunate colour combo unless it’s actually Christmas.

    Also I guess it depends how many you need to seat, but a chair and a half is not very practical. Great for one or one plus a small child. But takes up the space of a loveseat without the extra spot to sit.

  14. Are you still going to have white walls and blue carpet? Don’t get me wrong, the furniture ad you’ve shown is lovely…but just remember, it’s the entire package that makes a room work. I don’t know what your overall plan is…but try to think of the big picture (flooring, paint colours, window treatments, artwork, furniture) before making such a huge purchase.

    It took me two years to make these decisions for my family room, but I am glad that I waited. This stuff is so darn expensive that I know I have to live with it for a LONG time. And, I’m with ya. Little kids and dirt/mess/stains are just part of life. I highly recommend microfibre…super easy to clean! Good luck and happy decorating!

  15. I love it too. I really want a light-colored set. I know I probably shouldn’t get it b/c it will be stained in no time flat, but that’s what I’m attracted to.

  16. Oh, I’m in trouble. I went to see it in person, and I love it. LOVE it. The red and green are more muted than they appear, and the beige is much more a sandy brown than a whitey beige. It’s way comfy in an overstuffed sort of way. Definitely not the couch of people who sit upright, but designed for sprawlers and cross-legged tuckers like us.

    The pillows would be a hassle, no doubt, but the colours would work just fine, dirty boys and all.

    Oh, the angst. Shall we or shan’t we? Must wring hands and worry this one a little bit more…

  17. I would love a chair and a half, too.

    Whatever you fall in love with, can’t you order it in different colors? Or you can change the carpet ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Dani, you know I love me some comfy sofas. The only one I ever hated was the one I thought was the prettiest thing ever. Know why I hated it? The pillows. It had back pillows. Anyone who’s ever home decor shopped with me will tell you how much I love pillows, but I will never again buy a sofa without a fixed back.

  19. I love your red sofa! I have three boys ~ four if you count the husband. Buy leather!

  20. It’s a very nice choice, but the first words to come to my head are, ” lots and lots of scotchguard”. With three boys and a dog the creamy colour doesn’t stand a chance. I would work around the red couch, paint is cheaper.

  21. I’ve been looking everywhere for a nice red leather couch. I think instead of getting rid of the couch, you should decorate to complement the couch. A red couch is hot. My furniture is the colour of the set you want to buy. It’s okay, but boring and gets dirty really fast, but it goes with everything. I don’t know. Don’t ask me. My place is all mismatched impulsively bought stuff.

  22. I LOVE my chair and a half – with ottoman – recommend to anyone…..

    Maybe it’s just the picture, but the support for the pillows looks like it only goes about halfway up an adult’s back – so there would be squished or absent pillows and no adequate back support. 8 years ago we spent significant $$ on couches – they are good quality and have held up pretty well. But the reality of them never did match the experience we had testing them in the showroom. Visit the couches and others many times before investing. Take the pillows off that one and see what you’d be stuck with when all the pillows are on the floor making a “pillow cave” as we call them around here.

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