Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm Dreaming of White... Sofas

We did quite a few things this past weekend, and one of them was going sofa-shopping.

Our current living room furniture - the sofa, loveseat, chair and ottoman, as well as the coffee and side table, were all leftovers from our good ole' college days. And while we did find some nice pieces (the gray furniture was a used Pier 1 set), most of them were bought because 1) we were broke, and 2) they were cheap.

And they sorta matched.

Well, kinda.

They served us well for the 4 years we've had them, but we finally decided it was time for them to go.

We were tired of fighting over the black couch because it was bigger and cushier than the Pier 1 furniture, and we finally decided we'd had enough of sitting down cautiously on that one because if you sat down too hard there was a wooden beam in the back that would hit you right on your tailbone.

And although it was funny to watch guests unknowingly pitch forward and start to slide off the gray couch (the cushions would flip out and so they always leaned you forward until you would fall), we decided it was probably time to do a little investing in the sofa department -

For the sake of our tushes.

So we threw on our coats, hats, and snow-proof boots (because it was almost blizzard-like conditions and -20 degrees outside), and headed to - where else? - Nebraska Furniture Mart.


Seriously, "The Mart" (as it's refered to as by locals), is like taking a trip to Disney World. There's about 4 or 5 parking lots, you have to remember which lot you parked in, you want to take a tram to get to the building because it's so far away from your car, and once you get inside you're in awe at just how BIG that place is.

They have everything.

And hence they are the reason that there's probably no Ikea here, or really any other type of furniture store.

Because The Mart dominates.

Anyways, we had done our research before showing up, because for us, buying new furniture is a pretty big investment. We drew a map of our living room, figured out how we want our new furniture arranged, measured and got dimensions, printed out inspiration sofas from Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn that we liked, and grabbed our handy swatch bag that contains all the paint swatches throughout our entire house.

We figure it's always good to do your research and be prepared before making a large purchase, because something like that makes such a large statement in your house and you'll want to make the perfect choice the first time (or else you'll lose quite a bit of money correcting any mistakes). And really you'll want to be choosing pieces that you'll have for the long haul - for us, that means couches that will stand up to the rough day-to-day abuse, and be comfy and stylish for the next 5-10 years, or even longer if we're still happy with them.

So all we had to do once we showed up in all the glory of The Mart was say, "we want to see sofas like these!".

And 30 minutes later we had ordered our new furniture.

We tried out several sofas the salesperson showed us, but hands-down our favorite was this one.

It was meant to be.


And really - isn't it nearly identical to one of our inspiration sofas from Crate and Barrel?


Considering we're all about saving money, we couldn't be more thrilled with our knock-off Crate and Barrel couch find - plus the Alan White couch came with 4 pillows per sofa, in any fabric you want, and all at a considerable price difference.

We've never heard of Alan White furniture before, but we loved the lines of this couch, the size (it was slightly smaller lengthwise than a traditional sofa), how comfortable the cushions were, and the ENDLESS sea of fabric options. Seriously, there were about 100 different fabrics to choose from!

So what did we go with?

What do you think?

Yup, we chose white. Big surprise, huh? We thought about it long and hard, and once we decided on a cotton-type fabric versus leather or microfiber, it was an easy choice to choose white.

Why? We blame Barley.

The dog sheds like no other. Thank goodness we have somewhat light floors or they would look dirty all the time! People have told us how brave we are to have lots of white furniture throughout the house because of how quickly it can get dirty. But really - it's just the opposite for us! White furniture is easier to keep clean.

Our dark faux leather sectional sofa in the basement fares okay because he's not allowed on the furniture and any stray hairs just brush right off, but if we're choosing fabric (which his stray hairs will surely stick to) then we figured we should go with something that won't show his hair too bad.

And really - white was our first choice anyways.

I'll admit that it actually scared us how easy it was to spend that much money in less than 30 minutes. I mean, it should take longer for all that moolah we've spent so much time saving up to just disappear, right? Either way, it was so quick I was a bit stunned that it was over. I guess that's what happens when you know exactly what you want, though!

So that's the story of our sofa-shopping adventure. Now we just gotta wait until March until we can get them *sigh*. But in the meantime, there's plenty of time to shop for accent chairs and a new rug, so the wait really isn't all that bad.

Have you ever heard of Alan White before? Which type of sofa fabric do you prefer - microfiber, cotton, or leather/faux leather? Any tips for accent chairs and rugs for us? Do you have your eye on any accent chairs or rugs for yourself? Have you ever been scared of how easy it is to spend a large chunk of change? Spill the beans!
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  1. The new sofa looks great and very much like the one from crate and barrel! That's a great idea to bring pictures and a bag of color samples from the house. I can't wait to see it in the room... it's going to look so good!!

  2. ooh. I'd really like to go there someday! Our furniture was used, too, but it's getting so beat up, we're going to hang onto it for awhile until our kiddos quit beating on it, I think.

  3. I'd do white if it was slipcovered- but then you guys don't have my crew to contend with either. That IS a gorgeous couch, and I'm looking forward to seeing your fresh new living room!

  4. March! I can't imagine having to wait four months for something... I am all about instant gratification.

    I don't have any idea on accent chairs or anything, but I can't wait to see the finished project!

  5. I had to laugh at your description of Nebraska Furniture Mart. I've been there, so I know exactly what you're talking about. :)

    I love the style of the sofa you ended up choosing! And now that you explained your logic for going with white, it makes sense. We definitely couldn't do white because we have a black dog that sheds like crazy! lol.

    We finally got a "grown-up" sofa and loveseat about 3 years ago. They're microfiber and easy to clean, which is nice, but they're just a blah beige. Someday when we finish our basement they'll probably get moved downstairs and we'll get new ones for upstairs.

  6. Oohh...The Mart looks fab!!! Love the new sofa! We have a coffee colored microfiber sectional from Crate and Barrel and it's served us well. The color is great because it's neutral but doesn't show if we spill (coffee) on it.

  7. You made a great choice! I would never be able to have white, my cats puke for a living, it seems. HA


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