Mom and Dad had the same sofa for years. That livingroom mainstay had been rebuilt, reupholstered and slipcovered multiple times and still going strong when it was passed down to us when we bought our first house on East Cottage Street, many years ago.
A few years later we immigrated to Auburn Township and that sofa came with us and a decade later it made the trek back to town and South Main Street.
At some point it was reupholstered in a sturdy blue tweed fabric. There is a photo of the sofa, although it can barely be seen beneath male members of our family sprawled on it in various poses sleeping off a Thanksgiving dinner, circa 1983.
It prevailed even after one of its dog-gnawed legs finally collapsed. We propped it up with books and on it went until its string ran out early in the 1990s.
Since then there have been five or six sofas – second hand and new – but not one has had the staying power to become a member of the family.
It is not possible to keep a piece of everyday furniture for more than a few years in today’s world of planned obsolescence. Plus we bore easily and redecorate constantly.
And so it is, we find ourselves in the sofa shopping mode once again which is a shame because the current one – bought at an auction – is still serviceable and I love it.
There is just the right spring to foam to fiber seat and back cushions and the print fabric it is covered in is indestructible and hides every misfortune spilled upon it, plays well with everything in the room including and undaunted by dog hair, resists stains and has a fun personality. What more could one ask of a piece of furniture?
But it has its shortcomings. Fact is, it is too low to the floor for a graceful ease of exit and too short lengthwise to accommodate a good head to toe stretch.
So we are on the lookout for a new member of the family and made a list of “musts” for our sofa yet to materialize.
Size matters, so this one will be 80-84 inches in length, full stretching length and room for the dog and within bare toes’ reach of her furry self.
This perfect toe-to-dog-length sofa will have a solid wood frame, and its legs or feet will be less than 5-inches tall. There is something about those sofas with long spindly legs that do not instill confidence they will not break in two should someone sit down with a little too much exuberance.
The sofa of our dreams will not have a back composed of several loose cushions that somehow migrate to places other than the sofa, mainly the floor. To this end, the back of the sofa will be tight fitted.
Ditto the seat cushion which will be either part of the sofa or consist of one continuous cushion. Multiple seat cushions invite sitting between the cracks. It’s uncomfortable. Separate seat cushions are acceptable if they are reversible and attached to the frame with those little thumb clip closures.
The sofa’s padding will be a combination of dense foam and fiber filled and not lightweight all-foam cushions that tend to pop up when sat upon.
The arms will not be of a height, shape or size that blocks the TV from the viewer’s prone position.
In the age of coronavirus and self-isolation, we all need a good football-watching, Netflix-binging, nap-taking, dog friendly sofa. Ours is out there, now all we have to do is find it.