Monday, November 17, 2008

Cleaning Up

For a year now, Nicolas has had it with our couch. It has well-loved throws and wool blankets strategically covering its gaping seams and stains. But the real problem is that for many months now, it has no longer provided comfort at the end of a hard day. It is the sanctuary to which Nicolas retreats when he wants to fall asleep hang out with us around the wood stove.

So I researched couches, for a very long time, really wanting to just get one from Freecycle or Craig's list but also knowing how little chance there would be of accomplishing that in a timely manner when Nicolas can't drop everything to go pick it up and I can't drive the truck (I'm not a real woman -I don't shift, yet) to get it myself.

We went to a local furniture chain (blech)- the one place we could go to get a couch delivered quickly - meaning before six weeks from now. We have lots of valuable friends and family due to start arriving in a week.

It was late. We arrived an hour before the store closed. We sat on every couch. And then, with only minutes before closing, we decided upon the one I'd found online.

"I can only get you that one in the pearl color if you want it before January," announced our salesman.

Pearl? We looked at one another, visions of our red clay filled farm life running through our heads.

"Leather is very easy to clean. You can get it sealed at the factory and I'll be giving you leather cleaner in these bottles that you can come and get refilled, for life."

I thought about how dark our living room is and how difficult it has been to add more light with the old wiring. A white couch would really lighten up the room and would provide the highlights needed to see our guests' faces. I thought of a new bright, clean future that supported life with a pearl couch. I found myself agreeing to this purchase. Not only that, we bought the pearl colored chair to go with it. They will arrive on Wednesday.

I have been waking up in the middle of the night from bad dreams that include strange color combinations and dirt.

On a positive note, we have been even more inspired to de-clutter and deep clean our home, so that it will go with our couch:
Above are our newly repainted kitchen shelves, to hold the beautiful glasses and china that were being lost in the dirt streaked white.
My mothers' crystal, the Brenna mug I bought at the Live and Learn conference, the mug from our recent trip to Belgium, the dark blue glazed goblet from Ann Ohman, the mug from a Joffrey Ballet concert years ago called Billboards, the hearts mug from Nicolas last Valentine's day, the big pink tumbler that is Mindy's, the yen store cups from Japan, my mother's small Mexican mugs that I treasure so much that I painted a bathroom with the same colors, the egg cups from our wedding...

I'm pairing it all down to the essentials.
And I'm thinking of knitting a very washable blanket that will completely cover the new furniture. Because really, what were we thinking.


Erikka said...

de-cluttering your living environment de-clutters the brain too. studies say so. ;-) my beau and i just bought a new couch too...from a chain! (Bob's) The last couch we had we found on the sidewalk (the frame) and I made the cushions. It lasted one year and four months. I am SO SO happy we do not have to look at my failure any more (the seams were ripping from the pressure of the stuffing) and we have the most comfy smushy couch ever...and it was only $300. Beat that Craigslist for this couch.

Good luck with your new couch and the white future ahead.

mindy said...

OMG....Pearl???!!! You go girl! I can't freakin' wait to see it all!

Angie said...

Oh, you are one brave woman! Although I will say, we have two different leather couches and they are a breeze to clean.

Can't wait to see the pictures!

By the way, at the risk of being annoying, I've bestowed on you another award:)

Have a great night and thanks for your supportive comment on my blog - I really appreciate it.

Rue said...

I have those bright, clean future imaginings too. That's how I ended up with a white duvet on my bed last month *g*.

Don't worry, though - you can clean just about anything off a leather couch. Baby wipes do the trick 9 times out of 10.

Bhu said...

Pearl! You are brave. And a nut. It will look gorgeous. I can't wait to plop down on it!!

Madeline said...

Errika, I truly am feeling much more sane as I declutter - or much more peaceful; could be the paint fumes. I wish our couch had been $300. It cost the amount of our govt. stimulus check.

It is here and beautiful and I'll post a picture of it when we're not doing so much. Why does life have to get int he way of my de-cluttering and couch sitting?!

piscesgrrl said...

Eh, you'll be fine! We had a cream colored sofa for 12 years and it was FABRIC! It stayed surprisingly clean, but once it was done, it was DONE. It's in tatters in the basement, which is perfect for all the jumping, stomping and pillow-tossing that occurs during raucous video game playing!

I LOVED my cream couch and chair. But this time we went with a mocha brown, and it's very cozy-warm.

I LOVE decluttering, too!

gail said...

It sounds lovely!! And I'm all about decluttering...driving everyone crazy with it on a regular basis. Can't wait to see it!