Broken Down Couch

We are now approaching the age our pediatrician was when we began taking our babies to see him.  He was a wonderful man who visited with us as much about life as vaccinations and diaper rash.  He would deal with the issue at hand with whichever child we had brought in, then settle himself on his stool and launch into a conversation about parenting–his or ours, marriage or whatever issue he found interesting that day.

He was a single father who had raised three children who were all grown and recently on their own.  During one of our visits he told about his adventures in necessary redecorating.

You spend so many years driving kids to activities, and tackling laundry or homework.  Just doing the things you have to do to get them raised.  One day you get there.  Life slows down and you think, ‘I am going to take a minute to myself and just sit in this chair.’  So, you do.  You sit, and at first it is blissfully peaceful.  You close your eyes and relax, but at some point you have to open your eyes again.  And when you open your eyes, you look around you and you realize that the whole place has gone to hell while you were busy driving the kids and doing the laundry.

As I said, we are approaching the age he was at that time.  Just as he was so wise in all of the things he told me about caring for babies and not neglecting my marriage, he was right on the money on his home decorating predictions as well.

flattened cushion

My son announced to me in a panic the other day that he had torn the upholstery on the built-in couch that sits atop a bank of drawers situated between walls of shelves.  A button caught as he stood up and he heard a tearing sound.  I wasn’t upset, having a vague awareness that the cushions were nearing the end of their usefulness, but it wasn’t until I really looked at the thing that I realized the end had arrived (likely about 2009).

upholstery shifted

It made me take a good look all around the place.  Just as the good doctor had predicted, the place had deteriorated like mad while we were busy raising kids.  But does that deterioration stop with upholstery and painted surfaces?  More likely it is time for a thorough exam to see what else has suffered from neglect through the years.  Relationships?  Health?  It would be a shame to discover this sad, saggy couch was just the tip of the iceberg.

trim deterioration



Note: The search for replacement fabric is well underway.  Getting five people to agree on any one fabric is tricky, but I think we have a winner.  It should be making its way to an upholsterer near us very soon.  The great thing about this project is that someone else can make it happen for me while I tackle the next neglected thing on my list.

swatches swatches


Kick in the pants motivation provided by Apartment Therapy Design Cure.

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I am a married mother of three fabulous young adults. I have been married to one great guy for over a quarter of a century and hope we haven't reached the halfway point of our marriage yet. Writing helps me sort things out and allows me to avoid unsavory tasks that I probably should be doing. I've reached middle age in middle America and am anxious to see what comes next.

5 thoughts on “Broken Down Couch”

  1. So – which fabric is the winner?

    I had a couch when my first baby was born that my mother-in-law gave me (it was one she was tired of but still in good repair). My mother helped me make a slip cover for it – and that lasted through 4 babies – then I had it reupholstered when they were teens. Again when the first one went off to college. Then I got divorced and the couch went to my husband. It HAD come originally from his mother, after all. He ended up giving it to our oldest daughter and it’s in her home now. What history there can be in our “stuff.”

    1. I am saving that for a surprise!
      I can not believe that couch survived three families. Talk about quality. I try to stress to my kids that the bargain Walmarty-type furniture that is everywhere these days is really no bargain at all.

    1. These were all ones I could have happily lived with, but none of them made the cut with the family. I will show the final choice in the big reveal of the new cushions. The guy doing them is a laid-back hippie type. So, I am not holding my breath until I get the final product!

  2. Can’t wait to see what you came up with! I started the Design Cure, but dropped off quickly. The whole last week I’ve been in a stall on just about everything. Some weeks are like that. Glad you’re getting to a place where you can take some time for yourself.

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