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Real life :: I bought a sofa off the streets of Oakland

We bought a new sofa.

Well, not a new sofa. An old sofa. Off the streets of Oakland. For 30 dollars.

Here’s the story.

I was looking for parking to meet my friend for lunch at the best Ethiopian restaurant in Oakland. As I was driving around looking for parking, I spied with my little eye this button tufted beauty. Now, I can’t lie, it was clearly “loved” by its past owner.  Covered with animal hair and the cushions were worn nearly flat, this sofa had lived a good life. But I thought that tired old piece of furniture could have a bit more life with the proper love that I knew my family could give it.

I sent a picture of this worn sofa to Eric and he replied with a quick yes and drove over in our big old vintage station wagon hoping this eight foot sofa would fit.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure…

But thanks to some rope and strong knots we did get it in!

We delivered the sofa to our garage where it patiently waited until we found a good upholsterer and the right fabric.  Every now and then, I’d visit the sofa and let it know that soon, it would be inside and loved. Patience, friend.

At last we found a great (and relatively inexpensive) upholsterer and some lovely indestructible super soft charcoal faux velvet. We sent our sofa to the furniture spa where it had its cushions re-stuffed and a fancy new outfit. It was returned to us looking quite changed.

This sofa was meant for us. Get ready to see a lot more pictures of this grand dame in a lot of future pictures.  It looks so lovely in our living room like it was always meant to be there.

The old girl clearly has a lot of life left in her to give to our family. And we are so grateful for it!

Have you ever reupholstered any items?

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Posted in Real Life : Dottie.


21 Responses

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  1. Stacie says

    Oh my goodness this is the most gorgeous sofa! So happy you were able to reupholster it!

  2. Corey Moortgat says

    oh my, beautiful sofa, and even more beautiful car!!

  3. Jody says

    What an AMAZING street find! You know how I love street treats (we’ve already scored two floor lamps here in the ‘burgh) and that is just extraordinary! She’s a beauty.

  4. Alix says

    It’s a cool sofa but SO MUCH BETTER in that beautiful charcoal color. LOOOOVE it and bravo for actually doing it and not just letting it languish in your garage. Amazing!

    But I’m sorry….the star of this post isn’t the sofa….it’s that dang STATION WAGON!!!!!!!!! I think we need to pull that baby out and do a proper Modern Kiddo Photo shoot!!!!! Bio pix anyone??

    YAY again for the sofa my crafty friend. Well done!!!

  5. jenny says

    SWEET MOTHER OF GOD.

    Dottie, first of all, you were COMPLETELY HOLDING OUT ON US.
    oh… I called Eric and asked him to come pick it up in our vintage wagon, NBD….

    UM. YOU HAVE AN AMAZING PINK WAGON. You do know this right????????????/
    I was cruising through your post, like, yeah, ok… sofa, it’s cute, I can’t take my eyes off this wagon AND THEN YOU KNOCK ME OUT AGAIN with the sofa 2.0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LADY, FANTASTIC. just fantastic. Yes I am shouting. I am THAT EXCITED.
    WHOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    • Alix says

      Oh she’s TOTALLY holding out. Do you know I JUST found out about that thing last year???????? It’s spectacular!!!!

      • jenny says

        I REALLY HONESTLY CANNOT BELIEVE IT. HOW DID THIS NEVER COME UP?
        DOTTIE! SHAME.

        ALSO, I CAN’T STOP SHOUTING.

        ALSO. PHOTO SHOOT. HELLLLLOOOOOOOO?! (and I’m coming)

    • Dottie says

      Clearly I need to do a post on Pinkie–that’s what we call the car. It’s really more Eric’s project, but I will write that post for next week! I promise!

  6. Wendy Piersall says

    Wow that is a gorgeous makeover. I am jealous! :)

  7. Tiffanie says

    HOLY WOW!!!! That’s about all I can say. Oh, also, your upholsterer is amazing!

    • Dottie says

      You are too kind, but seriously, he’s great and did this for $1200. I couldn’t buy a new chair for that amount!

  8. Michele says

    Love the sofa! Double love the station wagon! Triple love seeing the Peach in her new tutu!

    • Dottie says

      That’s a whole lotta love and thanks for it all, lady!

  9. georgiapeachez says

    It’s so fabulous I”m speechless. I especially love that it’s 8 feet long! I’ve reupholstered a few pieces and the outcome is always so satisfying. Slipcovers are great too, I’ve sewn a few of those myself. Each time I swear I will never do it again, but then I do. Nothing beats rehabing an awesome piece of old furniture.

  10. jess judkins says

    NO FREAKING WAY!!! Thats your car!!!!! Also I love the sofa! What a great find, one of the best hole in the wall thrift stores was in Oakland (Scott and I visited when we were in San Fran last month). I’ll have to look through my pictures to find the name of the place, its in a super shady part of the neighborhood but they had a TON of little girls cloths and pretty cheap. The owners father even gave Judah a free toy behind the counter. But the place is in a super shady area. Some guy from the street kept on walking into the store and “taking” items saying they were his,

    • Dottie says

      Oooh! Do tell about the hole in the wall thrift store. It was probably around where I picked up the couch! HAHAHA!!!

  11. Kristi says

    Oh My God, you had me at vintage station wagon. That baby is amazing.
    The couch looks fantastic too. It’s so hard to find large affordable furniture. Where did you get your rug? I was searching for something more stylish last year.

  12. heather says

    i loved that couch when you posted on twitter and love it even more in grey!! score!

  13. Leslie says

    How gorgeous! I recently did something similar with a couch that I found at the thrift store.
    Before pic:
    http://pinkstripeysocks.blogspot.com/2012/02/sofa-series-1-you-had-me-at-yel-low.html

    After pic:
    http://pinkstripeysocks.blogspot.com/2012/04/sofa-series-4-our-new-old-sofa-is-here.html

  14. Dottie says

    Leslie, girl! That is AMAZING!!! I love it! It was totally worth it, right? That green is stunning and what a smart idea to paint the wood trim white–so much lighter. RIGHT ON!

  15. Dolly Dahl says

    WOW that is absolutely perfect! Good spot!
    xoxoxo
    Dolly



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