Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Sofa & Chair Quest Continues

In September, I posted about "The Sofa That Wasn't", which is this Lee Industries sofa (below). I had coveted this sofa for a long time but decided not to order it (during a custom furniture sale) due to concerns about dimensions of the piece (read my post here) and not being able to sit on it. I have tried enough Lee furniture to know that the seat will feel great in their Haven fill package, but I was concerned about seat depth (24", requiring a pillow behind you) and the deep rake of the back:
I have tried quite a few Lee pieces in the meantime and know that I might have to order a piece "sight unseen". I am becoming more comfortable with that as I know how their seats feel and what dimensions work best for our bodies. But it is hard to know how the back will feel.

Because I'm 5'5", I don't even consider a seat height above 18" nor a seat depth above 22" if I want my feet to hit the floor! However, a seat depth at or above 22" does work well for curling up your feet under you (which I like to do while reading). 22" is the perfect depth for sitting normally and curling up.

I also like a tight back as I don't want a lot of pillows, which to me look messy. And because I have a very bad back, I tend to like taller backs, which make it feel supported. So many criteria! Besides size, this furniture will be used a lot for reading and resting, so it has to be comfortable, besides looking crisp and elegant.

At the time I was considering the sofa, I also coveted this Lee chair, a modern wingback (which I had sat in and LOVED). I did not initially love the look of the chair (I didn't even notice it at first) but it felt wonderful to sit in. It had me at hello as a perfect reading chair:
In the last few months, I've been on the prowl around town, trying sofas and chairs everywhere. While I have found many pretty items, nothing has met all my criteria and my other high standards: perfect dimensions, clean-lined with a nod to traditional, very comfortable, plenty of beautiful natural fabrics to choose from, and environmentally-friendly.

I know exactly what I want if I could just afford to custom-design my own!!

I am still thinking about the Lee sofa. Here it is in the apartment-size (76") with a slipcover. We would need to get this size as the full-size (94") is too large:

To throw a wrench in the works, I just discovered this newly-introduced sofa on Lee's website:
It is only 75" long but the interior length is 67" which means I can lay the length of it!!! And the scale is perfect, with an 18" high seat and a 22" seat depth, perfect for me and the same as our current sofa. I would prefer a bench seat (which Lee can probably do for extra). Now I am wondering if I can live with the slip-covered look.

I've always adored slip-covers in other people's homes, but prefer the more polished look of legs for our house. This little sofa is very tailored and more "skirted" than slip-covered and I think it looks very refined in its skirt.

The coordinating chair resembles more of a slip-covered look, but is also listed on Lee's site as upholstered. I think the chair is just darling. I don't think I would ever tire of a classic piece like this. It has all the right dimensions too, but the back is not quite as high as I normally prefer:

I think the slipped look would be nice in our living room which already has plenty of legs (the console table, the coffee table, the cabriole leg on the china cabinet, and the little armchair which is waiting to be reupholstered), as you can see from these Christmas photos. Legs o' plenty!:
Since I just bought a new car and spent $2k today on winter tires and rims, I think it will be a LONG while before I allow myself out of the house with my wallet to go further than the grocery store. So I may have a while to dream about this...

What do you think? Do you like the tailored slipcover look? Or do you think I should follow my first instincts and get the deep sofa (which would be great for curling up on) and the chair I loved? I do think the second set looks more attractive and coherent but the chair is not as good for reading.



  1. hi terri,

    i love the new sofa with the tight slipcover. i think it is perfect for your living room. since there is no rush now you can find the perfect chair to go with it. i love that you take your time with these decisions.



  2. That's a tough one because all choices are beautiful..but I like your first choices better. You are smart to take your time and think it over :0)

  3. My initial thought was I liked the first sofa with the scalloped back but now that I see the other things in your living room, the more tailored one has a simpler line that might be nice. There are a lot of curves in the pieces you already have. I love that wing chair too.

    Don't you just hate making these decisions?

  4. I love the sofa with the slipcover, looks stylish yet relaxed. and I agree to balance the number of "legs"

  5. ah, it's almost hard to find a sofa, but there are so many and it's good to take time to decide which one fits your needs (and wallet).
    here, I am forever on a curtain quest....ah, the work of home decoration ;-)

    good luck!

  6. Hi Terri - All of the furniture you have shown is beautiful. I liked the first sofa you posted about in September, but can see why you decided not to purchase it. The second sofa you've shown is really nice too. Can you sit on it in a showroom to see how it feels? I like the tall chair you posted about before too. It is difficult to make decisions with these expensive purchases, isn't it? It's good that you can take your time though, as others have mentioned. So, how is the new car?


  7. Everything you have shown us is lovely. But my question is, if you've still got doubts about this particular sofa, then maybe it's not the right one for you. You've spent a long time on this...did you take this much time deciding on your new car?

    Your home is gorgeous and everything you seem to do is well thought out but if you ask yourself "do I love this sofa?" and the answer is YES, then buy it. If the answer is yes, BUT.....then it's time to move on and start again.

    I spend a lot of time deciding and thinking and choosing things that, on reflection don't deserve or warrant that amount of time...but when I buy a big item, like a new sofa and chairs...a car or even a house for instance, I seem to decide very quickly.


  8. I agree with Janet. Reading about your thoughtful approach to furniture over the past couple years has really influenced how I furnish my home now. I've seen that it's OKAY to take time and buy what we really love - no need to rush into a purchase just to have "something" in the space.

    And yes! I'm coming to Calgary towards the end of March/beginning of April. Just have to work out Spring-Break schedules with my family. I'll be in touch for trying to meet up with you too!


  9. Hi Terri,

    Love the looks you choose...I had the top sofa in my store and it was super comfy....but beware of the fabrics with linen as they do fade pretty quick they are near windows. I suggested the slip covers to most of my clients but like you said, getting away from a tight tailord look is hard! The plus sid eof the slip is changing it by season, fading or if a spill wrecks one.

    One thing to remember with Lee and other companies too is if you "love" a fabric go ahead and buy an extra slip cover in it and put it away because the fabric manufacturers drop fabrics like hot potatos and the dye lots are rarely the same!!


  10. I love the original sofa, loved it from the first time you osted it. However, I am not into the first chair. Looks odd to me. We are also looking for a new sofa, no back pillows or skirts, yet comfortable for reading and lounging upon. Very difficult, as you say, unless designing your own. Which we cannot afford either. I guess our 18 year old creamy white, tufted back Rowe sofa stays awhile longer.

  11. I like the first choices. The slipcovered pieces don't really reflect your style that I see in the photos of your home. I also would rather go for comfort and curling up, big on curling up on the sofa thing!

  12. Anonymous2:42 am

    I just discovered your great blog & loved it. I'm just new into blogging & have just finished off my own blog on fashion & interior design.
    I had a lot of fun putting it together. I would love your feedback on it if you've got a spare minute.

  13. go with your original feeling. both look nice, but it's about how it makes you feel as muchas how it looks and functions....i'm in the same boat, looking for a great couch - and that's how i stumbled across your blog actually!!! i too love your first wish and i'm looking to find one - legs exposed - for our own lounge.
    I think if you got the skirt you'd always be wondering about the exposed leg look...good luck!!!

  14. You and I are fighting the same emotional sofa battle right now. In fact, I even wrote my own blog post about it the other day ... just to get the conversation out of my head. Buying a new sofa is a lot like choosing a life partner, and it stresses me out beyond belief. A friend suggested that Lee Industries would have perfect selections for me, and she was right ... now we have to narrow those selections down to one we love. I really like your choices!

  15. Where is Lee Industry sofas available in Calgary?