A Place to Rest My Weary Bones

When I moved back to Staunton nearly 8 months ago, I left behind some good friends, and horrific job, and two sofas.  I miss my friends, but definitely not the job.  And while I don’t regret leaving the sofas to my subletters, I’ve really missed having a place to crash after work.  In lieu of a sofa, I’ve been laying on cushion on the floor to watch TV and whatnot.  The problem isn’t so much the cushion, but getting back up again.  Oy. Middle-agedom strikes again.

Now that it’s warm enough to work outside, and I’ve got all my tools up and running again, my first major project this summer is building a sofa.  While I know this might sound extreme, my reasons are very rational.  First and foremost, I’ve been designing one in my head for years, and I want to see if my plan works.  Secondly, my house is so small that traditional furniture just doesn’t work.  Traditional sofas are too long and over-stuffed for my space, and loveseats are just too short to be useful.  Thirdly – I’m tired of buying fabric sofas only to have my cats shred the corners to bits.  And since I don’t intend on offing my kitties, the only other solution is to get rid of the fabric.

So, my plan is really simple.  I’m not sure if it’s modern, or a complete throw-back to the 70s.  Either way, it works for my needs.  In short, it’s a horizontal platform with perpendicular planes as legs (which are detachable), painted with black satin enamel. The back and arms (also detachable) are simple and square, made of a black wood frame and shellacked natural wood insets.  Got it?

Here’s how it’s coming together:

1) The legs.  I glued two pieces of 3/4″ plywood together and cut to size.  I wrapped 1-1/2″ trim around each leg to finish the edges neatly.  Finally I wood puttied the bejeebers out of the legs to give them a seemless appearance. Sand. More putty. Sand. Paint. Voila!

2) The base.  I built a frame out of higher-end pine, and supported the inside of the frame with construction grade 2″x3″ lumber.  I then spanned the length of the frame with inexpensive 1″x3″ furring strips – just as I did for my bed project.

3) The back and arms.  I’ve built the frame for the back and arms, but finishing it is a full day’s job.  I have to trim the inside of each space in order to hold the panels in place, which comes to 32 detailed cuts.  Definitely not a chore to undertake at the end of a long, laborious weekend.  Still, I was able to shellac the panel insets, and I have all the nails and bits ready to go.  Hopefully I’ll get this last step done this coming weekend.

In the meantime, I’m testing out the base and legs.  And I have to admit – they’re solid as a rock! The wood is primed, but I have to add a few more coats and let it all cure.  Then I have to work on the upholstery (or ask my handy pro-bono seamstress for help). Fortunately, Joann Fabrics was having a 50% sale on foam this weekend, so my timing was perfect.  Even the “designer” denim I chose for the upholstery was on sale.  I hate to jinx myself, but I think I might just pull this project off, and keep it on budget.

Speaking of budget, I had reserved some of my savings for this project, but I didn’t have a fixed amount in mind.  Once I drew up the plans, I was hoping I would  make it out under $250.  Final tally:  $273.  HOWEVER, I have enough scrap left over to make a matching coffee table, so I think I’m counting this as a win.

Fingers crossed that this all comes together!

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