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Archive for December 12th, 2023

Defying Gray-vity

December 12, 2023

Today I fought back against the gloom engendered by short winter days and poor snow conditions by putting a new slipcover on the sofa. Which I will show you, but only after giving you a history of all the couches I have owned as an adult. Not because I get more ad revenue that way (not having any ads on this site), but because I’m feeling nostalgic. I’ve only owned two couches, so even with my ability to recall all sorts of details, I might be able to keep this entry under novella length.

I bought the first couch (really a loveseat since it only sat two people comfortably) to furnish my first apartment, which I moved into after I graduated from Michigan State in December of 1984. I got it at the Sears store that was in walking distance of campus. It was a sleeper sofa, and I indeed slept on it for the first several months I lived in that apartment, until I’d saved enough to buy a waterbed. I couldn’t find any good photos of the couch in its earliest years (we took far fewer photos back then), but not to worry, as I brought it with me when I moved in with Mr. Karen after we got married in 1986. It came with us when we got our first (and so far only) apartment we picked out together. Here is it in January, 1990 when I was documenting what that place looked like as we were preparing to move to our first house:

Living/dining area with a navy couch in the center. There is a stuffie jack o'lantern wearing a Minnesota Vikings cap sitting on the couch.


Fast forward seven years and the couch was looking a bit faded and worn:

Same couch as in the previous photo, in a different room. The navy fabric has faded some and is showing signs of wear on the cushions.


We still liked the couch, and didn’t really want to spend money on a new one (we mostly sat on the big sectional we’d bought for the family room so had already upgraded our daily seating), so I checked out a book from the library, bought some fabric and supplies at the fabric store, and reupholstered it over the summer of 1997. Here’s me in action:

Much younger me wearing a purple t-shirt and sweatpants, wielding a staple gun to attach fabric to the stripped frame of the couch.


When I was done, the couch looked like this (that’s the guinea pig cage behind it); I chose that fabric because the black base went with the two chairs we already had in that room and it was the only one in the store with purple in the print, and I wanted purple):

Couch in its new fabric: black with lavender, sage, and gold in an abstract design


Here’s how it looked in June of 2021, the day before its replacement (ordered six months prior) arrived; it served me well for :

Same couch as previous image, years later. It's faded and the fabric on the back is rippled and there's a rip in one of of the seat cushions.


The new couch (again, really a loveseat), which we’d originally ordered in a different, warmer gray fabric (see here), arrived and it was okay:

Two cushion grey couch with high narrow rolled arms sitting in front of a


After a year and a half living with the boring gray, early this year I got a teal slipcover for it, and I liked that much better:

Square pillow with a vaguely tribal design in taupe, navy, teal, orange, sage, and goldenrod sitting against the armrest of a couch covered in a teal slipcover with a grid pattern.


I liked the teal so well I ordered another slipcover in an even bolder color, and today I put it on:


Yes, my couch is orange. Very, very orange. Cheeto orange. Almost safety orange. And I like it. It makes me smile. And when it’s time to sell the condo and turn the place as neutral as possible, I can take the orange away and no prospective buyers will be scared by it. Though who knows if it’ll still be orange by then. I might get different pillows with different colors and buy a slipcover to match those.


On this date in 2022: A Week in Photos: 2022, Part 49
2021: Wandering Around the (Disney) World
2020: New This Season
2019: Ski Day 5
2018: Oh Ceramic Christmas Tree
2017: Fall Road Trip, Part the Second
2016: On the Change of Seasons
2015: Go Cats Go
2014 and 2013: No entries
2012: Tree of Life Quilt
2011: Expensive Urine
2010: Cocooning
2009: Technological Difficulties
2008: Shoulda Been a Banker
2007: WDW 3: Back in Epcot
2006: Caught in the Act
2005: Winter Count—April
2002 through 2004: No journal entries

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