My general rule is that large pieces of furniture (such as sofas) should be fairly neutral. It's easy to change throw pillows to give them a different look, but keeping them neutral increases the life of the piece and the number of different looks that it will work with. So let's take a look at my poor old sofa over the past 15 years:
Here it is in one of my college apartments. (Though not the first one, where it wore cranberry throw pillows and an impossibly fuzzy throw). Here, oversized denim pillows and a bolster join the factory original throws pillows. In another college-days iteration the sofa stood on a needlepoint floral rug with floral and plaid pillows.
After college, the poor thing suffered through another round of moves and looks. It got a rest in the corner of a bedroom, decked out with green and white toile pillows at one point. Was decked out in floral from April Cornell at another apartment, before finally toning down with black and tan stripes at this apartment.
In my first house, the tan sofa was in my study. (And a great place for afternoon naps!) Here, it's got oversized Ralph Lauren throw pillows, but eventually it would leave this room with a pillows in a plaid silk.
By this point the sofa was more than a little well-worn, and the back was totally sunbleached from it's years in front of the big triple window of my lakeside apartment. I looked for a replacement, but realized I was looking at sofas that looked an awful lot like the one I already had. So I sent it off to be recovered, in a winter white knit that I hoped will give it another 15 years of versatility.
Here it is fresh from the upholsterer in the living room of the townhouse I lived in for a bit. You can see I also recovered a chair to match. In this space, I did a monochromatic white and dark brown scheme--popped off with a perfect geometric rug.
And here it is now, in our formal living room. In this space, everything is black, white, silver, or mirrored.
So which look is your favorite? My answer will always be "the current one" but every one of these looks happily reminds me of a different period of life. If you look closely through these pictures, and have seen any of the other spaces from my own home that I've had on the blog, you'll no doubt notice many reused items.
Do any of you have a piece of furniture or other household item that has traveled with you from place to place?
As always, I am linking to the wonderful party at Between Naps on the Porch.
Also linking this week to the party at Addicted to Decorating!
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