I’m going to start making these thrifting posts a little thing, how about a regular series? (Check out a few other thrifting posts here, here) I am a big believer in finding seriously cool pieces for little money to help you create that one of a kind unique space. Case in point, read on!
My friends, I’ve done it again. I’ll give you a quick little backstory…..The family room.
The hardest working space in our house second only to the kitchen. (Which is to the bottom left of this pic) I’ve dreamed of a sectional in here for quite some time and while there are loads of options, me being me, I had to go for something major.
It had to have some angles or curves, it had to give us the option of laying out chaise-style, it had to be seriously sexy to the eyes while being seriously comfy to the butts.
That is a TALL order I have learned. I seriously need to just start designing furniture to save all of our pocketbooks! Anyway, I have been searching the likes of Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, Ebay, 1st Dibs and Chairish on the reg.
This kind of thing doesn’t show up often and when it does, holy cannoli can you say go for broke? I mean literally broke. We’re talking upwards of $5-$30k….for a sectional sofa. Yikes! Even if I had a spare $5-30k laying around I couldn’t spend it on a sofa, and some of them are gorgeous I’ll give you that.
I have 4 kids and 4 dogs so an expensive piece of furniture like that would give me horrendous hives from the sheer terror of anyone touching it let alone eating on it, sitting on it, slobbering on it or breathing on it.
So it’s been quite a hunt of a couple of years. I had all but given up hope, and did a quick check on those sites a couple of times a week. Just on the off chance, you never know.
Badda bam! Just over a week ago (a Friday night to be exact) I was doing my quick search for vintage sectionals. Up pops this really terrible Craigslist photo with what appeared to be an interesting sectional. I showed my hubs and he actually liked it!
Crappy CL pic from the thrift store ad
Given our schedule we couldn’t make it down to Denver for 3 days. I figured it would be sold by then so we called and asked if we could buy it over the phone.
That’s right! I bought it…over the phone…from a thrift store….sight unseen…..butt untouched. It was a risk but for $225 I had to go for it. I thought at worst I could have it re-upholstered and still be well under what a new sofa would cost.
I should note that the lady on the phone said it was in really good shape and didn’t mention any weird smells. I crossed every finger and toe she had good eyesight and a keen sense of smell.
So we load up the truck, pick up a Uhaul trailer and off we went. It was in a pile in their storage area. We loaded it without actually seeing it there either. The lady said we had an offer of $400 from another customer who saw it after we bought it. My hubs wanted to say yes, mama said no.
Our first glimpse of it in real life.
Turns out it was pretty damn fantastic! No smells of any kind. The upholstery was in incredibly good condition, just a couple of dirty spots and dust. (We took all the cushions outside for a good smack to get the dust out as much as possible) It doesn’t look like it was used much!
It’s a vintage Erwin Lambeth 5 piece sectional from the 80’s and it came from a house/estate in Vail. The thrift store I bought it from is a company that tries to keep the clearing out of homes/estates green by going and loading everything up and out for the owner. They then sell what can be sold in their furniture thrift store, donate items and then toss what can’t be salvaged. Super cool!
I found these 2 pink lamps there too.
I had to have these. It turns out they came from the same estate as the sectional. Of course they did, heart eyes.
So the building of the family room around this ginormous hunk of furniture love began. I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit of a challenge. I’ve always stayed with a comfort zone of solid colored furniture pieces and then wild and crazy for the rugs, pillows, etc. This was quite the opposite.
Close up of the upholstery so you can see the colors. Pink, black, creamish and a mustard meets orange color.
I spent the better part of 4 days playing with every rug in the house. Then swapping out my several hundred pillows to see what looked the best. You can imagine the enthusiasm of my son helping me. Teen plus helping mom move furniture equals “ugh, again?” Hey that’s what happens when you live with me what can I say, hehe. Anyway, it’s a fine line between wanting the sofa to be the star but still employing some color and interest to compliment it. I finally landed on this sitch.
I stole the pink Beni M’ririt from my office, the black and white underneath is from my spring ORC space. The pink was too small on it’s own and the black and white was the right size but way too busy. So of course I layered them! (see my tips on layering here)
The coffee table. This was a contentious find. I actually picked this up at a local thrift for the rock bottom price of $6. I shared it in my IG stories and the poll overwhelmingly hated it. Being the rebel I am I brought it home anyway and it ended up sitting in the garage for a few months. I thought about using it in the ORC basement space but it wasn’t the right size with the sectional. Everyone in the house wanted me to re-donate it UNTIL we put together this sectional. Now my widely hated 80’s glass topped brass trimmed $6 coffee table is much loved.
Just goes to show you, always go with your gut. A piece will find it’s way to the perfect spot at the right time. And I take immense satisfaction from the fact that my entire family gave me such grief but I was right.
The far right side (right corner of pic) got a refresh too.
I had to introduce a bit more color cause, it’s me. So I draped a kantha quilt over the one corner!
Here’s that right corner from the pic above. I stole the black cabinet from my office (see it here) with a couple of cute pink lamps and a flea market find mirror made with vintage costume jewelry!
The shapes on the cabinet and the brass legs are a modern feel contrasting the vintage black pattern and brass coffee table while still feeling seamless.
You can’t beat that reflection.
We just put a screw in the wall between the windows and left it far enough out to attach the mirror wire. This way even if the cabinet is bumped it won’t fall over!
How about a back view?
Erwin is just as pretty from behind. Yikes, that sounded kind of weird.
The fireplace got a couple of minor swap outs…
A new piece of original art, (thrifted), I put my peacock screen on the frame of the doors and moved a couple of plants over.
There she be! The new mac daddy, say hello to my little friend, take me home to mama sectional. The first piece of furniture the ENTIRE family unanimously agrees on.
It’s comfy, it’s pretty, it’s vintage, it fits this space like a glove and it was a STEAL. I have to say my years’ long journey for the perfect sectional has come to a close. Until I come up with another scheme that is! ; )
Would you ever buy a vintage piece of furniture sight unseen? Have you found a killer piece for a steal?
I always love to hear from you so hit me up in the comments!
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