Proportion is so important in decorating. A new higher back sofa caused a need to address the proportion of the furniture in our living room.
Are you familiar with what I call the ‘mushroom effect’ in decorating? You know, when you get one new thing, it affects something else you weren’t expecting to change, but you need to address that, and then that in turn affects something else, and before you know it, it’s kind of like a mushroom cloud exploding with changes.
In a small way, that’s what happened to me when we changed our sofa. I actually never thought I’d change my sofa… it was a Henredon I’ve had for decades. In fact, I had just gotten it reupholstered it a couple years ago when we moved into this house. It was a classic shape and size and truly amazing quality. So why in the world would I replace it???
Here is a peek of the back of the old sofa…
You can see the vintage sofa table in the back of the old sofa. That was a piece I had re-done a few years ago with Mod Podge, (you can see that sofa table re-do here). Point is, the size and weight of the old sofa table with the old sofa were coordinated in proportion to each other.
The reason I replaced the sofa is because our living room is small and there isn’t a ton of space for seating so we have to be super smart and efficient with the seating. To be able to accommodate as much seating and still have reclining or laying space, we opted for a reclining sofa.
I actually found a style that wasn’t one of those monstrous, fat, overstuffed, no style reclining sofas. This new reclining sofa has fairly classic lines and is still a smaller length sofa so it didn’t eat into precious floor space.
The new sofa is however much taller than the old sofa.
From the back it was not the most eye-pleasing wall of leather behind the smaller scale sofa table I had.
From the front…
The higher back sofa hid most of the lamps, so only a portion of the lampshades were peeking above it. Not only did that look kind of silly, it was quite ineffective for offering good lighting to the occupants in the sofa.
The hunt was on…
I felt like Goldilocks… it needed to be a certain height, not too long, not too deep. It would be nice if it offered storage this time. The color and style certainly mattered. Oh and… hopefully something vintage with more character than what a new piece offered.
It took me a while to find just the right sized piece. The size requirements alone greatly limited what was available.
But when I did find it, I knew immediately this was the one!
I was perusing Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace non-stop until I happened upon what turned out to be just the perfect size, offer fantastic storage and was in a beautiful classic style.
See how that extra height changes the proportion so that it isn’t dwarfed next to the much taller sofa?
Having a bit more visual weight in a closed cabinet helps the proportion fit better as well.
Now with the taller cabinet the lamps once again look properly sized for the sofa height.
One final addition to camouflage the not so attractive splits in the back of the sofa, where the individual seats recline, is a lovely chinoiserie fish bowl filled with a philodendron house plant.
The pattern and texture of the plant achieve the desired effect to pull the visual attention to the plant and planter in the foreground.
Replacing the sofa did cause a slight ‘mushroom effect’ but really it wasn’t too bad. I’ve had renovating projects that truly were explosions of change we weren’t expecting!
This was a good change and not a moment too early. If you noticed some of the pictures have Christmas decorations in them. That’s because I started to write this post before Christmas, but my schedule changed when my husband and I rolled in the new year with Covid. Those dual reclining seats sure came in handy as the past few weeks have been filled with us reclining sipping juice with our soups and binge watching ‘Gardener’s World’ by day and ‘Father Brown’ by night, (where would I be without British TV?!). So thankful I’m finally feeling up to having enough energy to write a post!
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Here are some more posts I’ve written about furniture: