October 24, 2013

Sofa makeover, part 2

Good lord, it's been a month and I haven't uttered a PEEP about the sofa makeover. It's like I've been busy or something. Only I haven't, unless by busy you mean watching the now-extremely disturbing Downton Abbey or catering to my cat's every whim. 

So, the sofa. We waved goodbye to the old gal on an appropriately misty morning last month, and the strong furniture folk from The Straight Thread carted her away for her facelift.

While I have you on the phone, have we talked about The Straight Thread? It's an upholstery/repair/restoration shop in Madison that uses traditional techniques and offers Old World materials (e.g., horsehair) plus eco-friendly ones, like latex foam and organic cotton and wool batting.

Matthew Nafranowicz, the owner, trained in Paris and is a total sofa whisperer, like he'll come to your house and kneel on your furniture and knead the arms and tell you what your sofa is thinking. 

Here's Matt in his workshop, rolling out the lavender fabric I chose for the makeover:

This was the first time I'd seen the whole roll of fabric, and I was pretty much like, Oh, crap. It was very purple, but also not as vibrant as I'd thought. Sort of mumsy and dusky. I was having doubts. More like freaking out. 

But it was too late (ha ha!) so instead I focused on choosing trim.

The old sofa had beautiful brass nail heads, and with nail heads, you typically have trim running underneath, either ribbon or, in this case, scroll gimp. I decided to pick a gimp (sounds terrible) that matched the chocolate herringbone, and went with the Loden Green, below. It wouldn't be too visible beneath the nail heads (since they'd be closely spaced), but, you know, you want something that doesn't clash or look ridiculous.

Then it was time to pick the nail heads. Shiny brass or natural brass? I went with the latter.

Nail heads are pretty boss, especially on antiques. I went with a tightly spaced look (since that's what the original sofa had):

... but placing them at intervals can look nice, too. Like check out this mohair ottoman I found at Vault:

Anyway, once I chose the trim and nail heads, it was time for Matt and his crew to take a scalpel to the old gal, peel back her crepey green skin, pump her full of collagen, and restore her dewy, youthful appearance. I couldn't wait. But I was also petrified.

Stay tuned for more!



  1. That place sounds amazing! And I approve of all your choices. I can't WAIT to see the whole thing finished.

    1. Thanks, JR! We'll post more photos soon!