However, five years later a major shakeup happened. A new sofa came into our lives. Isn't it odd how one purchase can change everything and even mark the beginning of a flipflop of the style you've loved for ages? Has that ever happened to you? With us it all began when we wanted more than five people to be able to sit in our family room at one time. R.H. suggested a sectional sofa after we visited my family in Florida and spent time at one sister's house, the one who has been with a high end Scandinavian furniture company for decades and furnished her house in that beautiful style. All of a sudden we were loving it and even went to a similar furniture store at home and bought one of their "stressless" recliners, nothing like the recliners I'd always hated, like the one that looked as large as a white airplane in our family room years before. Remember that one Zack and Defee? The new recliner was Scandinavian blue and we'd just introduced another color into our already bright mix.
The red leather sofa got moved to the living room where it is a star, and we began our search for a sectional sofa for our oddly shaped family room. Thinking we'd start with Craig's List, we spotted a German sofa, brand new, went and fell in love with it, or maybe with the idea of adding a funky mod look to a 1920 farmhouse. We convinced ourselves that it was rust-red and home it came with us.
So why didn't the rust-red sofa work at all with the red and white retro kitchen? It took another sister coming to visit for me to admit that this sofa was not rust-red. The first thing Teresa said when she saw the sofa was, "I love the pink sofa!" No wonder our red colors didn't look good with it. Neither did all the retro 50s touches.
I sat on that sofa looking around me for months trying to figure it all out, getting up to remove one red item after another, rearranging furniture, trying to make the darn space look European Farmhouse. We moved the pretty little red and white porcelain table into the small dining area and brought in the natural wood trestle dining table that had sat in an L-shaped end of the family room. I loved having the big table in the long kitchen but knew the kitchen still didn't go with the family room. Not much of anything in our house went with it and I just could not figure out how make it all work, without going to major expense.
Months later a chance turn of the television channel to the Nate Berkus show gave me a clue. Nate showed a picture of a living room that a viewer sent in asking for design help. I don't remember the exact solutions he gave her but I do remember that he first said, "The room is schizophrenic." And mine was too.
I realized that instead of trying to make my farmhouse fit my sofa, I needed to make my sofa fit my farmhouse. Only how to do that?
To be continued November 9, 2012
"You never really got to know people properly until you had seen them within the ambience of their own home. Seen their furniture and their books and the manner of their life-style."
Rosamunde Pilcher, Winter Solstice