Monday, March 02, 2009


As the astute reader will know, I've been looking for a new couch for some time. Actually as I look back over my blog entries I see references to my search in August 2007, May 2007, August 2006... it's been a while.

With each passing year, as I rejected yet another couch because it was too expensive, or too short, or too badly made, or too ugly, my old couch was succumbing to the ravages of time. It was quite the stylish piece of furniture when I bought it back in 1992 - a shellbacked 2.5 seater upholstered in a dark green linen. But seventeen years does terrible things to a couch. The upholstery split on both arms, shedding bits of yellow foam into the cushions. The left cushion frayed and burst, bulging white cotton wadding. The arms became discoloured from years of grime and wear, and in humid weather they became unpleasantly sticky with the accumulated ick.

The old couch in 2006, already past its prime.

Just in the last few weeks I realised that, short of some serendipitous moment, I was never going to find the sort of couch I wanted. Not in Perth, a city with a baffling devotion to shoddy bad taste. I realised that if I just bought the cheapest near-enough couch I'd seen, it would serve me well enough until my one true love appeared in the window of the local antique store.

So on Saturday The Flatmate and I took his Saab convertible to IKEA, there to wrestle a Sater leather sofa into the back seats. The Flatmate gleefully predicted that I'd be pulled over by the police for driving around with a two metre long sofa jutting out of the back of the car, but by taking the back roads and keeping the speed down to 60kph, we managed to get it home without either the police pulling us over or the sofa falling out. Once we heaved it inside, it was just a matter or removing all of the packaging, throwing the instructions out the window and screwing on the legs.

The new couch, getting to know the Eames chair and the rug.

It does most of the things I want my couch to do. It's long, it's low, it's comfortable, it's brown leather, it's firm, it's not overstuffed, and it has a low back and a minimalist profile. It has a sense of masculinity without being heavy; a hint of the bachelor pad circa 1962. It's not a vintage piece, the cushions aren't attached, and that cheap leather will eventually crack rather than soften... but it's good enough for the moment.

And if anything sums up this wretched city, it's things that are good enough for the moment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what you are saying is that choosing a couch is like choosing a woman. Look for the cheapest you can find until something better comes along?

3:52 PM  
Blogger an9ie said...

Woo! New couch for AndressFest! And it's leather, so lots of things can be spilled on it and wiped right off!

6:51 PM  
Blogger Laziest Girl said...

Don't dis IKEA - their furniture is reasonably childproof so should serve a bachelor quite well! Although, are you prone to tipping your milk on the furniture, drooling on the furniture, smear mushy biscuits on the furniture?

6:35 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Although, are you prone to tipping your milk on the furniture, drooling on the furniture, smear mushy biscuits on the furniture?

Obviously you've never met my friends nor been to AndressFest before.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Troy said...

@ Laziest Girl: we only drink milk in coffees or cocktails, and don't eat mushy biscuits. Perhaps Blanders should provide his AndressFest guests with disposable coveralls for the night. Or hold AndressFest at someone else's place.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never bought a piece of furniture from Ikea because I am put off by the thought of assembling the piece even though it often looks great in the store. I didn't know that they don't do delivery either! How could you treat a SAAB Convertible that way? You should have treated us to a photo though! Jaymez. PS: I have travelled and lived all over Australia and the world. I was not born or raised in Perth. I choose to live here as I haven't found anywhere I like better. So readers, don't believe everything Blandwagon writes!

6:37 PM  

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