One Room Challenge: Week 6 – Final Master Bathroom Reveal

It’s done — whoopee!! — get ready for the reveal!!! Welcome back to the One Room Challenge: Berrybrier Master Bathroom Edition. I finally have a place to get ready that doesn’t make me concerned for my personal health and it looks so good! First, let’s remind you where we all started here.

The Master Bathroom at Berrybrier is — like most Master Bathrooms — right off the Master Bedroom. It’s an awesome addition that is so great to have, even if it is only a half bathroom. When I bought the house, it was right there, peeking out into the periwinkle and red Master Bedroom.

When I moved in, the bathroom had yellow walls, faux wood wainscotting, loose peel & stick vinyl tile floors, a sink falling off the wall, and a deep and desperate layer of grime. It was a teensy little room (only 54″ deep by 30″ wide!) off my Master Bedroom and hardly big enough to use! The sink stuck way out into the space and you could easily brush your teeth while on the toilet.

Even though the space was small, I knew that with two roommates, any additional toilet and room to get ready for the day in would be an asset! Plus, it’s super great to wash your hands while still sitting on the toilet, right? Right?!

With my moodboard in hand and the One Room Challenge deadline, I got to work demo’ing this little room down to the studs and completely rebuilding it!

Bath Accessories | Sink | Tile | Beadboard | Lighting (Similar) | Paint | Bracket | Faucet

At the end of last week’s post you saw this little sneak peek of how the room was chugging along after all the fixtures were installed and before I worked on final styling. It was a far cry difference from where this space started!

Well, look at her now in all her styled glory! I am just so excited, y’all! This little bathroom was one of the worst rooms in this house when I bought it, and now it’s bright, light, and oh so happy!

I had fun styling out all the shelves in this space, because designers just looove open shelving! I know it’s not for everyone, but if you can style shelves and maintain that look, it becomes such a fun thing to play around with. In this room, a heavy cabinet over the toilet would have felt like too much, so open shelving was really the only option. I’m so glad I went with it though!

Because the room is still tiny, adding inches when I reset the side wall to it’s original location only brought it to 40″W x 54″D! So yes, you can still reach out and turn on the water to brush your teeth while sitting on the toilet, and no, there’s not room for two in here, but it’s just SO MUCH BETTER than before!

I’ve added tons of plants to the shelves, because even though the window faces north and is only about 20 feet from the neighbor’s house, it still gets decent light. Plus, it’s one of the few rooms I can hide spider plants in without fearing that my devil cat will bite off the leaves to play with! I had fun styling it out and just adore the face planter and how the little aardvark I got in New Mexico 11 years ago hides in the string of bananas plant!

On the wall with the sink is the ring for the hand towel and the toilet paper hook. Because this room needs to pack in all my bathroom storage, I also utilize the deep window sill. I keep a black Target tray here with little glass jars holding my incense matches (if you haven’t tried these you need too!) and bobby pins as well as a tiny bowl that I use for the incense. The incense matches are my fave, because I can light one in the mornings when I’m getting ready and enjoy the scent and by the time I’m done with my routine, the incense is out, so I don’t have to worry about it.

My tiny sink is just perfect for quick mornings and I love the accent the black and ceramic faucet brings in as well. I’ve tied in the black faucet with other black accents throughout the room, so it feels purposefully mixed in with all the chrome fixtures.

As for the shelves, they pack in the bulk of my storage! The top shelf holds some extras of hand sanitizer (back stock for one I keep on my desk at work), magic balm, bubble bath (just in case!), etc. The gold container holds tampons, and next to the plant are three bars of soap in front of the art. Yes, I am the only millennial still using bar soap, but I love it and have no plans to stop!

The next shelf holds a basket chock full of the tan Target wash clothes I use to take off my make up and wash my face, as well as some tightly folded bath towels.

The second from the bottom shelf contains more towels, the pot I hang all my earrings from (inside the pot are earrings that don’t hang!) as well as my extra shampoos and conditioners. Since I always buy the same brand, I stock up, and some times there are more or less bottles.

The bottom shelf has two capiz shell boxes that contain all of my make up, my three-eyed cat bowl (which I use for quickly dumping earrings or whatever when I’m feeling lazy), and my stash of extra hand towels.

On the toilet, I’ve squeezed in even more storage, stacking a row of jars that hold q-tips, cotton balls, and flossing tooth picks.

I love that a quick glance at my shelves lets me know if I’m low on shampoo or if I need to wash a load of towels, because I’m getting low. It’s nice to have it all within sight, but organized and contained. All of this used to be stored behind a closed door in an old IKEA wall hung unit that came with the house. It looked terrible inside there! Having it all styled on shelves forced me to not only take a hard look at what I have and pare down, but also store it in a way that is pleasing to look at and very organized.

On the right wall I decided to add a medicine cabinet beneath the light fixtures. Although it’s not right over the sink, it’s still practical. In here I keep my contacts and solution, my jar of make-up brushes, my tooth brush and paste, face creams, sunscreen, moisturizer, and deodorant.

Can you believe that medicine cabinet used to be in the Main Bathroom off the kitchen?! I kept it after I demo’ed that room and a quick coat of paint made it better than new! It’s hard to believe it’s the same storage unit.

Now, it sits on the wall underneath one of the scones I got from my Aunt Steph, next to a picture I found at Goodwill. I love that I was able to reuse the mirror that came with the house, even if it wasn’t exactly original to the house (which probably had an out house when it was built!). The towel bar is centered between the two light fixtures below it.

Undoubtably, the shelves are FULL. They are packed with storage, yet there’s still room for more if I did need it. Most of the items I keep, I’ll have a couple on hand and even if I doubled those things (like shampoo), I wouldn’t need to restyle or move anything.

These photos really show the paint color true to life. It’s Benjamin Moore’s Pink Beach and it’s the most perfect, subtle shade of pink! It really does look like calamine lotion. I actually took the lid of one of the boxes I store my make-up in (bottom shelf) to the Benjamin Moore store and picked a paint color that matched the one on the box then and there without even swatching it on the wall! It was a bit crazy, but I knew what I wanted and I knew the color was greyed out enough to look good in any space. It worked out just as I’d thought! I really couldn’t be any happier. I love how the little room just glows pink in the morning light and how the color is flattering, so I even look good in this space on my most exhausted mornings!

So did I meet my spending goal of less than $650? Let’s see…

  • Drywall = $15 (one sheet, plus left over pieces)
  • Electrical Box + Wire = $50 (I bought extra wire, so I’ll have some for the next project)
  • Sconces = $0 (free from my Aunt Stephanie)
  • Tile + grout + mastic = $20 (tile was left over excess from my parents’ bathroom reno and I had left over mastic and grout from my Main Bathroom tiling, but I did pick up more grout in the end.)
  • Beadboard + Crown/Baseboards/Shelves = $250
  • Shelf Brackets = $32
  • New Sink + Plumbing Pipes = $100
  • Faucet = $75
  • Bathroom Accessories = $40
  • Styling Accessories = $0 (I had all of these already!)

TOTAL SPENT: $582

Now, that’s certainly not free. It’s actually quite a lot to spend on a bathroom I don’t even feel will be permanent (I eventually want to knock down the right wall and steal the shower from the main bathroom to create a true master bath), but for a down to the studs bathroom renovation, that’s pretty damn good! The space is a million times better now and even if I had spend a little on things like tile and lighting, I still would have stayed under $1000.

I think it’s great to consider something like this for your own bathroom renovations. If you have a space that’s just making you unhappy, if you can get pretty thrifty, you can still completely transform it!

How’s this for a before and after!? Can you spot all the big and the little differences? Can you guess what else I’ve been working on? Can you believe it’s the same space, same toilet, same configuration? I can barely fathom how far this little room has come!

Now that’s a real transformation! I’m so glad it’s complete and I’m just absolutely loving getting ready in this new space! What do you think of how it’s turned out? Would you be able to keep all your bathroom and make-up items in open storage like this?

Have you followed along with any of the other One Room Challenge transformations? There are some impressive ones out there!

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One Room Challenge: Week 5 – Installing Plumbing Fixtures and Accessories

Once my tiny little master bathroom was painted and tiled I could not be any more excited to start getting my plumbing and accessory fixtures installed into the room! The space was really starting to look like I’d envisioned when I first laid out my mood board.

I was planning on reusing the original plumbing fixtures that were in the bathroom since there was nothing really wrong with them and I wanted to keep this whole project as low budget as possible. They looked pretty bad in the original space, but I knew a new environment would shed a completely different light on them. See the place where the purchase sticker was never removed from the toilet?! It had probably been installed for 5+ years when I bought the house!

I knew that the toilet had a tiny hairline fracture on the base, but it was not affecting how it was holding water and I figured if anything did go wrong, I could spring for a new toilet — probably my favorite Kohler one — down the line. The sink was falling off the wall in the original bathroom, so I worried that would be an issue, but during demo, I realized the bracket holding up the sink had missed the backing in the wall and was hanging loose in the old lathe and plaster. Doh!

So with that in mind, I brought all the fixtures back inside once the painting was done and reinstalled them. I did pretty much the same thing to install the toilet as I when I installed one in the other bathroom, but since the toilet was all one piece already it was even easier here. Yes the sticker was still on though!

The sink installs onto a bracket on the wall and then is screwed into the wall through the porcelain. Definitely use a wrench and arm strength to tighten these screws, because I didn’t and the force of my impact driver broke the sink a little bit in the corner! Dang it! But… I didn’t know it yet, but the sink was destined for something else.

On the other side of the room, I had space for a medicine cabinet beneath one of the sconces. The original main bathroom had a cute mid-century mirror that I’d saved after we demo’ed that space. I loved the patina of the mirror, the antique spotting on the glass, and wanted to repurpose it in another room in my house. I’d gotten the lovely original mirror from my childhood bathroom and installed that in the main bathroom instead, so this one was still floating around. I sprayed it with a matte black spray paint and it came to life as an entirely new piece. I few screws into a stud in the wall cavity and this piece was as good as new.

There was one problem though… if I stood in front of the mirror, I could barely open it! With my back pressed up against the sink I could only open the mirror about half-way before it hit my face.

If I wanted to open it all the way, I ended up leaning alllllll the way back to peer inside. Whomp, whomp, whomp.

It really wasn’t the mirror’s fault though either. The sink suddenly felt too large. I’d adjusted the location of the sink so the bracket could be installed into the wood backing (thus preventing the sink from falling off the wall again!) and now it was even closer to the toilet. Whereas before I’d scooted around the sink to pop a squat, now I felt like I was sitting directly beneath the sink. And it was not good. My cute little bathroom felt super awkward!

So after a week or two of that too large sink, I hopped onto Wayfair and started looking for a tiny sink to replace it with. I landed on this one which is just about 12″ x 12″! Although I’d recently watched Young House Love replace their tiny bathroom sink with a larger vanity, I knew that in my space this was the way to go. When the sink arrived the difference in sizing was instantly obvious and almost laughable! This change was going to increase the space in the tiny bathroom by so much!

I uninstalled the original sink and snapped a quick pic of it to post on Facebook Marketplace. Then I placed it on the curb with a free sign and within a day, it was gone!

It had, however, left it’s mark on the new bathroom. My pretty new beadboard was full of holes that the new sink wasn’t going to cover up. Oh well… I grabbed some sand paper and sanded the holes and then used wood filler to clog up the holes. Then, more sanding and a bit of touch up paint. It doesn’t look perfect, but in the end, the patched holes actually make the new beadboard feel older, like it had a purpose and has been there over a longer period of time. I’d not above a little wear and tear on the newer things in my home, if it makes it feel like there’s a history to it!

Once the new sink was installed and the faucet hooked up, I was in love. It was tiny, but adorably so and functioned just perfectly for washing hands and getting ready in the mornings. Plus, the new smaller sink wasn’t all up in my grill when I tried to use the toilet. It was perfect! Plus, it allowed for enough room for me to install the toilet paper holder and the towel ring from the affordable set I’d bought at Home Depot too. This bathroom was starting to look legit and, more importantly, functional!

And yes, I did finally pull the sticker off the toilet tank! Now this room just needs final touches and some styling and it will be a completed space that feels in the spirit of this 1909 house without costing a fortune! All good things. Mostly, I’d just glad I’m not walking into this space any more!

It feels like the perfect place to get ready in the mornings and the eastern light shines through the window ever so nicely. I can’t wait to show you the whole reveal next week, but in the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek!

And be sure to check out all the other people working on the One Room Challenge! So much amazing inspiration is out there for your own projects!

What do you think of my new tiny sink? Would you go for a sink that small or do you need a larger sink to get ready? Have I been able to hit the right note in this space to make it feel like it works with an old 1909 home?

What to Know Before Buying a Sofa

Sofas! Everybody needs ’em. Usually, you don’t buy them frequently, every 5-10 years or so. Sometimes, more years go by if you’re lucky. Unless, you’re me, of course. I buy a sofa at least once a month, sometimes I buy more like 4 in a month! Because I’m an interior designer, I am always hunting for sofas for my clients. I’m constantly keeping an eye out for new places to buy sofas and I’ve found quite a few great stores. So today, I’m going to show you my secret stash of sofas, as well as tips on what to check before you buy, just in case you’re in the market! People are constantly telling me they need to sit on a sofa before they buy it. But, really, you don’t! You just need to know what you like in a sofa and what to look for to get that comfort. And I’m about to dish, ya’ll!

Even if you read this now and buy a new sofa in a couple years, you can always search the blog for this post as a refresher course! Or better yet, head to the contact page and reach out to me for design services. Yep, I’m open for any consultation work you might need and am happy to discuss my fee structure. But first, some tips on buying a sofa!

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Sofa Sizing

If you’re in an apartment, one of the biggest mistakes people make is buying a sofa that’s way too small! When you have a small apartment, you really don’t want all your furniture to be mini too. It just makes it non-functional. Trust me. I design model apartments in large, luxury multi-family housing buildings monthly. You want a nice big sofa or even a sofa with a chaise that can help create a nice comfy zone. If your space is larger, add a lounge chair or two.

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Measure your space and get the biggest sofa you can, while still leaving at least 24″ on either side for accent tables. Yes, you need them on both sides; no, you shouldn’t shove your sofa up to the wall or, even worse, into a corner. Pull it out, let it breathe a little!

The average size for sofas is 84″ long by about 34″ deep and 32″ high. Anything less than 72″ long is really a loveseat, so don’t get mislead by it’s label! I’d say, 6 times out of 10, 84″ is a good fit for your space, but the other 4 times, go bigger! 96″ is still a very standard length. Anything under 100″ is an average sofa length. If you go over 100, it’s usually because you have an awesomely giant space to fill! Or you’re a professional athlete.

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Lead Time

The second thing about buying a sofa you need to know, is that it takes a good long time for a sofa to arrive. Even if you go to the store and look at sofas (unless you’re willing to buy the floor model which is only sometimes possible!) you’re likely to wait eight weeks on average for your sofa to arrive in your home. That’s right, eight weeks, not days, not minutes, not hours, weeks. And that’s on average. Sometimes it can take up to 16 weeks. So if you are getting an apartment, ask to measure for a sofa when or before you sign the lease, don’t wait until you’re in the space unless you have back-up places to sit! Of course, there are definitely some quick-ship options out there, but you often have to compromise on the design to go with one of them. So, when you can, plan ahead!

Components and Styles

There are so many sofa styles out there, how do you possibly choose the right one for your space amongst so many choices?! Well first narrow down your style. Are you traditional? Love a mid-century leg? Want something more subtle and transitional? The kinda gal that likes to make a bold statement? Answering that will help narrow it down from the huge number of styles out there. Then once you have that, what’s the purpose of your sofa? Do you want something lounge and comfortable for curling up your feet to watch TV? Or is this a sofa in a more formal living room, mainly used for sitting upright and chatting with friends.

Tufting

Tufting is something that looks so amazing and adds so much character to your sofa. A tufted, tight back sofa is never going to have the type of loungey feel an unattached cushion does though. Tufting inherantly creates tightness and a firmer feel. If you love a tufted look, but want a more plush feel, consider a tufted cushion rather than a tufted back since this will have more give.

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Sofa Back (Cushions)

Unattached cushions are one of the first areas that a sofa tends to fail as it reaches the end of its life span. The unattached cushions have no support from the internal framework of a sofa and take a huge beating. A tightback sofa, while firmer, tends to have a longer lifespan since the cushions and foam are attached to the frame of the sofa itself. Tight back sofa are also an awesome option for those of us who have pets who like to curl up on the back of the sofa. A loose cushion is damaged by this and will eventually begin to dip down in your pet’s favorite sleeping spot. A tight back sofa remains a lot less effected by this misuse. A semi-attached cushion will toe the middle line between the two, so that’s a good option if you don’t like the look or firmness of a tight back sofa.

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Seat Cushions and Depth

Seat depth is the measurement of a sofa from the edge of the seat to where the seat meets the back of the sofa. The average seat depth of a sofa is about 22″. If you prefer a deep sofa for lounging on and cuddling up next to someone, consider a sofa with a deeper seat. For more upright sofas, you can go with a narrower seat depth. Remember to look at the seat depth, not the overall depth of a sofa as things like slanted backs and rolled backs can be misleading on overall depth.

Seat cushions also fail on a sofa, the softer the cushion, the more likely it is to sooner fail! One of the popular looks right now is a loose bench seat cushion which is a long unattached seat cushion that stretches the entire length of the sofa. Within a few months of purchasing a sofa in this style, you’re going to see the seat cushion start to dip in the center since the foam can not support this kind of length. If you still love this look, consider a tight seat cushion, which while firmer, is supported by the internal sofa frame and will hold up far longer over time.

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Whichever option you choose and important thing to note is maintenance of cushions. You should be flipping any loose cushions weekly to maintain their shape. Yes, that is frequent, do it anyway! This prevents your cushions from wearing unevenly and prevents the favorite seat in the house from looking worn out far before any of the rest of the cushions. If it’s possible to flip your left and right or middle cushions amongst themselves, please do so. Cushions tend to start out at their firmest and get more cushy overtime. Which means if your sofa is feeling just a tad too firm at the start, it’s probably supposed to. Over time cushions will tend to dip in the center. This is normal as the foam breaks down. Rotating and flipping your cushions extends their lifespan.

Arms

Please don’t buy an American Roll Arm sofa. They are those sofas with the HUGE rounded arms with flat fronts that take up a ton of space. They are just not stylistically or practically functional. Turn away! Luckily, there are so many arm options out there and you definitely have tons of room to play. Before going with your preferred arm style, think about your space. Do you have lots of extra room and the circulation needed to go with a bolder thicker arm? Is space a consideration and number of seats a priority? Consider a thinner arm.

Chesterfield style sofas are some of my absolute favorite pieces of furniture out there (the red leather one above is a chesterfield!). They are stunningly gorgeous in leather and in velvets and add so much instant character and interest to a piece. They also have HUGE rolled and tufted arms that take up a ton of space. I would not recommend them in any room where space is a consideration. But if you have the room, they’re gorgeous!

There are lots of options out there with nice skinny arms that are as luxurious looking as a chesterfield and a bit more practical in tighter spaces. Take the English Roll Arm (below) for example, this low, tight arm style is still a traditional look, but allows for plenty of room on the sofa for sitting and room beside the sofa for a side table.

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Sit Test

The third thing about buying a sofa you need to know is how it’s going to feel. People think they need to sit on a sofa before they buy it. You don’t. You just need to know what things to look for and at to get the comfort level you’re looking for. Remember what you learned above about tufting and seat depth. Those are important considerations. Now let’s talk cushion fills. A foam, memory foam, or dacron wrapped foam are going to be your most firm sofa cushion options. A down fill will be your softest most cushy, sink back and watch a movie option. It’s also high maintenance, as to provide the cushy feel, it has minimal support within it and thus needs frequently floofing to maintain its shape. A great inbetweener is the down wrapped cushion, which has a nice give that lets you sink into the sofa while still maintaining the support of a foam cushion that springs back into place when you stand up.

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Fabrics and Finishes

Oh fabrics – a million options – or do you want leather? Leather is going to be a cool material to the touch, it tends to be a bit firmer and often is applied to tufted options. Leather is cozy in many ways, but also can be cold in winter months. Consider the summer too, as sweaty thighs on leather cushions are not ideal in un-air-conditioned spaces. Leather is also a bit slippery, so if you’re looking for a curl your feet up on the sofa setting, make sure your sofa is quite deep as the slidey leather may make it feel less so.

Fabrics vary in so many ways. Color is a whole post in and of itself, so I’m not going to get into that here. I will touch on types, content, and durability instead. Doublerubs are how fabric durability is measured. A fabric with a higher doublerub is more durable. Fabrics are usually measured by the thousand doublerubs and the definition is quite literal. Testing is done to measure doublerubs by literally having a machine rub over the fabric over and over, when the fabric begins to wear and fray, that’s when the doublerub content is measured. Generally for residential, you want a fabric that is at least 30,000 doublerubs. 50,000 is considered a good threshold for commercial settings. Anything lower is usually fine only for pillows or infrequently used settings. Or for those wealthy enough to be okay re-upholstering their furnishings on a frequent basis!

Another thing to consider is fabric content. Polyester, Acrylic, and Wool fabrics tend to be the easiest to clean. Cotton and linen are possible to clean, but tend to be more difficult. Fabrics that are single solid colors are the most likely to show any dirt, so your first choice should always be to find a fabric that is woven from a variety of different colors. Dark fabrics will obviously hide more than light fabrics. Solid fabrics will still always show more than a multi-colored fabric though. By multi-colored, I don’t mean bold patterned either, just simply a fabric that has a variety of colors in it. From a distance, it will probably still look like a solid tone, but up close you can see the variety of tones within the weave.

If you have pets or children or wear jeans with stubby pocket metal pieces, consider the snag factor. Fabrics like velvets and, their more expensive cousin, mohairs will not snag as the fabric sticks up from the back and out, fabrics that are woven, like linens, will get snagged more easily. If your cats like to scratch, look for non-woven or very tightly fabrics. My cats don’t touch the velvet chairs in my house, but are very fond of scratching the teal woven linen fabric on a wingback chair.

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Where to Buy a Sofa

My favorite sofa resources are places that are affordable, great looking, and work in nearly every home. First, there’s Article. I love this online store for it’s endlessly stylish options and amazing pricepoint. I have a special place in my heart for the Leather Alcott sofa which toes the line between mid-century and traditional so perfectly. It comes in three leather colors. I love the Oxblood below, but the Black leather looks equally fantastic. It’s what Chris Loves Julia has in their front reading room as well. I’ve used their pieces in a number of living rooms with lots of success!

Another favorite source of mine is Joybird which specializes in so many mid-century gems, but also throws in a delightful sprinkle of other styles. The vertical channeling on their Chelsea sofa makes my heart sing! And those brass ferrules at the bottom of the leg? Yes please. It comes in a whole slew of fabric options (as do most of Joybird’s selections) so you can really make this sofa fit into your home and style. This is a high quality manufacturer that I’ve even installed in commercial settings.

A lesser know, but equally awesome place to find a sofa is Interior Define. I love them for their customizing abilities. They let you switch up the lengths by the inch on some sofas and nearly every sofa comes in several size options! Perfect for those tighter spaces that just need an exact fit. I adore their Rose by the Everygirl sofa which has the most perfect English vibe (and English roll arms!). I just want to host high tea looking at this piece! I love that Interior Define has such a range of styles too, you can get a very modern look on their site or go more traditional like this sofa. I installed one of their sofas in a freelance project in Oakland for a lovely young family and it’s still holding up well a few years down the line.

The well known West Elm is a favorite place of mine to check out as well. They have good quality for their price point and their range of styles is far better than so many of their competitors and sister companies. They can nail the mid-century look, go contemporary, or hit a slightly more transitional look. Since their stores are scattered all across the USA this is a good pick for those who insist on sitting on their sofas before buying. The Gold Hive has this Rochester Sleeper Sofa in her den and I am seriously considering it for Berrybrier. I love a sleeper sofa for creating a space to squeeze in guests when you don’t have an extra bedroom. The fact that this has a tight back is a huge sell for me since, particularly on a sleeper, this should extend the longevity of the piece. Plus the fact that it has a wooden plinth base means that nothing can get stuck under the sofa and my cat Auggie can’t hide beneath it and then attack my legs!

CB2 is another bigger box store that has lots of affordable options for sofa. They tend to be the more modern, young store compared with their sister, Crate and Barrel and often have some really fun options. Take a look at their new Curvo sofa, a true stunner that would make an amazing statement in any space. I love the blush color, but it also comes in grey. A sofa with this much style works best in a living room where the circulation goes around the sofa so you can check it out from all sides. Shoved against a wall, doesn’t do this sofa any justice.

Wayfair is another great source to find that special sofa. You tend to get what you pay for on this site, so although you can go really cheap, know what you’re paying for. They tend to have mostly what-you-see-is-what-you-get furniture items. Young House Love just launched their furniture line on the site though and since they’re one of my favorite blogs, I immediately kept a close eye on many of their pieces. Their Pivot Sofa makes me giddy for it’s clean, transitional lines and I can’t help but laugh a the name which is a reference to a Friends episode that I can’t help but quote every time I’m moving a piece of furniture around a corner.

Finally, some of the best places to check out are your local stores! Fenton MacLaren in Berkeley sells Rowe which is an awesome CA based upholstery line as well as a number of Amish made furniture lines that allow a lot of customizability. Highly recommend them if you’re looking for pieces in the Bay Area. In Portland, companies like City Home carry lines like Jonathan Louis Furniture which has really well priced upholstery goods as well as vintage furniture. Kuhnhausen’s (also in Portland) carries a local Oregon upholstery manufacturer name Biltwell as well as Rowe Furniture.

So, are you ready to pick out a sofa now that you have these tools? Are you confident enough to buy online now that you know what you’re looking at or do you still think you need to sit on the sofa to try it out first? What’s your favorite piece from the sofas I pulled above? Do you think I should splurge on the West Elm Rochester Sleeper Sofa? Imagine it in a dark green velvet…