The Story of Our Yellow Sofa

Since there is a bit of a revolving door around here when it comes to furniture and decor, when I tell people I have sold some things, nearly the first question I get is, “You didn’t sell your yellow sofa, did you?”  Next to the infamous peacock blue velvet chesterfield (holy smokes, if I had a penny for every time I got an email or question or comment about that sofa!  It’s a one-of-a-kind, folks, sorry!), the sofa I get the most “Where can I find it?” emails on is my yellow velvet beauty.  How I acquired this piece is a good story, and I have always wanted to share it with you.

It all started with a $50 CraigsList ad.  I had been wanting to find a good camelback sofa to paint the frame and recover in a fabulous velvet hue, and this looked like just the one.  After asking a million questions (this is important with CraigsList stuff!), I decided to go for it.  The only problem was it was about an hour outside of Dallas, which is a long stinkin’ way from me.  Nevertheless, a girl’s gotta travel sometimes for a $50, solid wood, camelback lovely, so I trekked out to what we will call TTT (Tiny Town Texas).

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I had never heard of the town I was traveling to before, and I will tell you, when I turned OFF OF THE HIGHWAY ONTO A DIRT ROAD TO GET TO THE TOWN, I knew I was definitely in Tiny Town Texas, especially when I saw the green sign that told me the total population was 543.  I travelled down the long dirt road to reach the downtown area where I was told, “there were lots of cute shops”.  When I got there, I thought that was a very interesting and optimistic view of this area, ha!

I felt a little weird at one point because when I pulled up, all I saw were men.  Big men with handlebar mustaches.  I’m not kidding.

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Okay, not that dramatic, but you know what I mean.  After walking around in the empty store for about twenty minutes, a very nice man with, you guessed it, a handlebar mustache, greeted me, and showed me the sofa.   I was happy, I gave him the money, and he was happy.  As I picked up one end of the sofa and looked at him to indicate him grabbing the other end, and us moving on with it, he emphatically said, “Oh no ma’am, no woman lifts furniture out of a store here in TTT, let me go across the street and get the Mayor.”  As chivalrous as this is, I wanted to laugh when I imagined his face watching me take all of the seats out of my mini van before coming to TTT.  (Seriously, I think I could break the world record for this task.)

But then came the best part of the whole trip.  I got to meet the Mayor of TTT.  He came bumbling across the street, his belly preceding him.  It was too endearingly delightful, I just wanted to hug him.  The owner of the furniture store introduced me, and this is word for word what he said:

“Mayor, this is Grace Mitchell of Fort Worth.  Mrs. Mitchell, this is the Mayor.”

I, of course, was happy to meet him.  He was darling in his too-tight suit, bolo tie, and you guessed it, handlebar mustache.  After loading my new treasure in my van, which I probably could have done more easily by myself,  I thanked them profusely and drove away, thinking what a funny and bizarre episode I had just experienced.  There’s just something special about TTT.

Here is what my camelback lovely looked like before.

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I typically like to stay true to the original design of old furniture, and I liked the yellow fabric, though it was a little more buttery than I wanted.  So I purchased a bright yellow velvet fabric off of Ebay, painted the frame, and sent it off to the upholsterer.

Side Note: I requested a sample from the Ebay seller before I purchased the yardage.  Oftentimes, they will send you a sample for free upon request.  Just send them a message with your name and address, and be specific about what fabric sample you desire.

Our yellow sofa has become kind of an iconic family piece, and it was part of some of my favorite family photos, all taken by the talented Kat Phillips, of TheGrayAttic.com.

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Number four was in my tummy at this point, and I was just starting to show.  We had only lived in our current home a few months…sweet memories.

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Aren’t those curly locks luscious?

This one’s personality was just beginning to emerge, you can already see her confidence in her little face here.  Quite the firecracker this one is turning out to be!

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Such joy in these little faces.

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Must be the yellow sofa.  (wink)

Do you have a sentimental piece of furniture?  Seriously, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Written by Grace

10 Responses to “The Story of Our Yellow Sofa”

  1. Colleen March 27, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    I love it! The couch, the story…all of it! You must hold on to that piece forever…it’s gorgeous and the story is priceless!

  2. Grace March 27, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Awww, thank you Colleen! It’s a special story, and a special piece of furniture. Lots of memories held in it – it is where we sat when we brought home our babies, and where we told our first three that number four was a girl. Lots of precious moments here! Thanks so much for reading and for your comment. G

  3. Mary March 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I really love your sofa and even more so your precious children! I have 3 little girls of my own and I am dying to upholster my own sofa in velvet, but am worried about little feet. Is there a certain kind of velvet I should look for that will hold up best for kids? How much do you think I should expect to pay? Who makes your fabric? It’s just so confusing because everyone sells velvet in every price range but I don’t want to get an inexpensive one if its just going to look terrible. Thanks so much for your help – I always appreciate advice from someone who has a similar lifestyle! :)

  4. Grace March 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Hi Mary, thank you so much! Yes, three girls is a lot of feet. :) I love velvet too, and my go-to velvet for families with kids, pets, etc. is Sunbrella velvet. Normally, if you walk into a fabric store and ask for it, they will tell you it is a ridiculously high dollar amount per yard. But never fear, I revealed my secret outdoor Sunbrella velvet source here:

    http://www.astoriedstyle.com/index.php/2012/12/secret-sources-outdoor-velvet-fabrics/

    They don’t have yellow (which is a bummer), but they do have some pretty color options. I hope that helps! Let me know if you need anything else, and thank you so much for reading! G

  5. Tiffany March 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    I loved this story! So adorable, and of course both the yellow and blue sofas are incredible. I love me some good velvet!

    • Grace March 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

      Hi Tiffany, thank you so much! Me too! Velvet ages so beautifully over time, I like the patina it gets. :) G

  6. Beth March 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    The peacock sofa is amazing! This one isn’t nearly as gorgeous, but it’s a good option for those who are budget conscious! http://www.mathisbrothers.com/living-room-furniture/sofas/jonathan-louis-turner-sofa/jlo-26730

    • Grace March 27, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      Hi Beth, that is really pretty! And you’re right, budget friendly, too! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! G

  7. Erin April 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    A terrific story – that’s the best! Thanks for sharing!

    Your family is beyond beautiful!

    • Grace April 22, 2013 at 12:49 am #

      Erin, thank you so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed the story, it makes our yellow sofa more special. I think my fam is pretty beautiful, too! ;) Thank you for the kind words and taking the time to comment. xoxo, G