Did they ever find the holy grail?

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Some searches are difficult, fraught with frustration and heartbreak. You know the kind, you have it in your head. It’s perfect. It’s beautiful. It’s what you want and “need”. Without it your life will never be complete. You will wither way slowly like a Victorian heroine dying of consumption.

You are looking for love? Thinking of buying an iPad?

No, you are looking for the perfect sofa, that wonderful and elusive beast. The unicorn of furniture. Apparently only a virgin can approach it. Should we instead be desperately seeking a virgin who could home in on the animal?

Now, you want your sofa to be cushy and comfortable, but not puffy.

Definitely not a “lounger as sofa” No,  no,  no. That is just inherently wrong. Like that old lazy boy on steroids. As triplets. All that’s lacking is the duct tape.

You want a classic, but not this classic – this is not a unicorn, this is the epitome of  “no way you’re gonna lounge on this sofa, sit up straight young lady!”

It can’t be too big, because you’ve not that much space. It can’t be too small because you’re getting rid of a loveseat already. There’s plenty of love, but it’s love that requires space to spread out all middle agedly.

It needs a clean mid-century** look (ah, those straight lines, that uncluttered perfection!) with 21st century comfort and flair.

And so the hunt continues. The holy grail eludes us for now, but we will hunt it down and wrestle it into submission.

Or die in the attempt.

** And much as I love Mad Men, I’m quite annoyed that because of the show mid-century is the flavour of the month. Both Mr. jazz and I have always loved the look, have collected the look for years in furniture, glassware, etc. Now it looks like we’re jumping on the bandwagon. Mad Men has stolen our originality. Our thunder is now but a whimper. It’s bad enough I’ve seen some of my glasses on that show, if I spy my danish modern coffee table I will scream.  Loudly. Damn you Don Draper!!!!

  1. Rachel says:

    Have you tried Ikea?

    also, I just forwarded this to my sister who just bought a couch (from Ikea, incidentially), and now has buyers remorse regarding the color. HAHA. this post just made me laugh and laugh.

  2. CTJen says:

    Yeah, I definitely failed to find the holy grail. Although we do have something to sit on now, which is nice.

  3. Debra says:

    Act Three of this podcast is a great story about a guy who spends years looking for the perfect couch. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/309/cat-and-mouse

  4. pinklea says:

    I too am searching for the Holy Grail, only mine is in the form of a chandelier. A largish, sparkly, retro kind of chandelier to hang in my kitchen. But not TOO large or sparkly or retro.

    Maybe I should just stick to sofa-hunting. Sounds easier.

  5. Gaelyn says:

    Such a tough choice. I have just settled with the sofa that came in the 5th-wheel. At least until I spy something I like better. I rarely sit on it any way. Love my recliner. Let company sit on the couch.

  6. Jazz says:

    Maybe I should buy a 5th wheel. Who knows, the perfect sofa might be in it.

  7. Suldog says:

    I know exactly the sort of sofa you mean. They don’t make them anymore.

    No, just kidding. Do you have a Jordan’s Furniture up there? Probably not – I think they’re New England local. They have some decent sofas. MY WIFE and I got ours there. You might check them out on-line.

    (By the way, you can tell a lot about a person just by what word they use to describe that piece of furniture. Sofa people are different from couch people, but they are both vastly different from divan people. If you call it a settee, you’re probably dead.)

    • Jazz says:

      No Jordan’s, unfortunatley, they seem to have quite a selection…

      One day you will have to explain the difference between a couch person and a sofa person to me. As for a settee, when I think of that, I think of the last pic I posted. That could never be called either a couch or a sofa by any stretch of the imagination. Nor a divan, actually. Divan is the French word for sofa, and sounds really strange as a English word.

  8. Suldog says:

    Try this…


    Ours is the green one, middle in the bottom line. Nice, comfy, I can stretch out on it with fully-extended legs (I’m close to six feet tall). Fabric is soft and warm to touch.

    Anyway, lots of interesting sofas there.

  9. mrwriteon says:

    Sorry, hon’, but you will see your coffee table on MM. I do hope you find that perfect couch, but let me say that if you’re planning to have me over, it must be long enough for me to stretch out on. Is that too much to ask?

    Otherwise, lovely to see you back here. Love you and love your words.

    • Jazz says:

      yeah, I will see my coffee table on MM. Damn… And seeing the size of our living room, 80 inches is the longest I can go. Hope you’re not too tall.

  10. geewits says:

    I can find a couch in an instant. It’s dining room tables I have trouble with. I usually hate all of them. Or the chairs. Or something. I am not a fan of mid-century At. ALL. I think it’s because my family held onto that stuff until 1978. Oddly the only things that we have seen on “Mad Men” that we or someone we know has are ashtrays. There are lots of things that I’ve had, but only the ashtrays are things I currently have. Good luck with your sofa search. I wish I could help you. I can find anything. Well, except dinettes.

  11. VioletSky says:

    Try looking for a chesterfield.
    The Chesterfield Shop might be able to help.
    Or EQ3 has a limited selection of mid century modern facsimiles.
    I wouldn’t mind Don Draper lounging on mine.

  12. Pearl says:

    My place has a definite 30s/40s feel to it — everything but the lousy sofa, frankly, a hideous leather piece in a color that is best described as “caucasian”.


    p.s. My grandma referred to all couches as “Davenports”. 🙂

    • Jazz says:

      Davenport! I haven’t heard that one in a long time!

      Love the 30s-40s – I have a few hand me downs from then… I think any decade is good, except maybe for he 80s.

  13. Jocelyn says:

    It’s out there, and now I’m totally invested in your hunt, too–completely excited for the photos once you find it.

    I’ve been on this quest before; it’s amazingly hard to find The Right Sofa. We finally found one at a custom furniture store, where we could choose the upholstery, etc.

    • Jazz says:

      I’m thinking we might have to go custom too. Still have some places to check out on St. Laurent, where they have a few higher end furniture shops. Too bad my tastes don’t match my wallet.

  14. lime says:

    word to the wise…make sure if the back is made of pillows that they are attached. i loved the look and feel of my couch with a pillow back but lordy i can’t tell you how sick i am of picking those damn pillows up off the floor where my kids seem to prefer them.

  15. Oh you are so right. Sofa buying has caused me much stress and I have never got it right over the years. We need a new one and just the thought brings me out in a cold sweat!

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