Our owner, Rachel, enjoying the Portland Press Herald on the Kennedy sofa.
ON BUYING A NEW COUCH
Whether you call it a couch or a sofa, a divan, davenport, or settee, I’ve found over the years that most folks have a really hard time selecting this very important piece of furniture. It’s puzzling to me that people will buy or lease a new car without skipping a beat, but truly agonize over a new couch. Cars are 10x the price of sofas, are equally important to your well-being, and are a place where you likely spend the same amount of time.
There is no shame in wanting or needing a new couch; it’s one of the hardest working pieces of furniture in your home. Think of all the hours that the members of your household spend sitting on your upholstered furniture (not to mention fort building, slumber party hosting, and pillow fighting). According to your insurance company, the life expectancy of upholstered furniture is 8 years. Investing in quality pieces (solid hardwood frames and a heavy duty spring system) will certainly increase lifespans, as do the new performance fabrics which resist wear and tear from the roughest of families.
Home decor is as much about fashion as apparel and changes just as quickly. The quartz countertops of today will be the avocado green of tomorrow. It’s perfectly acceptable and understandable that you simply no longer like the frame of the sofa you bought 20 years ago, just like you no longer wear your rave t-shirt and 90’s bantu knots.
To your mother, or whomever says, “My furniture is very good and they just don’t make them like this anymore…” Yes, they do. There was inexpensive, poorly made furniture 100 years ago, and there still is today. And even “good” upholstered furniture from the past (or present) has a lifespan.
Reupholstering is an option, sure, but this is not necessarily a money saver. If your sofa is supremely comfortable, you’ve got the perfect spot for it in your current home, and the cushions are in good shape, then yes, reupholstering is a good option. If any of these three conditions are not met, you’re probably going to spend as much as you could purchasing a new sofa.
We often suggest that you choose an interesting neutral for your sofa fabric to ward against becoming quickly disillusioned with a strong color or a statement pattern. These pops of color and pattern can be introduced on smaller pieces of furniture that are more easily reupholstered, and on throw pillows and rugs, which can be switched out on a whim.
This choice is not life or death. A sofa is an essential piece of furniture, used by the entire household in multiple ways throughout the day and night. It needs to be in scale with the rest of the room and comfortable for those who use it the most, even if some need to add throw pillows or an ottoman to achieve their particular comfort.
Stop the suffering! Buy a new couch! Home Remedies is here to help!!!
THINGS TO DO IN MAINE THIS WEEK:
WALK AMONG THE SHADOWS
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Through Oct. 28. Eastern Cemetery, 224 Congress St., Portland, $10, $5 for ages 12 and under. (spiritsalive.org)
Spirits Alive at the Eastern Cemetery loves this time of year because spooky storytellers come to life to share their scandalous stories. You’ll be led by lantern light through a public burial ground in Portland that dates back to 1668. Along the way, you’ll make five stops to hear stories written by Lynne Cullen and told by professional actors who truly embody the deceased souls they’re portraying with both respect and whimsy.
Photo courtesy of Harvest on the Harbor
MARKET ON THE HARBOR
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Festival tent, Portland Yacht Services, 100 W. Commercial St., Portland, $40, 21- plus. (harvestontheharbor.com)
Here’s your chance to get in on some Harvest on the Harbor foodie fun. The grand finale event is the Market on the Harbor, and it’s a culinary and shopping paradise. You’ll have four luxurious hours to imbibe and feast on food and drink samples (included with ticket) and can also shop till you drop.
Participants include Miss Portland Diner, Izzy’s Cheesecake, Shipyard Brewing Co., Wiggly Bridge Distillery and Zen Bear Honey Tea, among several others. You’ll also taste some preview bites from Wilson County BBQ, opening in Portland next year.
CAMP SUNSHINE PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. L.L. Bean campus and surrounding downtown Freeport. (campsunshine.org)
Celebrating its 15th year, the Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival turns Freeport into a Halloween headquarters as somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 carved pumpkins are displayed pretty much everywhere, and at 5 p.m., they’re all lit, creating a scene that would impress even Harry Potter. Before that magic moment, you and yours can hit the Cauldron Cafe and the Boo-Tique.
You’ll also find a Pumpkin Playland with all sorts of fun kids’ activities, the Mad Science slime-making booth, a costume parade and family pumpkin carving station.