79: Decorating Dilemma

79: Decorating Dilemma

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home

Decorating Dilemma

The most elegant interiors are just slightly tatty.

~David Netto

“What happened to your sofa?” a good friend asked one morning while unexpectedly visiting. “The side is all ripped and torn.”

“I know. I usually have a blanket thrown over it, but it’s in the wash,” I answered.

“Did your cats do that?”

“No, I did.”


“It’s a long story,” I said.

“I have time. Tell me,” she said and plunked herself down on the sofa in my little home office and curled her feet under her.

I hesitated. It wouldn’t be easy to admit the stupid thing I did. “All right, I’ll tell you. If you promise not to laugh.”

“I promise.”

“Well, you know I love my house. I love each room in it, how it is decorated, how comfortable everything is.”

“Right,” my friend said and drew out the word. “But?”

“There was just one thing I didn’t like. It was the couch I used to have in here. So one weekend when I was home by myself, I decided to make a change. This couch was in the living room, remember?”

“I remember. It looked okay in there.”

“Yeah, but I wanted it in here.”

“Okay. So what did you do with the one you had in here?”

“I gave it away. I stood it up on its side and shimmied it through the doorframe and down the hallway into the garage. Goodwill picked it up that same day.”

“So you had an empty spot in here.”

“Yup, and I wanted that sofa from the living room.”

I took a deep breath and thought back to that weekend. I was so excited. I had rearranged the entire room. I put the desk in front of the window and a great side table to the right. I stacked my files on top of that and hooked up my computer and fax machine and printer. Everything was set and ready for the sofa. It would be just perfect after I got that baby in there.

“This room used to be a bedroom, right?” my friend asked, bringing me back from my memories.

“Right, it’s only 10 feet by 10 feet, but I wanted another sofa in here. I like having a place for friends to visit with me while I’m in my office, just like you’re doing now.”

“So what happened?”

“Well, I went into the living room, took the cushions off and stood the sofa up on its end. Then I wiggle-walked it through the family room and over to the doorway to my office. That’s when I realized my mistake.”


“It wouldn’t fit through the doorframe.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope. It was too wide and too tall. I crammed it, I shoved it, I pushed and heaved. But it would not go through the door.”

“How did you get it into the house in the first place?” she asked.

“Through the double front doors. And it went directly into the living room, so it didn’t have to pass through any doorframes.”

“So you wiggled it back into the living room and gave up on the idea?” she asked with a wry grin.

“Have you ever known me to give up on something?” I said.

She smiled. A best friend kind of smile. “No, so how did you get it in here?”

“Through the window.”


“I popped the screen off and then I finally got some smarts and dug out a tape measure. The width of the sofa was the exact width of the window opening. I sashayed it back through the family room, through the sliding door, and then around the back of the house to the outside of my office window.”

“You are one crazy lady,” she said, “and stubborn.”

“Good thing it was dark and the neighbors couldn’t see. Probably would have thought someone was robbing the place.”

“And I’d have had to bail you out of jail!”

I had to laugh at the thought of that.

“So how did you do it all by yourself?” she asked.

“I propped it up on the windowsill and pushed. But it got stuck. So I went inside and pulled, and it got stuck again. I finally got it through the window, onto the top of my desk, then down onto the floor. I stood it up on its end, moved it over to the wall where it was going to go, then dropped it down with a thud.”

“Why didn’t you wait for someone to help you?”

“I wanted to get the room set up that night. It was all done except for the couch. I was determined to get it in.”

“Well, it looks like you did. But what happened to the side?” she asked as she fingered the shredded material.

“I didn’t think to lay something on the windowsill. As I pushed and pulled, the windowsill and side of the window frame ripped the material down the side and along the whole back.”

“You could have left this sofa in the living room where it was,” my good friend said with a snicker.

“Nope, not an option. The shredded back and side are a casualty of the move. Couldn’t be helped.”

“So now you put a blanket over it?” she said, holding back a giggle. “How is that for fitting in with the room?”

“Just great. I bought new curtains to match the blanket, and an area rug in the same shade of blue.”

“What are you going to do when you want to get rid of this sofa? Are you going to pull it through the window again?” she said.

“No way. I’m going to chop it up into little pieces and carry it out of the room bit by bit.”

“That’ll make you feel better, right?” she asked, this time almost doubled over trying to hold back her laughter.

“Definitely. And I can’t wait for that day. In the meantime, excuse me while I go get the blanket out of the dryer.”

~B.J. Taylor

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