No, I don’t really work here… I just like to sell people stuff… and talk.

Antique Hide A Bed Couch Re-upholstery (I know, I really should have taken a “before” picture)

THE BOY AND I WERE THRIFTING LAST WEEK AND CAME UPON A YOUNG COUPLE WHO WAS FURNITURE SHOPPING.  The guy was sitting on a couch with the recliner flipped back, one hand gripped around an imaginary remote…  the other holding an imaginary liquid refreshment.  

I looked at him and said:  “Man cave?”

“Nope,” he looked up at his better half who was standing there with a disapproving look on her face.  “We just got an apartment.”

“Oh, congratulations,” I said.  “That’s an awesome couch.  Heck of a deal.”  She still didn’t look impressed.

He looked at her again and said, “I could re-cover it.”  She shook her head.

I piped up, “No, you probably couldn’t.  It would be way too difficult.”  She looked at me, relieved.

He said, “How much would it cost to have it re-upholstered?”

I said, “Too much — it’s a pretty complicated piece.  You would be better off to keep looking if it’s not right.  That is a pretty nice couch.  I’m sure someone will buy it today.”

So, then he started asking me about the price.  “Oh, I don’t work here.  I just thought that was a good buy.”   His other half led him away and suggested that they go look at bed frames…  and get the heck away from me.  The Boy tried to sell them a kitchen table and then we never saw them again.

That in itself is a good story, but it gets better…  The following weekend  ( I can hear you all — “what happens next?)…  you know you live in a small town when this happens to you…  I go into a small local business to pick up an item that needed a repair.  The owner knew I wrote this blog and she asked me if they “do anything” to the furniture you buy at Marion Goodwill.

I explained the policy — essentially that the State of Ohio has certain procedures that must be followed when selling second-hand bedding, upholstered furniture, stuffed toys and filling materials.  Shoppers should look for the red tag that says “This item has been sanitized.”  Personally, I carefully inspect the item, wash/dry items at high heat (when possible) and vacuum items thoroughly.  I recover or re-upholster many items and usually leave the item outside my home until that is done.  Tearing things apart gives me a good opportunity to check things over.

She thanked me and told me that the guy at the other end of the counter just got an apartment and was looking for furniture.  I got really excited and started to tell them about the deals we saw the previous week…

Then…  I…  looked…  up…  You guessed it…  It was him!  ~~~~~Apparently, I was a good salesperson.  He bought the couch!

That’s her — Mabel, before she had the couch. She must have had really long legs!

The picture above is a couch I inherited (inheriting meets my definition of thrifting), basically because I was the only one in my family with enough room for the huge thing.  It is a 1910ish hide-a-bed that was originally my Great Grandma Mabel’s (actually, her full name was Mabel Esther Hinamon Firstenberger Ruth — say that 5 times real fast.)  The couch used to be the center piece of her big front parlor opposite an upright piano.  Back in the day, they would have the gang over, play music, sing and dance.  If you weren’t old enough to do that, you were confined to the couch.  I’ve heard stories about JUST how many kids could perch on each arm.

In my case — the hide-a-bed feature and two helpful parents made it a perfect re-upholstery project for a beginner.  Want to give it a whirl?  The folks over at “Apartment Therapy” have a comprehensive collection of DIY links for beginners — check it out here.  Hint — start with a foot stool.

See you in the stores — What do you want me to sell to you?

T and The Boy


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