Friday, March 25, 2011

Which Sofa Fit the Bill?

As I mentioned earlier, I've been considering a sofa purchase for awhile. One of Seth's first big purchases after graduating was a living room set, including a leather sofa, chair and coffee table.

I can't lie, that sofa is comfyReally comfy.  Okay, okay!  It's the comfiest sofa on earth.  And the leather really was a dream with Bonnie (our dachshund) and George (our newest addition, the American bulldog).  But the heart wants what it wants, kiddos. And after considering all the options, (and almost buying one or two!) I wanted the Jasper.

I saw it first Making It Lovely, one of my favorite blogs.

photo via  

And then I saw it here, at SF Girl by Bay
Photo via SF Girl by Bay'
 And she taunted me here on Design*Sponge's sneak peak

Home of jeff bellanton and kim westad via Design*Sponge

If fit most of my sofa criteria:
1. Super-sexy, but just transitional enough in style. I'm in love with the mid-century inspired lines.  Just look at those pretty legs. Look again. Okay. Look again.

2. Clean-ability - They actually sell slipcovers separately that are made to fit the Jasper, which is good because I live with two dogs and a boy/husband.  Not to mention that I'm a clutz.  And we *gasp* eat dinner while sitting on the sofa.  Yes, I said it.  At times I try to lure the hubs away.  He thinks it's the sweetest gesture, but his show is on (or something).

3. Slipcovered. For an additional $450 or so with shipping I can order slipcovers made to fit the Jasper.  What's an extra $450?  I love spending money!  Money grows on trees! But seriously, the number of sofas that have slipcover options are few and far between. Did I mention the two dogs and the careless husband? And that I'm the clutz that comes to your dinner party, trips on the coffee table and spills red wine on your white dress?  Did I mention that?

4.  Price. It didn't fit this criteria.  Not because it's not worth it, but because I'm cheap.  I'm getting less-cheap, very fortunately, because while it's a blessing it causes more inner turmoil than you can imagine. I lust after things that I can't possibly bring myself to... and that one time I longed... with the most sinful desire to... buy... but I... Whaaa... where am I? Oh yes, the sofa.  Moving on.  I'll get to the price issue later. 

5. Size.  86" would work just fine.  I just had to remove the side table harboring with tons of junk, remotes, etcetera.

6. Quality. I've really heard nothing but good things about the Jasper.  I didn't conduct crash tests in the showroom or anything, but I've read reviews, blah blah blah.

7. Will it fit? Yes, it would fit between the doorways and through the condo entry corridors and stairs. 

BUT, my friends, we "need" (I'm using this term loosely...  I'm quite aware no one's welfare depends on a new sofa) so many things that it was hard to pull the trigger on a piece with the price tag. I'm a bargainista to a fault, after all.

I kept my eye on the Room and Board website for at least a year and it never went on sale. I stalked Craigslist for ages with no luck.  I sealed pictures of the Jasper in a bottle and released them at sea.

After months of this torturous pining, I ordered some swatches and told myself to grow some Big Girl pants and buy the sofa.  But the pants didn't grow.  It might sound silly. "Just buy the darn sofa," you say.  But remember how I was about my my Junior Prom dress for example.

And then I found a post on Craigslist by complete accident.  Someone was selling Room and Board gift cards in Atlanta (about 2 - 2-1/2 hours away from Birmingham) for about 3/4 of their value their value. It wasn't a steal, but I reassured myself that I had wanted this for ages and it was my one shot to get a deal. So I emailed the seller and made arrangements to meet at the store. 

Here's where it gets better.  The night before I was scheduled to meet her, a white micro-suede Jasper sofa was posted on Craigslist in Atlanta.  YES!  THE SOFA.  I was literally shaking I was so excited... and nervous.  This had to work at light-speed, after all, because I needed to let the gift-card seller know if I couldn't show up the next day. I emailed the sofa seller immediately. After an hour or so, they responded saying it was still available.

We don't have a truck so I asked if they would hold it for a day or so until I could make arrangements to pick it up... but no.  "First come, first serve." Fair enough.  I would have walked to Atlanta and hauled it on my back if necessary.  Luckily that wasn't necessary. 

On our way home with Jasper
Sorry for always featuring my dad, but he saves
my tail so much it's kind of unavoidable. 

Yep, Dad took his entire Saturday to drive to Atlanta with me, load up the sofa, and drive back.  Mind you, he also had to endure my conversation.  I was so excited I couldn't stop talking (and talking fast... like, so fast that I impressed myself by the speed and length of time I could go without catching a breath).

We showed up and it was in pretty good condition, although in need of a serious cleaning and some furniture marker touch-ups on the legs. No biggie.  And no haggling over the price.  The custom upholstery was an extra $400, so it was a solid $2,000+ sofa with shipping.

Here it is the day Dad and I brought it back:

Jasper at home
Bonnie liked it.

The micro-suede is so thick and rich it feels like real suede, and it cleans up so well.  Sure, I'm still considering the slipcover, but for now it's working nicely.

Two interesting side notes:
(1) I made sure the gal selling the gift cards knew I wasn't going to make it, and that she was would be okay selling to someone else.  She congratulated me on the sofa and told me she had worked as a buyer for a furniture store (neat-o), and had actually tried to convince them to buy a similar style before.  We've exchanged our favorite design blogs and corresponded via email since then.  Kind of cool, right?
(2) The super-comfy leather sofa now has a home at my mom and dad's.  You guys, it looks so good there.  I may post pics one day.  It's amazing how the same piece can look completely different in a new space.

More pics next week!

Do you like it?  Worth the wait?  Worth the nail-biting?  Worth the slow-growing of big girl pants?


  1. Erin,

    Love your cousin,

  2. I like seeing Pencil in the photographs

  3. Thanks, Becca!

    "Anonymous" - I'm so glad you like seeing Bonnie.

  4. I found your blog post on the Jasper Sofa while doing searches online for reviews on the this sofa. The reviews at Room & Board website are mixed with a lot of people saying that the cushions are not holding up and get saggy and out of shape. Now that you have had your Jasper Sofa for a while, do you still love it? has it held up well? Anything you can tell me is greatly appreciated.
    you can email me at wardstormsATcomcastDOTnet

  5. Hi Shannon!

    I'm not super-surprised about those mixed reviews.

    I replaced the cushions on our Jasper recently and they look better than before. But then I realized it wasn't just the cushions, it was also the springs. So I got a couple of those "as seen on tv" sets for chairs and sofas that sag and try my best to keep those towards the front of the sofa now. That's helped a lot.

    Bear in mind, though, that I did buy my Jasper on Craigslist and I don't know how much wear and tear it had already experienced.

    A few notes that may help you:
    - I still LOVE how my Jasper Sofa looks. I never get tired of it. Ever.
    - The foam cushions aren't the ideal grade. I did some research before getting the replacements and realized the Room & Board foam cushions aren't ideal for such modern/thin cushions which could use the best support available. I even tried asking if I could "upgrade" to a higher quality and that wasn't an option.
    - *They now offer down cushions for the Jasper!*(Wouldn't you know they started making them available RIGHT AFTER I ordered my foam cushion replacements?). I'm sure they're more expensive but I think that would probably make the cushions last longer.... but ask a Customer Service person about that.
    - The one thing I would change about the Jasper, other than replacing the springs (which are I'm guessing are about 10 years old now), is the seat depth. I've realized that a deeper seat depth is so wonderful for an everyday sofa. Fortunately though, you can take the back cushions off for times like when someone sleeps on the sofa or someone is home sick on the sofa.

    Does that help, Shannon? Happy New Year!


  6. You can know which sofa fit the bill. Read all about it

  7. Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. Demir Leather Lounges