Monday, April 27, 2009

Room of the Month—Mr. Peacock

Here’s a peek at Mr. Peacock from the monthly feature, The Room, in the upcoming May 2009 issue of the San Francisco lifestyle magazine, 7x7.

I’m really hooting it up here on my sofa! The numbers on the photo correspond to text on the 7x7 website (and layout in the upcoming May issue), click here to read the full copy.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve moved many times over the years, and I never had a “real” sofa. I would usually have a large table with chairs in my living room—easier to move than a large sofa, and great for large dinners. People didn’t like coming over to my place, because there wasn’t anywhere comfortable to hang out. A friend in the furniture biz convinced me (with a great price too) that it was time to get a nice, adult sofa. Well, being a Gemini, I had a difficult time deciding and committing to a single sofa style. The sofas that were visually appealing were unfortunately terribly uncomfortable—and visa versa. Many of the sofas that were super comfortable, looked like an upholstered beached whale, with piles of pillows. I even went to the Salone Internazionale del Mobile (the amazing furniture fair in Milano) on my quest to find the ultimate sofa with perfect form and function. I did find two comfy and nice looking chairs in Milano, and was ready to order them, however, they didn't meet the fire codes (or something problematic) in California and it would have turned into a big project to get them here...

Above: I like the look of this IKEA "Karlstad" sofa. It would look great with a patterned slipcover!

In the meantime, another pal told me to just get a cheap IKEA sofa as a temporary solution, and then get rid of it when I decide on my “permanent” sofa. I took his advice, but wasn’t too crazy about the shape and silhouette of the IKEA "Nikkala" sofa I selected (now discontinued)—but it was super comfortable, and not too bulky. When it was delivered, however, I was taken aback by the tyvek used as upholstery fabric under the white cotton slipcover, and thought that it wouldn't be very durable.

Above: I like this black on white stylized peacock fabric at IKEA. It also comes in the reverse—white on black fabric. I think it would look interesting on a sofa.

Well seven years later, I still have the $400 sofa from IKEA, and the foam is just as firm as it was the day I purchased it. I’m shocked tooI think they have a 10 year guarantee on the sofas. I was never a couch potato in my life, but I have to admit, I’ve taken many naps and lounged on this inexpensive comfortable sofa.

After 7x7 Magazine heard my sofa testimonial, they asked me if I would share my tips on how I styled my own IKEA sofa on video for their website. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the darn video to embed here on the blog, but you can watch it here. The photos (above and below) are stills from the video by Jason Jurgens.

I’m sill on the hunt for the sofa with “perfect” form and function, but until I find it—I’ll keep making different slipcovers for my comfy “vintage” IKEA couch.

I want to thank all of the folks at 7x7 Magazine (including the editor of my piece, Leilani Labong; the photographer, Joe Budd; and the videographer Jason Jurgens) for doing such a great job, and making me feel at ease. And also, thanks to the folks at IKEA for being so accommodating for Mr. Peacock. Thank You!

What kind of sofa do you have—do you love it? Is it comfortable, or just look good—or both?


jason said...

I love love love that painting...and how you've hung it....
and I covet covet covet your zebra rug.

I have a brown canvas covered sofa with stainless steel legs that looks as similar to an IKEA sofa as I could find around here. It's not very comfortable, but it looks good, and it's in two parts, so when the next hurricane comes I can (almost) take it with me. :)

Elvis Depressley said...

I had considered buying a faux zebra skin rug for my room, but decided against it, afraid that it would make my room look sleazy and too busy, but I think I may reconsider again, after seeing how beautiful and elegant your living room looks with it laying on the floor. Great video too! Thanks for the tips!

And when it comes to sofas, I'm big on beauty over comfort, even though my grandma always used to say that the more comfortable your couch is, the longer the guests stay!

ayem8y said...

You know I love your apartment and the wonderful style and personality. I love the video with it’s shopping makes me want a new sofa. As a decorator I’ve had many sofa’s and many apartments and houses and currently I have an enormous Victorian balloon back sofa stuffed with horsehair. The frame is red lacquer and the fabric is black like a lady in mourning. I call it Queen Bee as the person seated on it invariably receives the most attention.

My favorite was a 50’s/60’s sectional covered in aqua silk. I literally wore out the fabric...I miss that sofa.

Christina - said...

I once had a large and comfortable chenille camelback sofa that everyone enjoyed sitting on. However, I had to beg someone to take it from me when it was time to move out.

My next sofa was a green & cream post modern Eastern European fold-up sofa/bed. I think it's comfortable, but as the "arms" move from an upright position to a sleeping position, it's got a mechanical element that sometimes fails. I'm ready for my next real sofa again, and may consider gussying up an Ikea sofa as you've done so beautifully!

I love your painting and it's position on the book case! My husband and I were watching HGTV at my mom's house a few months ago and saw a program where they organized a person's bookshelf by color. We had never considered doing this before, but the results on the program and in our own home was surprisingly effective!

MJ said...

What a treat to see the 3-D classic silhouette of the debonair Mr. Peacock.

Mistress MJ's home has a wall of books similar to yours. Books, to me, are a big part of what makes a house a home.

This post is quite timely as I'll be moving across the country later this year and ditching my current worn sofa in favour of a new one. I'm seeking style combined with comfort so I'll keep your tips in mind.

Where can I get one of those little bells to follow me around and ding when I make a particularly helpful comment?

Did you end up in Ikea's ball room?

Anna said...

Mr. Peacock. You are a great inspiration to me.

Btwn, I admire you even more after seeing your real self (vs. Peacock head overlayed). Wait... which one is real?

Mr. Peacock said...

Thank You everyone!!!

I love the 'ding' sound effect and music in the video too...

Merci! Merci!


I never understand that 'fire codes' thingie... isn't it more toxic?! I adore your 'quirky' style Mr P!

DanaDoesDesign said...

So funny, I just got this magazine in my San Francisco hotel room and I love it! Wish we had something as edgy and fun in Kansas city!

And such a great room too!

Anonymous said...

I also have a nikkala sofa from Ikea! I learned that there is a company who makes slipcovers for Ikea sofas. It is called Bemz and you can find them on They have a lot of fabrics to chose from!
I love your blog!

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