September 6, 2012

guest post - the vintique object

Ugly is Contextual:  The Story of the Orange Sofa

Hello, readers of The Little Black Door.  I'm Camille of The Vintique Object and delighted to be here today to guest post for one of my favorite funny and talented bloggers.

So here's the story of the orange sofa. 

 If you saw this baby, what would you think?

Yeah, that's orange corduroy you see there.  

Would you think it's ugly?  I did.  But my shopping partner-in-crime Lane, of Urban Orchard Interiors, and I pride ourselves in being able to look past the ugly. We saw the above sofa with its nice lines and dreamed of transforming it into something like this:

 So, on a whim, we bought it, planning to reupholster the thing for our shared booth at the once-a-month Alameda Antiques Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area.

But as luck would have it, not long after we purchased the sofa, one of my clients pinned this photo to our shared board on Pinterest:

Jonathan Adler's Templeton Apartment Sofa
And I thought, Wow, our orange sofa could be that!  So I went off in search of 'orange sofa' pictures on Pinterest and found some pretty amazing photos which you can see in a post here.  

Lane saw that post and we both knew we'd just need to clean it up and try to sell it as is.

You can see her on the left there in all her orange glory at our booth at the antiques flea market.  (Claremont Finders Keepers is my other blog and business.)

I tell you, I shook my head as we hoisted that thing into Uhaul the night before.  I was sure we'd be loading it back up at the end of the day.

But you wouldn't believe how much interest our orange sofa got.  And about half way through the day it sold for a healthy profit.

Since the customer who bought it lived nearby, we agreed to deliver the sofa for a fee.  On the way over, I tried to imagine what her house would look like. It was really anybody's guess.

Well, here's what it looked like:

I tell you, if I had tried, I wouldn't have been able to imagine a more perfect place for our ugly-duckling-sofa-turned-swan to live.  (Get a load of those gorgeous curtains!)

If you are a reader of The Little Black Door, I'm betting you've got the thrifting/DIY gene somewhere in you.  Which is why I've told you this story.

The more of The Orange Sofa story is this:  Sometimes we spend so much time looking for things to transform -- to make beautiful, that we fail to imagine them in a different context.   That was certainly the lesson I learned with our little ol' orange sofa.

However...sometimes things are just ugly. 

Elizabeth, hope you are having a restful and fun time while you are gone. Thanks for having me!


  1. i LOOOOOOVE it! i was praying that it did not get reupholstered because it was so awesome as is! and i have been to urban orchard's blog, too and that home is stunning!

  2. That is such a great story. Your customer has awesome taste.

  3. Great story! That sofa was destined for that room!

  4. I actually love the orange and wouldn't change a thing!
    But it would actually look modern if the wood is painted white. Great find!

  5. I think it's gorgeous, as is! I kept thinking, I must have bad taste because I even like the corduroy! :)

  6. I was a teenager during the orange and avacado green faze, so the orange didn't thrill me( I do love the corduroy though ) but my BFF's son just married and they got carpet for their familyroom installed..yep, burnt orange.LOL So you see things just go around and around:) Love the story that goes with it and it does look so nice in her home!

  7. Camille, you are a hoot. Same hilarious sense of humor as Elizabeth. I was wondering what the punch line would be and I am so glad it found a happy home. Creativity doesn't start at the flea market. It happens in our imaginations and goes to the flea market. Hey, I'll have to write that down. hahahaha. Nice to meet you!

  8. Eek! Spotted a misspelling. 'More' should be 'moral.' That's what I get for writing this late at night...

    Thanks for having me Elizabeth, mistakes and all.


  9. Love the orange sofa! This is one of my favorite Living Room pics - that floor, those drapes - Love! Thanks for sharing.

  10. awww camille - i remember hearing about that sofa. and i love how it looks in their home. awesome post - so poignant :)

  11. I love Camille's guest post! The orange sofa is super ballsy, love that in decorating!

  12. Camille, I love this story and took the same lesson away from our experience! It also taught me to have more courage in design although I'm still working on that one. Thanks for sharing this with everyone. Now we just need to find our next "orange sofa..."

  13. This is just the best story ever! I LOVE that! And what a beautiful couch it turned out to be! Thank you so much for sharing!


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