From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three
Just when I think I’ve solved the matter of choosing a sofa for our tiny house, a second glance at the website of said sofa (well, futon really) enlightens me to the fact that my chosen “sofa” is actually a futon chair. I knew it was too good to be true! Check out what I THOUGHT would work courtesy of The Futon Shop (though we’d have chosen a far mode subdued color scheme):
I got all excited when I saw that the twin width was only 44.25″ not thinking about the fact that the frame width is, of course, larger than the seating area width. Bah! It seemed to be the perfect solution because it has the fold-up side tables, space underneath for storage (we were going to fold a thinner futon mattress into thirds rather than have a 2nd cushion to keep track of or hog space underneath), and would provide a sleeping area for guests. Back to the drawing board!
For us, comfort is paramount. We are avid movie watchers (we filled up three 224 disc and two 72 disc binders with our DVD collection when we moved out of the big house, and that was after culling the collection quite a bit, too), so it’s far more important to us that our sofa be 1) comfortable for hours at a time and 2) big enough for all three of us to squish onto. Obviously at 44.25″ we weren’t talking about extreme comfort here, but the idea was that R.A.D could sit in our laps like he does now no matter what we’re sitting on and then could move into collapsing chair later on. We also still hope to be fortunate enough to have a 2nd kiddo at some point (my body’s cooperation willing), and I liked the idea of having a 2nd bed on the main level for postpartum purposes. What can I say – I plan ahead!
Most tiny houses I’ve seen are designed with couples in mind, so the popular “sofa” seems to either be a storage bench with a cushion on top or not be a sofa at all but, instead, a pair of small scale comfy chairs. Both of those are great ideas and not completely out of the question for us, but I can already hear the grumbling (from both of us mind you) about the bench being very uncomfortable (too stiff, not enough padding, no arms, etc) and the little wiggle worm not having his own seat between us. Granted that he has a cute little elephant chair that’s essentially a furry beanbag with an elephant head on it that he adores (great choice by my M-I-L), but R.A.D likes to “nuggle” (the “S” is apparently silent when you’re 2) with us when we watch “his” movies. That means the chair option isn’t really viable either, though not impossible I guess.
Here’s the gorgeous interior of The Tiny Tack House and their bench-style sofa. They have a bunch of new photos posted from this year, so go check them out and be inspired!!
An alternative version of the bench seat works only if you happen to have a house with a nook or bumpout like out Tumbleweed Cypress does. Here’s a genius idea that incorporates that space into a long L-shaped bench sofa that actually converts into a bed. Now we’re getting warmer, except that we have a gorgeous cedar chest we got for free that we plan to put in the nook with a cushion on top for extra seating, to store shoes/coats/bags in, and to function as a chair for the drop-down desk we’re mounting on one wall by deleting a window.
Check out the pic below and click HERE to see an article about it and it’s sweet sofa-bench-bed.
I found a guy who makes gorgeous log furniture, including sofas and futons, that can make us a custom-sized one for about $600. While that’s more than I WANT to spend I’m certainly not ruling it out on price alone. They really are lovely pieces that can be customized with just about any fabric you can think of, so it’s definitely something to consider provided we can disassemble it enough to get through the front door or the French casement window we plan to put in the front nook.
Check out the Etsy shop MistyMtnFurn to see this and many other gorgeous pieces.
I’ve found a few small “convertible” sofas that have flip out, single piece cushions that make a makeshift bed, but I sat on the IKEA version recently and wasn’t particularly impressed. Of course for $169 I shouldn’t expect it to feel like sitting on a cloud! The reviews of a very similar sofa on UrbanOutfitters.com was scathing, so even though it’s got more color options than the IKEA one I’m not even going to bother with it I think.
IKEA’s Solsta sofa bed only costs $169.
I just had a brainstorm that would make a decent fusion set for a bench sofa: memory foam crib mattresses. They come in a (mostly) standard size of 52″Lx28″W give or take about an inch in either direction, so that’s not dramatically out of the range of possibility. The biggest hurdle for a sofa bench to clear for it to be deemed comfortable (at least by my standards anyway) is to have the right amount of give in the back cushions to support my lower back. I can’t sit board straight, and I’ve owned one too many sofas that actually pushed me forward at the shoulders, thus putting my lower back into a highly uncomfortable arch. I finally got rid of the last one that did that to me when I was pregnant with R.A.D, and I miss its replacement, a Cindy Crawford Metropolis sectional, sooooooOOOOOoooo much as it was the absolutely most comfortable seat of any variety I’d ever had the pleasure of plunking my butt down on. I practically cried when we sold it for what we owed on it (gotta love 5yrs 0%!) to a coworker of mine just to get it out of the Big House and off the books, and I’m gradually coming to grips with the fact we’ll likely never have one of those again since it would take up nearly the entire main floor of our house. Le sigh.
Anyway, a final (well, for now anyway) option we’re mulling is using the little faux wicker outdoor settee we have still sitting on the porch of the Big House for our renters to use. It’s very light weight and actually not terribly uncomfortable as is, but it would be vastly improved with two new thicker cushions for the seat and back. You can just see the settee poking out behind me in this photo (obviously taken before we did a major overhaul on our front flower beds – hey, we like the “English garden” look a’ight?!), and you’ll notice it has no back cushions. That’s because a massively crazy wind storm blew through last spring and blew ALL the cushions of ALL our chairs (it’s part of a matching set) down the street in three different directions. I rescued the bottom cushion from the clutches of the middle of the street two blocks behind our house and one of the toss pillows was wedged under the tires of a very large pickup truck about a half block down a completely different street. Weird!
There’s enough space underneath to put some long, low storage boxes down there, and it does have the obligatory arms necessary for leaning against. I’ve actually slept on it during rainstorms a couple times back when it was on the upper balcony of the Big House – not bad for being so small! There’s a lady on Etsy (I just adore Etsy!) that makes some really nice looking bench seat cushions in the right dimensions for about $170 a piece last I checked, but for that price I could buy a whole new settee. Ugh! Too many choices, and yet none of them are just right.
Where’s Goldilocks when I need her?! 😉