First things first: why doesn’t anybody say “chesterfield” anymore? When I was growing up here at the Manse in the long-ago 1960s and ’70s, that’s what we (that is, my family) always called the “couch” or “sofa” in our living room. Were we just weird? Or is “chesterfield” a word that was genuinely common back then but has simply faded away?
Anyway, leaving that pressing issue aside: I want your vote on a chesterfield – oh, all right, couch – that I’ve been eyeing for the Manse’s living room for quite some time. It comes from a relatively prosaic place: The Bay. I first spotted it in a glossy Bay flier that came tucked into our Gazette (the former workplace of both Raymond and me) a couple of years ago in Montreal. I loved the midcentury style, and I loved the colour. And the price was right too; it was on sale for something under $1,000.
Which, as it turns out, this couch often is. (On sale, I mean.) Every time I check it on The Bay’s website or in the big downtown-Montreal Bay store, it seems to be on sale once again. This past weekend I tracked it down at that store (hence the photo) with a tag on it saying, “This weekend only! $799, regularly $1,599!” Except when I went to The Bay’s website just now (that would be Tuesday evening), it was still on sale for $799. Not that I’m complaining.
In the store they had it displayed along with a bunch of fabric swatches, showing that you could get it in quite a variety of colours. Including a nice red, my favourite colour in the world. But I have to say that that bright lemon-lime shade seems just perfect for the Manse’s living room. Or is it? Perhaps it is a colour that Raymond and I will get thoroughly sick of in less than five years, and wonder a) what we were thinking and b) why we didn’t just buy something in a nice sedate beige or cream? Is this lemon-lime Mad-Men-style couch my own variation on the late-1960s Avocado-Green-appliance craze that I remember so well?
To help you make an informed decision on this weighty matter, I offer up a photo of the couch that the lemon-lime model would replace. It came with the Manse when Raymond and I bought it back in 2012, and while we were a little snickery at first about its pleather upholstery and evident wear, we got a little less so when we realized that a) it was actually pretty comfortable and b) it was the only couch – oops, chesterfield – that we had. Here it is, with Sieste the cat as the crowning touch:
And here, just to confuse matters further, is another 1960s-style chesterfield that I found at The Bay last weekend when I was seeking out my lemon-lime model. This one’s a hundred dollars or so more expensive, a bit more comfortable to sit in, and has those funky Jetsons-style rounded lines:
I don’t, however, much care for the colour, and while there were other upholstery options with it too, none of them really grabbed me. But I don’t know; maybe this is the chesterfield for the Manse.
What do you think, people? Let’s hear from your inner (or, heck, outer) decorator. I need some advice!