Barney comes to stay…

I have been privileged to witness a genius at work, and I am so thrilled at the result that I can hardly sit still, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

We’ve been searching for furniture.

We’ve been searching everywhere local for furniture.

For weeks.

We’ve been in touch with local dairies, who have agreed to put photos of furniture on the sides of their milk cartons for us.

I would have thought that our search would have been easy. We’ve got a pretty limited budget, and we’re trying to furnish the front room which is simple, rectangular, and white. We have nothing that will require us to coordinate or match. Everywhere that sells any furniture at all sets up these displays where they have a sofa, loveseat, and chair that match, plus a few tables and accessories to make a pleasant arrangement, so we just pick one out and have it delivered. Right? Well, apparently not exactly.

Our search took us just across the state line, to a discount furniture store of the sort that I imagine would horrify Martha Stewart. The building is something like a shopping mall constructed from trailer houses. Everywhere you look, this store proclaims that it just went out of business, and is celebrating another grand reopening. A large loud salesperson in his best used car lot blazer informed us that the living room furniture was all over, and we should look for the reopening sale tag for a ten percent discount.

“Not leather, it smells like a wet goat and is too hot!”
“Too formal.”
“That fabric won’t hold up.”
“That sofa is purple!, can you imagine?”
“These fiberfill things always go flat”
“That’s ugly enough!”

So, having walked the entire circuit, rejecting everything except the accent chairs we were test sitting, my brilliant wife turns to me with an expression that is at once deeply thoughtful and a little embarrassed. With barely a word I followed her back to the one set that wasn’t just like every other one. The purple one we both mocked on the first pass.

“It’s comfortable”
“It seems to be pretty solidly built”
“The price is OK…”
“It’s just a little contemporary, and not quite retro…”
“I kinda like it…”

As we sat in amazement to be even considering this sofa in its Barney-esque splendor, the helpful salesguy offers “I can special order this piece in about three hundred different fabrics.” What a relief! We hurried away from the cliff of fashion disaster, and over to the design area, only to discover that the only fabric we were really interested in was the remarkable purple. We couldn’t look away.

Fortunately, the sofa comes with floral pillows that made it very easy for us to complete the look with broccoli green accent chairs. As the sales guy was writing up the sale, he said he liked what we picked, but that was before we had paid, so you never know. Dorean and I just giggled and giggled,

Here’s the bottom line. Our front room will be the first impression for anyone who visits at our house. The message of that first impression? Apparently Brian and Dorean belong in a Dr. Seuss book right next to Horton and the Tweedle Beetles.

I think that’s just about right.

Oh, I should note that we did not get any coffee table or end tables to go with Barney and the booger twins.  Sure, we saw one I liked, with a glass top, simple silver legs, and a bargain price: The problem is that we won’t really know if it would go with the living room chairs until we see them. Let me get this straight – the sofa is PURPLE, and the chairs are GREEN, tied together with two small floral pillows that have a purple fringe and green leaves? The table is transparent, for goodness sakes!

But the salesman agreed with my genius wife on that one too. I have so much to learn…



Filed under Family

14 responses to “Barney comes to stay…

  1. For anyone who might be confused, the above post was written by my beloved husband, Brian.

    And to that beloved husband, I have just one thing to say: It is NOT Barney-esque purple! It’s dusty plum purple… Ok, two things to say: It’s not Barney-esque purple, and it’s not broccoli green; it’s deep sage green!!! And it’s beautiful, and it wouldn’t go with transparent tables. So there!

    I think that was more than two things… Sorry…

  2. Oh, I beg to differ:

    It’s Minnesota Vikings purple, and Philadelphia Eagles green. Collectively 1-3 this season so far, and perhaps headed for the cellar. Who needs cable sports now?

    And it occurs to me that the simple silver legs and transparent tabletop would make perfect goalposts.

  3. Great. Now all we need is Astro Turf for carpet, and we’re all set…

  4. Mrs. I

    This is very funny to me ‘cuz L&I have purple sofas!!!!!!!! Great minds think alike – Ha! Ha! I’d call it a very elegant deep plum. I have never once thought “Barney.” I think your front room is going to look gorgeous!!!!!!

  5. I’m so glad to hear it’s not just me! The purple actually looks absolutely nothing like Barney, but, having met Brian, I’m sure you can figure out how the whole Barney thing got started… What’s a wife to do?

    As for what color of purple it actually is, I really can’t figure out what to call it. I even took a couple photos so I could just show the photo and everyone would know. However, when I used the flash it became a wierd reddish color, and if I took a shot without the flash it turned way blue… For now I guess the Barney sofa will have to be shrouded in mystery…

  6. Mrs. I

    Let’s see, we’ve ruled out Barney and maybe plum. What about “eggplant” ?? (I’m trying to think of all things purple!) : )

  7. Well, I don’t think it’s quite dark enough for eggplant, and it’s maybe a little “dustier”. For all the sense that makes…

  8. Or maybe “apoplexy” (as in, the color one turns when one is apoplectic)

  9. Mrs. I

    I hope that no one (including the sofa) is ever apoplectic in your new home!!!! : )

  10. I personally love retro anything including retro fashion. Thanks for the post.

  11. Pingback: Barney Gets a Friend « Life Inside My Head

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