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Monday, January 5, 2015

Vintage Ficks Reed Sofa

Happy 2015, friends! Now that the rush of the holidays is over, I can finally sit down to blog. It's been a pretty crazy season and I'm happy to be in the new year. I realize how long it's been since I last wrote, we weren't even in our new house (!!), but I've had lots of little projects going here and there and need to just write about them already! I figure my sofa flip is as good a place to start as any.

We moved into the new house around the end of October. So far, we've updated tile and paint and I've been busy trying to decorate a house that's twice the size of our old townhouse in the city (hooray for the burbs!).  I think I'll make another post about all the remodeling projects we've done, as the "before" and "afters" are pretty great. 

The new nest!
The old townhouse had one living space and a combined kitchen and dining room, so decorating was pretty simple and I kept it somewhat neutral. The new house has a formal living room, formal dining room and the kitchen flows into the breakfast nook and great room. I LOVE the layout since it's great for entertaining and the formal rooms give me a chance to get creative. I've dubbed the formal living room the "Lady Cave". Mr. B let me go wild with paint colors, too. I chose a bright aqua (Sherwin Williams Spa) for the walls with black trim and crown molding. That opens into the dining room where the black trim continues but the walls are SW Blue Nile, an intense, dark teal. It feels like being in a swanky restaurant... at least that's what one of my girls' said *squeals with delight!*

So, now I have this awesome room with beautiful paint and no furniture... Moving is expensive, painters are expensive, tile and tilers are ridiculously expensive, you get the gist. As much as I'd love to, I'm not popping into Arhaus to pick up a new living room set anytime soon. Does this depress me? Yes Of course not! Why? Because I don't look at it like "poor me, I can't go buy that beautiful but ridiculously overpriced (blank)" but I sure as heck am not filling this beautiful home with cheap junk. What's a girl to do? I step outside the box, I dig around, I get creative, I hunt and search and I work hard to find beautiful treasures. And you know what ends up happening? Not only do I find one of a kind pieces for my home but I get this crazy rush from the whole process. It is SO satisfying to find a diamond in the rough, something that most would look past without a second thought, and turn it into a "Wow!". 

A couple months back, I was scrolling through a furniture site looking for ideas for the lady cave. I had already splurged on a Zebra hide rug and I needed a sofa that would compliment it. I came across this beautiful gold rattan daybed.

I thought, wow, that is beautiful AND over $2k! Not gonna happen but I couldn't get it out of my head. I loved the look. My wheels started turning. I googled around but couldn't find anything that had the right feel. So, I tried my best buddy, Craigslist. I searched for "rattan", "daybed" and "sofa" and within about five minutes, THIS popped up!

Had I not already been looking for the rattan style, I may not have even paused at this listing (uh, where are the cushions?) but I did and I couldn't believe how perfect it was! Well, not perfect yet, but it was GOING to be! Then I read the ad and knew it was meant to be. It was for sale less than 5 miles from my house and she wanted $180 for it! So I emailed her right away and offered her a hundred bucks. She came back with $140 and it was sold! My dad and I drove over to pick it up. I was impressed by the condition, aside from the ugly paint, it was almost like new. The woman told me it was a "Ficks Reed" sofa and that they had somehow lost the cushions during a move. I'd never heard of Ficks Reed but whatever, cool. Thanks for the sofa, have a nice day! I looked up Ficks Reed on the drive home and I found the same sofa I just threw in the back of my dad's Dodge had sold on a couple sites for well over $1,000!!! Cue happy dance. The frame was a big score! Now, to find some cushions. I figured this would be no big deal. I wasn't exactly right. Turns out, you can't just order custom sofa cushions, a custom sofa, yes, just the cushions, not so much. At least not for what I was willing to shell out. I was annoyed. I searched around about a week and then decided on a plan. I found a foam company in Florida who would cut and ship foam for a pretty decent price. I spoke to the owner and he was super helpful on the different thicknesses and what size I would want. 

The custom cut foam cushions
Foam ordered, I moved on to fabric. I shopped around local fabric stores but was not impressed with the quality of the velvet. Oh, yea, I wanted black velvet cushions. Etsy to the rescue! I found a company in India that had beautiful cotton viscose velvet in upholstery thickness but before I placed my order I had one BIG decision to make. How were these cushion covers going to be made?? Clearly, my sewing skills are lacking. I mean, I could PROBABLY get it done but it would take me forever. I called a few upholstery shops and rolled my eyes when they told me how much they wanted to charge. It's highway robbery! I turned back to my old pal, CL. I searched "seamstress". Bam! Several ads came up. I phoned a woman named Ellen, who answered the phone sounding like she had eaten Marlboros for breakfast (she assured me her voice always sounds rough in the morning). Something about her scratchy voice, Middle Eastern accent and the way she said "Honey, I do this for you." and "Do you have curtains, yet? No, I didn't think so. I make them for you someday." endeared her to me. That and the fact that her price was actually reasonable! So, I ordered the fabric and hired Ellen.

Now to tackle the frame!

I love gold spray paint!

I did a rough sand of the sofa and wiped it down with a tacky cloth then sprayed away!

Action shot!

The frame turned out really lovely. The gold wasn't too bright and all the details of the bamboo just jumped out in the metallic hue. About two weeks later, Ellen called to tell me the cushions were ready for pick up. The moment of truth had arrived!

I accented it with chartreuse throw pillows and a floral one to tie in the turquoise of the walls and pops of fuchsia. I'm still piecing the room together and might end up switching out the end tables for something more chunky but they work for now. Mr. B actually picked out the trunk, which I think adds a nice masculine touch and, bonus, it's padded for lil G! Speaking of...

Oh, heeeey vintage lamp! Fancy seeing you here ;)
Baby Break!!!

16 months! I can't believe it *sniffle*

Ok, back to a couple more detail shots.

After it was all said and done, this sofa cost me FAR less than it would have to just go out and buy something like it. I know this is not everyone's style. It's funky. It's bold. It's metallic and velvet. I love it. In my book, uniqueness always wins and if you get bring a vintage piece back to life, double win!


Mrs. B


  1. Hello Mrs. B,
    Great find! Great job on refinishing too. I have a Ficks Reed sofa and chair sans cushions. Got them along with a coffee table and several loose side tables and stools for... ready for it? $250! Score. Now I need cushions. If you could direct me to the lady in Florida, I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks! Jill in So. Cal.

    1. Hi Jill! Sorry for the delayed response. I used for my foam on two separate occassions and they were great.

  2. What is the foam company in Florida? I have an old Ficks Reed sofa and chair that need replacement cushions.

    1. Hi Annie! I used they were fast and had good prices, too! Hope it helps :D