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May 31, 2018

Super Secret Project – REVEALED!!!! Thursday Retro Rewind

I was looking back in our archives and came across a series of 3 posts I originally published 8 years ago about our quest for the *perfect* one-armed vintage couch! It has been so long since these posts were originally published I thought it would be fun to take another look at them again!

By Sara In AZ

Better known as: The saga of my search for the one armed couch! This is going to be a 3 part mini-series y’all, so make sure your seats are in the upright and locked position and hang on for the ride!

A long time ago in a land far, far away a fair young maiden dreamed of – no, not a prince – she dreamed of a one armed couch. She had faint visions and blurry dreams of what this couch may look like, but the couch never came to her rescue – to make her living room complete. There was once an armless couch that was a distinct possibility, but that one was snatched up by another maiden in the land of E-Bay. Finally, one day the maiden was trolling in the land of Craigslist and what should appear before her very eyes but a one armed couch and it’s little friend the armless loveseat. She rushed to see if this was the match she was always hoping for. And it was! The maiden and the couches lived together happily ever after. The End!

Well not quite y’all! Here goes.

I have been on the hunt for a really wild 1950s couch for about the past 10 years. Something that just screams 50s! You know the ones with the great Frieze fabric and the crazy 50s retro lines. I particularly wanted a couch with only one arm. Don’t ask me why, I really do not have a clue. The only thing I can think of is I totally love the “I Love Lucy” show, and for a while, when they were still in New York, they had this really great one armed couch. Kind of tweedy/Frieze looking – the whole she-bang! I think there was a subliminal message sent out during those Lucy shows just to me,” Must buy one armed couch Sara,  must buy one armed couch Sara, must buy one armed couch Sara”.  Maybe, maybe not – I guess we will never know!

Anyway, anytime someone would ask about my furniture or what I liked I would always try to explain that I loved retro kitschy type things from the 1950s and 1960s. Then I would proceed to tell anyone who would listen that I was on the hunt for a one armed couch. Now, I have to preface this with the fact that almost all the people I told this ‘one armed couch’ idea to were not into retro at all. And then they would all give me this big eyed blank stare, blinking a few times at me, “Did you just say you wanted a couch with only one arm, and NOT two?” The concept was absolutely insane to most people. “Oh, that’s real nice sounding Sara” then muttering to anyone who would listen ” I think we need to get this girl some help here.” Oh, but I had a plan, and I would not let the dream die! So I looked, and I looked, and I looked. I looked at antique stores, I looked at flea markets, I looked at thrift stores, E-bay, Craigslist, you name it – but nothing was really what I had in mind for my little one armed couch.

One day while looking on E-Bay I *almost* got a newer couch (made in the 90s)  with a retro 50s feel.  It was boomerang shaped and had retro barkcloth – but it was armless. I was really on the fence about buying it and then someone snatched it up on a ‘Buy It Now’  for $250.  Buying this couch would have also meant a trip to California to get it, so that played a part in my waffly decision too. Here is the only picture I have of that couch. Sorry, it’s a scan from a picture on paper. It is a pretty cool couch, but not the one armed beauty I had in mind.

Oh, how I still pined away for my vintage one armed couch, I just knew it was out there somewhere.

And then *Boom* out of nowhere these 2 retro couches are listed on Craigslist! And one of them had ONE arm!!! I was not even in “couch mode” that day. I was not even looking for retro couches, I was looking for something else entirely and these just popped up! I was beside myself!

Could this Finally be it? Could these  finally be the couches I have been waiting all this time for? I think so. Hooray!

Here is the couch.

Here is the loveseat.

Mike and I hooked up the trailer and high-tailed it right on over to these babies and snatched them right up!

I searched these couches up one side and down another side looking for piles of money or some antique  treasures stashed away in the cushions, but I only found 3 torn doilies! I was also looking for any kind of manufacturing mark I could find. I found nothing. The only thing I could find was hand written on an inner piece of wood: 5804 W Rd Bumper. So, now I know that my couch is model # 5804 with a round bumper!

But, my pictures above are deceiving. The original teal Frieze fabric was in horrible, horrible condition. Here are some pictures taken with the flash off to give you a better idea of what I am talking about.

I think people had A LOT of fun with cigarettes on these couches!

It’s party time y’all!!!

If couches could talk, well I’m sure these would have a million stories!

I don’t know how well you can tell from the pictures but the fabric was very fuzzy and worn on the seat bottom. I heard how cats REALLY love the old Frieze fabric, their claws can’t get enough of it!


So, I wasn’t going to let a silly little thing like worn fabric get in the way of me having these couches!

I was on the hunt for fabric now y’all. Stay tuned…………..In part 2 on Thursday  – fabric mayhem.



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8 Responses to Super Secret Project – REVEALED!!!! Thursday Retro Rewind

  1. Desirae Reply

    May 31, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I can’t wait to see what fabric you found. I have similar fabric on my couch and it is starting to show some pretty bad wear. But, I love the fabric so much. I’m afraid I won’t find anything suitable.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 2, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Desirae – OMG….I know…this old style of fabric is pretty much my very favorite thing ever, ever, ever! I SO wish that it was still made!!! UGH! 🙁

      I think we found something that went really well with the couch in the end though….stay tuned! 🙂

  2. Susan from Boston Reply

    June 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm


    I have said this before and I’ll say it again. You are the mid-century whisperer. I can’t wait for Part II.

    BTW, my Nonna had a couch, loveseat and a chair with a dark green Frieze fabric, which she kept covered in plastic. I can’t say for certain which I hated more, sitting on the plastic covers or that rough frieze fabric.


    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 2, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      LOL – too funny Susan!! That couch set must have been in perfect condition for its entire life then! I think my former couch owners could have, for sure, taken some tips from your Nonna! 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 2, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      OMG Elle…those toasters…..Soooooooo cute!!! Thanks for the tip, I will definitely have to keep these in mind! 🙂

  3. Jacki Reply

    June 5, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Sara, maybe the same thing will happen with the refrigerator!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 6, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      HA! OMG Jacki!!!! You are probably right!!!! 🙂

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