CATastrophe in the Basement: Relatedly, Sleeper Sofa Shopping

I’m going to have posts coming at you like crazy this week! For a few reasons: I have two sponsored posts this week because….when it rains, it pours? Because I’m bad with timing? Anyway, that means I feel compelled to get more non-sponsored posts up as well, to help me better manage my complex emotional relationship with American capitalism. And then there’s how I think I’m going to take a Thanksgiving break next week and not post at all. And then there’s how I just happen to have some stuff to blog about. Like tomorrow there should be an actual project that we did in our house!

Today there’s another post about stuff we need to do but haven’t yet.

There’s a sad story involved.

Remember our basement?


Remember how I was totally not worried about that gap up top by the ceiling, because, whatever, we’d put some kind of finished ceiling in there sooner or later and anyway it looked all cool and industrial? Remember how we decided we definitely needed real doors for this room and not just a curtain or whatever, so as to keep the cats out? (Probably you don’t actually remember all of this. My questions are really just a clever device to remind you of all of them).


So it turns out cats are really good at jumping up to high places and at climbing stuff. They also have a reputation for curiosity, I’ve been told.

Athena, in particular, is fond of climbing up the other side of that wall and then jumping/falling down into this room. But then she can’t get back out, so she’s stuck in there until we notice she’s missing (usually when she doesn’t show up at dinner time) and rescue her.


So then, one day, we were having a bunch of kids over, and the big plan was that they would all hang out in the basement and play games or whatever it is the young people are enjoying these days. I went down to straighten up the basement and discovered pretty much the worst thing a cat owner can discover: cat pee on the futon. ATHENA!

Right, so that sucked. I didn’t think there was any reasonable way to clean the futon, cat pee being as vile as it is, so we dragged it outside to await bulky trash amnesty day at the local recycling center,. But now we were left with a futonless futon frame and not many places to sit in the basement. The kids all hung out in the den instead that day, and that was fine, but now we need a new sitting/sleeping surface in the basement. The other night we watched The Black Stallion, and it was really sad that we had to watch it on our tiny TV instead of the big projector screen because we didn’t have anywhere to sit in the basement. Also, did you know that Zooey Deschanel’s Dad did the cinematography for The Black Stallion? And then everyone told him he’d get nominated for an Oscar, and he didn’t, and that kind of bummed him out. At least that’s what IMDB tells me.

I was pretty pleased with my thriftiness in keeping the no longer so stylish futon when we did the basement room and making it work, but I’m not at all willing to pay money for a new no longer stylish futon. So it’s time to shop for something new (it was, it should be noted, always the plan that eventually we’d upgrade to a nicer sofa bed in here, but I was hoping we’d squeeze a little more use out of the futon first).

To review: this room is mostly a game and movie room, but it also doubles as a guest room occasionally, so we need seating plus something that can be a bed. Also, we can’t spend much money on it. I actually saw a futon at the thrift store the other day, and was briefly tempted, but….naw.

It turns out a lot of the cheap convertible sofas out there now, though, sort of ARE futons. But not like the futons of old. Well, you’ll see what I mean.

I planned to do a big round up of maybe half a dozen different possibilities, but, when I really started looking, I realized that it’s probably going to come down to these two. So let’s just talk about them.

This is not a sponsored post for the Novogratz collection at Walmart, but I would totally write one for them if they asked me to (and graciously accept a free sofa in return), because I love this stuff. My friend Kristi keeps sending me links to adorable stuff from the collection, and apparently I’m just planning to buy everything she shows me. We already bought this bed for Abe’s room:


And now my top two sofa picks are both from the collection, too. First up there’s this “Vintage Linen Mix Futon:”


This one’s $399, and it would fit in perfectly in the basement, style wise. So you see what I mean that it’s technically a futon, but it doesn’t look like it belongs in your 1995 college apartment. I actually like the idea of something that folds out like a futon as opposed to a traditional sleeper sofa, too. So this seems like the obvious choice, really.

But then there’s this one:


The Vintage Tufted Sleeper Sofa at $349. If I were buying a sofa for my den, this one would win hands down. But “vintage” isn’t really what we have going on in the basement. But, on the other hand, maybe it would be a fun juxtaposition with everything else being so modern? Or am I just telling myself that because it’s my favorite? Also it’s $50 cheaper.

What do you think?





CATastrophe in the Basement: Relatedly, Sleeper Sofa Shopping — 21 Comments

    • ah, good eye! see, I was just staring at the sofa itself. I like the blue better, too, but there are blue walls down there (but then, there’s a grayish rug, so….) But I think I’m leaning toward that one because, if nothing else, a tie goes to the sofa that’s $50 cheaper, right?

  1. I liked the first one, and I too like unfolding a futon as opposed to whatever it is you do to a sofa bed, and then I scrolled down to the second one and said “Yes!!!” Its tuftiness wants to be with the red and white hassocks!
    And really, what else could Athena do? She has to know what’s on the other side.

    • She hasn’t gone back in since the last incident….maybe she’s finally figured out it’s no fun to be stuck in there all day?

  2. Shouldn’t you resolve the “Athena Problem” before you spend the money on a new comfy litter box? I like them both,(maybe the tufted one more) but the mid century styled one looks as though it provides more seating, which is what you want, right?

    • Oh, yes–we’ll definitely be doing some Athena-proofing before bringing in anything new (I think all it will involve is nailing some new boards up there to close in that gap….and probably cutting around ducts and whatnot….so it will get to be a big pain, which is why we put it off to start with. Sigh). I just went to check, and the mid century sofa is actually only about 2 inches longer than the other one.

  3. I’m so late to this post. Sorry!
    I personally do have great results cleaning cat pee from upholstery but I do get that you wanted to throw out the futon :0 😉 I’m in the same boat as to getting a new sofa for the basement because if cat pee. I had too much as you read today with my first cat dying of kidney failure. Anyways, I love the first sleeper sofa for you too.

    • The futon seemed too….permeable to be cleaned. You know? like the pee just soaked right through the outside fabric and all through the inside. That’s what I get for going with the cheap cover, I guess 🙁

  4. I’m super late to this post, but I will say that having a tufted sofa, I will never again buy anything with a tufted seat so long as my children are living at home. Unless you really like vacuuming small pits filled with whatever your kids ate that day. (Hopefully you haven’t already bought it.)

    • oops, never mind! I thought you were commenting on a completely different sofa post. We haven’t bought anything yet….I hadn’t thought of the tufting issue with this one. Hmm….it is a sofa that will get relatively little use compared to the one upstairs, so I might chance it anyway (although I may well regret it. Will have to think on it more!)

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