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March 13, 2014

Our Journey To Obtain A Dreamy 1960s Vintage Frieze Sectional Sofa!

By Sara In AZ

I don’t know why, but I am completely head over heels for vintage sofas and chairs covered in Frieze fabric. If you all aren’t familiar with Frieze it’s an old type of woven looped fabric (usually with patterns woven in), that is no longer manufactured….and it was SUPER popular as upholstery fabric back in the 50s and 60s. Also, cats LOVE to use it to sharpen their claws! eeps!

I have dreamt of finding just the right Frieze couch/sofa/sectional/loveseat for years. Honestly, I did not really care what it was – a  couch and chair set, a couch and loveseat, just a couch, a sectional…..I’d take anything if it was what I’d been dreaming of.

Now y’all know me….I am OBSESSED with scouring eBay like ALL the time. I pride myself in finding the “unusual” the “different” the “unique” so that I can bring you the ‘Kool Kitsch’ posts each and every week. So I was just going about my business looking for stuff on eBay, when Mike pops his head around the corner to the office and said, “I found something on eBay I wanted to show you…I’m not sure if you might have seen it already though.” So I was all thinking to myself “Yeah right, what on earth could Mike have possibly found that I haven’t seen already?”

I saw the e-mail come in with the link, I went to click on it and then my mind was officially blown!

Whoa, what?! It was my DREAM couch……Mike had found my dream couch! I have no idea how he found it and how I managed to miss it completely, but there it was – the loveliest, most pristine vintage sectional I had ever seen.

There was only one problem – the couch was in New Mexico hundreds of miles away from Phoenix. ugh. The seller had the couch listed as a ‘Buy It Now’ for $600……we debated about it for probably a good 30 minutes…..could we make the drive to get it over the upcoming weekend? Would it fit into our house? Could we afford it right now? All the while I was terrified that someone else would pull the trigger and buy my couch out from under me. Yes, I was already attached to it!

In the end we decided to just go for it, I mean really – how many times are you going to come across your dream couch?! I was completely excited about FINALLY getting my dream couch, but totally dreading the long, long drive to get it.

We drove up to Mike’s parents cabin in northern Arizona on Friday evening and stayed the night so we could leave VERY early on a Saturday morning, as this would put us closer to our pick-up location in New Mexico.

Mike’s parents were kind enough to loan us their enclosed trailer to haul the couch back.

We left about 5 am and drove like their was no tomorrow. Drove and drove and drove and drove. We were pretty much on track time-wise…this is until our SUV started overheating. uggggggghhhhhhhh.

This was the very first time we had ever hauled an enclosed trailer behind our SUV (we had hauled open trailers with no problem before). The weight of the enclosed trailer, plus the high temps, and hilly terrain all combined into one large ball of trouble for us. On top of the horrible fact that we were overheating was the fact that we own a GM vehicle and most (if not all) GM vehicles use a special kind of coolant…..so we could not just throw ANY coolant in there.

double uggggghhhhhhhhhhh. help y’all.

We had pulled into a travel stop/gas station just off of the freeway, the SUV needed to cool down as the radiator was boiling all of the coolant out. We looked high and low inside the travel stop for the kind of radiator coolant we needed only to see just the most basic kind of radiator coolant. Not good. We stayed for maybe an hour letting the SUV cool down and while we were killing time Mike tried to see where the closest auto parts stores were located so we could try to get some of the coolant we needed. We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, with only small towns dotting the map here and there. Even more terrifying (to me, at least) was the fact that the next 100 or so miles were going to be spent driving on smaller country roads…..even MORE isolating than where we were right now. If we broke down there we’d be in even more trouble.

I was *almost* ready to throw in  the towel on this one…..ready to say goodbye to my dream couch and just head back home. Mike wasn’t ready to let go quite that fast though.

He found an auto parts store about 15 miles away….we hoped they had the coolant we needed. Luckily we got there before they closed and they DID have the coolant we needed!!! Whooo!!!! Here we are putting the coolant in the SUV – I don’t think I’ve ever been SO excited about coolant before in my life!

We bought TONS of extra coolant and gallons of water just in case our SUV decided to start overheating out in the middle of nowhere…we drove around the small town to ‘test’ our SUV and see if we thought it cold make the trip…..would it start overheating again immediately? Our SUV seemed to be doing ok, we made the decision to keep driving since we were SO close. It was nerve-wracking, we drove with the windows down and no A/C so we’d put less stress on the vehicle. Those last 100 or so miles seemed to take forever.

We FINALLY made it to our destination hours late. The people we were buying the couch from could not have been more kind. It was surely a relief to have finally made it!

A little back story on the couch……. The owner, an elderly lady, was starting to downsize and her son had listed the couch for sale on eBay. The story goes that she had it custom-made back in Kansas, in the early 1960s, where they had a large farm. She said she kept the sectional in the ‘parlor’ there where it was mostly just decorative and rarely ever used. They retired from farming a few years later and moved to a retirement community where the sectional just sat in the basement, virtually untouched, for all these years. WOW!

To be honest, I would have loved to visit with the family for hours….AND to take pics of their equally fabulous MCM house! But, we were SO behind as it was we just could not afford the time. We were hours behind schedule and it was approaching 7pm….we still had about an 8 hour drive back to Mike’s parents cabin. Lord help us.

Here is the couch all bundled up and ready to go!

In the end we made it back to Mike’s parents cabin around 4 am in the morning….almost a full 24 hours after we had started. Oh boy, were we ever exhausted. Did I mention we were exhausted?! I think we could have slept for days! But we made it, we got some sleep and headed back into Phoenix later that day with our new/old couch. Good lord, the things we’ll do for vintage furniture right?!?

And here is our vintage Frieze sectional in all it’s pristine glory!!!!!

Seriously, if you could see it in person you’d think this was just off of the showroom floor.

I love the pattern stitched into the back!

The Frieze is in seriously perfect condition!

This is the label under the cushion.

Oh my gosh, I cannot even tell you how excited I am that we FINALLY found our dream sectional couch! Now all we need is our dream house to come up for sale so I can coordinate one epic kitschy living room!

Come back next week to see how we deal with the “vintage” couch cushions!

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47 Responses to Our Journey To Obtain A Dreamy 1960s Vintage Frieze Sectional Sofa!

  1. Debra Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Ruth!!! You guys scored ~ I love it & can almost picture the mid-century life that swirled around it when it was new.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 7:28 am

      Oh god, I WISH it was my score! Nope, it is Sara’s. 🙂

      Unless she decides to be generous and give it to me…what do you say, Sara?

  2. RetroRuth Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 7:26 am

    You are seriously my hero.

  3. Uncle Atom Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Wow, congratulations Sara, and nice work Mike! It looks great.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you very much Uncle Atom…..nice to see you around!

  4. sherree Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Oh Sara I am so happy for you!!! That is one amazing sofa. I am sure it is all the more special because of all the trouble along the way. It looks great in your living room with those drapes, lamp and coffee table. And a neutral color to go wherever you go!!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks Sherree! If we ever do get to move into our dream retro house I am hoping for something other than white on the walls…we’ll have to see what coordinates though!

  5. Dana Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 9:48 am


  6. Queen of Fifty Cents Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I believe we should have nothing in our homes that doesn’t come with a good story, so this piece certainly passes that test! Plus it’s about the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen. Wow. Good job.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Awwwww, thank you Queen! And you know what, you are SO right….everything should have a great story behind it!

  7. Janice Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Wow Wow Wow! When you talk about “best scores” in the future, this sectional will have to be at the top of your list! Both sets of grandparents had couches made with Frieze fabric and I remember tracing the pattern on the very wide arms they all seemed to have. Theirs was this exact same color. You worked hard for that lovely item, but wow – was it ever worth it! You have a very supportive hubby too!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      You are SO right Janice….this will forever be one of our *best* scores! And I swear we would not have half the stuff we do if Mike was not SO supportive…..go Mike!

      Your Grandparents couches sound amazing!

  8. CAT Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I, like you, have a LOVE for frieze. I have 2 of my Pa’s (grandpa’s) old Frieze chairs that we used to sit on in his den and play crib. (And you’re right, the cats LOVE them!!) The sectional your husband found is AMAZING. I would have absolutely DIED to have found it. I can’t believe how stunning it is. I am now on a quest…..

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      CAT, we probably need to start up a support group or something don’t we…..Frieze Lovers Anonymous! 🙂

      You are SO lucky to have frieze chairs passed down to you from your grandparents…..I am so jealous!

      Let me know when you find you dream couch, I totally have to see what it looks like and I just know it will be equally as amazing!!!

  9. RangerSmith Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

    SCORE! This isn’t just a sectional with frieze upholstery, its a sexy sectional with frieze upholstery. The curvy shape and lines are fantastic! Wow, you have got to be pleased. Congratulations Sara and Mike!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks so very much RangerSmith! And I know just what you mean….this sectional is not ‘boxy’ like they usually are, I really just love it to bits!

  10. Desirae Day Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Your new couch is beautiful! And, what a great partner in crime you have. I’m so glad that you were able to find such an amazing piece.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Desirae – hee! SO true…..Mike is a great partner in crime! 🙂 And thank you SO much!

  11. Andrea Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Oh my goodness, Sara, did you guys ever score! Even if your trip to go and pick it up was a bit of a nightmare! That sectional seriously looks brand freaking new, and only $600?? That’s amazing – I would say it was well worth the trip! 😀

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Andrea! And I know, I thought $600 was a darn fair price compared to what I have seen some of them sell for! Honestly, it is SO perfect I almost hate to sit on it! 🙂

  12. Diane Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Love the sectional / did I mention my house would be for sale soon/ if you want to move to Pa!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Thank you Diane! And trust me, if there was ANY way I could get my husband to move to the east coast I’d be all over your house!

  13. Anonymous Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Stellar find, and I love the couch-quest story that brought it home to you!

    Would your dream MCM home be in Montana, by any chance? We have a house with a living room that would be the perfect setting for that prize sectional….

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Oooooooohhhhhh, really?! The perfect setting for my couch! Sounds super tempting, but we are actually looking for a house in the Phoenix area! Drats!

      BUT, it sounds like you should send in some pics of your house to Ruth so we can post them on the ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ segment on Sundays!!! We’d LOVE to see!!!!

      • dan's wife Reply

        March 17, 2014 at 10:47 pm

        Did I mention that the retro-awesome Montana MCM comes with its original Frigidaire Flair range? Five bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 fireplaces, all on a half-acre lot in a thoroughly charming Rocky Mountain town, an hour from Yellowstone Park, a half hour from Montana State University….and did I mention the atrium?

        • Sara In AZ Reply

          March 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm

          Oh My GOSH…..what?!? This place sounds literally amaze-balls, you have NO idea how much I WISH we were looking in Montana…..I’d scoop up that place in a second!

          Seriously, if it is up for sale PLEASE contact Ruth at ruth@nopatternrequired.com and send her the listing link….or some pictures! PLEASE…..please…..pretty please with sugar on top, I would LOVE to see it!!!

  14. tammyCA Reply

    March 14, 2014 at 12:19 am

    It’s a beauty…and, for only $600, wow! I remember and love frieze, too but we don’t have any…and, if I did I’d have to cover it in that heavy plastic like they used to ‘cuz I have messy kids & dogs.
    Now you have your own story to add to the original owners with this sofa.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      I was SO happy we got this for $600 Tammy….I seriously could not believe it! And you are so right, this couch will have a lot of stories attached to it! 🙂

  15. Glamorous Glutton Reply

    March 14, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Fab sofa and such a great story. How perfect that when you’d gone all that way, with all that effort, you had such a great find. GG

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks so much Glamorous Glutton! The couch was certainly a sight for sore eyes after ALL the trouble we had just gone through!

  16. Jane Reply

    March 14, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Sara, this is an epic story – the furthest I’ve driven for a piece is 60 miles, Tunbridge Wells to Hastings, for a coffee table (I’m in the UK) so I am in awe. Congratulations on achieving a lifetime dream!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Jane…..I guess it is a pretty epic story isn’t it!? And hey, 60 miles is nothing to sneeze at….that’s a pretty long way to drive too. I am sure it was a FAB coffee table!

  17. Beth Reply

    March 14, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Sara, how comfortable is it? As beautiful as frieze is, some people don’t care for it to sit or take a nap on.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Beth – I personally think it is very comfortable to sit on and the frieze fabric does not bother me in the least!

  18. Nikki Reply

    March 14, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    That sofa is gorgeous! And for $600?! Reminds me of how my husband and I rented a U-haul and drove 5 hours to get our 3 piece 1950’s living room set. So worth it though!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 16, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Ha Nikki! Y’all sound just as crazy for retro furniture as we are…..in a good way though! 🙂 I’ll just bet that your set is equally as epic to have warranted a drive like that!

  19. Pat in Pa Reply

    March 15, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Beautiful, Sara! But you are right about the cats loving to scratch on this fabric. I have an old gold frieze chair that was given to me eons ago by a friend getting rid of it. I have it in my computer area and the cats have had a heyday on it. Unfortunately, I never minded that they did it to keep them away from my “good” furniture, but it wasn’t until I started turning my tastes toward mid-century that I’m sorry I let them get away with it. And…as you mentioned…this fabric isn’t available anymore. I have to say–your husband was the champ in this story–he knows what is important to you and hung in there! 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      I totally and completely agree Pat….my husband IS the hero in this story! Without him we’d probably wouldn’t have half the vintage stuff that we do! And the cats and frieze…..I don’t know what it is about the stuff but they are just obsessed with it….now that we have a cat we have to be SUPER careful the sectional won’t get destroyed! eeps!!!

  20. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    March 15, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I love you guys. I love your determination. I love that couch. LOVE.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Awwwwww, thanks Miss Eartha!!! 🙂

  21. Charlotte Reply

    March 16, 2014 at 9:57 am

    It’s fabulous, Sara! So totally worth the aggravation. (Well, I’ll let you and Mike be the judges of that, actually.) 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      Hee! Well Charlotte, I’d have to say now, looking back, that it WAS worth all the aggravation….then, maybe not so much! 🙂

  22. Nicoleta Reply

    March 21, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I simply adore the fabric of this sectional sofa, the color and everything.

  23. Peggie Long Reply

    April 4, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    I live in Galion OH and recently bought a home built in the 1950’s. The previous owner recently passed away. She had no children and never married. Her only living relative resides in Florida. This home was extremely well built and maintained. To my gain I purchased the home and the nephew in Florida made a one time, grab what’s important, and leave the rest behind. Oh my goodness is this home a time warp of the 1950’s. I have 3 boucle living room chairs, a blue frieve sleeper sofa, (has a tear on the left side)a floral print sofa that I don’t think is frieze fabric but great shape and so comfortable. I am going to sell them. My grandmother had this furniture and as a little girl, I did not like it because it was itchy. If any interest in these pieces I am ready to sell them. This home has appliances, (1950’s Hoover Vacuum with attachments in great shape and works!), wringer washer, double rinse tub, working stove from Westinghouse, dining room table with 6 black leather seats, table extensions, pad protector, and a beautiful sideboard, and soooo much more. Everything was well taken care of. If there’s an interest I can send pics.

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