Couch bound

Have you ever considered the places or homes where you really love to crash on the couch?

I’m not talking about an OK couch where you can take a load off, but a place where you’re as comfy as at home. It may be a friend’s house, or your mom’s, but you know the blankie to grab and where to set your drink. You love to hit that couch on a Friday night and catch up with your friends.


Now, back up, and think of someone you adore who has a terrible couch. There’s no way you would want to watch a Saw marathon on that couch (or maybe in the house). For it’s true that a comfortable house has a comfortable feel. And there are certain key characteristics that make a house comfortable. What are they? I wish to God I knew! But, here is an incomplete list:

  • Temperature: A comfortable house is not too warm and not too cold.
  • Food and drink: There needs to be some. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Tea and crackers are often the perfect thing. Really perfect.
  • Place to gather: This is harder to define. If the space is arranged so it’s too linear, and you can’t make eye contact, for example, comfort starts to leave.
  • Aesthetics: The lights cannot be too bright. The chairs and sofa need to be “just right” (not stiff, not too deep, with a place to put your head).

There are more comfort characteristics, but at this point we reach an intangible level. A house can deceive with pretty decor and call you in, only to have you discover that it doesn’t want you to stay. And here’s the bad part – this applies to your yard, your kitchen, everywhere. The pressure!

Now, I cannot help much with the intangible nature of comfort, but I can point you in the right direction for a couch. Here are a few shopping stops to try:

  1. there is comfy stuff here, and the modern lines are fun to mix with industrial or antiques.
  2. big selection, and really good outdoor furniture, too. The couch pictured above is from Fishels.
  3. this is vintage, so you need to keep stopping by. If you do, you might find the perfect thing.

As far as that certain intangible something, try baking chocolate chip cookies before people arrive. You know, how  realtors do it to create a homey, cozy, comfortable ambiance? That’s never a bad idea.

Portlander Nancy Ranchel is a self-described accountant, design fan, serial re-modeler, compulsive re-user and blog writer.