Building and designing a couch to fit your small space


Taking a thorough look at spaces and their maximum use.

I have always appreciated that after-work moment when I can put my feet up on a cushion, whether it’s a recliner, beanbag chair, ottoman or the almighty chesterfield. But I find myself, like so many others in Montreal, unable to fit a great couch into my modest living space. There are far too many slanted floors and wonky walls to bring in that sleek Scandinavian sofa my butt has always wanted. Yet I wasn’t about to settle for something as inadequate as my warped two-and-a-half.

The couch has always been a place I love to park myself for rainy days with a book, or to share a movie with the lady. It provides me comfort for those five-hour drawing sessions and times I indulge in an afternoon nap in the sun. It is the cornerstone of any great living room, and I wasn’t about to give up on building something custom-fit.

So I tore one apart. Finding myself in front of an eighties chaise longue that had been abandoned and thrown to the street, I decided this would be the first step in my journey to make my own. I knew I could easily google the techniques as I usually do to get some quick answers, but what could be better than to study the real thing? I found steel and stuffing, fibre called jute surrounded by nail-burdened wood pressed with springs and tacks for days. It was so simple inside, and something I could definitely recreate for much less than the burdensome price tags I had seen.

Once I had a grasp on the basic construction, it was time to assess my space and go over the endless designs to choose from in my mind. I decided on the classic corner couch covered in Mexican blanket patterns. These simple materials could be endlessly moved and formed to whatever shape my mind could conjure, a minimal weave for a frame that fit against my walls. I started by tracing the south and west walls of my apartment and welding corresponding pieces out of steel. I then attached an exact wood copy and sandwiched them together, allowing myself to weave the jute into a flexible surface for my butt to press against. Then came the stuffing, fabric, endless staples and the better part of my afternoon. The new couch corner now has a purpose, and I still continually stare at my space in order to maximize its use, keeping things flexible and simple enough to ease the inevitable clutter.
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About the author

Obsessive collector and sculptor of things, Shantz lives and bleeds for those moments of collaboration.

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