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It happens: You walk into your living room one day and decide it needs a face-lift. Fresh coat of paint aside, the easiest way to upgrade is by getting some new furniture. (How many years have you had that settee?!)

Enter Monarch Sofas, the shop that makes creating a custom couch a cinch.

Make an appointment and block out at least two hours. You’ll need sufficient time to review all the styles, fabric swatches, feet and every other detail to customize your piece. (You can even specify how much stuffing goes into the cushions--it’s all up to you.) Also bring to your appointment any design elements--paint chips, tear sheets from the latest issue of Veranda--that will help keep you on track (and from feeling overwhelmed).

The best part? No one in the neighborhood will have your sofa--and you can take all the credit for designing it.

Monarch Sofas, 2100 Irving Blvd.; 214-760-1181 or

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