Before. Right after we moved in.
We needed a sofa for far too long before we actually bought one. The old sofa was a hand-me-down from my grandma to my sister to me. It was always uncomfortable to my small frame. It kinked my neck when I sat all the way back into it. The vinyl finally wore off so bad so last year but we just bought a slip cover from Target to give us another year of life out of it while we waited for our springtime tax return. The matching chair’s frame broke and is still useable (it’s in the loft now) but if you sit down too hard you can feel the chair shift.
So during the year of waiting I did extensive shopping. We decided that with our family room layout a modular sectional was what we really needed. Rob and I both fell in love with a particular leather sofa at Macy’s but it was double our budget. We thought about another similar fabric sofa closer to our budget but there wasn’t a floor model and we were nervous to buy without a try. In another move to try and save money, we decided to go with a sectional from Home Decorator’s online. This is a pic of one of the modular pieces.
It was on sale and a cool style but as soon as I opened the boxes I knew. I knew that we made a bad purchase. Still, we decided to try and make it work so we wouldn’t go through the hassle of a return & replacement. After a week, it was obvious. This sofa was junk. You’d think for a large chunk of money you’d get a decent product but nope. The decorative edging was sewn in the wrong place, the kick skirt was a different length on each piece, the fabric was snaggy, and worse, a crater formed in two of the seat cushions. All after only a week! We salvaged the boxes and package-taped them back together the best we could before having them all sit in the living room for days until the pick-up actually occurred.
Back we went to Macy’s! We ordered the fabric modular sectional (which was on backorder) and waited. Finally, 6 weeks after we gave our old couch away we had our new one and we were and still are in LOVE. We seriously have more than a crush on this piece of furniture. It’s my style, very comfortable, and good quality.
It ended up costing us $400 more than the crappy couch and we will get at least a decade’s worth of use out of this (bar some tragedy invoked by little ones since we didn’t splurge on the warranty even though we probably should have).
I made the pillow covers. I love this fabric I found. It’s has a mid-mod nod and I like the linen texture.
Moving on. The drapes. Oh, the drapes. Our television has to hang opposite a large window and this is what we’ve been seeing in the screen for the past two years. Not annoying at all…
Blackout drapes were so needed but they are not only pricey, especially for the length that I need, but most of them aren’t very nice looking at all. I needed a fabric that blended in with the living room since you can see them from there. Since they’re an investment in both money and TIME I wanted something that wasn’t trendy and wouldn’t look outdated anytime soon. I wanted a bit of color, but not too much. I also needed something that would work in the kitchen as well since the sliding glass door isn’t far from the window and would need the same drapes. I finally decided on this fabric at $5 a yard on sale (probably normally $20 a yard at least) and got the blackout liner for 50% off. I decided rings with clips would be the easiest and most economical way to open and close these things.
In all, 8 panels cost me somewhere in the range of $200. If I were to buy the same quality from a store it would have set me back about 800 bucks. Yikes! Of course, there were times when I wished I had spent the extra money rather than make the darn things. They are so large and heavy and it took me 4 months to finish! That doesn’t include the panels for the sliding glass door which are still not even started. At least some members of our family can now watch Star Wars on Saturday afternoons without getting upset because they can’t see the droids or whatever.
We painted this wall when we had the other sofa so it is a little more blue than our current gray sofa. We could change it, but I like the color and it’s almost better that it isn’t too matchy. I love how the color makes the tv and ugly speakers somewhat disappear and shows off the wood boxes.
Speaking of wood boxes. These are from a tiny, virtually unknown import boutique named Ikea. I love these. We needed something that could hold all the media components without blocking the remote line-of-site. We also needed toy storage. These were cheap, cute, and have held up amazingly. I got all three for $180.
Rob put the wires in the wall to keep everything sleek. He’s going to do a post on our media setup sometime. But let me just tell you this, he’s a genius.
The little jars contain air plants. I have no idea what they’re really named. All I know is that they don’t require dirt so that’s a bonus in my book. I got these for Christmas last year. They’re cute and I like the reflections on the glass. It lights up the dark wall a bit.
The Eiffel Tower painting is from my first trip to Paris. I bought it from a street-side vendor near pont St Michel. I am positive it is an authentic, one-of-a-kind 😉 The first year we were married Rob had it framed for my birthday.
These other pictures are from the trip we took together in 2005. These were all taken on a film SLR (!). Les Galeries Lafayette, Les Galeries Lafayette, Versaille, musee du Louvre, and Versaille.
Clock. No back story. Bought it a long time ago because we needed a clock.
We keep a rug here to catch kitchen crumbs on our feet from entering the carpeted area. Yes. We have kitchen crumbs. A lot of kitchen crumbs. I wanted a rug that didn’t stand out too much because I like a more continuous look. I am very fond of natural fibers. I found a wool one that pleased me but the most important thing I was looking for in a rug was the ability to throw it in the washing machine. So cotton it is!
Don’t you adore the new Nate Berkus line at Target? I do! I like that it looks modern but not trendy. I’d really like to bring home more Nate’s ware as I feel like he designs for me specifically.
And now…a reality check. This is what my family room usually looks like. We’re working on a playroom in the basement to help with this little problem.