Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dreaming of a New Living Room Furniture

I don’t know about you guys but I tire of my home d├ęcor and furniture easily.  I try to be content with what I have and make it work but sometimes you just need a change.  I’ve lived with our current living room furniture for 11 years and 4 houses!  I can at least say I bought good quality furniture.

Now that I  am home daily on maternity leave I sure have been dreaming a lot about exactly what I want.  I’d like to take advantage of the long days away from work and use some of this time to shop and hopefully purchase a new sofa and chair for the space. 

I have been “pinning” away on Pinterest, take a look at  my  Living Room  board.  Pinterest is a great resource for ideas and a great way to group together my thoughts on what I like.  Buying a new sofa feels like such a commitment, I mean 11 years have passed since the last time I bought furniture for the living room!

I also like to create mood boards when planning a space, it really helps to visually see all the ideas floating around come together.  I also think this is a great picture to show design associates when shopping the furniture stores, it always helps them to know your vision.

Here is a general idea of what I am going for.   Lighter and brighter but still traditional.  I love adding pieces that have a cottage feel as accents, you can’t see here but in reality I’d add pops of color that give that vibe. 

 Living Room

To break this down a bit, I have the rug and the coffee table already.  I have two side chairs that are in need of re-upholstering, I’d like to cover those in a solid neutral color fabric and white wash the wood on them for a similar look to these on the board.  I would love a comfy leather chair with an ottoman in a light colored leather but most dramatically I want a new neutral colored sofa. 

So, let’s talk about the sofa, the big guy in the room.   I really want a white/light sofa but everyone including my husband thinks I am crazy.  Mainly because we just had our first child and people think I don’t know that children make messes, my child will make messes and I am sure I will panic the first time soda or peanut butter and jelly even make it in the living room by tiny hands.  So with that, my second option would be a grey/blue colored fabric. 

But….I want to talk about the white sofa.  I think it is do able.  The thing that concerns me the most is our dog, she currently loves to lay on the couch and in the chair and a half.  She has probably worn the fabric the most and she is a chocolate lab so dark hair on a white couch would probably drive me insane.  That makes me hesitate.  For fun let’s take a look at some research on a white sofa anyway.   

First let me explain why I want a light sofa, currently my living room is so colorful.  I have loved that, but now I would rather add color with pillows, throws, & accessories so that I can change them with the seasons.  It’s hard to find these items to match my current furniture.

Living Room View 2 Also I love the soft colors in my dining room, I have been pretty happy with the color choices in that room since day one.  This space is adjacent to the living room so it would be nice to quite the living space with a more neutral pallet to match the dining space better.


On to the sofa debate…

I love Ikea’s Ektorp Sofa.  It looks pretty close to Pottery Barn’s Comfort Sofa and Ikea’s version is only $400 bucks!  I love the fact that you can wash the slip covers and not worry about staining.  On looks alone the one thing I don’t like is the skirt, I really would like a couch without the skirt.


Here are some great blog post from a few folks that own the Ikea Ektorp sofa and I love what they have to say about it.

Liz Marie wrote about her experience with the Ektorp sofa and gives an honest review.  She does a great job explaining the pros and cons.  I will admit after reading here that the sofa is a bit on the smaller size concerns me.

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Here Kelly at A View Along the Way talks about here Ektorp sofa and how well it works for her and her young family.  She also talks about how easy is to clean and replace the slip covers if needed.  

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And Melaine at Sweet Savannah gives a great review of both the Ikea and Pottery Barn versions.  You cannot tell the difference in the two!

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Even after reading these great reviews I am still on the fence.  One, do I really want to go white?!?  Two, is this couch comfortable enough for us?  Three, will the smaller size bother me?  I think the only way I could be certain is to make the drive to Ikea and try it out and see it in person.   $400 is a heck of a deal and I think I could live with it for a few years but I’d like to see it and also sofa shop a bit to look at what else is out there, specifically in a darker fabrics.  Also I plan to price out having my current sofa re-upholstered.  It has held up remarkably well so I know it is good quality. 

Just yesterday Kate at  Censational Girl did a great post on considerations when buying a sofa.  It was perfect timing and a good read.  I will certainly be using her tips and if you are in the market for a new sofa, click HERE to read the post.

Hopefully soon I’ll have a post on my NEW living room furniture.  I will keep you updated on my hunting and decisions. 

If you would like to see my Polyvore Mood Boards Follow me HERE.  If you would like to see my Living Room board on Pinterest Follow along HERE. I’d love for you to follow along!



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Decorating with Rugs

One thing that really finishes a room and anchors a space is a RUG.  Rugs can be a great way to add color & texture both of which create warmth.  Most importantly rugs help define a space and pull furnishings together.  For example,  take a look at my dining room with and without a rug, the rug completely transforms the space.  Without a rug, it seems as if the furniture is floating. 

Dining Room with a Rug

(Rug from World Market)

Dining Room 3

Dining Room without a Rug

Dining Area Before Rug

I have found that I really love natural rugs that add texture, especially when I am struggling with color choices for a room, or in a room that I want to keep neutral or tone down.  Rugs are also great as accents, they add color to a space. One of my favorite examples is our kitchen rug, our dark cabinets need some brightness and contrast and this rug does the trick.   


One nuisance with rugs can be that they slide around.  If you have pets, kids, or a rug like this one in a high traffic area, it won’t stay in place without a great rug pad.  I am guilty of not purchasing rug pads for all my rugs, the number one reason is that it is difficult to find unusual sized rug pads at big box stores.  Having a good rug pad is really a crucial piece in laying out your rug.  I was contacted by RugPadUSA.com to try out their product and I jumped at the opportunity because I know the difference between good rug pads and a cheap one.  I was excited to try their product under our kitchen rug, they generously sent a pad of my choice to try out.  I chose the Eco-Solid and RugPadUSA.com custom cut it to a 2’ 3” x 7’ 10” to fit perfectly under my runner rug and so that it would slightly taper at the edges for a perfect fit.  I chose the Eco-Solid because it has a little cushion which is great for an area where you are standing a lot and it was a recommended pad for rugs over hardwood floors. 

Kitchen Rug Pad

I really love this new rug pad, it makes a huge difference.  Abbie, our dog, runs in here daily for her treats and before the rug pad she would slide and the rug would slide around and she would scrunch it up.  Now it stays in place.  Also, I am pleasantly surprised every time I walk on it now because of the extra cushion, which is awesome in the kitchen. 

Kitchen Rug with Pad

Take a look at my hallway rug,  it is always crooked!  Every time I walk by this rug I straighten it, this is the center of our house and our dog and cats run through here and constantly move it.  It moves because I have a cheap rug pad under this one!

Hallway Rug

This corner I am showing  you here is wrinkled under the rug all the time, this is the spot we step on the most often.  The rug always has a hump under it because of the pad.  You have all seen these type of pads, you probably have a few of these rug pads, you know the ones that are thin and non-specific to your floor type and they SLIDE and WEAR OUT so quick!  They are just thin and flimsy and have no grip.  I am pretty sure I bought this one in a hurry with the rug at HomeGoods and I just didn’t give it much thought…I just knew at the time I needed a pad with the rug.  I probably spent $20-25 on a rug pad that just doesn’t get the job done.  Most people simply don’t want to spend the money on a quality rug pad, especially after you have spent a good amount on a new rug. 

Hallway Bad Rug Pad

Cheaper rug pads can ruin a good floor over time, many are made with chemicals and those chemicals can cause discoloration on certain floor types.  You’ve probably noticed an odor when opening packages.  VOC’s or chemical odors are never good for indoor air quality. Another thing with poorly made rug pads are sometimes they are made with materials that can cause them to stick to floors to create a good grip but those materials end up literally sticking to your floors, ruining them.  Natural rubber is a much better choice, it has a natural grip and because it comes from rubber trees it has low VOC’s and out-gassing is not an issue.

Bad Rug Pad upclose

I found RugPadUSA.com very helpful in finding the right type of rug pad for my kitchen quick, I loved the “shop by floor type” area and you can quickly scan ratings on cushion, durability, and grip to find a pad that works best for you.  All rug pads are made in the USA and ship fast!  They also offer custom cuts so you don’t have to do that yourself for an unusual sizes!

RugPadUSA.com  is offering my readers a coupon code to go get your own rug pad!!  Use coupon code is "PR15OFF" for a 15% discount on all orders. 

I just purchased a new rug for the hallway from Joss and Main this week and can’t wait to see how it looks when it arrives.  I think a new rug pad will be in order!

Disclosure: I was given a rug pad by RugPadUSA.com.  While I was given product to write a post about RugPadUSA.com, all opinions are my own.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Welcome Home Sweet Baby

We welcomed our baby girl into the world on July 15th.   We could not be more excited and feel extremely blessed!  She surprised us by making her appearance almost 3 weeks early but we are so excited to have this sweet Summertime with her. 

Our sweet Elaine Christine


I had newborn pictures taken at 8 days old and they are just precious.  The picture above was taken by Southern Honeysuckle Photography.  I highly recommend if you are near the Raleigh area, Sarah did a fantastic job.  Also, if you click on the link you can see her blog post with the the preview of our photos. 

I am slowly getting into a routine around here and loving on Elaine as much as I can!  I am off work until October so I am soaking it all in while I can!!