Monday, October 27, 2014

One Step Forward

Kane is happy as long as he's in the same room as we are,
but he doesn't think it's fair that the cat is allowed on the couch when he is not. 
I love those reality shows where designers go in and completely revamp a room, from ceiling to floor. It's such a satisfying, dramatic metamorphosis.

But in the real world, I expect that very few people completely redecorate and refurnish a room in one go. Even when we were a family with two professional incomes, that never happened. Instead, we change out one or two pieces at a time, hoping eventually to achieve a room we're happy with.

Recently (August), I did a little window shopping.

Read the August 2014 blog post here: It doesn't cost anything to look.
Since then, I've shared my joy in finally painting our walls Wickham Gray, which brightened up the room immensely.

But there was no ignoring the gigantic red-plaid sofa that anchored swamped the room.

This shows the room without the matching gigantic red-plaid chair.
So I tried slipcovers, which didn't go so well.

Ugh-ly. (Couldn't even be bothered to take a decent photo of it.)
And then, last week, our neighbours put a reclining chair out at the curb. I don't know what that means in your neck of the woods, but in these parts, it means: Free to a good home. It's stained and a little worn in spots, but it has good bones. And it's a smaller scale than our other furniture, which is where we're heading.

The only hitch was that it is the exact burgundy that I am trying to move away from! As you can tell, we brought it home anyway. And then realized that, with the giganto-sofa, we had nowhere to put it.

Between the slipcover failure -- which meant the sofa's days were numbered -- and the new lounge chair, the scales tipped toward buying a new love seat. So we bit the bullet and went to Ikea.

This little baby is now proudly ensconced in our living room.

The throw was a gift from my friend, Heather.
It's ridiculous how excited I am about it. You'd think I'd never bought a piece of furniture before. But it's the biggest step towards making our living room a more livable space.

Even with the recliner and the big chair, the room still feels more spacious -- and brighter. It's hard to capture that feeling in the photos. You'll just have to trust me.

It is the Ektorp love seat, with Vellinge beige cover. Here's a close-up of the fabric.

Vellinge beige
The fabric is 100% polyester, which we chose on purpose, for its durability. As newlyweds, we had bought furniture with 100% cotton covers and they barely lasted five years before becoming faded and threadbare. The infamous red-plaid giant, however, was covered in a polyester fabric and, I swear to god, it will last into the next millennium. The combination of apocalypse-proof fabric and a frame with a 10-year warranty gives me confidence that we won't have to replace this couch any time soon.

So we brought home two boxes; one for the couch, and one for the cover. Yes, the couch fit into a flat-pack box. Steve set to moving furniture around (there was a domino effect) and assembling the couch. I ironed the slipcover. (Didn't I just finish doing this?!) Let me tell you, ironing slipcovers is NOT FUN.

But it was satisfying to put it all together, and it was definitely worth the money we saved by doing this ourselves rather than buying something off a department-store floor.

"But what about all that red?" you may well ask. The plan is that I am going to take an upholstery course and I will recover the big chair and the recliner in a neutral that will coordinate with the love seat. Once that is done, I will change out the drapes. If necessary, we will change the area rug, but I think it may be neutral enough to work. (I'll consider that when choosing fabric for the upholstery projects.)

What really makes me happy is that we are moving towards a clear vision for this space. I'm not in a great hurry; we'll be here for a long time.

Elly approves.


  1. The finished room is inviting. I see Kane and Kitty like it :-)

    1. Yes, it has received the Pet Seal of Approval!

  2. I love the new loveseat! It looks very cozy. I could go crazy at Ikea. like just buy all the things.

    1. I love the model rooms and suites at Ikea -- they always use things in such unique ways. But it's funny how all those really cheap things can add up.


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