We already owned the sofa, the Blu Dot tubular chair, the CB2 coffee table, and Home Goods ottomans. You may remember them from our former apartment. The ottomans were previously used as side tables with the addition of square mirrors for a flat surface. Here they are used for extra seating, and I'm surprised at how often Brandon and I use them when we're having quick conversations with one another / laughing, joking and talking general nonsense. The two side tables on either side of the sofa are from IKEA, as well as the floor lamps. The table lamps are Target, and the small Noguchi-inspired table is from an antique shop in my home town, Albany, GA.
The color scheme was actually inspired by these cool pillow covers that I ordered from H&M. If you haven't checked out their textiles yet, you're simply missing out! They are cotton with a zipper enclosure, and are usually priced between $5.95 and $24.99. I use the Fjadrar inserts from IKEA to stuff them. I ordered two sets of each pattern and went cray cray with it. I eventually pulled back on the pattern and added a solid Sanela cover from IKEA to tone things down a bit. I kind of laughed at myself when I typed that. Me? Tone things down???
Next I found this amazing armchair at... you guessed it. Goodwill!!!
When I saw the flame stitch I knew I just HAD to have it. I mean, for around $20 I really couldn't say no. Of course Baby Bug carried it home like a champ!!! She fit perfectly with absolutely no room to spare. I was proud momma!
I followed Carmeon's advice on Cohesive Randomness about using Folex carpet cleaner for a quick upholstery clean alternative. Then I eventually followed up with an all-over spritz of Febreeze. You can see the dampness around the edges of the muslin from the cleaner. I even managed to find some extra goodies while cleaning this beauty up.
I was a little hesitant to put her in front of the french doors to the deck, but it just so happens that she actually has wheels instead of legs, so whenever we need extra room we just roll her to side.
After the chair, I found this amazing Havnso rug that I just couldn't go on living without.
It was huge, colorful, super easy to clean (which was absolutely necessary with our little pup) and only $99. Upon our first meeting it was pretty much a done deal!
It took me about 6 months to finally decide how I wanted to address the wall space above the sofa. I could have easily hung a big piece of art and been done with it, but unfortunately I just wasn't satisfied with that option. I kept thinking about how normal that option was, and how everyone has a big piece of art or a mirror above their sofa. Not to knock that solution of course. It's a great solution! It's super easy, and makes a big impact. It's just that I've done it before, and I was pretty bored with it. I wanted to push myself to try something different. There was so much symmetry going in the living room with the side tables, lamps, and windows that I knew I wanted something a little atypical.
I had been collecting baskets from Goodwill and I wanted to try and incorporate them into something eclectic. Unfortunately, when I put them all together, it was pretty busy. Mind you, everything in this space is multicolored, so I needed to pair down a bit and make some pointed decisions. The weird thing is that I had acquired three baskets that were the same color scheme, so I knew my subconscious was trying to tell me something. Below is my attempt to narrow down to my favorite.
I really wanted something asymmetrical, so I started searching around and found a HUGE decorative wall medallion from Target. I waited until it went on sale of course!
Then it all sort of came together one November evening. After playing with the layout, I realized that it would be best to use just one of the colorful baskets, and keep the rest neutral, so that the textiles could have a larger presence.
So here we are today!
I like how fun the space is, and it definitely puts a smile on my face whenever I get home. The accessories get switched out often, but for the most part I like to keep it realistic. We have lots of remotes, we eat at our coffee table almost every night, and we have a dog that sheds (a lot), so right now this works for us.
I wanted to share this with you to let you know that it's okay to let a room come together organically over time, and you shouldn't feel bad for not completely assembling a space the first week you move in. I took my time, and though it was frustrating at times, I kept at it and found something that worked for me (and my budget). I pushed myself for something unique, and that's what I ended up with. This isn't even my first round, more like my third. You can see the first iteration here. I still have some ways to go - window treatments and more storage, but for now it's a good start. Stuck on how to start pulling your space together? Well...
Stumped when it comes to choosing a color palette? I often wait for the perfect textile to use as inspiration. In my case, the middle turquoise pillow on the sofa was my muse, as well as the Goodwill art on my fireplace.
Find a layout that works for your space and how you actually live.
Create a conversational layout that allows you to entertain AND watch television. Contrary to popular belief, both activities are achievable in one living room. I find that people tend to push everything against the wall, but you don't have to! In fact, you shouldn't. Don't be afraid to float chairs, ottomans, or even your sofa to create a functional layout and good flow. The ottomans in our space are floating in front of the tv, but they don't obstruct the view to the screen.
Ask yourself, "Can I look my guests in the face when they're talking? Does everyone have a surface nearby to sit a drink? Can I easily walk between furniture without bumping into anything?" Answering those questions will get you closer to a layout that works. I like to read in the living room, but I also loathe overhead lighting, so I added task lighting (reading floor lamps) and ambient lighting (table lamps) right next to one another when usually they would be spread throughout the room. Who says you can't? Do what works for you!
Add in some great second-hand pieces that complement your decor.
The flame stitch chair and Noguchi-esque side table were very inexpensive finds that make me love my room even more. As far as I'm concerned, I 'm not going to tour anyone else's home (virtually or in person) and see them. They also add soul and personality to a room that is full of new-looking furniture. Best thing is, if you don't love them after a while, you can always pass the pieces on without feeling guilty that you put a lot of money into them.
Don't be afraid to mix things up a little.
Our space is pretty symmetrical, but not all the pieces are identical. Here, let scale be your guide. Notice how I have two chairs that are a different design, but they are similar in scale. Same goes for the side tables on either side of the sofa. They are roughly the same height, but a completely different design. Mixing things up helps your eye keep moving around the room, and overall adds more interest.
So what do you think? Do you have a space you just started, or need a little help getting some ideas rolling? Email me with some pictures, and I'll brainstorm with you! :)