With spring surely on it's way, I've been getting a little stir-crazy and I'm ready to revamp a few things. The new season brings new design choices for our house.
First, I have to tell the world how awesome my husband is! He works so hard for our family to provide a great living, and he recently received a promotion. You rock, husband! (see my "ode to my husband" here)
Now that leaves me tempted, SO TEMPTED, to throw all our living room furniture on the front lawn and order the new sectional I have always wanted! However, I have restrained myself. We have decided as a family that this is NOT the year for buying furniture, rather, it is the year for financial responsibility.
These are the moments when being an adult is no fun!
We've got bigger plans. Too big for this little place. Our thousand foot starter home has been great to "start" in, but we are having some serious growing pains (which really means, I am a hoarder and we have run out of space for stuff). I have NEVER been good at long-term goals, God just didn't bless me with that skill-set. But this year we are trying,
I. AM. TRYING.
To keep my eye on the big picture.
We want more children. Our two girls sharing a room is great, but a third baby will have nowhere to sleep. I know you can always keep a baby in your own bed when it's a newborn, but a girl's gotta sleep! I can only make it about 5 months before I get delirious. All moms and dads know that feeling when you are laying in bed stiff, wide-awake, not moving, desperately wanting to adjust your arm or roll over. Your arm is asleep. It's dead asleep. But fearfully, you refrain from moving, breathing only shallow breaths, and praying you can maneuver yourself in one flawless motion to get comfortable and go back to sleep without the baby waking up.
Finally, after what feels like an eternity of carefully planning your move, you make your attempt with sloth-like speed while holding your breath and listening to the sound of your sweet little bundle breathing. You turn. They make a noise or inhale oddly and you completely freeze in terror- pausing to wait a little longer for the baby to settle so you can try again. You have to pee? FORGET ABOUT IT. You just lay there till your bladder explodes. And then it's morning and you didn't sleep all night. Oh, the joys of co-sleeping. I don't know how people do it for any length of time. I'm writing this post at 4 am because I woke up with a three-year-old pajama foot in my back. Seriously, we need a lock on our door. They just keep coming in.
I have thought
about how we could make it work in our house and I arrived at one conclusion: It ain't happenin'. Sure, pioneers did it. People on the other side of the world do it every day. Heck, people in my neighborhood are doing it right now. But seriously, even though I feel a little guilty for wanting a larger home, I think it is necessary for our sanity if we want to grow our family. Children have an insane amount of stuff that comes with them, and I just can't imagine trying to bring the crib and bouncer and baby clothes and everything else out of storage because there is nowhere to put it.
With that one big goal in mind, it makes financial sense not to go making any large purchases and I also want to be able to furnish a new space someday, whatever it looks like. I'm holding off on going all crazy on my living room because I am really hoping my existing living room won't be my living room in two years.
So until then, I am killing two birds with one stone. I am going to slipcover my existing sofa. Again.
I am a sucker for design trends and since I have been blogging and reading blogs, it is so easy to gauge the new design trends because you see them EVERYWHERE. I bet if Gallup took a poll and counted how many front doors had wreaths made out of burlap and how many throw pillows made from chevron fabric, the numbers would be astounding! If there was radar to track how many old dressers have been revamped with chalk paint, the entire United States would be lit up!
One design trend I have fallen victim to was the white sofa. I wrote all about it here. I took the plunge after a lot of research and convinced myself that a white sofa was totally doable...That it would be SO easy to maintain because you just throw your slipcovers in the wash and bleach them, and they come out new every time. So many designers/diyers had gone before me in this giant leap that throws all caution to the wind and common sense out the window in pursuit of the perfect living room. *Key word here is "living" room.
I've got news for you.
THEY ARE LYING.
Big 'ol lies all over the internet! Let me warn you now:
DON'T DO IT!
Don't assure yourself it will be a great idea like I did and then blog about how it's working so well to convince yourself it was a good decision in the end. It's not. I even chose a patterned fabric for the cushions to give myself a little breathing room. Good? Bad.
Don't painstakingly sew a sofa slipcover and cushion covers in white. Save yourself the time and go on a vacation instead.
Don't believe Rachel Ashwell when she tells you how beautiful and carefree white-couch-living is. Don't buy what she is selling. Literally, this girl has made millions on Shabby Chic style everything that all has one thing in common: Pretty floraly pillows that only look good on a white sofa. The subliminal messaging has told you that you need a white sofa. It is in her best interest to push the white sofa.
Just Say No.
1. It will look good at first. It will look so good, you will have an overwhelming moment that a white sofa was the best decision you ever made. And then someone will sit down on it and that moment will turn from joy to sorrow when you realize their grubby hands left a mark.
2. Sure you can wash it. That's the plus of a slipcovered sofa, right? They wash so well. This is true, you can wash them any time you would like. You can wash those stains white as snow and start fresh all the time. It's like the couch actually repents! What I didn't realize is that they look amazing for five minutes and then they don't. You have your beautiful magazine couch for a whole 5 minutes and then it becomes the couch called: "I'm so sorry the sofa is so dirty. I swear I just washed it. I will have to do it again, I guess." You are even telling the truth. You did just wash it. But it's been one day and it is now "that gross" that it needs washed again. It goes from being the showpiece of your living room to a public embarrassment.
3. Kids love a white canvas. This couch will have a magnetic pull that no kid can resist. The left arm of my sofa tells a story. The story goes like this: "Lyla got a ballpoint pen and decided to draw a line all the way from the front of the sofa to the back." Why tempt your children? It's just not smart, folks.
3. Fabric doesn't like to be washed and bleached 24/7. I was so proud of myself for finding white fabric on sale and saving so much money, I just knew it was going to be a match made in heaven. WRONG. The more you wash fabric, and punish it with bleach, it begins to break down. I didn't go soaking my couch in bleach all the time, just washed it regularly (confession: okay. I didn't wash it regularly. I washed it "once in a while," but still.)m and the fabric began to pill. The slipcover would come out clean, but the pilling from washing and really just normal wear and tear from being sat on created a gray haze on my fabric that drove me insane!
4. It will torture your husband. My husband is great. He does anything to please me. And after a long day of work he likes to zone out watching ESPN and take an occasional nap. Please, for the sake of your marriage, just skip the white sofa! It is the source of all uneccessary nagging:
"Get a napkin, please"
"Ahh! Take your shoes off, I just washed it"
"Why is your head so oily?"
"Can you take your pants off before you sit down? Your pants look dirty."
Poor guy, he just wants to relax in his own home.
Alright. You've heard my argument. Now hear my plans. I'm going to recover my sofa in a new fabric that is suited for life. and living. and enjoying.
Here are the qualifications:
1. It has to be a neutral color. I am so tempted to go light! I really like how a light-colored sofa looks in a room, but I know it is in our best interest (and sanity) to choose a mid-range color with the stain forgiveness I have been missing for so many years. I'm looking in the brown range. Something "Tobacco" or "Mocha" in color. Cigarettes and coffee? I don't know.
2. The fabric has to have a nap. I need something with a little bit of texture. Like I mentioned, the existing cotton began to pill. If I select a fabric that is a little heavier, with a nap or texture to it, it should not be as noticeable as it wears. My ideal fabric would be a chenille. Soft to the touch, but heavy in the weave. It usually has a coated underside for durability as well. I am staying away from microfiber. While it has been super popular in the last decade because of it's softness, I think that it's stain hiding ability is a farce. That's right. A farce.
3. I'm looking for pattern. Not a big crazy pattern that will take commitment, but a slight pattern for hiding stains. Something with bits of color to break up the fabric. If there is a drip or a spot here and there, I think I will have a better chance of the stain actually hiding in the pattern, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb. I like tweed. We'll see.
4. It can't be a million dollars. I am a thrifty girl, and I plan on shopping a sale. Home Fabrics is my go-to store for decorator fabric, and this month is "March Madness." They have an annual sale with fabric that is drastically marked down. I've been salivating for days just thinking about it.
In the meantime, I think I just found the best sale on the internet!!
There is no faster way to liven up a living room than switching out the pillows! It's such an easy way to add color or change without drastically affecting your budget or long-term design plans.
I have found myself on Joss and Main's site often lately, usually just to window shop. They have such interesting furniture collections that range in price so drastically. I love everything, but sometimes I am alarmed at what people pay for furniture. Do people really spend that much on furniture? I guess so, because this site is really popular. I almost, ALMOST, pulled the trigger on a rug last week. But then I remembered our goal and lack of floor space. I shared it on facebook and hoped that somebody else could fulfill my rug owning dream.
I was completely shocked today when a new collection released because I found the best deal on the internet on some amazing pillows. This is the French Farmhouse collection and I am in love.
I ordered these:
But the best part: They came in 2-packs.
Oh wait, that's not the best part: They were $20 dollars for TWO! What?!
I wanted them all. That's right, I got two pillows for $20 plus shipping.
That's like Walmart prices.
And I noticed that they are having a shipping offer. I paid $10 to ship them, and got thirty days of free shipping. That could come in handy. What if I want to order a French Provincial nightstand to the tune of $3000? riiiiiight. That's not happening. But there are some cute tea towels that I have had my eye on. Anyway, it would probably be in your best interest to GO THERE NOW and grab some of those pillows before they are gone!
Feel free to click here. It's an affiliate link. I may win a prize or something if you order. haha.
I'll keep you posted on the sofa saga.