a quick daybed thought before we both doze off

been getting serious miles out of this new daybed. like, a-free-flight-and-five-nights-in-bali kind of miles.

my place

so disappointed in myself for letting ignorance deprive me for all these years.

if i’m going to bare my soul, i will admit that i used to eye daybeds with suspicion. my parents had never owned one. a couch was a couch and a bed was a bed… how could a piece of furniture be equal parts both? isn’t that forbidden by law in most states?

in the late 80’s, i met my first daybed in the bedroom of a childhood playmate.

“where do you sleep?”

“on my bed.”

“oh. where’s your bed?”

“over there.”

“oh.”

much confusion in preschool.

a couple decades later and i’m lounging in the comfort of a bed avec laptop and coffee without feeling like a lazy piece of shit for staying in bed all day.

i accept it, i love it, but i have to admit that i don’t know how to dress it.

my pea brain could deduce that the mattress would need a cover in the thick, tough disguise of upholstry fabric. these are damn near impossible to find. i dare you to try.

pottery barn was not only the best option, it was the only option.

lewis daybed cover / pottery barn / $129

(west elm sent me a box spring cover. fail.)

next step… hoard cushions?

i already own two king pillows in storage for guests and assumed they would work as a backdrop with a simple quilted sham.

pick-stitch sham / pottery barn / $39

cushions tell the color story. a pop of yellow to speak to the eames shell. a pop of peacock to speak to the rug. a turkish kilim rug pillow to sing its own song and offer a few notes to cushions i already own. a cow hide square for texture. a plain white bolster for shape.

now…. how to arrange them? not a clue. after a few clumsy attempts on my part, my sister-in-law / overnight guest schooled me.

my place

wake me up next week.

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how to tame your hard drive of travel photography before it grows a robot brain and destroys you

hold on to your pants, guys.  this is a long one.

i had promised in an early post re: travel tchotchkes to describe a clever tool for showcasing travel photos in a design-conscious way without defaulting to black & white prints.

chowmahalla palace / hyderabad india / dec 2009

don’t be timid about manipulating your prints.  exploit them like a corporate pig, because digital photography is probably ruining your life anyway.

consider this:

1.  in the era of purchasing film, you were selective about using the 24 available exposures on the roll.

2.  you strolled up to the fontana di trevi in your fly new tevas.  you gasped at the realism of its carefully sculpted figures.  your friend pointed out triton’s awkward expression and you all shared a laugh.

3.  you pulled out your camera and thoughtfully chose a few frames:

first, a group shot of you and your friends with the fountain behind you, taken by a fellow tourist.

next, a view facing the fountain head-on and capturing the full extent of the building in all its glory.

finally, a close-up with a beam of sunlight graphically cutting across neptune’s face with a vibrant blue sky as the backdrop.

boom.  three pictures: one for documenting your presence, one for capturing the moment at a macro level, and one for artistic value.  you drop off the film on your way home from the airport and have trevi’s neptune on your wall a week later.

fast-forward fifteen years.  you walk up to the fountain, SLR hanging around your neck.  you say, ooOOoo!  then you pull the camera to your face and start snapping.

a week later, you’re sitting on your couch staring at a folder of 86 fontana di trevi pictures.  you think, shit.  i don’t feel like doing this now.

a year later, those pics are still prisoner in your laptop.

i am SO guilty here.

it’s no wonder that i hestitate to take photographs at all anymore.  photography management is a full time job requiring a mechanically cooled data center and paid interns.  i don’t deny the value of digital photography… i just balk at the time commitment forced on me by this tyranny of choice.

so.  in the rare moment when i do get around to printing photographs, i like to take advantage of their digital-ness to the fullest extent i know.

remember these guys above my tv?

my place

they’re 14×11 prints of trips to playa del carmen, istanbul, and hyderabad.

my place

looks all right, yeah?  the mexican palm tree on my honeymoon beach went from standard:

royal hideaway playacar / playa del carmen mexico / aug 2008

to epic:

all it takes is a single filter in GIMP, the free open source equivalent of photoshop, to turn a typical photograph into dramatic – and meaningful – artwork.

choose an image with the most eye-catching silhouette and adjust the frame and tilt until the composition of your photo is to your liking.

blue mosque / istanbul turkey / nov 2009

apply the posterize color tool.

set posterize level to 2.

zing:

red-pill-or-blue-pill?-like awesomeness.

manipulating a digital image doesn’t imply that the original is a crappy photograph.  no, the goal in using this GIMP filter is to unify your best pictures so that their most stunning qualities do the following:

a) fit cohesively in the color story of your room, and

b) leap off the wall onto the innocent guest sipping chai on your couch

your friends shouldn’t have to walk up to your travel photos and stare closely as if analyzing a museum piece.  your travels DEMAND attention, damnit.  force them on people.

i haven’t printed this one yet, but i intend to replace chowmahalla palace with these south american beach cliffs which are pretty like so:

miraflores / lima peru / dec 2011

and badass like so:

as i inch forward in developing the home office gallery wall, i’m using GIMP to toy with the prints.  my personal favorite?  a shot i grabbed of the opera house while riding a ferry through sydney harbor.

opera house / sydney australia / sept 2012

after a little GIMP massage, check it:

rad.

monochromatic home office? don’t. just don’t.

my turkish kilim rug pillow is talking to the white board supplies.

i was just minding my own business at the desk on sunday evening.  looked up.  leaned back for a moment.  office chair spun left, then right.  wait a minute.  this is working.  this is working very well.  how did this happen.

call me negligent, but i didn’t calculate for dry erase markers when trolling etsy for a cushion cover six weeks ago.

note to self:  office supplies are colorful.  pretend you already knew that when setting out to redesign a room for them.

an office goes under the knife for pennies

confession:  one hundred fifty thousand pennies.  neither theft nor magic was used on this project.  (i am only human.)

that must explain why i’m feeling a distinctly human excitement about finishing the home office at any moment now.  forreals.  keep the binoculars out so we don’t miss it.  and in the meantime, sample this sneak peak as an appetizer for the two-month story to follow.

my place

that trash can is the only relic left from syed’s college years and a deliberate final four shoutout.  go blue.

backtracking:

it began in a giant box of silly putty.

den3

some houzz research led to inspiration:

houzz

houzz

i banished the taupe with a couple cans of paint.

photo2

tally:  $50

next, i discovered a vintage desk at a used furniture warehouse.  won The Rug on ebay.  turned to lord eames for my chairs.

tally:  $1010

sold a shelf.  bought a shelf or two or three and some shelving accessories.

shelf

tally:  $1135

sold a rug, sold a chair.

rug-chair

tally:  $1055

bought a daybed.

tally:  $1185

sold the ugly sofabed and brugly storage ottoman.  (brugly = brown + ugly.)

sofa-ottoman

tally:  $930

sprayed the daybed lincoln copper.

tally:  $945

painted the leftovers.  a shelf previously fudged into a tv stand is now – ta-dahhh – white.

tally:  $955

began amassing daybed accessories.   shown below are some cushions from west elm, an etsy vendor, and one kings lane.  i also grabbed a white bolster from ikea and white linen daybed cover from west elm.  sit tight on this one; the detailed strategy will have to come in a later post after i puzzle out how to style a daybed.  right now, je n’ai pas de clue.

tally: $1195

to top it off, i need some cheapass mobile tabling that fits the room’s vibe and has the height to complement a daybed + double as a work surface near the desk.  (this sentence cannot possibly be the correct application of the word tabling.  but let’s just roll with it.)

ikea lindved

tally:  $1235

what’s left?  purchasing a twin mattress.  painting some picture frames.  hanging the gallery wall.  finding handsome storage containers to go under the daybed.  adding a curtain panel to hide apartment-standard vertical blinds.  organizing organizing organizing.

by the time all is said and done, this room will be complete for under $1500.

budget-friendly makeovers go for $3000+ minimum.  victory five!

i’m positively itchy from the anticipation (or the spray paint).

an interiors kool-aid drinking buddy

met myself today.

the march/april rue magazine features ellie somerville of luxe magazine, an editor whose brain i share.

what i see in these pages is my home if i had redone it from scratch in 2012 rather than 2007.  (and if i were as talented as a paid pro.)

excerpts read like things i’d say in my blog:

once settled, ellie made swift work of furnishing the apartment… “stores like west elm, ikea, crate and barrel, and z gallerie made this process easier and were great affordable starting points.”

ellie somerville / rue magazine / march-april 2013

floored that an interior design magazine editor would admit to this.

unless you have been cryogenically frozen since 1981, you will recognize the ikea LACK tv stand.  just marginally less obvious is the CB2 coffee table.

there’s the subtle animal hide, eons more current than my contemporary floral rug which is about as hip as VH1:

my place

excuse the terrible photography; i’m hoping an SLR is in my future.

feeling in step with the patterns on her cushions:

ellie somerville / rue magazine / march-april 2013

her color story leans mauve and mine dives into blue, but threads overlap.

my place

image

ellie somerville / rue magazine / march-april 2013

that, my friends, is an ikea kivik sofa.  shut up.

in the chair and the mirror above the couch is a light tone raw wood finish i’ve been pulling teeth to introduce into my living/dining room.  if only i hadn’t committed so strongly to dark wood finishes!  *shaking fist at sky*

some sad attempts to remedy this include purchasing this west elm coffee table, which will inevitably be cheaper than a reclaimed wood piece, during the next massive sale.

west elm

and stripping one of my occasional chairs despite its art deco silhouette.

don’t hate, ok?  sanding it down is a work in progress.  there must be an eighth inch of glossy black paint on this thing.

i also threw a mango wood vase on the dining table.  once all the pieces are in place, it’ll come together like the austrian lodge (well…theoretically).

my place

note the white + crystal lighting here.  ellie uses the same concept in the form of a lamp in her living room.

after taking into account that our trends are a couple years out of sync, my approach has been remarkably similar to hers.  happy thoughts.

rue blurbs below reveal some things we live by.  you should too, then join us for my imaginary weekly brunch with her.

convenience wasn’t the only upside to using reasonably priced furniture and decor; the freedom to experiment was another perk, and a deliberate one at that.  “as i go on my own design journey, i can practice with scale, color, and materials without making costly mistakes.  not everything is perfect, but i’m ok with that.  this is my little design laboratory, and things are always changing.”

yes.

listening to a typical sunday in ellie’s life only drives her point home.  “i get the newspaper and sit on the sofa with my feet propped up, surrounded by my dogs.  i have coffee, and there’s beautiful natural light streaming in – that’s the moment i feel most at home.  i’m comfortable, i’m happy, i’m at peace.”

yes.  except the part about the dogs.

“anyone who’s interested in design never feels like a space is truly ever done,” ellie says. 

“i’m learning as i go, and i’m enjoying it.  it’s fun.  this has really felt like a home to me.”

brain sharing.

fish and sofabeds stink in three days

my den is a rubik’s cube.

my sofabed is that last stupid yellow square that you just can’t figure out how to get to the other eight yellow squares on the far side of the cube.

i used to think that sofabeds were brilliant.  i was wrong.  sofabeds are absurd.

take the heaviest, most expensive piece of furniture you will ever own.  add to it a heavy, expensive mechanism and crappy mattress to make it even heavier and more expensive with marginal added functionality.  take a survey of your limping overnight guests, the four burly male friends who keep helping you move, and your spouse.  then weep in shame.

so.  i need to replace our sofabed.  the mattress is comically uncomfortable, the seat cushions sag into the the folded mattress, and the whole assembly is upholstered in beige microfiber such as you might find in a model home.  in 2003.  in iowa.

was i totally baked when purchasing this thing?  i am baffled.

anyhoo; while the sofabed runs the craigslist hamster wheel, i have five goals to meet in my search for a replacement:

1.  provide comfortable lounge seating.

2.  provide comfortable accommodations to overnight guests.

3.  move easily.

4.  cost <$500.

5.  fit the den’s bright, colorful, modern, casual aesthetic.

in my budgetless fantasy, the lounge seating in this room would be upholstered in warm congac leather – perhaps from restoration hardware.

restoration hardware / $2000

my fantasy fails 2) 3) and 4).  (as do all new sofas.)

sleeper?

west elm / $1300

fails 1) 3) and 4).  probably fails 2) because the sleeper mattress union has negotiated an anti-human vertebrae policy.

can’t even meet 4) with ikea’s version.

ikea / $800

maybe something pre-owned will help me meet the price point.

craigslist detroit / $400ish

price point, yes.  eyeball test, no.  in detroit, craigslist sofas fail 2) 3) and 5).  blame the shortage of transient young professionals with good taste.

not optimistic about craigslist sleeper sofas, either…

craigslist / $300

fails 1) 2) 3) and 5).  if that lumpy thing is worth $300, i will eat my hat.

time to consider other types of furniture.

ikea / $300

futons fail 5).  maybe 1) and 2).  i should probably at this point create a sixth goal:

1.  provide comfortable lounge seating.

2.  provide comfortable accommodations to overnight guests.

3.  move easily.

4.  cost <$500.

5.  fit the den’s bright, colorful, modern, casual aesthetic.

6.  belong in the home of a grownass person rather than a frat house.

chaise loungers fail 2) and 4), but feast your eyes on this:

overstock.com / $750

damned if i wasn’t seriously tempted at this moment by a vision of mottled cowhide against my ocean-deep bluegreen persian rug.

i’m not getting anywhere.

how about a daybed?

daybed1

overstock.com / $380

not that kind.  hear me out.

a mattress = comfortable sleeping.

a mattress + cushions = comfortable sitting.

a frame + a mattress + cushions = painless moving.

obviously a daybed will meet my first three goals.  but can it fit in my office aesthetic, and can i get it for cheap?

first, elle decor to massage the vision:

sig bergamin / elle decor / april 2011

claiborne swanson frank / elle decor / nov 2011

bright.  colorful.  fresh.  eclectic.  relaxing.  the image is crystalizing for me quickly.

what’s on the market?  west elm has a contemporary interpretation.

daybed2

west elm / $450

lukewarm.  the last thing i need is another overpriced pile of woodmash made in china.

as i foraged for daybeds through the internet, this copper number kept tugging at my gaze.

wayfair / $330

the silhouette is garbage, but copper!  COPPER!  copper.  i swoon.  copper needs to happen in my home office.

i want a metal frame in straight lines – none of that curly traditional shiz – with a throwback reference to vintage wrought iron detailing for flavor.  then i’ll spray it shiny copper and the universe will rejoice.

pottery barn feels me.

pottery barn / $700

pottery barn / $700

but this thing has to be cheap to leave room in the budget for spraying, mattress, cushions, and linens.  low cost imported knockoffs…?  bueller…?  bueller…?

amazon.com / $130

this is how we do it.

do as i do, not as i say

burn down the post office.

actually, don’t. just fantasize about it. actually, don’t do that either.

what i’m trying to say is this: snail mail needs to stop.

with just a few days of mailbox neglect, it turns a pristine home office into normandy beach. even the most well-intentioned homedweller can lose control without a national defense strategy against the endless stream of bills catalogs account records wedding invitations magazines tax forms solicitations sales coupons appointment reminders newsletters. etc.

office storage is a tricky business. on one hand, i crave closed furniture to hide the chaotic aesthetic of stacked papers and books. on the other hand, i want to nip the black hole effect of cabinets that will swallow away junk, only to spit it up decades later as an embarrassment to grandchildren running my estate sale.

my search cruised along on parallel tracks: one for a credenza, and one for shelving units.

craigslist has some real beauties.

credenza

credenza3

credenza2

i struggled, though, with two issues.

1. churning out a room that looks like the set of argo. with a midcentury modern vintage desk, a midcentury modern vintage eames shell, and a midcentury modern knockoff office chair, this den is quickly veering into cartoon territory. it’s time to add balance with simple neutral pieces rather than defaulting to another MCM behemoth.

2. failing the mobility test. high quality pieces have more than just a financial price. some craigslist posters like to advertise their vintage wood furniture as heavy: “Very, very, very heavy. It feels like 300 pounds or more.” um… delete.

on to shelves?

ikea’s EXPEDIT lives in 83% of american homes.

Picture 98

just joshing you with my fake statistic. it certainly feels like 83%. i love the look of these shelves, but i’m beginning to think they’re dormant aliens planted in every corner of the earth waiting for the right moment to destroy humanity.

bring on the variety, please.

Picture 99

amazon.com

contemporary. popular. $200ish. but these open-back asymmetrical room divider shelves have started to carry a light stench of ‘dated’… yikes.

008_SAN-BA20361842-08-02

sandusky

loving the welded steel construction and colorpop. hating the $300 price tag.

perhaps something el-cheapo on craigslist to disappear into the background?

shelf1

craigslist

functional… $15… uninspiring. nay, depressing.

where can i find a shelving system that’s cheap, light, accessible, and fresh? why, ikea of course! smh. (don’t hate me for using smh i love beck and oasis and fiona apple i’m not a tween i swear.) Picture 100this is the one.

lerberg

these gray gentlemen control office clutter with cool, simple ease in a catalog photo. their white cousins live like this in my new den.

i may hate on ikea, but the fact remains that it offers a warehouse of affordable stuff to fill the gaps between your treasures. when used wisely, it is priceless. only an idiot (—> me) would talk all willy-nilly of abandoning this resource.

hold your breath* because den results are just around the corner.

*i absolve myself of any responsibility for consequences of inciting breath-holding or post office arson.

the ongoing adventures of captain den reno

mission office ran aground on mission life.

much as i’m a catalog junkie, i approached this office re-do with the intention of getting pieces so unique that i couldn’t just toss my AMEX number at the CB2 website whilst sipping coffee sunday morning.  no, the office should involve some sweat.  (and more than the amount it would take to throw up a couple coats of paint.)

this is hard.

between an escalating load at work and some health-busting bugs, it took me a mammoth effort to get just three primary ingredients in place by now.  i’m beginning to see why foraging for design is a full time job.

a weekend afternoon at a used furniture liquidator’s warehouse led me to this beauty:

desk

what’s that, mr. fred’s-unique-furniture-and-antiques?  solid wood desk by a classic american manufacturer in the perfect stain?  no refinishing required?  yup, load it into my trunk.

this is where the furniture adventure gets hairy.  i don’t believe in cars and use a cheap little zippy one out of necessity.  (if you don’t own a car in michigan, you might as well draw a face on your volleyball and call him wilson.)

used furniture rarely comes with the free delivery perk, though, so add to your to-do list the need to borrow an SUV.  and the need to reserve the loading dock in your apartment building.  and the need to make time during business hours.  and the need to coordinate loading-unloading with your spouse’s schedule.  doing this the fun way is starting to eat me alive.

i borrowed an SUV, picked the desk up from the warehouse, and nabbed a vintage eames fiberglass shell from craigslist en route.  boom.

chair

crisp white walls.  wood mid-century desk.  yellow mid-century chair.  this room needs a burst of something to yank it forward into 2013 without rejecting the decades in between.

enter a bokhara rug (timeless) in the rarest vibrant blue (modern).

Picture 95

i win.  literally, after a harrowing week of ebay bidding, i win.

now back to mission life, which demands my full attention for a week to recover hours lost to bugs.  the rest of the room will have to wait…  but i expect that a daydream or two will pull me back to crisp whites, warm woods, and a yellow pop on a sea of blue.

going all bill-nye on my den

it occurs to me that i’ve been nitpicking at a space that’s batting 800 when i have a whole separate room screaming in an angry-child-at-the-other-side-of-costco kind of way.  you hear a quiet doppler-shifted din in the distance which is easily ignored while deciding between charmin ultra soft and charmin ultra strong.  as you inch your shopping cart into the same aisle, though, you are slapped with its hideous fury.

emphasis on hideous.

our den functions as an office, a second tv lounge, a guest room, and a reasonably arranged dumping ground for the furniture syed and i have dragged with us through post-college singlehood and transitional newlywed-hood.  hold my hand as we skip along on this journey down memory lane…

my philadelphia bachelorette apartment in july 2007, uberspacious 1bed 1bath with charming parquet floors at the heart of chestnut hill on the R8 train, $1100/mo:

philly1

i was, and still am, proud of what i accomplished as a fresh college graduate with furniture raided from the target-ikea-parents’ basement trifecta. $150 couches ftw!

philly2

on to our michigan boonies 2bed 1bath basement apartment in september 2008, $550/mo:

brighton1

yeah that’s chappelle.  trust.

brighton2

and now, our uber useful rarely used den in detroit:

den1

den2

den3

den4

blechhh.

why do i hate it?  it reminds me of 2007:  black finishes, behr classic taupe walls, a bunch of orange crap, mismatched staples office furniture assembled from a flat box (throwing syed under the bus for that), bland sofabed purchased in a fit of impatience (throwing myself under the bus for that).

why does syed hate it?  the office area is cramped and cluttered, the sofabed is uncomfortable, and the workspace doesn’t capitalize on our marvelous detroit/detroit river/canada view.

we need a comfortable, functional, inspiring office space.  (for cheap.)

thoughts:

1.  peninsula the desk off the window.  no-shit, sherlock.

2.  keep the ugly couch.  it’s just not worth the effort to replace it with a pending move in 18 months.  we can stuff it against the entry wall so you don’t see it unless you’re sitting at the desk, in which case the glory of hart plaza’s noguchi fountain will draw your gaze away with Design Hero superpowers.

3.  make the taupe walls work.

fail.

after scouring my brain for vision to no avail, i scoured houzz for vision.  turns out they’ve published on this topic:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/300434/list/Taupe–A-Sophisticated-Backdrop-for-Today

their article includes fresh! new! inspiring! photos such as this:

Picture 87

FAIL.

the taupe has to go.  i really really really don’t want to paint again.  but here’s a thought:  before we leave the apartment, we are under contractual obligation to return its wall color to white anyway.  so here i am, eating my words:

i’m going to use white walls.

4.  floor to ceiling gallery wall.  we have reams of art without a home in this apartment, and i’ve never tried a gallery wall.  eager as dr. frankenstein for the experiment.

5.  new desk.  maybe this $95 used one, refinished?

Picture 88

it has a massive surface but is still lightweight enough for easy moving.  mama like.

6.  colorful rug to hide the carpet, perhaps yoinked from my in-laws?  will have to investigate their stash.

grabbed from houzz to offer them a little redemption after the taupe disaster, here are the moods i’m envisioning:

Picture 89

laura u, inc / houzz

Picture 90

vintage renewal / houzz

though you’d never know from the pics i posted, our den has GORGEOUS unobstructed 22nd floor lighting.  this vision is not fantasy.  that’s my story and i’m sticking to it.

i would love to hear input, hit me.

interior design for fugitive dummies

i have commitment issues.  wait, don’t yawn yet.

not referring here to your stock mr.-big-can’t-admit-that-carrie-is-the-one saga.  i have commitment issues when it comes to places.  observe:

i picked a career with a market in every city.  engineer buildings, and you can live wherever there are buildings.  (as opposed to, say, spaceships.)

i have a partner with a career path as translatable as my own.  health-care-related-verb people, and you can live wherever there are people.

i rent.  having transitioned to financial independence just before the economic shitstorm of 2008, i will rent to the grave unless the fates bless me with an architectural treasure to transform as my opus.

this claustrophobia bangs up against my pickiness about interiors.  the most mobile of my friends live out of a suitcase and a handful of boxes, bouncing from adventure to adventure, using craigslist as a personal library of ikea furniture to be checked out when needed and checked back in months later when the adventure continues elsewhere.

wish i had the luxury of that low-maintenance extreme, but no dice.  my space WILL slam.  (and i will not sleep until it does.)

…also, i need to be able to drop everything and move across the world in 30 days.  you know, without destroying my credit and losing five or six figures of cash.

how???

when i watch a farce such as the episode of ‘million dollar decorators’ in which martyn lawrence bullard moves a 3,000 pound dining table into a manhattan high rise over the balcony and through windows by crane, i throw my head back and do an evil laugh.

image

martyn lawrence bullard / bravo

this room is amazeballs ugly.  the more i watch rich people direct the design of their spaces, the more i realize that rich people have horrific taste.

image_1

martyn lawrence bullard / bravo

if i ever amass such wealth and use it to move ugly furniture rather than open STEM charter schools for urban youth, kick me in the mouth.  knock a few of my teeth out.

i digress.

so how do you furnish your place awesomely without giving up mobility?

i like to think in terms of how i would feel if we had to move tomorrow.  syed and i better be able to

1) carry it onto a rental truck with our own hands, or

2) leave it behind without going through the five stages of grieving

let’s sample the thought process for a couple large-scale furniture purchases.

no matter how you slice it, a comfy couch is a beast to move.  this was my seating vision when we last purchased couches in 2011.

image

restoration hardware / soho tufted collection

image_1

restoration hardware / soho tufted collection

reeks of manhattan crane rental, yeah?

syed and i opted for cheap + easily discarded after what we anticipate will be a 3-year stint in this apartment.

Picture 80

ikea / kivik sofa

i sacrificed on tufting but maintained the light, neutral, super comfortable, easily dressed qualities of that gorgeous monstrosity from restoration hardware.

photo

the ikea kivik is a casual and contemporary blank slate with arms wide enough to hold your macbook and a coffee.  since making the purchase, i’ve noticed that this series is go-to living room seating for tv designers on a super low budget.

meanwhile, that tufted lounge is stored away on a mental back shelf for a settled, wealthier version of myself.

dining tables are another dilemma.  but the massive variety in this furniture type actually makes possible a polished AND mobile design.  no need to get a city permit months in advance to block off the street for the crane that will carry a three thousand pound monolith into your home.

i decided to spend the bulk of my dining room budget on chairs from west elm.  didn’t even have to reserve the elevator for these because they were left with my doorman by UPS (!!).

Picture 81

west elm / curved leather chair

here’s how they fit into my mobility schtick:

1)  movable.  i mentioned they arrived by UPS, oui?

2)  flexible!  with their classic silhouette and neutral leather upholstry, these can function as occasional chairs in a living room, bedroom, foyer, home theater, tennis court in almost any design scheme if i want to switch dining chairs in a later home.  bazinga.

of course, this meant i needed a disposable table.  enter pier 1.

Picture 82

pier 1 / simon x table base / 48″ round glass table top

at $100 for the painted hardwood base and $100 for the 48″ beveled-edge glass top, i feel as though i mugged a child.  i could throw this thing to the side of the road next week and not experience a millisecond of remorse.

if the goal is to burst with happiness over my space today and be ready to skip town for the next big adventure tomorrow, there is some serious cake-having-and-eating going on around here.