7th House on the Left

BECAUSE KROGER SAID SO

posted by Ashley  /  12 Comments

Last night, our outdoor thermometer plummeted to a cool and breezy 62 degrees. After a long summer of record-breaking heat here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we welcome the cooler temperatures. This summer, we even had days where it was 15 degrees warmer than where my grandparents live in Tampa, Florida. That was just wrong.

The other day, while on a grocery run, I pulled into the Kroger parking lot and spotted my favorite members of the squash family all lined up outside the store: pumpkins! Actually, I literally yelled, “Pumpkiiiiiiiiiins!”. Good thing I had the windows up. At least I think I did.

So now, the hot, sticky summer is officially on it’s way out and fall is on it’s way in… Because Kroger said so. ‘Tis (just about) the season fro cider drinking, pumpkin patching, and hoodie wearing. On the horizon are family bon fires, seasonal party planning, and yes, for you early birds… Christmas shopping. Yep, fall is in the air!

For the past few weeks, we’ve been noticing fall decorations beginning to pop up in the big box stores and at some of our favorite online shops; as well as recipes, how-to’s, and decorating ideas on the blog circuit. So what are we looking at for inspiration when it comes to decorating our casa for the fall season? Here are a few of our favorite fall finds…

7th house on the left fall

1. white pumpkins + orange mums 2. salted caramel pears 3. warm accent colors 4. faux antlers 5. cozy fabrics 6. pumpkin spice latte cupcakes (I know, right?!) 7. pottery barn’s fall decorating guide

What are your favorite fall finds so far? Bloggers, have you posted any fall projects yet? Share your links by leaving a comment…

We have a love-hate relationship with the couch and loveseat in the living room. They were perfect for our first place, but now, the beige fabric sticks out like a sore thumb against the gray walls and feels like a speed bump on the road to the style we’re hoping to accomplish one day. It’s also starting to look kinda saggy here and there – though that can probably be easily fixed with new cushion inserts. Hmm… I’m putting that on the to-do list as I type! On the love side of the love-hate relationship, the comfy, lounge-like, perfect-for-movie-nights depth is at the top of the list. We also like the height of the back – not too high, not too low – perfect for a sofa table.

Since the living room is open to the kitchen, we want to wait until the kitchen is done before we make any big living room furniture purchases. Btw, speaking of the kitchen… we are overdue for a kitchen update and we promise one will be coming your way asap, but heads up: you haven’t missed much. At this point, we don’t even know if having a loveseat will leave enough of a walk-space between the future kitchen peninsula and the loveseat.

With all of this in mind, we’ve been casually keeping our eyes open for “the one”. So think of this post as kind of like when you aren’t planning on having kids anytime soon, but you’re already thinking of baby names. Please don’t tell me I’m the only one that’s crazy like that… Anyone?

As for the criteria for “the one”, here’s what we’re looking for:

  • A square-ish design (no rounded arms)
  • Available in colors other than beige
  • Pull-out sleeper sofa isn’t a necessity, but a plus
  • Around 34″ to 36″ high
  • Between 42″ and 47″ deep
  • Comfy… yet tailored.
  • Sturdy and will hold it’s shape

We currently have five favorites – which all, for the most part, fit the criteria. As for the fabric choice, we’ll cross the “fabric bridge” when we come to it. Here are the contenders…

First up, we have the Comfort Square Upholstered Sofa from Pottery Barn. It looks similar to what we have now (all of the contenders do, actually) but a little less contemporary and more classic – which we really like! Also, it comes in 80 (Eighty!!) fabric choices and is available in a sleeper sofa version as well. As far as the cons go, I’m slightly concerned about it holding its shape over time. I’ve heard that Pottery Barn sofas start to look “baggy” after some use. I’m not sure if this is actually the case, though. We’ve never purchased any upholstered furniture from PB; only “hard” pieces (which we’ve been more than happy with!). So, if we decide this is “the one”, we’ll definitely look into that before purchasing.

Next up, we have Ethan Allen’s Monterey Sofa. This has been a favorite of mine ever since they came out with it a few years ago (see the full photo here). In case we do have room for a loveseat, and want to go with a matching one, this style is also available in a loveseat version. Though it is an extra cost, I like the button tufting on the back cushions. I’m not sure if the skirt is a little too traditional for our house, but at Ethan Allen, everything is custom, so I’m sure that can be taken away if we didn’t like it.

Ahh, Pottery Barn’s Stewart Sofa. Ever since I noticed this new addition on the Pottery Barn website a few weeks ago, I’ve been kind of obsessed with it. It’s deep, the perfect height, looks comfy, comes in a bunch of fabric options, and has a distinct, tailored look to it. It also has coordinating (but not too matchy-matchy) chairs.

Then we have the Petrie Sofa from Crate and Barrel. Okay, so this one is a little more on the modern side of things but I’m pretty sure we can cozy it up with pillows, a rug, and such. As far as comfort, we’ve sat on it inside the store and surprisingly enough, it was a lot more comfortable than it looks. And it’s called “Petrie”… being huge Dick Van Dyke Show fans, it almost seems destined to be in our house! I’m sure Rob and Laura would approve.

Last, but certainly not least, is one that Greg and I both whole-heartily agree on: Restoration Hardware’s Easton Upholstered Sectional. Okay, so we might not have room for a sectional, but it comes in a sofa version too! It comes in two depths (“Classic” and “Luxe”) and a bazillion fabric choices. You can’t really tell in the photo, but it also has antiqued brass nail head trim. This sofa had us at “hello”.

So that’s where we are at when it comes to living room furniture. Do you “shop” for furniture way in advance? Please tell me I’m not crazy, ha ha…

PS We’re going to be doing a Facebook-only giveaway next week, so if you aren’t a fan already, go “like” us on Facebook!

Oh, and by the way… we just noticed that tomorrow is our 1-year blogiversary! How crazy is that?! Time has FLOWN by!

DECORATING BY THE BOOK

posted by Ashley  /  8 Comments

Inspiration is everywhere… magazines, interior design shows on TV, Pinterest, books, blogs, your favorite restaurant down the street, or even your favorite hotel getaway. I’ve talked a little about my magazine obsession (more on that here) and how I’m pinning away on Pinterest (check out that post here). On top of those things, I’m amassing a rather large collection of interior design-oriented books.

To prepare for our monthly His + Hers Favorite Things posts, sometimes we take note throughout the month of things that caught our eye or new “can’t live without” items (such as last month’s Off! Clip on Fan!). As I looked over my favorites for this month so far, I noticed I already had three interior design related books on the list. Rather than cramming them all in a Favorite Things post, I thought it would be fun to talk about them in little more detail in a dedicated post.

Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney - I LOVE this book! It’s the newest addition to my collection of “favorites”. Being a huge fan of Design*Sponge, I had this book pre-ordered for months and it finally came in the mail a few days ago. Ever since, I’ve been devouring every single page, one by one. It features everything the blog covers and more, including photos of ridiculously gorgeous spaces, sneak peeks, DIY projects, flower arrange how-to’s, and before & afters. Grace also talks about the early days of the Design*Sponge blog and how the columns were born.

The book starts out on a very high note with a forward by Jonathan Adler, then moves right into a sneak peek into the home of Genevieve Gorder… two of my favorite designers right at the very front of the book! After pages and pages of beautiful photos of amazing spaces, just when you think it can’t get any better, the DIY projects begin. Let’s just say I can’t wait to try out some of the projects for our house. I could seriously go on and on and fill an entire post (or maybe two or three!) about my love for this book, but I want to share another awesome read as well!

Bottom Line: This book is well-organized and simply fantastic! It’s a great read for those wanting a sneak peak into some of the most amazing spaces, DIY enthusiasts looking for new and unique projects, and anyone who enjoys an inspiring before and after every now and then. As an added bonus, the cover looks great on the coffee table!

Home Rules by Nate Berkus – I know this book has been around for a while (since 2005 to be exact), but I just recently snagged a copy at Tuesday Morning (for only $7!). Even though it had a small price tag, this book is FULL of tips on how to easily create a home you love without the stress. Nate takes you room-by-room and outlines ways to make a good space into a great room that fits your lifestyle (or the lifestyle you want).

nate berkus

One of my favorite features throughout the book  is the “Ten Questions to Ask Yourself” section in each chapter. The questions really help you think through your needs for the space without feeling too overwhelmed. For instance, when it comes to the bedroom, a few questions include, “Do you like a bright, sunny welcome in the morning, or is dark and enveloping more your style?”, “Would you like a bed to climb up into – or keep it on the down low?” and “Do you like watching television in bed? Is movie night your idea of a weekday vacation?”.

Bottom Line: This book is full of simple, step-by-step instructions on how to make a space a home – making it a good read for a person just moving into his or her first place, or someone simply wanting to refresh his or her current living quarters.

Decorate by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick – I’m a huge Holly Becker / Decor8 fangirl, so it’s no surprise that this book is on the list of my current favorites. I was already expecting great things from this book before I cracked the cover for the first time, but it still managed to exceed my expectations! The book is divided into four sections: Space Matters, Setting Your Style, Room by Room, and Attention to Detail. Each one is filled with practical tips from designers in layman’s terms - which makes it even more fun to read for non-professionals like myself.

Another thing I love about this book is that it appeals to so many “style audiences”, including modern, vintage, industrial, cottage, natural, funky urban, bohemian chic, mid-century, contemporary, modern glam, etc. There’s definitely something for everyone. And if you aren’t really sure what your personal style is, the “Setting Your Style” section helps you figure it out and gives advice on how to incorporate it into your home in an easy-to-understand fashion.

Bottom Line: A must have for any interior design enthusiast (of any style!) and another great jewel for the coffee table. You’ll find yourself making notes and marking pages with Post-It Notes!

So, how about you… Do you have a favorite interior design book from which you gain inspiration?