7th House on the Left

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!


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?


posted by Ashley  /  7 Comments

Welcome to another installment of Etsy Thursday! We were down one post yesterday due to… life. We write posts as things happen around the house, and for the past few days, all that’s been going on around here was a whole lot of nothing. Stupid me pulled (very badly) not one, but two, muscles and ended up spending yesterday in bed and highly medicated. The medicine bottle says, “Do not operate heavy machinery,” and with the massive amount of drowsiness it gave me, maybe they should have listed computers, too. While I was out of commission, Greg was busy juggling work, Bentley and taking care of me, hence the mystery of the missing Wednesday post. But that’s enough of the mundane stuff – let’s get on to the best of the best on Etsy!

These New York Letterpress Coasters from Moontree Press first caught my eye because of the cool color combo. I love the gray with the yellow, green, orange, and teal-ish blue. These would be great for a New York-themed party (maybe a bon voyage party for a friend that’s moving to the Big Apple). These would even make a great art piece! Just frame one in a small shadowbox frame on a solid mat for a simple piece of art that makes a statement.

By now, most of you know I’m a total font geek! It should come at no surprise, then, that as soon as I saw these these Vintage Wood Type Letters from Monki Vintage I absolutely fell in love. A must-have for any fellow font fanatic.

I’m obsessed with graphic patterns, and sometimes it’s hard to find pillows with graphic patterns in “big box” home decor stores. Luckily, Etsy is a great place to find them! One of my favorite Etsy shops to scout out graphic pillows is Willa Skye. Ikat, chevron, lattice, zebra, graphic florals… they have it all!

I’ve mentioned a few times that I keep little notebooks in the top drawer of my desk for those spur of the moment ideas and barnstorming sessions. In light of that, I’m loving this Dragon Scales Notebook Jotter by Wit & Whistle. It’s small enough to keep in your purse or tuck away in your desk drawer. And, most importantly, it’s so cute!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of Etsy Thursday. We’re going to be resuming regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, so we’ll be posting a brand new post in the morning! Stay tuned!

Do you have any current Etsy favorites? Share them with the class in the comments section!