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What’s in My Shopping Cart Right Now

At any given time, I have about 10 items ready to go in shopping carts all over the web. The only thing that stands between me and a neatly organized browser is, of course, money. Sadly I’m not a wealthy woman, so I have to pick and choose which wants make the cut. And it’s probably a good thing I can’t just rush out and buy whatever my little heart desires as soon as it fixates on an object — I may or may not possess a rather capricious nature. I might change my mind once or twice (or a million times) whilst concocting a final plan. So let’s check out what I’m looking at and decide what to buy, mmmm kay?

First is this guy from shades of light, which I’m planning to put in the nursery. He’s about $200 shipped to my house and I know that’s not bad for a fixture, but I’m cheap and keep hoping to stumble upon something just as good for half the price.

I also have samples for these scrumptious wallpapers by Flat Vernacular, all of which kind of fit my color palette. Some I might have a place for, some are just objects of lust.

There’s also this hilarious toile print made of derby cars from the same company that would make the cutest kid’s bathroom ever, but not sure I want to go that juvenile… or maybe I do. TBD.

Adorable leopard pillow by Arianna Belle. I don’t really need this, per se, but it’s cute and splashy and $55.

Ikea has new leather furniture out, and it’s pretty damn comfy. The Karlstad now comes in white leather, which is probably not the most kid friendly, but at least it cleans up easier than fabric. Our chesterfield is looking shabby, and this mightmightmight work as new seating. Don’t worry — I would burn those legs in the fireplace and buy a new set of chrome ones. For $899 (plus $135 back as an Ikea gift card), it’s a whole lotta sofa for not a lotta moola.

Of course what I really want is a pair of these plush Ikea Mellby chairs to replace Chester. A pair of chairs would suit our seating configuration so much better and be more versatile down the line. Sadly, Ben would rather have a couch to sprawl out on… comfort vs aesthetics? Hmmm.

Probably I will buy neither right now and focus on other matters.

Like the marble table I have yet to order

Or the paint I need for the kitchen cabinets, the upholstery for the nursery chair, bedding for the guest bed, chairs for the new table, a desk for the office, or any of the other million pressing issues I would like to tackle before the baby arrives.

I might have some problems with focus.

So help me out — anything on this list I must buy today?

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Ikea Update

Yesterday Ike, Ben and I, drove all the way to the northern wilds of Round Rock, home of the Texas Ikea. It’s so far north Karly asked me if it was snowing up there, but sadly I had to inform her that hell had not yet frozen over, and that it was 105 degrees in the shade. The heat is sending me into a fugue state of ever increasing laziness, so as a result I’m gonna dispense with the chit chat and get down to some really important list making. Let’s read about how we lost three hours of our lives riding through the desert on a cart with no name.

1) I finally sat on this couch.

So, yon Hovas was actually pretty comfy, but Ben was utterly repulsed by the slipcoveryness (Ben is not terribly savvy in the cleaning department, obvi). While there were a few details I was not thrilled with — the arms are a little too rounded, the seat cushions stick out too far, and I wish the back cushions weren’t contoured like that — I thought it was pretty awesome for $499. Too bad the fabric choices are abysmal. I will be waiting until they make some nubby linen like covers like they do for Ektorp.

2) They did not have my Vago patio chairs so I rolled around in the middle of the store and threw a tantrum.

This is patently unfair, since that dumb chair is one of the best things Ikea has ever made. Check out Modfrugal taunting me with her fancy Vagos, arranged around a campfire. Awesome! Although just looking at that fire is making me hot.

This is really very frustrating, though. WHY can I not order things through the Ikea site? WHY can they not even ship site to store? It’s so ridiculous.

3) I bought Ike a bunch of kiddie crap.

Besides purchasing several accessories with funny Swedish names like Mesmakr and Pslinger, I snagged a Mammut stool so Ike can sit around the baby pool and dip his cute, chubby little toes into the boiling water.

4) I struck out in the rug section.

Ikea has some great, kid friendly rugs. I love the new Basnas, which is much nicer than the pictures show. It’s a nubby gray flecked flatwoven rug that has a lot more texture than a kilim, but no nasty pile with which to trap cereal bars and legos. The only problem is that, like many of Ikea’s rugs, it doesn’t come in an 8×10 option. The Swedes must live in shoeboxes. Same story with this Perisk rug, which was on super sale, but was super small.

5) Despite utter failure on many accounts, I did snag some cute planters.

Of course, most of the good stuff was already sold out. Oh, and while I’m working myself into a lather, let me ask why most Ikea pots do not have holes drilled in the bottoms for drainage? Plant whisperers, am I missing something here?

Enough kvetching. Sorry I’m Miss Bitchy today. Mondays suck.

I mean, YAY! Happy Monday!

Tomorrow I will be all sweetness and light. Pinky swear.

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Things I Am Thinking About Buying On the Internets

It’s that time of year, y’all — the time of year when the whole world slows down to a snail’s pace and everyone is on siesta time. That’s because (at least in our neck of the woods) it’s over 100 degrees outside and even walking out to the car forces a stinky sweat. I know you’re too hot to contemplate big fancy posts about the design world and stupid trends blah blah blah, so instead I’m going to tell you about all the window shopping I’ve been doing from the comfort of my air conditioned home.

I really want this dumb craigslist headboard so I can just be done with the neverending no headboard drama, but these stupid bitches won’t write me back. If it’s not available, delete the post, people! Anyway, I’m still pretending they are going to let me pick up this king sized, gold leafed, wood carved goodness. For $100 no less.

tie dyed sheets

Then I will pair it with my new white duvet and these cutie pie tie dyed sheets from Overstock. I love so many of the colors, but I’m pretty sure only ivory, rose or black, would look good with my stuff/paint color. Guess which one I’m going to pick? $36 bam!

Moving on from the bedroom, it’s time to replace our milk and cereal bar encrusted rug (thanks, Ike!).

I could buy the exact same leather braided rug we already have ($150 here), or I could shake things up… maybe like this.

Of course, who knows exactly what “this” is, since the picture is so craptacular? You’re killing me, craigslisters. Anyway, if I buy a totally different rug, then I will need… other totally different stuff. You know how it goes.

I’ve been eying Ikea’s Hovas sofa for a while now… it’s so cheap! But it’s white, and I explained what happened to the rug, right? But it’s slipcovered! But will I ever wash said slipcover? Hmmmm. Has anyone ever sat on this sucker? What do we think about it?

ikea vago

Speaking of Ikea, they reissued the wildly popular Vago patio chairs (thanks to Modfrugal for the tip!), and I’m dying for a set, but our store doesn’t stock them. I think you should all call your local congressman to complain.

And since I apparently only like black and white things (did you figure out which color sheets I want yet?), I’m thinking about running over to our local West Elm and picking up these blackened planters on sale. Or maybe I will just save myself some sweat and order them. I’m so environmentally aware.

Ok, maybe not, but I am aware that I’m lazy.

Stay cool, homies!

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Two Crazy Bedrooms and One Mayonnaise Sandwich

Yesterday I made the grueling trek into the northern wilds, home of Ikea. Land of milk and honey. Or so I thought. See, I have long been incubating radical plans to radically update our completely unradical bedroom — our bedroom that is now headboardless, directionless, and a complete mess (if you don’t have kids, judge not lest you be immediately impregnated).

Before I headed to Ikea and was completely destroyed by the juggernaut that is ubiquitous Swedish decor, my plans to revolutionize sleeping through the power of psychedelic design were maybe somehow inspired by these rooms:

Minus the barfy dress.

Minus the funny face.

As I stood in front of the racks and racks and racks of duvet covers (while Ike melted down t-10 seconds to naptime), I thought about how I’m supposed to buy a blanket instead of a duvet cover, because duvet covers are so fall 2010. But all I saw were duvet covers. About 5237866 of them. And I know I probably should have gone home and bought a blanket off the interwebs, but I was under pressure from fluorescent lighting and toddler tantrums. Plus I’m tired of looking at the stupid mauge comforter (suspiciously close to this color) on our giant bed. So there I stood — endlessly, painfully pondering the duvet cover conundrum.

First I picked this up:

And then I put it down, because it had flowery flowers on it and I suspected it would not play well with the giant black panther picture hanging beside our bed. Or the Oriental nightstands. Or the chrome bench. Or pretty much anything in that room.

I bought a white duvet cover. It’s not even worth picturing. It’s white.

How did my technicolor dreams turn to dust in the wind? Damn you, Ikea, for overwhelming me with your conspicuous overstocking. Whatever. I’m moving on, and I think things are headed in this direction:

Just kidding. It’s pretty, but I have too much stuff to live in here.

I have a new plan. It has elements of crazy, but also supports the new white duvet cover theory formula corollary.

Alas, we’ll have to discuss it ad infinitum later because I have to go to a biggo photo job right now… someone has to pay for all that crap I bought at Ikea.

Have a good Monday. Do some psycho shopping for me.

[Desire to Inspire, Elle Decor, Magnus Marding]

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Reader Question: Elissa’s Vintage Couch Conundrum

When Elissa wrote to us for help designing her living room around a newly purchased vintage couch, she appealed to our sense of Texan loyalty. Ok, plus she told us how much she liked the blog, and we’re total suckers for flattery. Buckle up, kids. This is going to be a looong post, because as a Texas ex-pat now renting a gorgeous 30s apartment in Seattle, Elissa really needs our help moving forward.

Elissa says:

PLEASE HELP ME. Here’s the thing, I got this couch off of Craig’s List. I call it my “grandma couch.” Because it so is… I just love it. The problem is… I’m terrified to buy anything else. All I have is a hand-me-down unfinished Ikea mission-style couch table that is against the wall for my record player that I figured was better than the storage stubs my record player was previously on. I’d really like to make my front room nice, but I’m terrified that if I get something not in the style of my couch, the couch will look really weird, and if I DO get something in the style of my couch, I may as well put out a bowl full of unwrapped hard candies and cat hair and call it a damn day.

I want to make my place awesome but I’m totally commitment phobic. I need guidance rull bad y’all.

Dude, there is nothing in this apartment. How do people live like this??? Nature abhors a vacuum, Elissa. I would have filled this placed with tschotskes five seconds after moving in.

Well Elissa, you’ve come to the right place. I love to play decorating party, and I love an empty space. So, looking around I notice some fairly modern pieces that need to be integrated with the awesome grandma couch. I also see that the front room is pretty tight and needs to remain open. She can’t paint because the apartment is a rental. When I asked Elissa if she had any ideas or if there were any things she wanted to avoid, she mentioned that she liked Persian rugs and hates glass.


I’m going to overlook that for now, Elissa. Let’s get started with some inspiration:

So is it possible for a grandma couch to look modern? If the homes of Nanette Lepore and Annie Schlecter are any indication, then absolutely — especially if you want to reupholster it in a punch color. I’m just guessing that isn’t an option right now.

This room gave me a mini brainwave: Elissa can’t paint, but she can add big color and/or texture through a folding screen. Putting something sculptural in that back left corner would rock, too. So, I propose she buy a cheapo screen off CL or Overstock and staple some fabric to that bad boy. It couldn’t be easier. Even duct tape would work.

Keeping that in mind, I found this groovy bird of paradise fabric that I felt had a Persiany feel. I really like the muted but interesting colors:

And then I made it into a folding screen… ok, I pasted it onto the wall in photoshop.

My formula for designing her space went a little something like this: CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP. I mean, why else would she ask the world’s biggest penny pinchers for advice? Ok, seriously — to create an eclectic/transitional vibe that would embrace the grandma couch yet avoid going Miss Havisham on Elissa, I mixed an organic pattern with a modern, geometric pattern, and kept the furnishings light and airy so that the room would feel open.

Room #1 source list: Tapestry is $30 from Amazon, Rug is $179 from Ikea, floor lamp is $79 from Ikea, coffee table is $40 from Seattle craigslist (I might paint the base black…), sweet Thonet chair is $25 from Seattle CL, velvet pillow is $32 from Urban Outfitters.

Did you see all that craigslisting I did? Hells yeah.

I also did another room with a Persian rug I found off Seattle CL. I’m calling this one, Ike’s Room With Grandma Couch.

Room #2 source list: fabric is $7/yd Ikea Kajsastina, rug is $150 off Seattle CL, floor lamp is $249 from CB2, reclaimed wood and metal coffee table is $116 from Overstock, leather Wassily chair is $70 from Seattle CL, velvet pillow is $32 from Urban Outfitters.

At this point I became weary of photoshop,and then I decided to just pull a textile combo that could be used with the furnishings I selected above. You can use your imagination goggles, right?

Tree of life tapestry is $38 at Urban Outfitters, Ikea rug is $179, magenta velvet pillow is $28 at UO. Dizang this would make a cute room. Also, apparently I love stripes. And hot pink. Who knew?

I’m sure that once art and accessories are added in, Elissa’s pad will be killer. I’m pretty excited about this room, in case you couldn’t tell… maybe I went a little overboard?

Do you guys have a favorite combo?

Thanks, Elissa, for writing in with your question. I had a super fun time playing decorating party with you!

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