Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Time may change me

So, on Saturday after stuffing ourselves full of queso and enchiladas at lunch, we moseyed on over to our favorite vintage store, the Honeymoon Bungalow.  I know nobody reading is from Baton Rouge, but on the off chance that anyone googles it, they're awesome.  Great service, sometimes downright amazing prices (but always reasonable, and there's always something beautiful in the store.

This time, we were looking for a replacement for our leftover-from-college Wal-mart media towers on either side of the fireplace.  At this point, I want to set those things on fire and just set our playstation and satellite box on the floor.  Honestly, we bought them when we first moved in together 7 years ago and they've held up better than I could possibly expect them to for the amount they cost us.  But they have silver plastic feet.  They have got to go.

We found two possibilities.  One, a low and long storage piece that was painted a flat black and had wire fronted shelves.  It had some Dorothy Draper-esque detailing, and Brett felt just okay about it.  The second, a gorgeous 30s (I'm guessing) china cabinet with inlaid wood and beautiful detailing, we were afraid was a bit too shallow to hold our components.  Plus, we did NOT feel good about drilling holes in it for cables.

We left with a card full of measurements but no furniture.

But the second piece, the china cabinet that was objectively gorgeous, sparked a conversation that was more valuable than the replacement of those shelves (I think.  I hate those things A LOT).  Brett said that didn't seem to be my style.  So I asked him what he thought my style was, and we started talking a lot about what we liked, didn't like, hated with a burning passion (hello, lamp/table in the office), and where to go from here.  I talked about how I felt that I had limited resources, and he really pushed back on that.  Whereas I tend to buy something cheaper because I want a chair, what we really should do is save up, look for a long time, and buy the chair that will last us years.  Even if that chair is from Schoolhouse Electric and costs $1000.

And I realized he was right.  We have far too much placeholder stuff in our lives.  Some of it is bad decision stuff (Ashley bedroom suit I'm looking at you), some of it was "I want a chair for my birthday and we're at Ikea" (I love my Poang but it has no place in my dream living room.  It will live like on the sunporch or something), some of it is hand-me-downs that just was never my style (dining table and chairs) and some of it is something one of us loves, and one of us hates.

Oh, the red Ikea storage cabinet.  I know it's not the greatest mix with what I see in my head as "my style."  But it's cute.  It was inexpensive.  It gives us some great storage.  It was a Christmas gift from my parents.

And Brett hates it with a PASSION.

Right now, on top of this red thing, there's our wedding album, our engagement pics album, a photobook of my trip through Arkansas with my dad - those things I really care about.  A yellow candle that's cute enough, a driftwod-y picture frame I bought at the PB outlet YEARS ago because it was a great deal, not because I liked it.  Those are the things that need to go.

As well as, sadly, the cabinet.  I got it for Christmas in 2010.  A year and a half ago, roughly.  Which was roughly half a year after I made this mood board for my living room.

 Now, this is a room that I would still walk into and think looked good.  I am a fan of the Henry sofa at West Elm.  I have a dark gray china cabinet (but I definitely didn't line it with yellow stripes).

There are only two pieces here that I would want in my room today.  The painting (love) and the big pen and ink drawing.  It's impossible to tell any detail here, but I still remember it.  It was a pen and ink drawing of a map of Paris.   I would love on of London, Amsterdam, or Memphis, myself.  Everything else in here, while it's nice enough (and I do love the flokati but I know Brett hates them), I wouldn't choose anymore.  It's too stark, too modern, and literally the opposite of what I'm drawn to now (darker walls and lighter furnishings).

I mean, there is zero wood in that picture.  Zero.  That's insane, considering that I would pretty much hump a walnut slab.

Moving on.

So, Brett and I looked at a lot of pictures.  We both like wood.  We both like old things.  We both like the 40s, 50s, 60s.  We both like things to look collected, we like a little bit of a middle eastern influence, and soft, washed colors.  We both like bronze and brass.

Now look back at that picture.  It's weird how things can change.  I remember how I felt about that couch.  It was the couch I felt I could afford.  It's not a bad thing to be cost conscious.  I love West Elm.  And I still think that couch is a good deal.  But my husband has convinced me that I'm in a place where I don't need to be basing long term decision on saving a few hundred bucks.

So what does our new mood board look like?

Look at all that wood.

It's so much warmer and more comfortable looking to me.

So we already have the whiskey prints and the Sharon Montrose prints (we have 5).  We also have some other art we love (preserved insects, a fawn collage, an embroidery piece I did) that holds a place of pride in here.  But I'd love to add a big statement painting like this one from Cocoa and Hearts.  She's always completely sold out, but I love her large scale painting in reds and pinks.

Brett suggester a dresser to replace the red cabinet.  We saw a sweet one at the vintage store this weekend and this is a good approximation.  The cabinet represents the bar we already have, and keep in mind we also have a low and wide mid-century stereo cabinet - likely my favorite piece of furniture in the entire house.

I would kill someone with my bare hands for that coffee table.  So there's that.

To replace the towers, I love the gold leafing in the back of this cabinet, and the aged finish.  I think Brett would prefer something a bit lighter (in color and weight) so who knows.  But we both love the leafing in the back.  This piece is $1600 from Anthro.

The rug is just a vintage kilim I found when I googled kilim.  I stole the pillows from The Brick House.  Which is what I would do if I was ever at her house.  Steal things.  Lots of things.

And that brings us to that couch.  Our couch right now sucks.  Remember what I said about the Henry couch, "It was the couch I felt I could afford."  Well, that's what our couch now is.  Except it was the couch we actually could afford right after we moved and when we were about to get married.  And it was awesome.  I thought it was pretty too with its square arms and its comfortable chaise section.  And it was on sale for like $500.

But it was too good to be true.  Thanks to some weird coincidence my brother bought the same couch around the same time.  And guess what, they both suck.  They're so uncomfortable (except to sleep on, they're okay for that).  The cushions like disintegrated within months.  We have a pillow stuffed under the cushion in the chaise section and it's still impossible to get up from there.  After I had my gall bladder taken out I was pretty sure I was going to die on that sofa, because I couldn't get up.

I've looked half-assedly at sofas for over a year now.  Waiting for the perfect one to fall into my lap.  And it did.

This is the Thackery Chesterfield from Anthro.  It's gray, it's linen (I know, I'm crazy, but I figure future kids will ruin anything so I might as well have what I want), and it's a chesterfield.  Which is exactly what we wanted.  The size is perfect.  We measured it out last night and it's the perfect length for one of us to lay with our head in the other's lap.  It seems to be the perfect color.  It's discounted $1000.

I just bought it today.  I can't wait to get it.  I'm stopping on the way home and getting a scratching post to hopefully keep the cats away from it!