Favorite Things

Favorites Under $50: Decorative Objects

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

I’m making a few improvements to my home this fall, in addition to the fireplace project, I’m readying the studio above our garage for a multitude of guests arriving through September and October, also a house sitter will be living there when we take our big trip abroad in November. My stepdaughter moved out last week, she occupied the space for over a year after college while she worked two local jobs, she just moved to San Francisco, so again the space is vacant.

Four years ago we installed Billy bookcases as built ins along one wall to add storage, I have plans to extend them up and also add lights, I’ll share that improvement when complete. Again I get to style them with books and collectibles, I have a lot of accessories I’ve collected over the years, but I’ve been on the hunt for a few new ones too.

I love to look at images of well styled bookcases and analyze why they look so appealing. There are mixed opinions on how to style bookcases, designers loving to use them as opportunities for chic displays with cleverly placed books and objets d’art.

stylish bookcase

 traci zeller

There is no one formula or way to do it, I prefer a mix of sculptural objects and books, I find that the most visually appealing, but after all they are bookcases so as a practical matter, stacks of books just make sense.

black bookcases

jessie d miller

 navy blue bookcases

b gallerie

In formal spaces, shelves themselves can be the focal points rather than used solely for the purpose of practical storage. With étagère shelving units like these, avoiding overcrowding and using a minimal amount of objects shows off the beauty of the shelves.

minimal bookcase styling

rue mag

The best objects for styling bookcases are the ones discovered as a diamond in the rough on a flea market or thrift store treasure hunt, or mementos handed down from family or picked up from traveling. But I also keep my eye open for objects with textural or sculptural interest, a metallic sheen or a pretty pattern, one I’ll love for years to come.

If buying objects for the sole purpose of filling a space, I’m not one to spend a bundle of cash since there are several sources for affordable finds from Etsy (for vintage) or HomeGoods and Target. I rounded up some favorites for positioning around the house in vignettes, on a mantel or bookcases, all under $50.

objects under 50

jumble sculpture / polyhedrons / silver urchins / petrified wood / white block planter / clement bowl /  marble & wood block / metal box / kastor vase / colada vase / clio vases / teak vase

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing all the pictures of the Las Vegas kitchen remodel so come on back in the afternoon, it’s a fabulous transformation, you’ll love it!

5 Sofa Buying Considerations

Monday, August 24th, 2015

I’ve been through the process of purchasing a sofa many times in the past decade, for myself, for family, and with friends, it can be agonizing since it’s a major purchase, like buying a car or a mattress, a sofa is something you’ll live with for 5-10 years. The process is worthy of attention to detail so today I’ve assembled five sofa buying considerations and also sharing a few favorite sofa styles from furniture company Interior Define.

1) Scale. I learned a great designer trick many years ago, I even heard Nate Berkus repeat it when I designed a family room space and appeared on his show in 2011. The tip is to map out the perfect width and depth of your new sofa with painter’s tape on the floor. When you’re choosing a sofa, you must make sure it’s the proper size and scale. It doesn’t matter if you love a sofa you see online or in a showroom, if it doesn’t fit when you get it in your house, you’ll regret the purchase.

harper sofa interior define

When you lay down your tape, allow enough space for end tables or a coffee table or accent chairs, however you envision the layout so that people can move around freely and comfortably. A sofa that’s too large will overwhelm and crowd a space, a sofa that’s too small will feel puny and look disproportionate. The first sofa and loveseat I purchased when I was first married I bought on impulse because I liked them in the store. When I got them home they were waaaaay too big. It was a HUGE costly mistake. I couldn’t return them, I had to sell them and took a financial hit of several hundred dollars. I never made that mistake again! It’s so important to buy the proper size, think like Goldilocks, your sofa or sectional should not be too big, not too small, it should be juuuuust right.

2) Style If you’ve ever thumbed through the warehouse furniture store ads you know that there are still companies producing oversized puffy sofas in ugly fabrics. #pleasestop  A sofa should have a classic shape. It doesn’t matter if the arms are rolled, curved, or square, if their backs are tufted or not, those choices vary by taste and style. What’s important is the cleaner the lines the more stylish the sofa, you don’t want yours looking dated from the day it arrives in your home.

walters sofa

 3) Quality. Sofas like mattresses get daily use and must be good quality. The frame and cushions need to stand up to the plopping down of people, the jumping up of toddlers and pets, TV viewing, stolen naps, and other daily activities. Educate yourself on the construction, are the frames hardwood? Are the cushions designed to be resilient and durable?

4)  Material. Fabric is everything! Sofas are an investment and so you’ve got to love that fabric forever (or for at least 5-10 years). Neutrals are always a safe bet since everyone knows the power of the decorative pillow or be bold and select a sofa in your favorite color, will it be teal velvet? Seafoam chenille? Also ask yourself since you’ll be sitting on that sofa everyday what you want it to feel like. Nubby and textured? Soft and velvety? Fabric swatches are key! You’ve got to touch the fabric, feeeeel the fabric, hold it up around your room with squinty eyes and make sure it complements the space in different lights at different times of day.

interior define fabric swatches

5) Price. Sofa prices are all over the map, you can buy cheap mass produced sofas from many discount websites or you can go the fancy shmancy route and order a custom piece for thousands of dollars. The ideal is the medley of the two, high quality and customizable but at an affordable price.

rose sofa interior define

Interior Define scores high in all five considerations in the sofa purchasing process, plus they offer a 365 day return policy. Their sofas designs are customizable, choose the size, material, cushion fill, legs, etc. whatever floats your boat! Most sofas and chairs are available in over 40 fabric options, and swatches are free. Their prices are at an exceptional price point compared to similar sofas on the market since they bypass unnecessary middlemen to offer well-crafted quality pieces at affordable prices.

I’ve selected several favorite Interior Define pieces, I’d love to add any of these to a family, living, or basement space!

 interior define sofas

Today I’m hosting a giveaway sponsored by Interior Define, the winner will receive $1000 towards a chair or sofa purchase.

Eligibility to win the $1,000 online credit to Interior Define toward a sofa or chair:

1) Visit Interior Define

2) Join their email list

3) Pick your favorite Interior Define product and Pin its image on Pinterest

4) Comment back on this post with the link to your Pin of the piece you’d buy with the credit if you won!

This giveaway is open to US residents only, credit to be used toward chair or sofa, entrant must have registered via email. Giveaway ends 8/31/15, one winner chosen at random from comments. Credit must be used in a single purchase by 12/31/15. Any returns will be refunded store credit minus any applicable restocking fee. Giveaway also governed by this site’s giveaway policy and Official Rules of Entry.

Interior Define is offering any of you a $100 discount for any purchase over $1,000 with the code CG100 (expires on 9/8/15).

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Winner #126 Courtney notified via email.

*This giveaway is sponsored by Interior Define, all experiences and opinions expressed are my own!

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