My biggest challenge heading into my latest series of updates, was figuring out how to add new details without overwhelming my small space. Everyone knows that filling up a room with busy patterns and furniture only makes it feel smaller. I was hoping to give my apartment a cozy feel, without making it look too full.
I wasn’t set on buying a ton of new furniture, but I did want to replace a few keys pieces:
The cabinet was falling apart already – notice its lack of a glass door to hide the mess inside. The door kept falling off of the hinges on its own and pulverizing our parquet floors with every blow. It was a throw away item, and it was only a matter of time.
The rug was exactly what we needed when we first moved in. It defined the space and filled the room, but I enjoy sitting on the floor while eating, doing projects or playing board games, and the sissle texture wasn’t very comfortable to sit on for very long. I was hoping to find something soft and cushy for this room, which allows me to move the sissle rug into our bedroom.
The only other piece of furniture I thought this room really needed was a cozy reading chair. This chair was purchased as a makeshift desk chair, but the arm rests kept it from getting close enough to the desk (whoops). It functions primarily as a pillow holder, and only becomes a seat every time we have a large group over. I wanted to find a chair I could curl up in to read a book, drink coffee, or even cuddle with my hubby. This chair would move to our bedroom (most likely becoming a pillow holder once again).
I had been chair hunting for a while (mostly on Target.com, Pier 1, Overstock, and Joss and Main). I saw a lot of chairs I liked, but they all had one major problem…they were upholstered in statement fabrics. How many colors and patterns can one shoebox apartment hold?! These were the sorts of chairs that kept calling my name:
Source: Pier 1
Let’s just take a moment to review the patterned fabrics that already exist in my apartment:
- Chevron (Blue, green, grey, white) – foyer runner
- Ikat (Blue and White) – chair seats
- Ikat (Green and Cream/Red and Cream) – couch throw pillows
- Jacobean Flowers (blue, green, brown, white) – shower curtain
I think I’ve pretty much hit the limit.
The scariest gamble about online furniture shopping is that you have no idea as to the true color of the fabric. Do you really want to add ANOTHER shade of blue to your home? What if the tone is more teal than navy? What if it is more taupe than cream? Well, I suppose you could return it, but you probably already paid shipping once – and I guarantee that return shipping isn’t going to be any sort of bargain!
The only remedy that I have found for this sort of pickle, is to read the buyer reviews…lots and lots of them if you can! If there aren’t any reviews, then sit on your hands and wait – someone will be the first buyer, and you can learn from their successes or failures.
While I was busy online furniture shopping, I realized I faced another challenge in purchasing the perfect cozy chair. My blue director’s chair cover and green monogram pillow, were FADING! The bright sunlight (that I love) flowing through my windows everyday was taking its toll on this little corner of the apartment. Well, that certainly takes any patterned (or solid-colored) chairs out of the running.
I decided that my best bet was to find a solid light-colored chair for the corner, and pick up some subtle pattern and color with a rug.
I was nervous to have a rug that was too light in color because it would show wear and tear too easily, but I didn’t necessarily want something too dark that would blend into our wood floors either.
Despite my hesitancy about a light color underfoot, I kept coming back to this Crate and Barrel rug. I was trying to hard to forget it and its $800+ price tag.
Ideally, I was looking for something with even less white space and a subtle pattern that blended a little more, like this rug:
But, what are the chances of finding my ideal rug in a designer photo and it being affordable? Hardly any hope there, I’m afraid.
I guess I’ll just hope that a look-alike magically appears on Overstock, or Joss and Main and that someone has reviewed it for its quality and color family!
From here on out I’ll be carrying my paint chips and fabrics in my purse (just in case) and scouring NYC and the internet for the perfect pieces in style, color, and price. After all, what’s the fun in finding exactly what you were looking for, if you didn’t have to work for it?!