True Blue

Since I’m still getting hits on the subject, I felt the need to post an update on my couch search, which I talked about here. Can you believe it took me two years to finally buy a couch? But the blue velvet sofa got stuck in my head, and I couldn’t settle for less. In the meantime I learned how to fall asleep upright in a chair with my head resting awkwardly on my shoulder. My neck finally protested vigorously, and I decided to search in earnest for a new couch.


I decided on the Preston sofa from Arhaus. I sat on a bunch of sofas before I decided, but when I tried out the Preston, I ordered it the same day. The quality of the sofa as well as the feel the velvet really sold me. The navy blue was not a stock color, but was a custom color available. I looked through all the blues, but of course the velvet was the best. I also got to customize the nailhead trim color and the wood finish of the legs. It took a couple of months to be made and delivered, but when it arrived it was everything I wanted. It’s also the perfect napping sofa–I swear I’ve had better sleep on the couch than in my bed sometimes.

I added four throw pillows: one cream with silver that I already owned and three from H&M online. They have stylish throw pillow covers; go to IKEA for the pillow inserts, as they have some sturdy down pillow inserts that fit perfectly. I got one turquoise velvet floral pillow, one with french script on cream, and one in grey with a print that looks looks like an old label for olive oil. These are all gone now, but with H&M it’s cheap to change out. You could create a new sofascape for every season. I picked more cushion covers that are currently for sale that I would buy if I had to do it over. H&M home products are only available online.

H&M Cushion Covers

Modern Slipper Chairs

I’m a big fan of HGTV and the DIY network. I love home decorating. There are some fascinating renovation shows on the air, but let’s be honest: for most of us, we can’t do a whole room or a whole house in one go. It’s more of an organic process; we take one or two items at a time, trade out and trade up, and do things bit by bit. If you can keep the vision of what you want to achieve and keep your eyes open for the right pieces, your can design your perfect room. Plus, you’re never truly “done”, which for me is a good thing. A perfect house with nothing to do is boring!

My bedroom is my next project. Right now, I want a slipper chair. A slipper chair is a low, armless upholstered chair. It is meant for things like putting on shoes in the morning. There are a lot of slipper chairs with an embellished or Victorian look, which doesn’t suit my decor. I’m a fan of a more mid-century modern style. I would love a chair in a bright color or pattern, too–this is an accent chair, and can be slightly less practical than your sofa, for instance.

Modern Slipper Chairs

Surprisingly, Target has a LOT of interesting slipper chairs for reasonable prices. I think there’s a wide variety, whatever your decor.

Does anyone have a slipper chair? What do you think of it? If not, would you have one in your house? Are you looking for a special piece for your home right now?

True Blood Season 5 Premiere!

SPOILERS AHOY! If you didn’t see last night’s True Blood, that is.

Last night was the season premiere of True Blood. Since I love this show, I went ahead and ponied up some dollars to start up my HBO subscription again (just for the course of the series) so I can watch live and up close in HD. I decided to take a close look at the style and fashion of True Blood, so I live-tweeted the experience from my Twitter account, @FurnishedSouls. Some of the things I noticed:

1. Pam stole the show from the moment she said “Fucktarded”. And then she followed that up with “Super Snatch”. Also this:

2. Steve Newlin is a gay vampire American. He has terrible gay man style. He needs to take a cue from Lafayette. Gay does not mean pleat-front khakis, purple plaid shirt, and a sweater around the neck. Seriously.

3. From my tweet, upon seeing Luna and Sam: “I didn’t know HRH Kate’s influence reached all the way to Bon Temps. Nice pantyhose.”

I am pro-tights, anti-pantyhose. Look at Luna here–she looks so buttoned up. She’s so upstaged by all the naked people in that shot.

4. Sookie’s house is vintage twee.

So very Laura Ashley. Her place is worn-in, vintage, and cutesy. So definitively feminine. But also–not very distinctive, sad to say. She put up a shower curtain last night (after they wrapped Debbie Pelt in her old one) that looked like it came from the bargain bin at Bed Bath & Beyond.

5. Let’s talk Nora. Eric’s new “sister” (aka they were both turned by Godric) with benefits. The girl is gorgeous, with the gorgeous skin and gorgeous hair and she had some gorgeous lipstick on in last night’s episode.

Of course, I couldn’t find a picture that looked like it did on my screen, but it was a stunning red that didn’t overpower her. It just enhanced the whole of the gorgeousness. Also, she had some great boots on. And she used to be in the British series Robin Hood, which had my favorite man as its prime baddie who wants to be good, Richard Armitage. Trivia!

6. Lafayette shaved his head. They did a whole “Lafayette looks at non-safety razor longingly while in Sookie’s tub” thing that had everybody worried, then it turns out it was just a haircut. Then he got in a fight with Alcide, which takes some brass ones.

Then Alcide growled. And I slid off my chair.

7. True Blood is trying to bring the 80’s back. Steve Newlin and Jessica Hamby would be prime examples. Check out Jessica’s dress from the episode:

I couldn’t find a full-length shot, but it was short, and tight, and floral with long sleeves. Very Robert Palmer video girl. And the color clip-in? Please, child. She looks like a model for American Apparel. Except with better hair.

8. My favorite garment of the episode ended up in a pool of blood. It was a biker-style hoodie sweatshirt with an asymmetrical zip, found on the “extractor” who gave Eric and Bill their new identities. (IKE APPLEBAUM!) She was then killed.

The hoodie looked a bit like this one from Metropark USA.

9. Predictions: as this was the follow-up to the season finale, there weren’t a lot of changes, like when Sookie’s house got made over or Bill’s house underwent its stylish renovation. But I think there will be some new, fantastic interiors, like this one from an upcoming episode:

I am LOVING that chandelier. Also, I love it when Sookie gets dressed up in her retro girlie style. And, as always, naked is a very popular look on this show.

P.S. I’m not usually a GIF fan. But seriously, if you want a picture of something that happened in a series last night, the richest ground is Tumblr. And those people SERIOUSLY love GIFs. So, thank you, Tumblr Trubies. (And I do love the GIF of Lafayette.)

Bed Karma

My current dilemma reminds me of a scene from that classic family show, Sex and the City:

Miranda: I’m trying to change my bed karma. I figure if I can make my bed a place I really want to be, others will feel the same.
Carrie: Aah, the Field of Dreams.
Miranda: Exactly. If you build it, he will come.

As much as I’d like that kind of bed karma (ahem), I actually have another bed karma issue: I have been a horrible insomniac lately. I haven’t slept nearly enough in recent months. I have actually looked at my bed, totally thrashed, and said “this is where all the pain takes place.” I get very stressed when I can’t sleep, and have had nights where I’ve lain in bed fully awake, crying from stress and exhaustion.

So it’s time to get some new mojo. Which might mean new sheets and comforters and a new headboard! I want to have a soft upholstered headboard. Maybe even a wrap-around headboard. that feels like I’m cocooned. I’m still kind of exploring my options, but at first glance, I like these headboards:


Ritz Empire Headboard, $598
Murdoch Caribbean Velvet Espresso Finish Queen-size Headboard |…, $250
Nailhead Upholstered Headboard | west elm, $349
Skyline Low Arc Lilac Velvet Tufted Headboards – Bed Bath & Beyond, $180
Pier 1 Imports – Hayworth Upholstered Headboards, $250

Or I might just go crazy and try to make my own. The Better Homes & Gardens site has a bunch of headboard projects. Even though it’s not upholstered, I kind of love the headboard made from vintage drawers.

Do you have a headboard? Better yet, has anyone made their own?

Let the Sunshine In

I have a slight obsession with checking Zillow. I know I’m a year or two away from being in a position to buy real estate, but I want to see what’s out there right now. Unfortunately, my budget is limiting (do you think I write a budget style blog because I’m rich?), and I find that my options are a little older. Since I love a quirky vintage style, I am okay with that, as long the property is in good shape and a decent neighborhood. Everything else can be redone, redecorated, or refurbished.

One thing I’m noticing in the listings is something that I’m not accustomed to: a sunroom. They aren’t common in the Pacific Northwest (too little sun) or the Southwest (too much sun). But here it seems to be a popular option. So I’ve been thinking about sun room options. I would want a place where I could sit and read, relax with friends, have a cup of coffee. I would want a place that is bright and sunshiney, even when it’s not outside. I am attracted to the idea of a yellow and purple room, almost pansy-inspired. Texture and pattern will abound, and it will tend toward floral. So of course, I went to Polyvore to whip up an inspiration board.

Let the Sunshine In--Sunroom

KIVIK Chaise – Blekinge white – IKEA, $349
IKEA Klippan, $319
IKEA Isala, $179
Vintage Floor Lamp, $119
North Wales Floral Decor Pillow, $37
IKEA Vårlikt, $15
Felt Flower Decorative Pillow – contemporary – pillows –, $15
ROXÖ Stool – yellow/pink – IKEA, $13
IKEA Blygsam, $9.99
IKEA Solstråle, $7.99
Arteriors Home Plum Flannel 17″ Square Accent Pillow |, $205
Purple Fontella 16″ Square Hand Sewn Felt Rose Pillow |, $56
Boston Intellectual Art Print | Print Shop, $15

Does anybody have experience with owning a house with a sunroom? Do you have any problem with dampness in the room or things molding? That’s my big concern. Interested to know what your sunroom is like!

Home Comforts

I am growing very tired of communal living.

I know that it could be worse. I no longer live in a dorm full of women, I no longer even have a roommate. However, I do have to hear things from my neighbors every day. Upstairs neighbor has a barking, restless dog and has been known to have the TV on high volume 24 hours a day. Next door neighbor occasionally screams at her kids or gets drunk and sings Christmas carols. Plus there are some wind chimes that are annoying the heck out of me. At least I don’t have to live like my brother when he was in his twenties, with six to ten squatters at a time in an unheated Quonset hut.

However, I am ready to have my own house. And when I do, I will splurge on something that I really, really want but don’t want to install (let alone leave) in an apartment: The Nest learning thermostat.

This is the best thermostat out there. It learns. Yes, that’s right. As you adjust your thermostat, it determines when you have the most need for heat and when the heat should be turned down. It meets your needs before you tell it. It also shows you when you’re saving energy. I can’t explain it as well as the video, but it is pretty amazing.

In other house-related news, I inspired someone! After my post on the Christmas branch, my friend Elizabeth decided to give it a try, and tweeted me this picture:

Look how gorgeous her nature-inspired branch is! The tree component came from her own yard, the ribbon she had on hand, and then she bought the glass ornaments. Inexpensive, lovely, and safely out of the hands of her pre-schoolers. Yay, Elizabeth!

Pantone Color of the Year: Tangerine Tango!

The year of Honeysuckle pink is over, and Tangerine Tango is here!


Those color people, Pantone, predict the hot color for the upcoming year. They analyze trends including buying habits and fashion shows, and decide what is going to be “in”. Apparently orange is the next big thing. So of course, I have to run with the inspiration. It was hard to find something in pure tangerine–not too orange, not too red, not too salmon–so there’s a bit of variation.

Tangerine Tango skirts and tops

Forever21 cardigan, $12
Knit sweater, $23
Scoop neck top, $11
Maxi skirt, $16
Moon Collection patchwork skirt, $42
ASOS high waisted skirt, £23
Forever21 ruffle mini skirt, $12

Tangerine Tango Bags and Shoes

Michael Antonio high heel shoes, $20
Jessica Simpson stiletto high heels, $44
Martinez Valero platform sandals, $40
Blowfish flat shoes, $30
Forever21 clutch handbag, $13
ASOS oversized clutch handbag, £20
ASOS pin bag, £25

Pantone Color of the year inspiration

Free People evening dress, $30
Wrap dress, $39
Ruffle dress, $34
Oasis boat neck dress, $45
Cut out back dress, $30
Strapless summer dress, $22

What do you think about Tangerine Tango?

Oh, Christmas Branch!

I have spent a couple of Christmases in Scandinavia with my extended family.  My parents have always embraced the Nordic Christmas traditions, so it was all pretty familiar.  But my aunt, the perfect hostess and decorator, showed me something new–a Christmas branch.

Similar to the branch seen here, my aunt instead took a piece of curly willow about a yard long, and hung it from the ceiling horizontally.  Then she put a small selection of gorgeous ornaments on it.  It brightened a corner of the living room that otherwise had no Christmas decor.

This is the perfect solution for a small apartment with no room for a tree.  Those who are traveling for the holidays and don’t want to have to worry about a dying tree in their house would also benefit.  Even a house with a tree (or multiple trees) could use this idea to decorate a corner, hang over a doorway (put your mistletoe on it!), or to act as a swag over your holiday table.

Of course, if yo0u choose this, you have to put your swankiest, most bedazzled ornaments on it!  No scratched up or boring ornaments.  My choice would of course be Danish–high-end Danish design jeweler Georg Jensen has new ornaments every year in limited editions.  I collect these; every time someone goes to visit the fam, they bring me one back, even if it’s in the middle of summer.  They are plated with 24-carat gold.


One way or another, break out the pretties for this idea!

Do you have a great Christmas decorating idea to share?

Do You Cyber?

Cyber Monday, that is. I’ve been peeking around the sales, and I’m kind of miffed. Not that there’s nothing I want–it just seems like the sales are kind of lame!

I don’t want:

10% off
20% off
30% off
Free shipping
A gift card to use later
Deals only if I use a certain credit card
A minimum purchase for the deal (“$25 off with a $100 purchase”)

I need deep discounts. Major deals. I want the money charmed right out of my pocket.

Right now I’m searching for a cozy, fluffy, faux fur throw. I found some decent deals, but I’m still wavering.

Faux Fur Throws

The Glam Lamb | Chic Style + Affordable Luxuries, $119
Ruched Faux Fur Throw at, $40 “MINK” FAUX FUR THERMAL THROW BLANKET – Light Beige / Off…, $65
Pom Pom Faux Seal Fur Throw |, $40

Did you find any great Cyber Monday deals?