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

Tower of Bracelets

How do you organize your jewelry? My jewelry organizer is DIY: I turned a shallow drawer in my dresser into a jewelry organizer by adding custom-cut foam wrapped in velvet. I cut slits in the velvet for ring storage, my brooches get pinned in the foam, and bracelets get set down and don’t move. (I’ll do a full post on this sometime soon–it was my best DIY.) But today I want to offer up some decorative options for your bracelet organization. You can set these up on your bureau or countertop with an assortment of bracelets.

So, I now present: You can organize your bracelets–this is not a phallusy! (Heh. Heh.)

Yes I’m juvenile, but it occurs to me that the best organization is to use something round that sticks up.
So, we turn to IKEA, our reasonable and hack-friendly home store. You can find similar things in any home store, though.

How about candlesticks? Stack bracelets on these, and you won’t be able to tell their true purpose. Plus, the three different heights is cool.

Another candlestick solution: a metallic! Perfect for jewelry. I love that this is tapered, so you can see the base even when you have bracelets around it.

I think this is my favorite solution so far: a slender glass vase. Fill it with decorative sand or stones or candy or rhinestones (yep).

Thinking outside the box now, how about a decorative paper towel holder? There are actually some that don’t look like paper towel holders, like this and this from Bed, Bath and Beyond. (Also, if it’s your lifelong dream to put your bracelets on a cock–DONE.)

Oooh! Or, for the nerdy: a volumetric flask! Pick one up on Amazon.

I also found a cute idea on Pinterest for a shabby chic or farmhouse type of decor: glass soda bottles in a box, hung on the wall. Easy enough to put together, and super cute!

How do you organize your bracelets? Any other ideas?

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!

Plan B

Remember the patio master plan? All hot pink and black and modern. That was totally a GO, until I found the apartment I’m going to live in.

It’s the opposite of sleek and modern! The complex is described as having “New Orleans-style charm in a French village setting”. Where I was planning for a typical apartment balcony, now I’ll have a walled patio that will span the length of my apartment. So I’ve had to come up with a plan B.

How do I find something that will complement the classic style of the building, while not compromising my own personal style? The answer I’ve come up with takes a little more work, and a little IKEA hacking.

I like the shape of the IKEA AMMERÖ Chair, but would like to have a bright color instead of the black. It’s a plastic “wicker”, so I want to use Krylon spray paint on it, in Ivy Leaf green. They have a new formula that bonds to plastic. Then for cushions, they need to be customized as well. Covers made from Waverly Sun ‘N’ Shade fabric in blue and green would be perfect–the pattern is classic, but the colors are fun. Then a table in white, a footstool spray-painted in the same green, and candles would complete the look. The special addition would be a tabletop fountain with a bamboo spout in a black container. Maybe with a few water plants. I love the sound of running water–it’s so peaceful.

Do you have a patio? Is it decorated, or, like mine currently, with a sad lawn chair as the only furniture?

Pretty, Pretty Patio

I have had a few bad blogger days. I thought that I would have a lot of time to blog over this vacation time, but I’ve been busy or uninspired. My mind has been elsewhere. So has my body, as I took a little trip to Ohio. I went to check out a new school, and they offered me a job. And I took it! So next school year I have a new job! This is amazing for me, and I’m really excited about it. I looked at a bunch of apartments while I was out there, and now I’m thinking about a lot of design and decorating ideas.

I went to one apartment where they were pushy as could be, and I definitely would not want to live there. However, the girl showing me around asked me an interesting question; she asked if I had patio furniture, because “couldn’t you see yourself out on the patio having a barbecue?” I have a lawn chair. She was unimpressed.

One advantage of living in Ohio is that I will have an IKEA store not too far away. They have some great patio furniture, so I decided to put together my dream patio set. I decided on black and white with an infusion of hot pink. My dream patio contains a table, chairs, solar-powered lighting, candles, cushions and pillows, and even a little firepit to chase the chill off the nights.

What does your dream patio look like?

Freshen Up Your IKEA

I don’t care about the jokes. I don’t care about the little wrenches that come in the flatpack boxes, expecting a do-it-yourself attitude. I don’t care about the varying quality, even. I’m not 12; I don’t try to climb on my bookcases. So I love IKEA. It’s Scandinavian fabulousness, and I feel like that’s worth supporting. It’s modern furniture for the low budget–like mine.

However, I will admit that sometimes the covers don’t appeal to me. The colors aren’t right, or the fabric doesn’t look so great. I love that IKEA has removable, washable slipcovers, but sometimes…they leave me flat.

That’s where Bemz comes in. They offer covers for IKEA furniture in a variety of colors and fabrics. They work with designers like Marimekko and Designers Guild. Yes, these covers are a significant investment, sometimes costing more than the furniture itself. But it’s really the most reasonable way to get a totally custom sofa or chair on a budget.

Here’s some of my favorites: