...because home doesn't happen overnight.
08.14.12 / Family Room Snippet

This is the newest furnished {far from finished} corner of our house.

Actually, it might be the only somewhat furnished corner in the Underdog. ‘Taking our time’ is our motto. We’re living it to the fullest!

I bought our couch {Is it okay if I go with ‘couch’ for this post? I’m not feeling much like a ‘sofa’ person today.} online without seeing it in person beforehand. Some might call that risky but I did a lot of virtual window shopping {I like to refer to it as research} before ordering this one. We are so happy with it! It’s almost like my favorite saddle leather belt reincarnated as a couch. It’s the soho leather sofa from Elements Fine Home Furnishings if you want to google for the best price.

We chose to buy a high quality, long-lasting leather couch knowing that it would most likely outlive three cotton couches in its lifetime. {A white slipcovered couch was my second choice.}┬áIt’s constructed of top grain leather which is a step up from the bonded sectional we had in our previous house. If you didn’t know it already, there are different grades of leather…bonded/bi-cast, genuine, top grain and full grain. Top grain is more durable than bonded, bi-cast and genuine but not as strong as full grain leather. Also, top grain won’t age naturally like full grain leather will but it will patina with ‘scars.’ If you can afford full grain, it’s the way to go. We couldn’t afford a couch made of full grain leather. We bought the best our money could buy.

The top grain is much more supple and way less vinyl-ish than than our old sectional. I keep telling HH it’s smooth like butter. I wasn’t expecting such a big difference. I think so many items nowadays are made from split and polyurethaned leathers that I’ve become accustomed to thinking that leather is supposed to resemble vinyl. It’s not! I read somewhere recently that bi-cast is to natural leather what particle board is to hardwood.

And I’m sorry if you are anti-leather. I fully understand your position and opinion. You are entitled to them as I am to mine. We can agree to disagree. You are free to leave informative, non-hateful comments below. Now, moving on.

The matching bolster pillows came with the couch. I love the look of them. My boys pretend they are bazookas or pugil sticks. They are rarely ever on the couch and that drives me insane. But they look just as good as the day we received them and are holding up well to the kid version of American Gladiators.

The couch itself is super comfy. With deep seats, it’s prime real estate for watching a movie, reading or napping…not that those things are happening all that often here. It’s definitely a curl-up-on couch.

I finally put together the tripod lamp I bought from Target. Basically, it consisted of screwing the three legs together {each leg is made up of three sections} then plopping the shade on top. It was so easy a four-year-old could do it. Literally. Everett helped me screw the legs in.

I’m really surprised by the quality for the $50 I spent on it. It’s not crooked and the shade is a generous size. The electric cord is snaked through one leg so that it comes out near the floor instead of a black tampon-esque string hanging from the lamp. {Did I just say that?! Yes. Yes, I did. Forgive me. It was the best description I could come up with.} I kept the box in case it ended up being too flimsy for our rowdy house but, so far, I don’t see any reason to return it. Most of the other tripod floor lamps I had been eyeing were at least $200, so I’m glad to have found a less expensive option. If I want to dress it up, I can always cover the shade with another fabric or switch it out all together.

It’s really nice having a single reading light to turn on in the evenings. Before this floor lamp came to live with us, I was turning on the track lighting that runs along the ridge beam in the vaulted great room just to look at a magazine or read a book. The floor lamp also has a 3-way dimmer switch so I can adjust the intensity of the light.

Another new item is the alpaca throw. Love everything about this petite blanket. The heather gray/ivory color scheme is right up my alley and the half geometric/half adorable duck print is lovely. I use it on the couch to break up all the leather.

I found this woven basket at Target a few months ago on sale. I’m thinking it was around $20?? For now, I’ve placed it beside the couch a la end table style. I tossed all the Wii paraphernalia in it. Video games have never looked so posh at our house.

The family room seating area floats within the great room {we’ve got the whole room within a room thing going on} and is grounded by a durable sisal rug. It’s light in color and heavy on texture. I absolutely love it. The backside is latex so there’s no need for a pad underneath. While we have no problem walking around barefoot on it, it’s definitely not suitable for dad vs. son wrestling matches. HH and the boys take their wrestling matches to the boys’ room where there’s a softer rug to play on. I’d say its feel is similar to that of a seagrass rug. I want to channel my inner Lauren Liess and layer a softer, smaller rug on top of the sisal in front of the couch. It would give Mabrey somewhere soft to roll and crawl around plus I’ve always liked the look of layered rugs.

So that’s a peek at a corner of my home. It’s by no means done and it probably won’t stay like this forever but it’s cozy and functional. It’s a start in the more masculine direction I’ve been wanting to take. You may have noticed the white cabinet behind the floor lamp. It’s actually a shoe organizer for when we are able to use our front door on a regular basis. We still have some door jamb issues to address there. And the speaker on the wall? Well, that’s a topic for an entirely different post.

Is there a corner of your home that makes you smile? Even if the rest of the house is a disaster.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

41 Comments

It looks great! I love the alpaca throw. And I adore Lauren Liess, too : )

reply )

14.August.2012

Ha! We have that shoe cabinet sitting in our Foyer waiting to either be put together or sent back for the other size. Corner looks cozy. :)

reply )

14.August.2012

I want it all. Loving it! Can’t wait to see the nursery!

reply )

14.August.2012

It’s looking fabulous – I love the new couch!

reply )

15.August.2012

Looks great! I’ve been eyeing the shoe cabinet from IKEA for a long time. I have the kids shoes in a wire basket at the front door, but I’m tired of seeing them. I also love the look of layered rugs and have done that in my living room because my husband complains of the sisal rug ‘hurting’ his feet. What a baby :) Anyways, it looks great Dana! Oh and tampon cords annoy the crap out of me!

reply )

Sorry if you’ve already mentioned it but I’m new around here (alhtough I LOVE what I see)…..where did you get the blue striped pillow that’s on the alpaca throw? It’s just what I need!

I love that you call your house the underdog. That’s how mine felt when I bought it but only because it was a foreclosure and needed some TLC.

reply )

15.August.2012

I love your alpaca throw!
My favourite spaces in our house are the kitchen with its green walls and white cabinets and my daughter’s play room. I am painting the bath room now (started yesterday) and I am already in love with it now. ;)
Jule

reply )

15.August.2012

nice peek/pics ! it looks cozy indeed. I love that lamp. we’re working on too many different projects right now so the house is a disaster but I would say my bedroom is the closest you can get to “finished” so it makes me smile (and sleep at night, which is good). take care !

reply )

15.August.2012

Your corner is looking nice. Very serene. I’m always looking for ways to improve our home, and it has come a long way. I actually have two rooms that make me smile – our kitchen and our bedroom. The old kitchen reminded me of a seventies prison kitchen, but now it’s classic/modern with Bosch appliances and a slightly different layout. Our bedroom has become quite serene (gray walls, linen curtains), and the IKEA Alvine Ruta rug we’ve recently purchased has pulled together the space quite nicely.

reply )

15.August.2012

That looks fantastic. I love all of it, especially the $50 tripod lamp! Just might have to make a run to Target for that one. Thanks for sharing!

reply )

15.August.2012

Love it!! And love that you’re getting more ballsy about your choices and silencing the critics before they speak, you’re starting to match the look of your house which I think is very modern European :)

New house, new baby and you still manage to answer all the “not to code?”, “won’t work”, “not suitable for kids” etc remarks. I am liking this new you though!!

reply )

15.August.2012

what is a pugil stick? I have never heard of this!

reply )

15.August.2012

Beautiful couch! And thanks for the information on the grades of leather. We bought a leather chair and ottoman from Mitchell-Gold a few years back and when I asked my interior designer friend how to know if it was a quality piece, she just asked how much we spent on it! Thankfully she ‘approved’ (ha!), but I would have preferred the info you shared! :)

reply )

I’m not normally a fan of leather couches, but I really love this one! It has a nice mix of clean lines and comfy looking back cushions. I think the bolster pillows add an extra bit of elegance. Nice choice!

reply )

15.August.2012

The recent “first day of second” photo on Instagram shows what looks to be a large painting on the wall behind the couch — could you include a better view of it? (I love the colors in that painting.)

reply )

replied on August 16th, 2012

It’s actually a painting that I bought from the estate sale of our Underdog. The previous owner was an artist. I bought two paintings – one of which you saw leaning against the wall behind the couch. It’s eventually going above the fireplace, in front of our flatscreen TV. HH bought a small motor to lift the artwork above the TV when we want to watch it and then lower it to conceal the TV when it’s not in use. Still trying to nail down the details but that’s the plan for the large canvas. The colors are great: green, tan, cream, black, gold.

reply )

15.August.2012

I’m totally digging your little reading/couch snuggling area. Your style is very clean and relaxed. Very nice.

reply )

15.August.2012

I’ve been eyeing that lamp for Target for a while now. We need a little more lamp-ish light in the living room. Good to know that’s it’s sturdy! We don’t have two boys running around, but between the 4 year-old girl and her 2 year-old brother, things are crazy enough.

reply )

15.August.2012

That is the EXACT rug I pinned from Overstock for our dining room! Glad to know you like it, and I saw it got good reviews. Small world.

reply )

15.August.2012

Beautiful and cozt corner! I have the same basket from Target and love the texture it adds to the room. I stash the kids’ stuff in there, you know, the stuff that accumulates over a week or so. And when they ask where “xyz” is I say, “check the basket.”

reply )

15.August.2012

I still daydream occasionally about that beautiful walnut tripod lamp you had on your Joss and Main sale. It was out of my price range and there was no point in buying it for a house that I don’t currently have, but oh how I covet it! This corner is beautiful, I love the brown and black together.

reply )

replied on August 16th, 2012

That was one of the lamps I was looking at also. I couldn’t justify the price either. So happy with my less expensive option! I’ve even thrown around the idea of spray painting the nickel metal a matte black. Who knows?

reply )

15.August.2012

Dana, we purchased the Ikea shoe cabinet and love it. Storage is an ongoing issue for us in our old farmhouse. Your corner is looking great…great textures!

reply )

15.August.2012

I love your alpaca throw! Can’t wait to see more!!!!

reply )

15.August.2012

I love how it is coming along! Super awesome stuff!

The one (and only) area I can somewhat find peace in is my son’s room. I finally got all his toys and creature comforts unpacked and we puzzle pieced a reclaimed carpet together as a temporary solution to the lack of floor issue, so my son actually has a place to crawl around and play with his toys instead of being constantly relegated to the play pen, jumperoo or high chair. I still need to finish priming and then I need to paint, but at least it is a room that is liveable! It’s really hard having to do everything by yourself while caring for a 10 month old. You’re a lucky girl to have that awesome Handy Hubby!

reply )

15.August.2012

Very nice! I especially love the basket. I can’t wait until Target finally opens here in Calgary so I can find great things that wont break the budget.

reply )

15.August.2012

This is really lovely. It’s also nice to know that others have corners that are beautiful when the rest of the house might be otherwise. I really do like what you’ve done.

reply )

15.August.2012

I love your space! You really have such a way with decor. Job well done…even if it’s only one corner of the room! :)

reply )

15.August.2012

Lovely! I adore a reading light next to a couch/chair. It looks so inviting and is practical too; I hate having overhead lights on at night. I have a question – our couch floats in the middle of the room in our current abode (rental) and I don’t know how to get a floor or table lamp plugged in. The outlet is waaaaay over on the wall and, short of running the cord across the floor and taping it down with duct tape (nice look, not) I don’t know how else to do it. We’re in a rental with a concrete slab/terracotta tiled floor so putting an outlet into the floor is out. Any suggestions? I’m getting wrinkles from squinting when the overhead lights are on! Thanks ++

reply )

replied on August 16th, 2012

We had the same outlet problem in our previous home. I remedied it the best I could by running the cord under furniture or under a rug. Extension cords were a must! I don’t think guests noticed one bit.

reply )

15.August.2012

I love seeing a leather sofa (I have one) after the all the white sofas (I do love that look) everywhere in blog world. Leather is so practical with littles. And its such a warm, natural look.

My sofa is a similar cognac color and I love the gray blanket you’ve put with it. Great combo.

reply )

15.August.2012

love your sense of humor – a nice touch in your writing! and also appreciate your leather lesson. I have been wondering why when I see many things that say they are leather, why I think they are really not leather. Your couch (love the choice of words! One of the many things that make you a likeable blogger, your realness) is totally great. The whole corner looks nice. On my way to Target – love the lamp

reply )

16.August.2012

It’s funny you should ask…just the other day I was asking my mother if she were a newcomer to my home would she have positive first impressions. Since buying our first and only home I have felt a consistent pull to customize it daily, even if only by one altering one minute detail. Further along in our conversation I revealed to my mother that I get so much joy and satisfaction in arranging and rearranging the contents of my two floating shelves in our bright and airy entryway. Even on days when the dishes are piled in sink, and the floors are barely visible from beneath layers of toys, I am able to visit my special “corner” of the house and admire the various treasures that are artfully on display for that day, week, or month:)

reply )

16.August.2012

It looks great! The throw & pillow go great on the sofa. I have a leather sofa about the same color and so I like the idea of having the lighter accessories.

reply )

16.August.2012

THANK YOU for posting your thrifty finds. This is one if the main reasons I love your blog is because you take very affordable pieces and make them look BIG$$$ and stylish. It is one thing to go and drops of oodles of $$$ and have stylish rooms but you really are ahaead of the curve and brilliant for doing beatiful artist decor work with Target finds. Dana, you’re great!!!! Thank you for hsaring your gifts with us. HT is a true gem!!

reply )

16.August.2012

Things are looking great! Thanks for the lamp review – my husband and I were considering a similar, much more expensive style at DWR a few weekends ago, and thanks to your favorable review of the much more affordable Target lamp we went straight there after work yesterday and the new lamp is already set-up in the corner of my living room!

reply )

I have that Target basket too! Ours stores blankets and throw pillows but Wii storage is probably next on the list haha I love how your family room is coming together so far and can’t wait to see more :)

reply )

17.August.2012

I can’t stop thinking about your throw and striped pillow! :) Where is the pillow from?

reply )

replied on August 19th, 2012

The pillow cover was a find at Ballard Designs Outlet a few years ago. It was less than $20 and has held up so well!

reply )

20.August.2012

I am loving your slightly tweaked style in the new home. It’s so casual and slightly masculine… exactly what I love too. The couch looks like a dream and that basket is such a steal!

reply )

21.August.2012

I love the room! Your style is simple and elegant! Which store did you go with to buy your couch online? I have been in the market for a new leather couch for quite some time. Did you have any other “runner ups” if this couch didn’t work out?

reply )




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing