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Home Tour: Living Room

01/14/2015

Our living room has changed a bit since February 2013 when I originally did a photo tour.

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Sources:

Sectional Sofa – IKEA Karlstad
End Table – vintage from Jason’s grandmother
Arm Chair – yard sale find, reupholstered by us
Pillows, Throw blankets – Target
Coffee Table, Lamp, Wall Birds, Clocks – vintage from estate sales and antique stores
Lamp Shade – made by us
Rug – overstock.com
Painting – gallerydirect.com
Bookshelf – IKEA

If I missed anything you’re curious about, feel free to ask.

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Welcome, Karl

08/27/2013

For the first time in the past seven years, we sold a vintage furniture item and replaced it with an IKEA item. Maybe it’s the modern house we live in now rather than a 1955 ranch. Or maybe it’s the practicality of IKEA with families and small children. It’s probably both… The other part of our couch decision was based on the layout of our living room. This long Karlstad couch with chaise utilizes the space in our living room better. After Ali went to bed on Friday night, Jason and I started to assemble it. He had to leave in less than 2 hours for bus call. We scrambled and got the room put back together just in time! We haven’t had a couch in our living room for two weeks so it was so nice to sit here and relax a few times over the weekend. When Ali got up on Saturday morning I told her we got a new couch. When she saw it she said, “New couch! I want to sit here,” as she climbed up onto the chaise. “I want to watch shows.” I put a show on for her—a DVD that is—I didn’t perform.

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I think she’s a fan!

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The gray pillows aren’t a good fit for the beige couch but they’re functional for now. I think only one end table is going to work with this set up so we have to find another home for the other table and switch some lamps around. We’re also working on some art ideas for the big blank white wall.

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Since Lucy keeps photobombing all my pictures, I figured I better just give her a proper portrait. Lucy the chocolate cocker spaniel at 8 years old:

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Respite and IKEA

07/16/2013

While we were out of town kid-free Jason and I had to find places for Ali and Buzz to stay, of course. Ali was easy. My parents were willing. Since we lived with them for 10 months last year and Ali goes there all the time, it was a pretty easy transition for her. We did a lot of FaceTime and sending photos and videos back and forth, which helped a lot. I’m so thankful for technology!

Buzz was a little trickier. It was too much to ask anyone to watch both kiddos together (I totally understand!) so we needed to find another home for Buzz to stay. Our new family case worker was awesome about sending out an email and locating a family that was willing and available. The other family’s case worker sent their contact info with a little note “heart in the right place” next to their names. I can’t tell you how much peace of mind that gave me! I talked to his respite foster mama at length before the trip and sent her a detailed list of his routine and likes/dislikes. They were grateful for all the info and I was thrilled that they cared enough to ask in advance about his favorite foods, books, activities, etc. She sent me reports and some photos during our trip reporting that he was doing great and such a sweet boy. She also kept in touch with Buzz’s mom through texts, pictures and videos lik we usually do. Buzz’s mom and I both hated for his sake that he had to be away from our home for 9 days, but it went as good, if not better, than we could have hoped for. It was a little rocky transitioning back to our house the first day. It was hard to interpret his emotions…sad, confused, scared…but I’m not exactly sure why. We did our best to explain to him everything that was happening and what to expect next. By the next day, he was pretty much back to his usual self. It sounds like he didn’t talk much at their house but he came back with some new words and expressions, and it’s been fun to hear what he learned: “that way!” “wait!” with his hand held out, “oh ok.”

I had planned to have an extra day of staycation when we got home before returning to the work/daycare routine but we ended up with 2 days (because Jason opted to drive through the night!) I’m really glad we had that time to transition back to a family of four again. Both of our kids caregivers did ALL of their laundry before pick up so I only had 3 loads to do when we got home, rather than 4 or 5. Thank you, thank you!

I looked at tacky over-priced Key West souveniers for the kids at several shops and just couldn’t bring myself to do it. We stopped at IKEA in Orlando on our way home and I picked out a big stuffed animal for each of them…or in Ali’s case a stuffed vegetable. She loves broccoli so I thought it would be funny to get her a big stuffed broccoli. There’s a video of her showing off Miss Bocki on my Instagram feed. Buzz loves dogs so his toy was an easy choice, too. He acted completely uninterested in it while we were still at his respite house but then fell asleep holding it on our drive home and has slept with it every nap and night since then. I asked him if dog has a name and he said “Woof Woof.”

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We got a few things for ourselves, too. Some of it won’t appear until future posts when it’s assembled and/or photographed. These were easy, though. New towels, bath rug and shower curtain for the hall bathroom:

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IKEA 2013 Catalog Interactive App

11/06/2012

The first three times I thumbed through the new IKEA catalog I wondered what these graphics at the corners of some pages would really unlock and if it was worth the effort of downloading an app. One night I decided to try it out and I ended up going through the whole catalog, using the app, looking for all of the interactive elements. It was fun!

Scanning some pages with the IKEA Catalog app unlock a gallery of more photos of the space or piece of furniture.

Some lead to videos.

Some open an X-ray view of the inside of a cabinet.

Some make a 3-D model of the furniture seem to grow right out of the printed catalog sitting in front of me.

My favorite was the 3-D animated model of the BJURSTA table that demonstrates how the leaves slide out and into the table. I can see how this would be really beneficial.

This is without a doubt the most interactive catalog experience I’ve ever had and the first time I’ve tried an app combined with a print medium.

Have you ever seen anything else like this?


DIY Play Kitchen

08/20/2012

I’ve seen some great DIY play kitchens the past view years. (Here’s a round up from Ohdeedoh a few years ago.) There are also great options for sale, like the above modern wooden kitchen from Melissa & Doug, and of course the many plastic variations. A few months ago while I was yard sale hopping with my mom, I spotted this wooden play stove/oven. The only thing better than a DIY kitchen is someone else’s DIY kitchen. This stove was built by the sellers’ grandfather and I talked them down to $7, knowing it would need a lot of work to get it to a condition suitable for Ali to play with.

Jason is super handy and we often do DIY projects together but I decided this was my baby. I washed it all down and painted it with some leftover wall paint I found in my parents’ garage. I was thinking of refreshing the original white until I found the mint green paint—why not make it mint green like a retro stove? I painted over the black burners, handles and knobs with a pewter metallic craft paint.

I did commission Jason’s expertise for one part. I wanted to add casters to the bottom since this is fairly heavy. I imagine it will spend some time in the playroom, some time in Ali’s room and some time in the kitchen at our new house.

At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it being a stove and not a full kitchen. Then I started thinking up all the accessories that could be used with the oven—muffin tin, loaf pans, cookie sheets, cookie cutters, oven mitts—and with the stove—frying pan, spatula, sauce pan, spoons, tea pot—and I realized the possibilities are still endless. I found the pans and spoons second hand for a few dollars a piece. I spray painted all the pans blue to give them a unified look.

For Ali’s first birthday, Aunt Jess and Uncle Jeff got her a set of soft play food from IKEA. It’s the Swedish style breakfast set that I hinted to my sister about. We’re a quarter Swedish but I consider myself more Swedish than anything else. I love their typical breakfast fare: bread, cheese, sausage, bacon, eggs, fruit topped waffles, cheese, bread, and maybe a cookie for good measure. This set also comes with a cutting board, knife and a few veggies.

We gave Ali the stove on her adoption day. I realize she’s still a bit too small for it but she’ll be big enough eventually. I tried to make some kind of sentimental connection about her importance in our family and a kitchen’s importance in the home. Or something like that. Really, I just found a DIY project I couldn’t pass up and I had an occasion that called for a gift.

Ali seems particularly fond of the knife and likes to crawl around with it in her mouth. What the?!


Bathroom Vanity Inspiration

01/25/2012

I was over on House*Tweaking the other day and I got some inspiration for bathroom vanities in our new house. Floating is nice but I’m a sucker for storage. I like these options, as long as their is enough counter space built around the sink. I think they’re both from IKEA.

Source: housetweaking.com via Martina on Pinterest

I’m generally not a fan of double sinks in master bathrooms but this might be good in a kids/guest bathroom where people aren’t as good at sharing.

Source: housetweaking.com via Martina on Pinterest


IKEA 2012

08/18/2011

Have you looked through the IKEA 2012 catalog yet? I’ve skimmed but I haven’t had a chance to give it a thorough inspection yet. (I do that when I get the paper copy.) If you have, are you excited about any of the new products? I was intrigued and challenged by the Small Spaces video series.

I noticed that our SOMNAT crib went down $20 in price.

I’d love to have this poster…

Other than that nothing jumped out at me but I really enjoy browsing through the catalog every year. In several places IKEA succeeded in making these spaces look real and lived in. I love this. It’s a nice change from staged, perfect catalog images.