Suffering From Some Serious Pouf Envy

When it comes to redecorating your home, or even one room in your home, I’ve realized it’s like a design domino effect:

We need a new sofa for our living room. But when the new sofa comes, we will need to move the old sofa downstairs to the basement. But we haven’t finished the basement yet, so we will need to finish the basement in order to have a proper place to put the old sofa — in the new basement playroom (which will also be where we stow our kids until they turn 18). But we can’t start moving things into the basement until we move out the old stuff. And we can’t clear out the basement until we clear out the attic. This all has me hyperventilating like my first visit to IKEA. I went in with my shiny, sparkling bravado ready to take on the world one Swedish step-by-step instruction at a time, and came out on Xanax, clutching a toilet brush to my chest (my only purchase) mumbling to myself that it just cost a dollar. So poufs.

Poufs are an easy, non-threatening place to start. I can begin to refresh our living room without toppling over all of the other interior design dominoes. I am pouf-obsessed, and not just because the word is so much fun to say. The floor is highly underrated. Just ask the Japanese or Bedouins. I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune in a few years when I’m well into my forties and my joints start to ache and I grown every time I stand up, but for now, I’m all about poufing out on the floor. (Not to be confused with boofing. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

Here are 10 poufs I’m totally pining for:

1.Ira – Handmade Wool Braided Square Pouf , Death By Modernism2290100_Square_Pouf-Yellow2_544x576

Usually, I’d be nervous about a knit pouf with spills, but the mix of natural hues with just a stripe of color speaks to me. It screams to me, really. But in an exciting Oprah kind of way, not in a scary Billy Mays way (RIP, Billy).

2.Lyle Leather Ottoman, Joybird.com Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 1.44.04 PM

I’ve been coveting this buttery leather delight for a long time. Although I think my family would constantly fight over who gets to use it for the coffee table, ottoman, to sit on, to do a flying burrito on, etc.

3. Mina Stool, Rove Concepts

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Technically a stool, but the fur makes it pouf-y. We already have a blue rug, so instead of another pop of color, a change in texture can be a fun way to mix things up.

4. Mini Faux Leather Pouf, Crate & Kids

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Don’t dismiss the kids’ websites for grown-up rooms… they have some great stuff that’s very affordable. We have one of these in teal in my daughter’s room, but it floats around the house. It’s impressively durable, and for the price, I can get two! I just need to choose between white and gold.

5. Bumper Small Leather Ottoman, Blu Dot

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So versatile, this one can go with really any design style should I change our look down the line. And I just heart Blue Dot so much.

6. Sumo Pouf, Design Public

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I love the details on this one, like the stitching and the button, but really, the name was the clincher.

7. Stockholm Ottoman, IKEA

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I haven’t seen this one from IKEA in person, but it looks just like some way pricier Scandinavian ones I’ve seen online. And obviously more budget-friendly (if I could get through an IKEA trip without a panic attack).

8. Birdie Ottoman, Grandin Road

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Again, not technically a pouf but serves the same purpose. I like the playful yet modern bohemian feel to these.

9. Spotted Hide Pouf, cb2

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We used to have a cowhide rug that I miss dearly. This would bring back that feel only in fun-size. If you’re thinking about trying the hide trend, this is a great baby step! It’s surprising easy to to spot-treat. Just like if you spilled coffee on your dog… so I’ve heard from a friend.

10. Dainty Pouf, Warm Nordic

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Dainty Pouf, I think I love you most of all. So sleek and sophisticated, yet accessible. A perfect chance to add a pop of color to a room without going too crazy. And this is just the tip of the Warm Nordic iceberg. Their website is like the Lay’s potato chip bag of Nordic design — you can’t click just once.

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What Nobody Tells You About ‘Kondo-ing’ Your Closet.

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If you aren’t familiar with the term “Kondo,” it comes from Marie Kondo, who has become the household name in tidying up and decluttering. Like Googling and Tasering, Marie has hit branding pay dirt with her name transforming into a domestically blissful buzzword.

I Kondo’d my closet last year. First, I read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upand it was indeed life-changing. While her methods apply best to people who don’t share space with others, you can still Kondo areas of your home (like your closet) that solely belong to you. So lets stick with the closet example. There are many details involved (like special ways to roll and fold your underwear), but the premise is that you only keep items that “spark joy.” You go through every single article of clothing, holding it between your fingers, and if it doesn’t spark joy (i.e. make you happy), you get rid of it. Forget who gave it to you, or holding onto it with the hopes that it might fit one day, or that you might have a reason to wear it if you change jobs. If it doesn’t spark joy, it’s gone.

What this book doesn’t come with is a warning not to Kondo areas of your home when you are in a depressed state when nothing brings you happiness. The day I Kondo’d my closet, I could’ve held Robert Downey, Jr. in my hands and been as joyless as the Rockbiter from The NeverEnding Story:

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I got rid of everything. And do you know what happens when you have no clothes? You might think, “Shopping!” But when you are on a budget, chemically imbalanced, and super down on your body to begin with, it’s tough to fill those voids with any urgency. So no. No shopping spree for me. Instead, I did (and still do) a lot more laundry. And a lot of wearing the same thing two days in a row when I know I won’t see the same people. I’m slowly building back up my wardrobe, but when it brings you no joy to buy things in your current size, and you’re waiting until you lose at least 10 more pounds, it’s quite the process. Plus, even though Ms. Kondo swears once you go tidy, you’ll never go back, I went back. I just cleaned it again, so you can actually walk into my walk-in closet, but it’s not the wrinkle-free beacon of minimalism it once was (for a whole month in 2017).

I’m thinking of bringing back the muumuu. Then I can finally open up my store of oversized dresses called Everywhere A Muumuu. I swear I’ll do anything for a pun. In fact I just (as in this very minute) bought this vintage maxi oversized dress from WanderWears on Etsy. Yup, I feel the spark. Will I still feel it when I’m holding this dress in my hands or more importantly when I try it on? Or is this just a momentary shopping high to be followed by buyer’s remorse? We shall see, Marie.

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On a related note, I’m looking for more Instagram influencers to follow for style inspiration. So far I’m loving @styledsnapshots, @lovelyinla, and @laurabrown99. Who are your favorites?

The Best Advice for Decluttering

Even though it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet, my internal clock still has the urge to purge my home of unnecessary stuff: toys, clothes, expired food, my husband’s third boat, you name it. As I read stories in magazines and websites offering spring cleaning tips, all I keep thinking about is the cover story from the last issue of Breathe that I put out before I was [dry hard gulp] fired. If I had been braver back then, I would’ve shared what that experience was like. Maybe now I will. But not, like, right this second. Right now, I want to share the best cleaning advice that I keep coming back to every time I get overwhelmed with clutter. Because it really does make sense and it’s totally doable! I was lucky enough to have Kath Younger from Kath Eats Real Food write this piece. She takes very specific, relatable problems in different rooms of the house and then shares her solutions. Breathe has since folded so you can’t read this story in website form, but you can read it as a digital magazine via issuu. Just flip to page 18. Check it out and let me know what you think!

I Wanna New Rug

I love home design. But I know that my expensive taste doesn’t match my current life. So until my children are older (possibly moved out of the house) and I stop feeling the need to add new, poorly trained animals to our brood, I have to set limits and get my design fix through blogs like Design Milk and my new favorite Instagram account, @hunkerhome. If money were no object, my floors would be smattered with statement rugs from Thomas Paul. It’s just hard to rationalize investing in furniture or decor that will get peed, pooped and puked on. This is not a mere possibility, it’s an inevitability.

I have a rug rule: If it’s 5×7 or smaller, it has to be under $200. And all rugs must be under $300. We just said goodbye to our cowhide rug, which was layered over a natural jute rug. You would be surprised how well cowhide handles stains, but in the end it had more bald spots than an Olive Garden at 4pm. And the jute rug had seen its share of set-in stains, like the one from last summer when Dave decided to see what would happen if he squeezed a fully engorged tick he pulled from one of the dogs. He couldn’t have stepped three feet to the left and done this over the very wipeable hardwood floors (no furniture rearrangement could hide that one).

It didn’t take me long to pick out this Trent Austin rug from AllModern:

We already had a blue/brown thing going in our living room, and certainly didn’t need any more brown added to the mix. I love how the pattern almost welcomes messes, as it kind of looks like a loosely orchestrated Rorschachian spill itself. Dave and I have a bet on how long it will take for Thatcher to “christen” the rug. He only gave it a day, and I bet three. We are on day four with no accidents, so everybody loses and yet… winning!

In other home design news: Did you know that Canadians refer to all sofas as Chesterfields and not just these? Totally rethinking the Barenaked Ladies lyrics now. Mind. Blown.

5 Reasons Why Walmart’s Online Grocery Shopping is My New Everything

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I know, right? It’s so big. And boxy. But when you live in rural North Carolina, a trip to “the Walmart” is as much a part of your week as going to the post office… or the ABC Store. It may not be as white and shiny as Target, with its “affordable” lines of clothing from high-end designers. The lighting may be depressing, some of the clientele might be equally depressing, and you can’t find specialty items like hemp hearts…

Wait, I had a point. Oh yes. Their new online grocery shopping! If you like the idea of Walmart’s prices, but the idea of going into Walmart depresses the crap out of you or stresses you out to no end, this is the perfect solution. It has changed my life. Let me count the ways:

  1. It saves time. It takes some time to pick out my items online, but nowhere near as much time as it does to walk through the aisles at the store. Especially considering I usually have a kid or two in tow, which leads me to my second point.
  2. It saves my sanity. My 2-year-old daughter can Houdini her way out of any shopping cart seatbelt, so it’s no surprise that she won’t stand right beside me quietly while I compare prices on pasta. I can pick out my items from the comfort of my couch rather than picking up every item she pulls off the shelves as we go. This reason alone is enough to shop online.
  3. No impulse shopping. I admit it. I’m the one who walks by the displays right before checkout and has to have that Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo DVD for 4.99 (true story). And what’s that? Lip balm in a cute ball-shape container? Yes, please!
  4. Two words: Savings Catcher. This feature of the Walmart app finds out if an item you bought is being sold elsewhere for less and puts the difference on a gift card for you. So if you buy Silk Almond Milk at Walmart for $2.98, but it’s on sale at Harris Teeter for $2.50, the Savings Catcher will “catch” that and pocket the 0.48 for you. All you have to do is enter the TC# from each receipt into the app, and let it do the rest. It’s literally mindless and it adds up. This is something you can use whether you shop online or in-store, but I just discovered it and am pretty obsessed.
  5. It’s free! Yes, I know Publix has free online grocery shopping, too. But the closest Publix to my house is 45 minutes away and it’s not quite budget friendly enough to be the go-to store for my weekly basics.

I admit I was concerned about the produce, but I couldn’t have picked out a better bunch of bananas myself. All of this being said, the one thing that kills me is that I can’t use my own shopping bags. But I’m hanging onto the hope that following this whole hand sanitizer ban, the EPA will find that plastic bags are actually good for the planet. In the meantime, reusing and recycling alleviates my conscience enough (oh, the things you can make with plarn).

If you want to try it, use this link. You’ll save $10, and so will I.

 

 

The Nursery Is Ready. Baby, Almost Ready!

I’m at the point in my pregnancy where I will bring life into the world before my milk in the fridge expires. It’s really any day now. And while I don’t feel as psycho ready as I did the first time, at least I have the nursery all finished!

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My aunt makes these amazing quilts and has created one for our little girl, which will be en route to Asheville with my parents when they come for The Event. I plan to hang it over the crib. She also made a cushion for the rocking chair to match!

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I also want one of those giant letter A’s to go over the day bed. Other than that, it’s pretty much done!

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I could probably do a better job of storing the wipes and dipes, but I know if it’s the slightest bit of an extra step, it won’t last long anyhow.

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As Jed says, all we need now is the baby:)

 

 

Fun Fruit Bowl Alternative

Fun Fruit Bowl Alternative

Green apples in a wooden or white bowl. It’s been done. (I’ve done it.) Why not mix it up? Tangerines really pop in this blue bowl.

Classing Up the Joint: New Entryway “Bench”

We’ve been scouting Craigslist for months for a reasonably priced church pew (my friend has one in her front room and I LOVE it). But then I found these theatre seats at The ScreenDoor for a steal and couldn’t resist. They make such a fun alternative to the typical bench. Well, okay, they are technically stadium seats, but calling them theatre seats makes us sound more like patrons of the arts and less like people who own a giant foam finger.

entry hall theatre chairs

Tackling Your Laundry List

I’m about to show you something that I usually keep behind closed doors.

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This is not staged or styled or enhanced with any Instagram features for your benefit. This is my laundry. This is also my chair (if you can see under the mountain of mess.) I, like a child, tend to put off the ickier things in life… the things on my “to do” list that aren’t fun or pleasant. I often hear my mother’s sing-songy mantra in my head, “Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do.”  I know she’s right, but that doesn’t keep me from saying, “I know, I know,” to nobody in particular like a crazy person as I pass by the ever-growing piles of laundry in pursuit of greener (but obviously not cleaner) pastures. Did I mention this wasn’t the only pile?

So today I’ve hit my mess threshold. I decided I need to be a role model for my son and clean up after myself. After I finish this post, I’m logging onto Netflix for back-to-back-to-back episodes of my latest guilty TV pleasure while I fold and more importantly PUT AWAY the laundry. But I’m not telling you what show I’m watching—that’s even more embarrassing than my laundry situation.

What do you do to motivate for the icky household chores?

Orla Kiely for Method

I’m obsessed with all things Orla Kiely. She’s the first handbag I went back to once I graduated from my diaper bag (yay!):

 

And when she made melamine plates for Target, I snapped those up as well:

Orla Kiely Target
I got all of the plates, but missed the boat on the bowls and mugs.

 

 

I made my monthly pilgrimage across town to Target over the weekend and found that Orla Kiely had made yet another match in heaven with Method. Yes, I will buy the soap that comes in the prettier bottle. It’s such an easy way to pretty up a guest bathroom! Besides, I would buy toilet paper if it came in an Orla Kiely print.