Updates to the Living Room

So this one time we went on vacation and liked the AirBnB’s couch so much we came home and bought one for ourselves. Naturally. We actually tend to make big changes after vacations. I think it’s partly that we feel so inspired while away, and also we end up having so much more time to talk and plan while driving or sitting on a plane. And like any significant change, our new couch prompted other changes. You guys know redecorating is a snowball effect. But the good news is, our living room got a nice refresh … and we can’t make any more changes to it until at least our spending freeze is over!!

In case you need a reminder, these are the most recent photos of our living room … and here it is now:

(The lighting is a little crazy in these photos, I know, but when you can only shoot during naptime you take what you can get! Stay tuned to lots of Mocha and Ruby sightings in these photos!)

New couch! New rug! Because we switched from a sectional to a standard couch, the space in the room feels quite different. (BTW, do you say couch or sofa? “Sofa” is the industry term, but I grew up saying “couch.” I feel like I mostly only hear/read “sofa” these days, but it still sounds weird to my ears when I say it.)

We’d been unhappy with the almost-three-year old West Elm sectional in our living room for a little while, mostly because it was nearly impossible to keep clean, and every drip and drop created a stain. The worst stain was when a cup of water tipped over. Seriously? Of all things? We also found that the cushions were saggier than a three-year-old couch should be. It was pretty and we loved the look of it, but unfortunately it had to go. However, since we have two little kids, we definitely planned on waiting to get a new couch for at least a year until they were a bit older and more responsible… but then we changed our minds. We were able to sell our old couch quickly to an adorable girl who will love it (I always want my furniture to go to a loving home!).

The couch is the Ikea Nockeby in the “tallmyra white/black” fabric and wood legs. It also comes with some metal legs. It’s very cushy and comfy, and best of all the covers can be taken off and washed, or even replaced if necessary. You can buy replacement covers from Ikea (there’s tons on eBay too), and there’s also a lot of companies who make custom covers in different fabrics and colors designed specifically for Ikea furniture if we ever want/need a change.

It’s also a nice, big size at almost 99″ long and 38″ deep, which is great since we’re replacing a sectional that offered a lot of lounge space.  Our biggest worry about getting rid of the sectional was about losing couch real estate, but what we realized is that a sectional really doesn’t allow for significantly more people to sit — no one is going to sit in the corner ever, so it’s basically two people on the back and one or two on the side. We could fit 3-4 people on this couch as well. Right now the kids are small enough that we’re not all hanging out on the couch together and by the time that’s a thing we want to do, it’ll most likely be time to get a new couch anyway. We figure four to five years is about the max lifespan of a couch for us, mostly because we enjoy change. If we find that this new couch isn’t providing enough space, we actually have another grey Ikea sectional in our family room that we could swap if necessary. We also are shopping around for an ottoman so we can stretch our legs out a little more.

When we were first thinking about buying the Nockeby, back in June, it was available to buy online in a full size 99″ couch and a slightly smaller loveseat that’s 88″ — which is pretty big for a loveseat. We actually thought about buying both, which we thought would be a great replacement to the sectional, providing even more seating. We’d put the longer couch along the back wall where it is now, and the loveseat where the blue chair is. We measured it out and it seemed like it would fit, but then we took it a step further and actually moved furniture around to mimic what the two couches would look like — and found that it would look HORRIBLE. Because of the depth of the couches, the loveseat would have to go all the way up to the island stools and the long couch would have to go almost to the back wall where we have our credenzas. The sheer mass of the pieces would have seriously overwhelmed the whole room, blocking the view of the kitchen that we love so much. Phew. I’m soooo glad we took the time and effort to move things around before we suddenly found ourselves with two couches that were way too big for the space. Let that be a lesson to you!!

So we decided to stick with only the one full-size couch, but then when we went to order it, it was no longer available for sale online. UUGGHH! Yep. Discontinued. This always happens to us! We live two hours from three different Ikeas where we could buy one — Columbus, Detroit and Pittsburgh — but it’s way too big to fit in our SUV and we’re outside the local delivery areas. We did a bunch of research on renting trucks, etc., but it got to be ridiculously complicated and expensive and we almost gave up. Ok, I gave up because I always go into “woe is me, everything is terrible” mode. But since I was a grumpy grump and Andy couldn’t take it anymore, he decided to just call Ikea and ask if it would be possible to order one… and YES, even though they didn’t sell them online anymore, they actually still had one in their New Jersey warehouse that we were able to order over the phone and they shipped it to us right away!! Woo!! And their shipping is not expensive, only about $30.

Here’s the new couch with the old rug. It was too dark for our liking, and I was never happy with how its blue undertone clashed with the yellow undertone of the reupholstered blue chair. I had been shopping around for something new and not having any luck. As much as I’d love to have a gorgeous (expensive) rug in here, it’s completely impractical with dogs and cats and kids running around making messes and wearing shoes (as much as we keep telling Joey no shoes on the rug!!).

Then a couple of weeks ago we made a completely unrelated drive down to the Columbus Ikea to get something else that we needed, and when we were walking through the rug department we saw this Hillested rug on display and said, “oooh! oooh! oooh!” Fine, that was just me, but Andy did like it too. It’s 7’10″x9’10” and fits nicely in our room for a decent price (about $250). I usually like to do my research, measure (see story above!) and know for sure something will work out, but this time we decided to just go for it, bought the rug on the spot and, yay, it worked out!

… Because every time you go to Ikea to spend $80, you spend $380. It’s unavoidable.

An 8-foot-long rug makes a good armrest for your two-hour drive home!

Oh, hey, that’s me!

Our new rug is a pale grey and off-white that is much brighter/lighter/warmer and so soft to touch, but yet a shorter pile that’s great for the Roomba. (Yes, we will choose a rug based on how well it will Roomba!). The old rug actually moved to Joey’s room, where it’s working well. I love being able to move things around in our own home.

So we’re really happy with our new couch and new rug. I like that we’re not blocking the window as much. I like that the couch is potentially easier to clean, though we haven’t tested it yet. I like that it all feels lighter and brighter — pretty much my life goal. I do have a few more changes I’d like to make in here, mostly to accessories… But not until No-Spend August is over, of course!!

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