Friday, August 18, 2017

Ikea Falov Sofa Review

When it comes to buying upholstered pieces, I go one of two ways; buy the very best you can afford and it could last a lifetime, or buy something inexpensive knowing it will have to be replaced down the road.

When I was in my twenties I purchased a floor model sofa from Ethan Allen for a great price. It was well loved for years until the fabric wore out and it needed to be reupholstered. Having large furniture reupholstered isn't cheap, I think I paid around two thousand dollars including the fabric about ten years ago. The cushions held up great over the years and they never looked squished or saggy but the piping on the seats was starting to wear out again. It was time to take a good look and decide if I was going to invest in this piece of furniture again and have it reupholstered for a second time. I realized I wanted something a little longer with a washable slipcover. 

I've been eyeing the slope arm sofa from Restoration Hardware but it had mixed reviews about the cushions not looking good after a while and I didn't want to take a chance because of the price. Then when Ikea came out with their new Farlov line it stopped me in my tracks. They are not identical but there are similarities. 





                                                                      RH Slope Arm Sofa


I was excited to check out the Farlov because the price is amazing, it has a washable slipcover and its really deep, which we like for lounging. I also like the simple arms, much less bulky than our previous sofa. 

The first thing I noticed about the Farlov was the fabric on the slipcover. It isn't very soft and has a weird textured look that I didn't like. I knew right away this sofa would be amazing with a custom slipcover. 


As far as comfort goes, it's definitely not as comfortable as the Ethan Allen sofa was, you don't sink into the cushions the same way. But the depth, single seat cushion and slipcover sealed the deal. I'm excited to have a new slipcover made from a company called comfort works. They make beautiful slipcovers for Ikea furniture and custom covers as well. 

I can't wait to show you what I chose! Follow along on Instagram if you don't already.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kitchen before and today

Hello there! Since we have been picking away at phase two of the kitchen renovation, I thought it would be fun to share some before and in progress pictures with you.


To recap our journey, we gutted the kitchen right after we closed on our house, a couple weeks before we officially moved in. The kitchen was old and in bad shape, so we knew right away we would be starting fresh. I wanted all the messy work out of the way before we moved in if possible. 


After having the tile floor ripped out and oak hardwood floors installed to blend with the original, we ripped out the soffits to see what we were working with. With any small kitchen storage is key, so cabinets would go to the ceiling if possible. I'm ok with getting on a stool to reach items stored on the top shelves that aren't used very often. 



Taking the soffits down created a problem, the heavy plaster ceiling didn't have anything to hold on to and was no longer secure. Having a new drywall ceiling wasn't in our original budget or timeline but with any old home things are going to pop up, or in this case fall down. I was so happy a bunch of mouse poo and icky stuff didn't fall from inside the ceiling. It seems like that always happens on the renovation shows right?!


I was a bit worried about the newly installed floors hiding under those tarps, surprisingly they were fine. We hired the drywall out but unfortunately the guy doing it was very slow. The pressure was on to get the drywall mess done at this point because the new owners of our previous house wanted to move in. They were more than generous to let us stay a couple extra weeks so we could at least clear the dust. 


We also hired an electrician to add pot lights in the ceiling since the only light source was over the sink and kitchen table. Our last kitchen never felt bright enough at night so good lighting was important when able to start from scratch. 



We moved into the house without a finished kitchen, it would be six weeks before we had the time set aside to put it back together. That gave us time to figure out a layout and materials. After reading many reviews and blog posts about Ikea cabinets, we ended up going with the Adel cabinet and wood countertops. I liked the shaker style doors and soft close drawers, and of course the price point is great. 


We used the software available at Ikea to design the space and fit everything in like a puzzle. Our little kitchen never had a dishwasher (for almost 80 years) so that was a must on our list. I used an integrated cabinet door over the dishwasher, it helps with flow since it is such a small space. Too many stainless appliances in a tight space would have been too much. Next time I'll share a picture of that and talk about a mistake I made that set us back a day and our first time tiling a backsplash.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

The kitchen banquette

This weekend we will be finishing our little kitchen by tiling the backsplash and adding trim to the top of the cabinets. Sometimes we jump around from project to project and finish things as we have the time and resources. Tile has been put on the back burner as other more important projects jumped in line, so I'm excited to see it finished. As we prepare for the big backsplash tile project of 2017 (this is our first time) I thought it would be fun to see what the other side of the kitchen looked like when we bought the house and before we built the banquette. 


The house came with a lot of wallpaper and the kitchen had a lovely scallop trim to go with it. 


Luckily we found original hardwood floors throughout most of the house except for the kitchen and family room which was an addition at some point. You can see a peek of the family room to the right of the kitchen.


We had a small window of time to work on the house before we moved in, school was starting and the new owners of our previous house wanted to move in. The goal was to get a lot of the messy stuff done, so we gutted the kitchen, and had hardwood floors installed in the kitchen and family room.


The old plaster walls needed a bit of work after the wallpaper was removed. 


The banquette came about seven months after we moved in, but I knew this was the perfect spot for one the first time I saw the house. We are an eat in kitchen kind of family, and a banquette would be the most practical and attractive option for our tiny kitchen. 


My husband built the bench seating, and included some much needed storage inside. One very important tip when building or having a banquette built is to be sure to have a nice deep overhang on the seat. It allows your legs to have room to naturally swing back like sitting in a chair verses sitting on a box. 


We used plywood ripped down at Home Depot and nickles for spacing to get a planked shiplap look.


One coat of primer and two coats of my favorite advance paint by Benjamin Moore finish it off. 



I couldn't have imagined how functional this space would end up being for our family. It's comfortable, cozy and we spend a lot of time here working, eating and doing homework. 


Friday, February 26, 2016

Dining room before & now

When we bought our new/old house the dining room came with busy red wallpaper and molding in desperate need of painting. The floors are original and were in really good shape, we just had them sanded and stained darker with a matte finish. I love how the floors turned out but talk about high maintenance! Every fuzz and piece of lint shows up.


We lived with it like this for about six months until it was next on the fixer upper to do list. I really couldn't handle being in this room for very long.


The before picture doesn't look too bad, ugly yes but the walls were in poor shape under the wallpaper and all the trim needed to be caulked and painted. It almost looked like someone primed the trim and lower walls but never finished with paint.
I was the painter on duty but we hired someone to refinish the floors and skim coat the plaster walls after we removed the wallpaper.


If you haven't stripped wallpaper in your life, consider yourself lucky. This was the remove all the glue with smoking hot water step. 


We moved the chandelier from our previous house to replace the seventies brass chandelier. I gave the old chandelier a little makeover and used it in our bedroom, I meant for it to be temporary until I found something else, but I like it. 

Our shabby chic buffet also got a little makeover with paint (Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray) and new brass hardware.


I painted a big chunk of the wall with chalkboard paint because I knew I would miss writing and drawing on it like we did at our old house. And something about chalkboards just make me happy, weird I know;)


The giant mess in the background is the kitchen banquette in progress, more on that later.


At this point I'm starting to breathe easier because I was over the hump of hours of priming and painting and the room was looking fresher and happy.


Then it was time for the chair tryouts. I bought two wicker chairs last fall to kind of test them out, see how they fit and how functional they would be. They are comfortable but take up a lot more room then the smallish wood chairs, so once I realized we didn't need six chairs out at all times, I ordered the remaining two and love the way it pulled the dining room together.



Here is a look at the kitchen banquette from the dining room. We eat most of our meals there and use the dining room for games and crafts, lots of crafts:)


Our "nature boxes" were inspired by Lauren Liess. She is a genius to come up with the idea to use an old printers tray to hold collected nature. We fill ours with little rocks, shells and other things we find on hikes or at the beach. I love the subtle color and texture and being able to see our finds everyday. I recently picked up another tray for the other side of the window and spray painted it with black chalkboard paint to match the other one. I don't plan on writing on it, I just like the soft black color.

Next up is some type of shades for the windows here and in the living room, I'm thinking bamboo to match the family room and maybe trim for the drapes. I'll share the kitchen banquette process next time.


Friday, December 11, 2015

The Dining room Christmas tree

This time last year we had only been here for a few short months. House projects were still in full swing and we didn't exactly feel settled. 

The dining room was still untouched, wearing busy red wallpaper and needed some major TLC all around. So this year I thought it would be nice to have a Christmas tree in here as well as the living room. (I'm planning a post about the changes we made in the dining room soon.)

We brought the chandelier from our previous house and it turns out the ceilings are higher here, so its hung a bit high for my liking. But we are here to talk about the tree, not what I want to change or what isn't finished. 



This is the first time we've had two full size trees. In the past I've done table top trees, so this was fun for me.

 

Every year we go to a tree farm and cut our tree down. But for the dining room tree I decided to try something different. I ordered a fresh cut tree from Green Valley Christmas Tress in Oregon. It was pretty cool because it was delivered right to our door. This is what a seven foot fir tree looks like in a box! I have to say I was impressed with how well it shipped.


I couldn't wait to unwrap it...



This is how it looked after we fluffed up the branches.  I tried a new to me variety called a Nordmann Fir. I did have to trim it up in the back a bit to fit our space, next year I'll go with something slimmer. I will definitely order this way again in the future. This tree holds its needles really well and smells so good.


I'm calling this our merry and bright nature tree. Lots of pine cone, wood and acorn ornaments. With some sparkly white and black balls thrown in.


Someone special is getting that cute vintage basket filled with a few goodies for Christmas. I love how it looks next to the tree,  I kind of want to keep it now!


Christmas music is in full swing here and I love every minute of it. It was nice sitting down to write our cards here at the table with the tree in the background. Last year I couldn't stand being in this room for more than ten minutes.


I'll be back soon with some before pictures and I'll talk about what we've done in here and what the future plans are.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The new old house exterior editon

I'm blowing the dust off my blog to share some pictures of our new/old house. I want to document our progress as sort of a scrapbook to look back on and hopefully inspire someone as well. 


Time has flown by, we have been working away on house projects and living life here in our new town. I have to admit I was completely overwhelmed on and off for the first six months or so. We gutted the kitchen and downstairs bathroom before we moved in so living without them for over six weeks didn't help. The the little one was starting a new school in less than a week and life was chaotic. We still have lots more projects to work on but at least we feel more settled.

Today I'm sharing the exterior all dressed up with an evergreen garland and urns that stand about as tall as me. (I'm 5'3) The font of the house got the most attention this year with a new front door, landscape, lights, a new doorbell and fresh paint for the molding and cornice around the door. The back of the house and garage are another story.


Our house was built in 1940 and is a cape cod style. Our street has seen a lot of tear downs with new homes built to look vintage. Two streets up towards town the lots become wider and the original homes are grander, built around 1920. The streets closest to town are mostly from the turn of the century again with new homes mixed in. Total eye candy for the house lover with so many different types of architecture in a small area.


This is the house when I saw her for the first time. Tons of landscape rock with 7 huge stumps hiding underneath that we found later and an old storm door that would slap our guests in the butt. Work would have to wait out here until we got things going on the inside. I was trying to be patient but I missed having flowers and landscape.


Weeds started coming through those rocks and it was getting worse as fall wore on. We were still busy working on the inside so I got a great idea to put an ad on Craigslist for free landscape rock. A few people came and took all of them within a week or so! One step closer and we didn't have to dispose of them. After removing the 7 giant stumps that hid under all that rock we were left with this. A new roof, a couple new lights and a rock free garden bed ready to be planted in the spring.


We planted 40 baby boxwood that will eventually form a hedge, (patience) and 10 little lime hydrangea along the foundation. I also planted annuals in front of the tiny boxwood since the hydrangea wouldn't bloom until later in the summer. 


Then the day came to have the new front door installed. (This is the primed color) We are a mix of DIY and hiring out. This was one we didn't want to tackle. The installer did a great job preserving the original molding around the door inside and out. 


He even removed the railings for us. No need for them since there are only two steps and it really closed the stairs in. I was doing a happy dance right about now! You can see the hydrangeas were doing great at this point. The empty space is there to allow everything room to grow and will be part of stage 2. We did plant a bunch of tulips in there this fall so I'm excited to see if they come up or if the bunnies ate them.


The steps are not in great shape with holes where the railings were so the plan is to have them covered with some type of stone and widened a bit. A black door was my first choice but that would make us three in a row so I tried to go outside my comfort zone. I had a grayish green color picked out but changed to this last minute. Its a pretty color it just wasn't working for me so I painted it again before the cold weather came.

A black door it is! It feels more like me now.


It feels like home.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sold!

We have been very busy over here.  We put our house on the market this spring and buckled in for a wild ride of house showings and house hunting.  When our house sold we still didn't have a contract on a new one so the pressure was on.


Not our ideal situation and stress was high for a while.  Mr. 65th even had a crazy father of the bride moment and wanted to buy our house back when we couldn't find a new one to buy!  But we had to remember why we wanted to sell in the first place, better schools.

After signing a contract on a much larger house, it didn't feel right and wasn't in the neighborhood we really wanted so we got out of it.  We would be buying for location this time around and that is what we did.

As of last Thursday we are the new owners of a cozy 1940 fixer upper in a wonderful neighborhood. Great schools, walk to train and a trendy downtown complete with a vintage movie theater.

The new owners of our house are letting us stay until next week so we have been able to get some work done at the new house before moving in.  I will be back soon with pictures!



 

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