Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thoughts On A Sofa

Buying a sofa (or couch) can be complicated. It seems so easy to say "I am going to buy a sofa", but, like buying a car, it has to be the right fit for who you are and what you expect it to do.

We all want a sofa to be comfortable, but we all sit differently......and we are all different sizes. For myself, I like to sit curled up against the left side of the sofa; I don't like to sit up straight, and I like the seat to be quite deep, enveloping me so that I feel all cocooned and cozy. I like a straight back, with lots of pillows that I can move to fit where I am. Too much extra padding, while always more comfortable, can add a lot of unnecessary bulk to a sofa. Always measure before arranging for a piece to be delivered. Having a smaller, older house means that my doors are narrow, and some pieces of furniture need to be taken apart to get them inside. Actually, some don't fit at all, and have to be returned, whereas others have to wait on the front lawn while someone removes a door, unscrews the legs or takes out a very large window.

A sofa should fit your home. Do you want it to be formal or casual? Will you have children and pets sitting on it a lot? How many people need to sit on it?Would you like a modern, simple design or a rounded, squishy one? Will a pattern look nice in your home, or would a simple color be better? Did you know that Leather can feel cold, or that Microsuede leaves imprints when you sit on it? How big will the imprint be? Are you ok with that?

Of course, the list of questions is endless, and never make yourself crazy about a decorating decision, but it does warrant a little bit of thought. My best advice is to always sit on a sofa before you buy it, and remember, most importantly, it should fit your bottom AND your life.

Sofa from: Morosa

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Warm Colors to Chase Away the Cold!

It's two weeks before Christmas and we are starting to get our freezing cold, windy, nasty weather. The type of days that make you just want to hide under the covers with a book and an endless supply of hot chocolate. It's so cold that the dog just looks at me when I open the door. He backs away from me, wagging his tail; determined to please, but positive that there is nothing outside that really needs his attention. He waits until I am not looking before he jumps onto the blanket-laden sofa. It is the perfect place for him; he looks at the Christmas tree, trying to decide which gingerbread cookie he will steal next as he lazily watches the world go by.

The blanket he sleeps on is old. Knitted by an Auntie many years ago, it is heavy and warm, the colors bright and clashing. It is a Winter blanket. Living in a house that is about as insulated as a paper lantern, I have begun to realize that when the days turn colder I need to adjust my house as well as my wardrobe. It seems so obvious, but we respond differently to textures and color depending on the weather and the circumstances. I truly believe, for me, that I need to surround myself with warm, rich colors (and textures) to make myself feel warmer! A pale blue, cotton blanket, while wonderful in the Summer, will often feel (and look) cold in the Winter, whereas a dark blue, wool blanket will bring me warmth and comfort on an icy afternoon when the sun goes down.

My love/hate relationship with Winter is always better when I accept these changes, when I put on the woolly sweaters and fill my home with strong, deep shades. Cool-colored throws are hidden away until the Spring, and I add lots of plaid and homemade blankets wherever I can. Uncoordinated as they may seem, this is exactly what brings them together; they are bold and imperfect, they are meant to be curled up on (or under). Be indulgent in your design ideas, think cozy and organic, with a dash of whimsy. Wrap a pillow in an old fluffy sweater. Use a gigantic glass bowl to hold your gloves and scarves, or an assortment of twigs and pine cones that you found somewhere outside (or in the supermarket!). 

More than any other season, Winter is about spending time in our homes, so why not have some fun and decorate it with things that make you want to curl up and stay.....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Once A Year Is Not Enough!

Was watching television yesterday and was surprised at the concentration of shows that were focused on the Christmas Holidays. Now, I have to admit I was writing our cards and wrapping presents, so I was watching an endless amount of cooking and decorating shows. Ask me anything; I could tell you how to cook a Turducken (!), make gingerbread ornaments and "festify" your bathroom before I even finish my morning coffee! Not to say I'll do any of these things, well, maybe the gingerbread ornaments, but the point is that the networks are saturated with ideas on how to make me and my home "better" for the Holiday Season.

As I watched, I noticed that most of the ideas were applicable throughout the year, which made me think that maybe we should be reminded of these things more than once? Why can't I make my life "better" all year long? Wouldn't it be nice if we could have little refreshers throughout the year, say quarterly, to keep us motivated and happy, instead of cramming all of our Joy into the month of December?

Anyway, here are some things that I learned yesterday (to be used, liberally, year-round):
  • Trends are short-lived, don't spend a lot of time and money on them. Classic, whimsical or homemade items are the ones we tend to reach for year after year.
  • Have people over for a meal. Plan a little, but don't forget about them in your quest for the perfect evening.   
  • Give up on perfection, it's never, ever going to happen!
  • If you can't (or don't) cook, order in or be creative with grocery store items.
  • Likewise, if you have a small house, or hardly any chairs, make do, don't let it stop you from having friends over.
  • A Turducken is a chicken stuffed inside a duck, that is stuffed inside a turkey then tied together and roasted.
  • Give unexpected presents to people whenever you want; their favorite candy bar or a flower that reminded you of them!
  • Have your home reflect you and your personality, not what you have seen somewhere else or imagine it should look like.
  • Try to be organized with your personal life, it's very important for your health and well-being.
  • Be kind to yourself (and your friends and family) all year long.