I have been thoroughly enjoying reading some interior design blogs recently. I think if I were to change my profession I would like do study interior design and decorating. All the colours, the styles, making everything work together - love it!
We have been in our house coming up 3 years now, and despite us choosing everything (from the floorplan to the wall colour) I still am not satisfied that it is done. I think there is more for us to explore and experiment with in the way of finishes and furnishings.
Some of the items of furniture we own we bought when we moved into the house because there was a need (or a space to fill), others we have inherited along the way from our humble beginnings. Take for example, our family room lounge suite.
Not exactly what I would describe as "modern", "streamlined" or even "nice", but it has served it's purpose by providing us a place to rest our behinds (all be it a little too low to the ground for some) and it has been in a total of 4 houses (3 of them ours, the other my parents') over a period of approx 20 years and sadly (or maybe not so sadly) I think it is time it retired from service. It really is too large and overpowering for the size and shape of the room, the leather has given way in parts of the main couch seat revealing the stuffing, and truth be known I've never liked it (shh, don't tell my mother - she loved it, which would be a good reason why she bought it in the first place). The 3 seater couch is as big as the 2 armchairs, and the room is thin enough as it is without making it feel even smaller by having a 3 seater couch span the width, which incidentally the back of the 3 seater is towards a double sliding door - not ideal in trying to get the whole inside-out/outside-in. Currently the computer desk is living in the empty far corner next to the glass sliding doors, and the PS3 drumkit thing has found a home in the corner there too... both of which will have to find a new home soon.
The only problem with getting rid of furniture is the fact that unless you are downsizing your living space you need to replace it with something else. Sure, I could go out and pick a new lounge suite that would suit the space perfectly, but I wouldn't get change out of $2K and we just don't have that sort of money to spend. Goodbye chocolate leather lounge with chaise.
I am willing to experiment though. Who knows, I may end up with something better. The experimentation part will mean I will have to suppress my inner snob. Ok, let me explain. I am not a snob - I promise, but I've never had any desire to shop at op-shops or flea markets, I've never picked up someone else's hard rubbish from the kerb, I've never visited an auction house - unless you count the Bargain Hunters TV show. Don't get me wrong, it intrigues me, but from my limited exposure it seems like a whole lot of junk - 80s clothes and knickknack's that are cracked or discoloured. Ok, so maybe a couple of visits to the local oppie aren't a true indication of all of them, but when I think of buying furniture, I think of going to the department store and picking the one you like. Perhaps the thing that disturbs me most is who/what the piece has been used for and how clean it is. Although, I think I have found the solution. I have a vision of buying a new Ikea style 3 seater sofa in a neutral fabric (preferably with removable covers having 2 young children) but then pairing it with a couple of reclaimed armchairs. Yes, second-hand, although reclaimed or up-cycled are much trendier buzz words. And I'm prepared to do a bit of DIY to make the piece fit in our home. My only requirement is that the back of the armchairs need to be nice, because they will be visible.
The look I'm after is kind of like this:
I should probably add that this last image came from the website greatdanefurniture.com and is priced at a mere $18K for the sofa and 2 armchairs - yes, eighteen thousand. I have no idea who could/would buy it but I love the look except I would prefer darker timber.
The Danish designers (or their knock off versions) are really attracting me at the moment. I like their clean lines, their curves without overdoing it, and their sense of minimal. Pretty much everything our current lounge is not. Perhaps I should just say Scandinavian - after all, Ikea is Swedish, the next door neighbour of the Danish.
I've seen some really nice Danish style armchairs (wooden framed with a cushion back and seat) advertised on ebay that I reckon I could try to recover with new material (and new foam), which solves my problem of the who/what. The only issue is getting the chair for a reasonable price (i.e. less than $50ea) and the cost to have them reupholstered (I have no idea what this would be), but I'm willing to experiment. I could even attempt to sew some cushion covers in upholstery fabric, or try my hand at a staple gun.
Did I mention that I am hopeless at bargaining and haggling? Ok, baby steps... first, to tell my husband what I have planned.