May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Friday, July 6, 2012

The Look for Less: Sophisticated Living Room Vignette

Hola darlings!

To distract myself from the monstrous horrid weather we and most of the country are suffering under, unfortunately, and because I have not done one single jot of work on any of my revamp/redo projects around here, I am undertaking a new LOOK FOR LESS!  Yes, I know.  Totally illogical...

My choice is this mouth-wateringly beautiful vignette from the recently-launched Trad Home online from the article Sophisticated Redesign:

Interior decorators on this whole-house project were Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp, R. Higgins Interiors, 2000 Blair Blvd., Nashville, TN 37212; 615/297-9632,

The items mentioned in this vignette were:

Sofa ("Evanston" #SH306); sofa fabric ("Caprissa Moire"/Greige #93273): Schumacher, 800/523-1200,
Fabric on green sofa pillow: Beacon Hill, 800/333-3777,
Fabric on silver sofa pillow (discontinued): Libas Silk, 800/635-4227,
Animal-print pillow: vintage.
Screen behind sofa (antique embossed leather screen, purchased at auction);
gold side table (antique, esate-sale find); coffee table (estate-sale find): owner's collection.
Candlesticks on coffee table (antique): Scott Antique Market,

Not mentioned were the lamp,  wood (or perhaps it is paper mache) chest on the coffee table, the bust on the side table, or the fabulous rug!


Just looking at that sofa makes me go aaaaaaahhhhhhhh.  Looks like you'd sink half-way to China on it.  The cushions are so plumped up they must either be totally down filled or, at the very least, filled with a mix of feathers and down and then down-wrapped.  Cha ching

Come to think of it, I really do not like sinking half-way to China when trying to stretch out to take a nap on a lazy weekend afternoon.  But I am about comfort.  I still love the sofa and loveseat in my living room (a matching suite - gasp!) because they are firm enough to support my somewhat generous frame without any noticeable sagging over the past 10 years and yet comfortable enough to burrow into (the sofa and love seat - not moi!) for a nap or snuggling up with Mr. Don.

The sofa in the inspiration photo reminded me of Ikea and the modestly-priced sofas I have seen at Ikea's online store -- minus the foot-long fringe skirt:

It's hard to beat the price and quality of the Ektorp three seater sofa

Ikea Ektorp three seater sofa

It's not "greige" and it's not a "moire" fabric, but the cover is removable and machine washable or dry-cleanable (always a plus), it's skirted, it's got rolled arms, and it has three seat and back cushions.  In form, if not in substance, it is remarkably like the inspiration sofa.  I have read that the Ektorp is very comfortable and sturdy.  And at $399.00 - what's not to love???  For more plush, you might buy some goose down and do some surgery on the cushions by adding extra down.  Or be lazy (like moi) and wrap the cushions in super-soft batting.

If you want to go the extra mile to get the look for less, you could add some 10 to 12" length fringe to the cover.  I figure attaching it with Velcro to the Ektorp sofa cover so that it hangs like a hula skirt all around would work.  I would want to be able to remove the fringe with minimum hassle to wash the sofa cover as needed.

Side Table

I wasn't even looking for it at Ikea, but I happened across the Klingsbo side table and went - LOOK - that's it!  The metal is black but spray paint will fix that.  The Kligsbo is a mere $39.99 and I do not think the price can be beat for a brand new look-alike glass-topped side table unless you hunt one down at a resale or thrift shop.  The size looks good: 19 and 1/4 " diameter (top glass) and about 23" tall.  For a look more closely echoing the side table in the inspiration photo, you could have a piece of glass cut to fit the bottom metal shelf:

Ikea Klingsbo side table

Coffee Table

You might have best luck shopping resale shops or e-bay for something like the vintage coffee table.   I looked for a glass with acrylic or acrylic coffee table that a glass top might be added to.  I found this one at Wayfair:

Wholesale Interiors Gremio Acrylic Functional Coffee Table

This table is 15.5" H x 39" W x 17" D, big enough for a glass top to be added if desired. However, at $335, this table costs nearly as much as the sofa!  New acrylic isn't inexpensive!  A rounded-edge piece of safety glass for a top might be pretty pricey, too.

I also found this intriguing possibility that might work  - it already has a glass top:

Lite Source Coffee Table in Aluminum and Frost Tempered Glass
This table, also from Wayfair,  is 48" W x 24" D x 16" H and $220.50.  So, it's more sizeable that the first Wayfair offering and over $100 less in cost.  The legs are not acrylic and see-through, but the aluminum and the styling is retro/mod and in the spirit of the inspiration coffee table.

I think a reasonable facsimile of the inspiration table might also be put together by an enterprising crafter using a glass top and something to create a suitable base. 

The Four-Panel Screen

I thought this screen would be a good choice, given the neutral colors and price at $230.00, found at Wayfair:

UMA Enterprises Toscana Wood and Faux Leather 4-Panel Screen - 81696

A brave person could add some color to it that would emulate the spirit of the inspiration screen.  Or they could be like me and just let it be :)  This screen measures 71.65" H x 16.93" W x 4.72".  The 16.93" wide panels make this just about as wide as it is tall.  Not very wide overall, but it would fit nicely behind the Ektorp sofa.

I also saw this lovely screen at Wayfair.  There is no faux-leather, but it is a very good size and a very good price:

UMA Enterprises Metro Wood 4-Panel Screen - 14276

It costs $288.70 and it's dimensions are 74.8" H x 22.05" W x 5.12" -- so, somewhat taller and many inches wider than the UMA Enterprises Toscana wood and faux leather four-screen panel, above.  What I'm thinking is a paper "backing" might be added to each panel and you could paint colors you like for a custom look.  IMHO, this screen would make a spectacular statement with or without a backing.  The lacy look of the cut floral design is evocative of the spirit of the inspiration screen.

Well, I haven't talked at all about the pillows or the candlesticks, but it's after 11 p.m. and I'm tired, darlings.  So I'll carry on tomorrow! 

I do hope what I've shown above thus far may provide some "look for less" inspiration of your own.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jan, hope you are having a great weekend. I know how big a pain it is to drag the sprinkler around the yard. It's one of those things you have to do but hate doing, like cooking! Anyway, just want to say this is a great series you are doing (wish I had thought of it first :)). The Ektrop sofa is a good deal. I have one in my living room. I have been very happy with it. I especially like the fact that you can change the look by switching out the slipcover.