Back in March we started a mission to purge our house of all Ikea furniture. Ikea has served us well for many years but this relationship is no longer healthy. Its time to adult full time. The older I get the more I want to be surrounded with nicer pieces that can last the test of time. Add to that I am a total homebody who is perfectly content not leave my little nest for days on end. It was time to slowly invest a little every month towards creating the home of our dreams. We might still be renters but that doesn’t mean we can’t have nice things.

goodbye ikea and hello restoration hardware sofa

Over the summer my bedroom received a massive dose of pink. Some finishing touches are in order before I consider it 100% complete. While it is requiring a great deal of constraint on my part, I really don’t want my whole home to be a pink palace. I adore my bedroom, but that is my space and the living room is our space. With that in mind the living room is headed in a soft-and-cozy but with a healthy-dose-of-refinement direction. And its starting with our biggest splurge. In just a few weeks time this glorious Restoration Hardware masterpiece of a sofa will be mine at last.

a soothing color palette of taupes and grays

We’ve started purging furniture from the room already and for an exhilarating Christmas treat I will be painting the living room walls — again. Actually, I painted them last weekend with Behr Shea and basically it just looks like white. You can hardly tell where the trim molding ends and the walls begin. Not what I was going for. Popping off to the hardware store again to pick up something with a little more contrast. Please Sheer Scarf be a better choice.

Interestingly enough, I copied the colors for my sampler directly from the Behr and RH websites. Online the colors look darker than in reality. Thus why I think the first color didn’t work out. So I am expecting the room to be more subtle then my mock up here looks like.

using RH distressed taupe as our inspiration to upcycle these thrifted pieces

Our good friend Patricia over at The Wood Spa is coming to our rescue for the statement piece in the room – the media center. She is a founding member of the “no more Ikea” movement so totally understands our quest. Over the weekend she found two excellent old wooden bookcases ready to receive a paint miracle. And yesterday found a lovely ornate dresser to snuggle in between the cases – kinda like this. I’ll be asking her to mimic the look of RH’s French Panel collection in a soft taupe color. The end piece will be large so the light color should help it not feel too heavy in our tiny 1940s shoebox of a living room.

meiji era hinagata woodblock prints, sewing samples and katagami stencils

Last but not least is the artwork. While my furniture choice skews French I really want to bring some of our love of Japan to the mix. I have a few hinagata-bon {雛形本} woodblock prints from old Kimono Design books that could use framing. Also, a hinagata hakama sewing sample I’ve been meaning to put in a shadow box. This is how young girls were taught to sew, in miniature, to prepare them for future life. And to complete the Kimono making theme I have 3 katagami stencils used to print fabric. Well, and for good measure, how about a couple of labels from the most exquisite sake on the planet too. Because the secret to happy sewing is to always celebrate completion with a splash of sake.

That’s the plan. Wish us luck!! And if you don’t hear from us in 2016 you will know it is because it worked out and we are never leaving the house again ;)