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Design

Design Agony Is Back! But This Time It’s All About Picking Out The Right Decor For Your Room

We know better than anyone that when you’ve been pulling your hair trying to design a space on your own, there comes a point where you just wish someone else would come in and present you with options that are within your budget. Especially when it comes to decor. What sofa will look good? What should I do with this big empty wall? Are there ACTUALLY NICE LOOKING recliners? It can be maddening and honestly, I’m having a few moments of those myself right now. But isn’t it somehow so much easier to help other people?? Far less of an emotional attachment…aka design freedom! So since I love scouring the internet, and looking at beautiful things, and avoiding my own issues, I thought I would do a little personal shopping for y’all. We did a call out asking strictly for decor agonies only (Sorry for those of you who sent in layout questions. Next time!). I, unfortunately, couldn’t do all of them but hopefully, these can be helpful to a lot of you:) So let’s jump right on in!

The Agony: A Multifunctional Office Credenza

From Beth: “Hi, Emily. I share a home office with my husband (and our dogs and cats), and while it’s functional enough, it’s kind of blah design-wise. I just got a beautiful side table from Anthropologie that is inspiring me. The pain point is finding a new credenza. I’d like something with drawers (ideally a file drawer), a shelf, and some closed cabinet space, with room on top for my cats to nap. It would go under the two windows and replace the piece that’s there now. If it’s big enough to hide the recycle bin and the paper shredder, all the better. The house has a modern eclectic vibe, and something with fluting or simple trim would be pretty. I’m open to wood or metal. Size-wise, roughly 60 inches wide, 25 inches high, and 18 inches deep would work. I’d like to spend less than $1,000.”

Hourglass Indoor/Outdoor Side Table

Above is the cute side table she bought and is inspired by! Beth has had a lot of things to consider so I get why this wasn’t a super easy search. I gave her 4 options that are all miraculously under budget! And since there’s some room in the budget, I also think an office chair-friendly rug would look great and elevate the space even more:) However, for now, let’s talk about these credenzas.

The Budget: $1000

1. Marc Espresso Wood And Natural Rattan Media Stand: Unfortunately, none of the credenzas I found had an actual filing cabinet, were pretty, and were within Beth’s budget. However, I LOVE the rattan on this one and there’s open and closed storage. Sadly no drawer but you can forgo one or two of the shelves (it has three sections) and just use file boxes. It’s also 3″ over the measurements she gave but if that’s not a dealbreaker I think it’s a great option.
2. Altavista 62.9” Wide 3 Drawer Sideboard: First off, you can beat that price, it also comes in white, has a ton of storage, and could maybe fit a paper shredder along with a file box. For the cons, zero open storage, would need to use file boxes, and it’s also 3″ over the asked for length.
3. Vladlena 58” Wide Sideboard: This one is drawerless, comes in a darker color, but does have open and closed storage. From my calculations, a standard-sized file box will fit in the cabinets. Also, this one is 2″ under the asked for length!
4. Wembley Medium TV Stand: This one is another winner for me! It is 8″ under the asked for length but is the deepest of the bunch at 16.77″. I also really love the base:)

The Agony: Overhead Lighting Pairing

From Ashley: “We live in a traditional 1959 ranch in the Midwest and are slowly but surely updating the house from its not-so-awesome 70s and 90s poor patch-ups. I’m finishing up our main living/dining space and am at a total impasse on light fixtures to suit the needs of a room that does both. The current only ceiling light is the old brass chandelier over the dining area and there is nary another light fixture in sight so we’ll be a pretty blank canvas. We have 8ft ceilings so I’m thinking we’ll have to go with a semi-flush mount in the living area and could get a little more dangly above the gorgeous 8 ft live edge dining table made by my father. OH EM GEE ASHLEY GET TO THE POINT. I’m looking for light fixtures that complement each other but aren’t part of a “set”, something in brass/black or both that isn’t super mod, more traditional/vintage even a little quirky. No California casual here in Missouri. We’re building a giant wall of built-ins too so there’s the possibility of some library lighting too.”

First off, Ashely, please send pics when the built-ins are done! As for lighting, definitely keep an eye out for cool and quirky lights at flea markets and vintage shops (which you might already be doing). That’s the easiest way to find something really unique and likely on the more affordable side! But I think I came up with three great combos that can at the very least give you some inspiration:)

The Budget: $1000-$1500

1. Mitzi Elsie Wide Aged Brass Pendant + Henry Flushmount: This combo is the most unique in my opinion! I love the shape of the long pendant but FYI it’s not super wide so I would test something similar out to see if playing with the scale works. Now, the semi-flush mount is so pretty and pretty big. With a floor and some table lamps (one could even be in the new shelving unit, I think this could provide enough light!
2. Maxim Lovell Wide Black 10-Light LED Pendant + Ray: I will always love this style of chandelier and this is a great price! I then thought if you wanted your flush mount to blend slightly in with the ceiling, this brass one is really beautiful. I know it’s pricier but I 100% stand by Schoolhouse’s quality. 10/10.
3. Thurston Wide Warm Brass 13-Light Pendant + Cadence Semi Flush Mount: Naturally, I love this one too. Both are going to provide a ton of light and the contrast in shapes will give you some serious visual interest.

P.S. Feel free to mix and match the combos! I think they are easily interchangeable:)

The Agony: Mix And Match Dining Chairs

From Crystal: “I need help picking two more dining chairs for our kitchen. We’ve been working on our house forever (and we have a little one) so please excuse the mess. I’ve always liked the idea of different dining chairs at the end of the table but I can’t figure out what would look good with the existing dining chairs and the counter stools I have. Our budget for this is around $1k for both chairs. Please help!”

Jess, here! I also love mixing dining chairs! It’s such an “easy” and quick way to add extra personality and texture. Also, I was kidding about the “easy” part…especially when you also have dining chairs and counter stool to consider. But I got the Emily and EHD team stamp of approval on these puppies so let’s get to it!

The Budget: $1000

1. Misses Chair: This chair brings in the leather of your stools and the wood and light tones of your dining chairs. Plus the shape is simple yet beautiful so it doesn’t compete with what you have:)
2. Amber Lewis for Anthropologie Caillen Dining Chair: The same idea as the first option but this shape is pretty darn special and very vintage-inspired. It’s over budget but I couldn’t help but to add it. It also has arms which is also nice:)
3. Addison Navy Dining Arm Chair with Flange: Personally, I love the idea of an upholstered chair in a bold but neutral color. It adds a ton of depth. Also, since it’s only two of them you don’t have to worry about kids because they can just sit in the rattan chairs. FYI, if you don’t have blue anywhere else in the room it might stick out a little too much.
4. Candace Vintage Acorn And Seagrass Dining Armchair: Textured, beautiful medium tone, and has arms. The trifecta!
5. Arno Black Wood Side Chair: So pretty and surprisingly affordable! I also love that the black calls to your stool’s legs.
6. Marla Dining Chair: I know that super light fabric is dicey with kids but it’s one of my favorite chairs and the leather calls to the stools…but also a little over budget.
7. Ida Dining Arm Chair (Set of 2): The same idea as number #5 but has a much more rounded shape that works with the chairs and stools.
8. Cylia Dining Chair (Set of 2): A classic for a reason and comfortable.
9. Landon Print Slipcover Dining Chair: Ok ,so if you like the idea of a slipcover chair but the blue was too dark, this is it. It’s light AND patterned (an added fun layer). More visual interest if you ask me:)

The Agony: Kids Shared Room Beds

From Emma: “I have two kids and I’m trying to figure out how to transition them into “big kid beds” and keep them sharing the same room. Their room is small (10 x 13 or so) and dark. I originally thought bunk beds, but they don’t seem to want them. Or one does and the other does not. So my question is: Can I fit two twin beds in here, and if so, how? The only thing I really want to keep in this room is the dresser (I think it is from West Elm). This daybed seems like a good idea but I’m not sure if it would be weird to have two in the same room. I got excited and bought them two of these twin duvet covers with pillowcases.

Question: Can I fit two twin beds in here? Budget: Flexible – maybe $3k on beds total? 

Bonus question: Should I swap the light fixture (currently a boob) to something cooler?”

Trundle Daybed | Duvet

Ok, so there was an update after this initial email:

Also From Emma: “Update: I measured and I can’t fit two twins in here in a reasonable way. Bunk beds it is! 
Now how to find something cool that gets the kids excited…”

Naturally, I switched gears and went on a fun bunk bed (all under budget!)…and a cute flush mount hunt:)

The Budget: $3000

1. Merax Twin Over Twin House Bunk Bed with Storage Stairway: What a dream! I had a bunk bed growing up that I loved but this would have been SO COOL. I also love that there are stairs and it’s not a ladder. Seems a little safer but I also had a ladder and am still here. Plus the stairs are also extra storage. Kids and parents alike can have their dreams come true!
2. Sarah Sherman Samuel Arches Bunk Bed: This bed is just super cool. And why?? Well, Sarah Sherman Samuel designed it. I also think that most kids fight over the top bunk so having the bottom bunk feel like a cool cave due to the arch can hopefully make everyone happy.
3. Mid-Century Twin Bunk Bed: I added this one because it looked like the bunk version of the daybeds Emma picked out that I also loved. It’s a total classic look that design-wise will last them a long time.
4. Milo Two-Tone Bunk Bed: More modern but still super cute and would look great with the duvets.
5. Nestfair Twin over Full House Bunk Bed with Built-in Ladder: So fun, way under budget, and whoever gets the bottom bunk gets a bigger bed! This is also great for sleepovers:)
6. Keystone Twin Gray Stairway Bunk Bed with Storage/Trundle Unit: You’ve got stairs, you’ve got storage, AND you’ve got a trundle bed. The gang’s all here!

Now onto flush mounts that will look great with the style and color palette Emma’s going for.

1. Avery 1 Light Small Flush Mount: It’s a pretty shade of pink but has a great classic shape. SO sweet.
2. Lily White Scalloped Fabric Pendant Lamp: The scalloped shape would look so cute with the duvets but is neutral so it doesn’t distract too much. Also, that price!
3. Paige 3 Light Flush Mount: I used the 9-light chandelier version in my friend’s bedroom makeover and it’s so beautiful in person. Unlike my friend, I tend to not go for floral detailing so I was surprised how much I truly loved it!
4. Natural Jute Woven Semi Flush Mount Ceiling Light: You know we love adding texture to a room and this affordable flush mount is organic and geometric. This one will easily transition with them as they get older.
5. Moxie 3 Light Flush Mount: A vintage-inspired BEAUT! I deeply love this one but I’m a sucker for this shade shape. It’s timeless.
6. Rattan Pendant: It’s so fun, brings in texture, and is under $100. A great option!

The Agony: Living Room Rug

From Jane: “The main thing that I would love help with the most is finding a rug! I’m in search of a 6 x 9 rug. I want something warm and neutral, and with just some minimal design element(s) to it. For reference/example, I love Emily’s new rug in their LR!  Also, like the rug in Emily’s BR…(was that maybe in their old living room at some point?)…neutral, and very subtle, but still a little something/definition to it. Ideally, the rug would be a little darker…like Emily‘s LR example… But if it was the right option in other ways, I could go for something lighter. I don’t have to think of the rug for sure looking good with this current couch… If it did though, that would be great/a bonus for the time being, and then I could really just replace the couch at my convenience in the future. I’ve literally been looking (off & on) for a rug for years (like 5). I have found some from time to time that I’ve liked, but then they’re either way out of my budget (ex: the 6 x 9 size of Emily‘s new LR rug is $2600), or an affordable option doesn’t come in the size that I need (instead only in 5×7 &/or 8×10). (This is a first-world problem, I know, and again I realize that I’m blessed to even have a home!) Once I choose a rug and figure out what way to go with the couch situation, then I plan on getting the chair reupholstered to go with the rest of the room. I would love it if I could find something that I really really like for $500! But if it’s awesome and I need to spend $700 or $800, I can. $1000 would be the ultimate maximum amount… And I would need to be so in love with it and feel certain that I am keeping it forever (bc really, yikes, that’s really more than I should spend).”

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: living room update – again

It was super helpful to have Em’s rug as a reference point! I really hope one of these rugs works out so you can start your journey in finishing your room. Rugs sadly tend to just be pricey for a decent pile height that also isn’t jute (one of Jane’s requests). With all that said let’s get to it!

The Budget: $1000

1. Crosshatch Ivory Micro Hooked Wool Rug: Neutral and has a soft pattern.
2. Plush Pile Striations Ivory: A little lighter, a bit more plush, and closer to the budget.
3. Viscose And Wool Modern Brown/Cream: This one is a warmer tone, has a subtle pattern, but is on the pricier side.
4. Lumini Easy Care Rug: This one is allll about texture! It’s also a great price point and comes in other colors if this light one is too intimidating! This one isn’t super thick so a rug pad would be a great way to plush things up:)
5. Niels Latte Woven Wool/Viscose Rug: Love that big texture!! And the color looks a little more forgiving which is never a bad thing.
6. CRUSH: $399?? Yes, please! This one also feels really similar to Em’s. We can also attest to Article’s quality:)

The Agony: A Goodlooking Recliner

From Marcie: “We are in the very early stage of designing a house. We had to make some sacrifices in size so my husband is giving up his only wish item, a pool table, but now he wants a recliner instead. Ugh! That means this recliner would need to be in our only living room space. He doesn’t like modern. I tried to convince him on a leather chair & ottoman, but he really wants a recliner. Are there any pretty ones out there?
I hope you can help.”

The Budget: $1000

Since Marcie and her husband are designing their house, I didn’t get a photo. But I think I came up with a few options that are a mix of traditional and modern. Fingers crossed because finding stylish affordable recliners sadly isn’t as easy as it should be.

1. Maxille Wide Faux Leather Manual Standard Recliner: Love the color and the wooden base frame base. Plus it still looks comfortable!
2. Freese Wide Genuine Leather Manual Recliner: This one is on the more traditional side but the lines are a little cleaner than say a roll arm. Also, the price is very right:)
3. Paxton Upholstered Recliner: Not sure how visible the metal base is but if a softer look is what you want this one could be a great option.

Rowland Leather High-Back Motion Recliner

In my search, I came across this one and fell in love. Sadly it’s about $2k over budget but it looks super soft and comfortable and doesn’t even look like a recliner. Just wanted to make sure the world knew this existed.

The Agony: A Dining Room Table

From Lauren: “We moved into our house in Atlanta back in January and we have been looking for a dining table ever since. We want something round but everything feels either too modern or too much like it belongs in a castle or a beach cottage. We considered a glass top table with a tree trunk base, but the one we found was SO heavy and also didn’t leave room for our legs. Here’s a picture of the space featuring a table used by the previous owners. I actually really love it but I haven’t been able to find anything similar. Help!”

The Budget: Up to $5000

1. Carmen Dining Table: This one is a similar shape but is all wooden which may or not be what you’re looking for.
2. Magnolia Home Belford Dining Table: Not sure about the overall style of your home but from the photo, this could be really pretty with room for your legs:) The base shape is super unique.
3. Cobain Dining Table: The love the angles of this guy! Organic but definitely modern.
4. Parq Oval Dining Table: This one feels the closest to the one in the photo in terms of the thickness of the top and the metal on the base.
5. Kanji Dining Table: Super pretty and light!
6. Rattan & Mahogany Dining Table: This may not work with your style at all but I wanted to through a wild card in here:) Could be great though if it works with what you have.

The Agony: Seating For A Narrow Walk-Through Living Room

From Kirsten: “A few photos are attached of my 10-year-old design dilemma. Our house is a 1957 ranch with a basement.  Kitchen/dining/seating area all in one long room. (Our living room is separate.)

Our wish…a cool and comfortable seating area where we can drink wine in front of the fire, and have guests sit and chat while I am cooking. The fireplace is huge & awesome. We’ve tried two chairs here, and it’s “meh.”  Thinking about tossing the chairs, old ottoman & super-old buffet & starting over.Rug is 100% temporary because our new puppy keeps having accidents. We have a blank slate & I can’t get a good design. I’m stuck!”

Jess here! This is a tough one. I even asked Em and the gang their opinion and they sympathized with Kirsten! We all agreed that a small, low-profile sofa with legs is the way to go. Here’s what we think could work.

P.S. She didn’t get back to me about a budget so I did my best to be reasonable!

The Budget: ??

1. Burrard Loveseat: Emily owns the sectional version and loves it. It’s comfortable and neutral so it doesn’t feel too overpowering visually. A great option.
2. Hargrove Sofa: We’re getting a lighter but this one is a but more traditional which would also look great.
3. Allisen Sofa: The lightest in color but has more of a modern feel. Plus the black metal legs would look great with your dining chairs.

1. Stripes: The broken stripe is a new classic that we LOVE and looks fresh without being too modern. This one is a light color so that’s something to consider with the pup and guests.
2. Buffalo Plaid Blue & Ivory Rug: It’s washable! And is a classic, classic pattern that I think will look will great with your other pieces.
3. Marrakesh Beige Ivory Rug: Another washable option! It is lighter but again, is washable and the pattern feels more modern.
4. Harlequin Trellis Natural Navy Re-Jute Rug: A mix of classic with a hint of modern, is great for high traffic and pups (as long as they don’t have light fur), and look at that price!
5. Tufted Rug: Also a great price and would add a bit of an organic feel to the room.
6. Ledges Digital Floral Print Distressed Persian Rug: You can’t beat this price and feels similar to what you have (and probably like).

The Agony: Empty Wall

From Natalie: “This wall has never had anything on it! What should I do here? I could use lighting at night but really need to just. Do. Something.”

It’s Jess again! This is the age-old design question and there are so many options that it can feel overwhelming. But for her $500 budget, I think I came up with some good options.

The Budget: $500

1. Picture Light + Layered Paper Diptych: I really love how simple this is and that art is soooo pretty! I think for this space and with what you already own, choosing art that isn’t heavily detailed is key. There is already a lot of great pattern in the rug and chairs so choosing art to contrast them is important for the eye to be happy. Then if you want lights these affordable picture lights are a great option! My only concern with a diptyque is that it might feel too same-same with the two chairs under them…
2. Picture Light + Blue Abstract Triptych Framed Canvas Wall Art: …so here’s a triptyque! The price is right for the art and here is another picture light option, but they would push you a little beyond your budget.
3. Arched Wall Mirror + Woven Poster + Abstract Seascape Framed Canvas + Sconce Reflector Lamp + Wall Shelf: I love a picture ledge so that you can easily change your art without worrying about making too many holes. A mirror is great for making a space bigger and brighter, the large canvas color palette would look great in your room, and the smaller piece has a smaller scale pattern while staying with the color palette. Balance! Then for some added light, this is a great plug-in sconce that Sara also has in her home🙂

The Agony: Entry Storage

From Grace: “Can you and the EHD team help select some stylish coat and shoe storage for the tiny little corner of our kitchen where we enter our home every day? The small room up the step is our laundry room and every inch of that is needed for laundry, cleaning supplies, recycling bins, etc. You can see we have a few coats that we hang on hooks on the back of the door in the laundry room, but we need more space for hanging coats! We have a three-year-old and a nine-month-old, so that’s four of us who need a place to stash coats and shoes near the door. We use the blue cupboard on the left somewhat regularly so we can’t have anything that would interfere with opening those doors. 
I love this rail with hooks, and am wondering whether it would be too much to have one at adult level and another at a kid level (and also shoes below that!?) This one is also cool, but maybe bigger and busier so would need to take down the clock. Last, this one is not quite as pretty as the first but it’s way more practical with so many more hooks! Maybe you’ve got something even better? Also, got any prettier ideas for shoe storage?”

Jess again:) First off, I can’t get over how sweet this room is! Look at that built-in, that door. All so wonderful.

Look that the outside door color is green! However, no matter the cuteness of a home, it doesn’t guarantee a usable entry. That’s where hopefully I can help.

The Budget: $300

Ok, to start us off I wanted to show you all what she linked up in her email.

1. Lusso Hook Rack: She loves this one but is worried that it might be too much visually to have two – one for adults and a lower one for kids. I think it would look great. I did look at the reviews and they did make me hesitate. But she can always try them out if she really loves them, right?
2. Iron Double Hook Rack: I think this one would be great and looks the most durable which is not to be discounted:)
3. Rattan Coat Hanger Rack: She loves the look of this one but worries it’s too busy and I think if you want two of them I agree that they might be. But they are so cute!

These next three are my picks:

1. Amber Lewis for Anthropologie Hook Rack: I love love this one and my heart made me add it. It is big and busy so I only recommend it if you decide to only use one. Plus it takes up the whole budget…
2. Weston Indoor/Outdoor Hook Rack: This one is for indoor/outdoor so it’s made to be durable and I love the modern traditional style.
3. French Large Coat Rack: For a vintage-looking home like this one I had to recommend a vintage coat rack and I love these. If you’re ok with them not matching there are some deals to be had!

Now a basket may not work for your family but I love my shoe bin and I know that Emily is SUPER pro shoe basket. Here are some big ones:

1. Rattan Trunk: This one is big and has a lid! But if a lid is annoying then it can easily be removed.
2. Safi Low Rectangular Basket: A lighter-toned but pretty and tall basket. Love the braided detail.
3. Rattan Rectangle Basket: Still a great size and at a great price.

Y’all! We made it to the end!! Let me say again that I am so sorry I couldn’t give suggestions to everyone that submitted. We are always so grateful for you and maybe we can do another one of these soon. Hopefully, this was helpful for more than just the people I answered today. It was a really fun challenge! Have great rest of your day.

Love you, mean it.

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Lisa
1 month ago

Oh this was so fun!!! Thank you, Jess, for bringing the Desing Agnonys back! These are often some of my favourite posts 🙂 And I am in looooove with that big blue-checkered rug you chose for the narrow sitting room – G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!!!

K
1 month ago

Fun post!

Allana
1 month ago

I LOVE this post!

I wanted to suggest a two levels of shaker peg rail for the entry storage issue, running from the corner to the laundry room door frame, then painted the wall colour. Those kids aren’t getting any less gear as they get older, but you can easily hang baskets or herbs for drying when you don’t have winter coats in use and want to make it cute. It also visually disappears and won’t be busy looking. There are some great options with modern lines on Etsy.

StephanieZ
1 month ago
Reply to  Allana

Totally agree with you on the 2 levels of shaker rail for the last agony question the entryway. It would fit so well with the house. Shoe basket at bottom. You can even find some basket that will hang from rails… I know pottery barn has some…check out the Gabrielle storage system.

Kim
1 month ago
Reply to  StephanieZ

I just came here to second the Gabrielle system at PB. I hung one 8-peg rail up high for the adults and one down low for my 4-year-old. He now hangs up his own coat and backpack when he gets home from preschool. It’s magical. I also ordered the coordinating basket that hangs on the peg rail to store winter gloves and hats. Now, they are conveniently located right by the door when we leave. It’s truly amazing and has changed the functionality and appearance of our narrow entry hall dramatically.

Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Allana

yes, shaker pegs along the whole wall and bonus points for two levels. DH and I are childfree so it’s just the two of us, and I have shaker peg rows everywhere (both front and garage entry, huge row in the laundry room, guest bathroom) and we use them constantly. We got multiple “6-Peg Maple Shaker Rack Unfinished” from the Container Store, installed them right next to each other to span the whole wall. DH did have to cut one. Then patch the edges a bit, and paint to match the wall or trim.

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Allana

Another vote for shaker peg rails. They’d look so good with that hutch!

Alexa
1 month ago

For the last one – there is a really great entry way feature in this month’s Real Simple where the homeowner created a feature wall with molding and added 2-3 rows of hooks with a bench underneath. I can’t find a picture online, but the look was really clean and it looks like it would fit with the style of this house!

Shannon
1 month ago

LOVE this post!!! Am sad I must to stop reading (for now) to shower! Well done!!

Kate
1 month ago

Recliners – check out Interior Define, they just came out with recliners that I think look good. They’re still over $1k budget. I know it might be a stretch, but if you can get your budget to $2k there are a bunch of great options $2k and under. La Z Boy Norris Rocking Recliner isn’t too horrible looking 🙂 and is $1300 right now on sale. Randomly I kind of found out how much I actually love sitting in recliners when a rental had one and I just kept going to it; finding a more streamlined version without all the puffs and tuffs helps a lot I think!

MD
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

Thank you!

Stacy
1 month ago

This post is so fun! I love seeing people’s real + unstaged houses, and the discussion about how to make them work. More please!
For the question about the entryway – might be out of budget unless you DIY, but maybe consider one of those freestanding entryway type things. I feel like it helps keep things visually contained and they often have two levels of hooks with shoe storage underneath. (This is a totally random google image but I’m talking about something like this, but probably wider:comment image). Good luck!

Stacy
1 month ago
Reply to  Stacy

Oh gosh sorry I didn’t realize that would just show up in the comment! I just meant to post the link.

Jax
1 month ago
Reply to  Stacy

Don’t be sorry, I for one loved that the picture posted in the comment.

DonnaJ
1 month ago

For the home office – Credenzas are very easy to find secondhand. Good search terms are sideboard, buffet, server, even low hutch. She may be able to find a glam/burl/ regency/ brass pulls Chinoiserie one that matches the vibe of her existing table.
For the small sofa- The IKEA MORABO is fabulous. They are comfy, versatile to style, wear like iron, and the leather wipes clean to handle to handle pets, snacks etc. They are set and forget – you never need to worry about them at all. If you are 5’6 or shorter they are the perfect size for lying sideways on and falling asleep in front of a fire. Also quite easy to find secondhand. You can change the legs or add slipcovers if you get bored. The mid century Knoll shape is easy to play up or down with throws/ pillows. I got mine in the IKEA discount room and have had it for 7 years and counting, the last 2 in front of my fireplace in my narrow pass through den.

Patricia
1 month ago

For the pass through living room one, what about moving the dining table in front of the fire place and having the seating area where the dining table is now? It looks like the fireplace is closest to the kitchen and it seems romantic and cozy to eat in front of a fire. Not sure if it would fit, but just an alternative.

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Patricia

I thought this would be a good solution, but it does seem a bit tight for the dining table when you consider scooting out chairs.

Janine
1 month ago

I absolutely loved this!!

Jen A
1 month ago

More of these, please! It is SUPER helpful and I took so many ideas away for my own spaces. I even found a new lighting resource through one of your links which is helping me with my own design agony/project. :+)
Really enjoy seeing what the EHD team would do with these real world spaces and budgets. LOVE all of your regular projects too and adding this type of round up to the posts was a fun and helpful read that I know I am going to come back to again and again for reference.

Juanita
1 month ago

I love this post! SO much good content. For Jane, looking for an affordable rug—I have the Tweed Flatweave Dhurrie rug in Graphite from West Elm in my living room and it’s held up very well. The 6×9 size is currently on sale for $314. I picked up mine at a local store (they had a return in stock) so was able to avoid the shipping fee, maybe you can find something similar. Good luck!!

Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  Juanita

Thank you for this suggestion!

1 month ago

As I dog mom, I can’t say enough good things about Ruggable rugs. When dirty just throw in the washer and dryer and they come out beautiful. Be sure to upgrade to the thicker mat though. It really does make a difference.

Cici Haus
1 month ago

This is awesome! Thank you for putting so much time and energy into this!

🥰 Rusty
1 month ago

Aunty Jess, (as in Agony Aunt)..grrreat job! 👍
Looks like you put a whole lot of time and effort into tryjng to find some ‘cures’ for these agonies.
So many great options prpvided.

The kitchen looks like there’s something going on with the wall?
I wonder of the furniture near the fireplace can be pulled back a bit – seems way too close to the fireplace visually (even if it’s not on/functional)?

I think many of the furniture pieces could be sourced via Facebook Marketplace, Thrift or Buy Nothing groups for a fraction of the cost. Definitely worth a look!

Laurel
1 month ago

For Emma – our kids share a bedroom and are in bunk beds, but we know it will be temporary because at some point, they’ll want their own rooms. We inherited vintage bunk beds from my in-laws that stack to be bunk beds, but can separate to be individual twins when the time comes! If you think there’s a chance your kids won’t share a room down the line, I’d recommend looking for a bunk set that can separate and be used as standalone twins.

Suzanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Laurel

Absolutely! Getting bunk beds that can be separated later is so much more functional. We did full-over-full bunks that are now separated.

Emma of the bunk beds
1 month ago
Reply to  Suzanne

So many good bunk bed tips! Thank you!

Annie K.
1 month ago

I LOVE THIS.
Gentle reminder for anyone looking for tables and recliners to check Craigslist! There are SO MANY! And you get them for way less, and you can see how they’ve worn over time, which I love.

Suzanne
1 month ago

In the narrow sitting room, upholstered swivel chairs would look great. I think the issue is that the two existing chairs don’t look substantial enough, but going to a loveseat would be too much. Plus, who doesn’t love to swivel. Here’s a Pinterest board where I saved several while looking for some for a couple sitting areas, including for in my brother’s house by his fireplace.
https://pin.it/1MNofxs

I love this type of post, so much to think about, and pretty universal design agonies. Thanks for shopping, Jess, and EHD team!

bobbi
1 month ago
Reply to  Suzanne

Great idea to suggest swivel chairs.

Kara
1 month ago

Re: Bunk Beds
Okay, we switched our kiddos from a twin and crib to bunk beds this year and have major regrets, mostly about the ergonomics of changing the bedding out on the lower bunk. It’s a full-over-full bunk, because our Bad Dream strategy is that mommy or daddy will come cuddle with you, but you can’t get into our bed. (This ensures that at least one of us gets decent sleep.) I have chronic neck and back pain, so this might be less of an issue for you, but leaning under a bunk bed to change the sheets out (especially in the middle of the night because of random bodily fluid situations,) is murder on my neck and shoulders. If you can still get the trundle, I’d go for that.

K
1 month ago
Reply to  Kara

I’m always surprised at the spike in heart rate when I change bunk bed sheets. It’s a workout!

Ashley
1 month ago

So fun and helpful. Great, creative ideas. Thank you, Jess!

T.
1 month ago

Had the recliner issue myself in my last house. My then husband was adamant on having a big ugly recliner. Dragged his ass to the LaZboy showroom and we found several options that fit his comfort level and my design scheme. They run lots of sales, and if you need to order in a specific fabric they can do that too. (That’s what I had to do. It took 4 weeks to arrive, but that was pre-pandemic, I am sure it’s closer to 8-10 now. But when it solves a problem like this, the wait is worth it.)

Anna
1 month ago

Emma! You need the Babyletto tip toe bunk bed!! It’s so cute and sturdy and fits great in our tiny kids bedroom because the ladder is built into the frame. You can get a trundle for another mattress or storage. We’ve had it 3 years so far and going strong! Only $999! Go get it, girl!

https://www.crateandbarrel.com/babyletto-white-and-washed-natural-tiptoe-kids-bunk-bed/s556022

Emma of the bunk beds
1 month ago
Reply to  Anna

I do like that one!! I’m not sure about white 🤔🤔

I also love those house ones but I think if one of the bunks is really cool/special and the other one isn’t that I’m just setting up opportunities for fights.

Diane
1 month ago

Emma, having raised four daughters, let me just point out the obvious fact that discerning young sibling minds will always find even the most subtle shades of difference between anything offered to them, and can put up a pretty good argument as to why one thing is better than the other and why they are the most deserving of it. Spoilers, this is a game that no parent can ever win. We found our way around the problem by not worrying at all about being “fair” and using instead the tried and true system of taking turns. So go ahead and buy a cute house bunk bed – or any other darling thing that strikes your fancy – and if your kids put up a fight about who gets the “better” bed, announce that it will belong to both of them. Flip a coin to decide who goes first, then rotate ownership every so often to keep the peace. Hope this strategy solves as many potential squabbles at your house as it did for us!

Jen A
1 month ago

“Emma of the bunk beds” as your name made me smile 🙂

MD
1 month ago

I love this! Thank you!

Jen A
1 month ago

I want to give a big shoutout to all of the people who shared their homes and spaces with us for this post! Thank you for putting yourself/your homes out there for the world to see. Especially your “agony” areas that are probably not the part you’re the most excited to share. Congrats on all of you for some great style. It would be too much to comment on everyone individually, but I am finding such nice features and decor selections in your homes. Seriously there is something in every picture where I am like, “oh that’s cute” or “what a good idea” or “nice floors” or “great color on those walls” or “nice room arrangement.” 🙂

Brooke
1 month ago

great idea and lots of practical solutions!

Nina
1 month ago

This was SO great! Please do these more often! (I also have a horrid bathroom in desperate need of a makeover if you ever need inspiration for a post 🙃)

Christa
1 month ago

Love this post. So much good information, thank you!

Jane
1 month ago

Thanks, Jess & team! (Ps—Happy belated birthday 🥳). So nice of you to do this! I really appreciate your time and suggestions :-). I think there’s a couple options at West Elm that I might choose from to try :-)))

ASHLEY
1 month ago

LOVE this type of post! Thanks!

Brandi Dowler
1 month ago

OMG, Ashlee’s house looks like almost exactly the same layout as mine! We have a 1960 ranch style (but in Texas instead of Missouri or I would’ve assume she was one of my neighbors). We put a plug-in a sconce on the small wall where she has her macrame hoop (above the Lovevery Play gym which we hilariously also have) and another of the same sconce to the right of the window above the sofa (if you’re looking at the sofa from the TV area). We’re eventually going to hardwire them but for now they’re just plugged in below. We don’t have an overhead light in our living area because the A/C vent is round and directly in the middle of the room. We even have our furniture in the same spots although we recently made the dining area my home office and moved our dining table into what was I guess previously the den or family room. We never had a good use for that space before because it was kind of a pass through to the kitchen from the hallway but prefer having our dining in there open to the kitchen even though there is a fireplace.

Brandi Dowler
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandi Dowler

Ugh, I spelled Ashley’s name wrong but it’s post about looking for lighting.

Ashley
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandi Dowler

Lololol Brandi I love that we have twin homes (and twin kiddo toys, seriously that LoveEvery play gym is the real parenting MVP). The wall with the macrame will shortly be covered by the built-ins but I was absolutely pondering a wall sconce on the opposite side! Now every time I have a decorating dilemma I am going to have to find you on here and compare notes 🤣 Thanks again Jess for the fantastic options! I’m so excited!

Truly
1 month ago

Can anyone share the “technical term” for the doorbell ringer in the front door? I just love it so.

Kj
1 month ago
Reply to  Truly

I’ve seen them called: twist-turn doorbell, hand-turn doorbell, Victorian doorbell, manual doorbell, manual turn doorbell, twist doorbell, crank doorbell, etc…. https://www.houseofantiquehardware.com/add-charm-with-a-twist-doorbell

Truly
1 month ago
Reply to  Kj

Thank you!!

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