The decorating part of the farmhouse is certainly not a priority and yet I’ve started shopping. A lot of you asked about timing and while of course we don’t know anything firm, our plan is to move up in August to acclimate the kids to the new school/neighborhood and live in a rental house til it’s ready. We are hoping early 2022 to move in an as of a few days ago we have a magazine shoot scheduled for late April (for August reveal). We have demo’d and have applied for permits while we order all tile, appliances, plumbing fixtures, flooring, etc. I know that rushing it will only stress me out greatly (which is bad for the whole family), plus I’ll make more mistakes and nobody really wins that way. Of course, I say that now while living in this nice house enjoying my summer down here in relative renovation denial. I’m sure once we get into a furnished rental I might be like, “OKEEDOKEY LETS MOVE THIS TRAIN ALONG”.
When we renovated the mountain house I told my contractor that I wanted “fast and good” but would forego “cheap, “and we ended up getting “slow, good, and expensive”. I’m starting to think that a renovation of this scale can never be rushed and it will always be expensive if you want “good,” which we do. He agreed to the “fast, good, and expensive” route but ultimately it came down to subs and him wanting to only hire people he trusted (BORING). So it was just slow with so many days just sitting empty, waiting for subs. And guess what? the good subs are expensive. So my expectations this time around are more realistic. It will take a while. It will not be cheap. In exchange for that, we will get a fantastic high-quality result (RIGHT??). So that’s the timeline update… Hoping to shoot in a year, making the whole process about a year and a half from purchase, and 16 months from demo.
But on Saturday mornings I can’t help but to shop. Part of it is the addiction, the thrill I get going down vintage rabbit holes, even without purchasing (no need, the dopamine hits my brain just by looking). So I’ve put some rules in place for myself though – I’m only allowed to actually shop for and purchase anything that A. takes my breath away and B. I can see its place in our home (aka we need it). You know when you see something and you suck your breath in real fast and your heart stops for a second? This is likely either because it’s A. unbelievably good, or B. unbelievably cheap. A caveat: I may not and will not pass up a vintage or thrifted “steal” even if I don’t “need it” – because if it’s GREAT and cheap then I know I can find a place for it and it’s just bad business to not snag and hoard it. But in regards to my actual “list” I know for sure (HA is anything for sure at this point?) that the living room layout would benefit from a visually low/light backed sofa that still has weight and can help ground the conversation area while staying visually open to the big scenic doors that lead to the back yard.
This is VERY specific, I realize. The living room layout is HARD because there are so many walkways, entries and exits, and focal points. I’ll show you more later (we played with a bunch of stand-in furniture last time we were up there) but what we decided would be ideal is to have a sofa, a fainting couch, and two club chairs. Why a fainting couch? Because the big scenic doors to the backyard are behind it so we want it to visually feel open to them, but still have a place for leaning against it (not just a bench or flat daybed). So I was on a MISSION to find one and last weekend I did!!!!
FIFTY BUCKS!!! Now I was pretty open to what it could look like, I just needed to LOVE IT. So this one has this amazing deco feel, but it’s still SIMPLE, with not a lot of ornate details. It looked comfortable, had a nice open back giving view to the backyard, and yet in a new fabric I could see it just being simple and classic. I text Ken immediately, at like 7 am, and begged him to go get it before it got taken. I had no idea how it was on Craigslist for 2 weeks at that insane price ($50!!!). He agreed, probably annoyed but he didn’t show it and left his family on a Saturday morning to do my craigslist errand bidding. Then he sent me this photo…
IT’S FOR A CAT. We don’t have a cat. We couldn’t stop laughing, like the whole family – even the kids. I appreciated that he held it in his arms for scale because apparently I don’t read dimensions and need a large brother to stand next to something in order for me to understand sizing. After we stopped laughing I got sad because had it been human-sized it would have been the BEST steal. Then I went back to the listing, sure that they hadn’t put dimension but it said it right there!!! “miniature fainting couch, 18″ x 48”. I was so emotional about it that I didn’t even read the not-so-fine print!!! The level of stupid I felt was high, and just thank god it was only $50. OBVIOUSLY, we are keeping it and going to upholster it in something FABULOUS and then start shopping for a cat. Charlie wants it for his “reading nook” but I think it’s even too small for him. The ultimate hand-in-face emoji.
So with that box totally unchecked, on Saturdays I have been searching around for something that would work there (mostly because it’s fun). Now let me be clear that I don’t even know if we really NEED this piece of furniture because now that we’ve changed the layout to include a dining nook in the corner (not floating), we have WAY more flexibility with the furniture layout. But I spent hours searching nonetheless.
I love a half back of the chaise because it can “face” forward and to the right whereas a typical chaise can only face left or right if that makes any sense. So this is like 1/2 sofa, 1/2 chaise. It keeps your eye moving past it (towards the view out the big scenic doors) and yet is substantial enough to be balanced near an actual sofa. I have a couple of favorites from up there that you’ll see at the end.
All of these are low enough (but still substantial) to be able to see past them, not stopping the eye. I like all of these a lot – they are cool, although perhaps not quite classic enough (and that de Sede vintage one is awesome but $$$$ and Brian hated it :))
All of these would be contenders, that simple unfussy curvy shape could work with most other sofas and they feel modern and cool in a way that this farm might need. And no, we aren’t sticking to any sort of “modern farmhouse” vibe inside. I’m really just doing whatever I want to with the furniture and accessories. Sure I have some more primitive and utilitarian pieces that I think will look awesome here, but I’m not limiting the styles because it’s a farmhouse (I’m more careful to reference the style with the permanent finishes – flooring, lighting, tile, etc).
Now the totally flat day beds won’t work here because, well, I prize comfort over most things and most people don’t want to sit on a bench for a long time without leaning on something. But these above have substantial enough arms that they can be leaned against on both sides. I love the idea of reading here where I can see out the back and still feel in the living room.
What about a tete-a-tete? Are we still doing these? I reaally like these modern ones, but the antique victorian ones remind me of Bridgerton where the men/women shant sit next to each other in case their bodies doth touch. I don’t think we’ll end up doing one of these but again it doesn’t shut off the room to the backyard and yet is still a part of the conversation area (but there is something the feels highly impractical about them and like you are shunning the person that is facing outside).
1. 2-Seater Sofa w/ Side Tables | 2. 2-Seater Sofa | 3. Originals Studio Couch | 4. St. Charles Daybed | 5. Oiled Walnut Spindle Back with Brass Accents Bone Chaise by Casey McCafferty | 6. Distrikt Sofa | 7. Mollis Sofa | 8. Mogensen Spokeback Sofa | 9. Tateishi Shoiji Oak and Walnut Chaise Longue
Now these you have to picture without most of the back sofas, exposing the woodwork. Picture throw pillows but allowing enough of the line of site open through the wood. These also mix really well with more substantial upholstered sofas. #9 is SICK – it’s vintage and was only designed to face that way (and we want it to face the other way) but that is an insanely beautiful piece of minimalist furniture.).
1. Oiled Walnut Spindle Back with Brass Accents Bone Chaise by Casey McCafferty | 2. Brady Tete A Tete Chaise | 3. Lupra | 4. Bella Curved Chaise | 5. Continuous Chaise Sofa | 6. Adrian Pearsall Mid Century Cloud Chaise Lounge Chair | 7. Elvi Chaise | 8. Serafin Leather Daybed | 9. Originals Studio Couch
Seriously all of those up there are AWESOME. #1 is my #1 and I might commission that to be made or if the designer Casey McCafferty can’t (he’s focusing more on sculptures which are crazy good) then perhaps Fernweh – a local Oregon furniture maker – can design a windsor backed version of a daybed. So good. The pricing is all over the place with the Article one being SO good and affordable and the Horne one being very expensive, but those lines are gorgeous. The Lulu and Georgia one is soooooo cozy looking and the Crate and Barrel one is postmodern and perhaps trendy, but the lines of it are so simple that I think it’s timeless enough. And of course, I’ve loved everything Adrian Pearsall (#6) and always lean towards vintage (I SCOURED 1st Dibs and Chairish and found very few that would work).
But essentially unless I found #1 at a flea market or on Craigslist I’m not pulling any triggers yet. I will “come up with a plan” and even “take time to design the space” because none of our sofas will work in this living room so I should probably not box myself into a piece of furniture that is new and can be purchased in 6 months from now. But I feel very well versed now in what’s on the market so if I don’t find that random vintage steal or design something custom with a local maker then I have some pretty awesome options that I know will work well with a lot.
Most importantly I learned the benefits of reading the fine print, designing for scale, and making sure that I’m buying human-sized furniture. So glad that 20 years into my career that I’m still buying dollhouse or cat-sized furniture online thinking I found a score. If it happens again please expect a #brotherforscale hashtag to start because apparently my brother near the piece is the only way I can confirm sizing. Have a lovely weekend, folks.