Voila!  Welcome to my living room as it was in the late Winter/early Spring of 2008.  As soon as the last box was offloaded from the moving truck I was determined to make it immediately my own.  I needed to walk into my front door after work and have something that resembled a home, even if the second floor hallway was cluttered with moving boxes and completly impassable.  This was the best I could muster.  I was broke after counting my pennies to pay for the closing costs so decorating was done on a shoestring.

My eye has always been drawn to warm neutrals and blues on the green end of the spectrum, so this was an ideal synergy.  Warm browns and creams with a shocking flash of sea glass blue.   And as much as I lust over the craftmanship of Eames chairs and rifle through Room and Board or West Elm while soaking in the tub earmarking all the beautiful pieces I would gladly place in a spot of honor in my home, I cannot turn a blind eye to the reasonable prices and practicality of IKEA furniture.  The two Klippan couches my significant other and I purchased to furnish our last apartment fit perfectly into the small living room.   

The zebra-inspired rug was a Christmas gift purchased and delivered with as much love and patience as one’s significant other can demonstrate while purchasing a zebra-print rug at the risk of having his man card revoked and driving 50 miles with the end of a zebra-print rug squeezing him against the driver side door.

The sideboard is an estate sale find from 2003.  This lovely piece was discovered in the basement, dusty and neglected and bearing the weight of a rusty irreparable typewriter and boxes of junk.  I rescued it for $50 and after a thorough cleaning it was good to go.  There are scratches on the surface but it was the ideal piece to bring into my home and use as an entertainment unit.  In my second iteration of my living room design this piece remains, though it has been moved, and given a makeover of sorts 😉  It’s a durable classic piece that will outlive all the IKEA pieces in my home combined.

While I am on the topic, what have I learned about IKEA furniture?  Be ruthless.  When at the store test the floor models.  If a table is bolted to the floor suspect something.  Inspect the package when picking it up in the warehouse section of the store to make sure there is no visible damage or no holes where essential hardware may have fallen out.  When assembling, if a piece does not fit together with perfect snugness take it back.  I made the mistake of sympathizing with the $40 Lack coffee table (pictured) only for its wobbly legs to buckle tragically after only the lightest of roughousing between male houseguests.  Accept no imperfections from IKEA furniture, they only become glaringly obvious over time.  As to the behavior of your houseguests however, decide whether your living room will be used for afternoon bridge or WWE smackdowns, then invite accordingly.

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