Adulting 101: How To Buy Furniture Without Losing Your Mind Or Getting Divorced

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Just like that first trip you took to Home Depot voluntarily, nothing feels quite like adulting as much as buying something with a tag that says you’ll be arrested for removing. Whether you have good taste, bad taste or no taste (or you just aren’t sure either way), buying furniture is generally expensive, time-consuming and one of life’s major annoyances if you do it wrong. So, don’t do it wrong.

Two years ago, I got rid all of 99% of my furniture. My then fiancé (now husband) and I were moving into our first place together and it was time to cleanse myself of all things bachelorette. He also got rid of all of his furniture. Not because I mostly hated it, but because we were in the process of combining things like airline miles and sock drawers.

Here are the most important things I learned throughout the process.

Measure The Room, Measure The Furniture, Measure Your Head

This might be the most important tip. Buy a tape measure and figure out the dimensions of the room you plan on putting the furniture in. If you aren’t sure if something is going to be proportional, ask for a tear sheet, go home and measure. If you still aren’t sure if something is the right size, take masking tape (string and dental floss also work) and outline the pieces on the floor.

Ask Yourself How Long You Are Going To Use The Furniture For

Because we were buying quite a bit (and by that I mean literally everything), we decided that what made the most sense was to buy furniture I’d keep for five(ish) years. That seemed like an adequate time goal. While I am not sure my bedroom set will be in my bedroom for more than five years, I love it enough and it’s good enough quality to be relegated to my future guest room. If I change my overall décor style when I move, my current bedroom set can easily work.

If you are in a place in life where you aren’t sure how permanent your current home is, it’s not necessary to invest in expensive furniture that you probably have to sell or throw out later. But if you are truly adulting, aim for the space that is between crap and heirloom. That being said, if you buy nice things, you can always have them moved, NBD. 

Consider What You Are Going To Use Most

Things like couches are really important because you sit on them and probably choose the rest of your furniture around that one large piece. You sleep on a mattress every single night. You likely pass out and possibly drool on your throw pillows. On that note, my throw pillows were expensive and all I want to do two years later is throw them out. A coffee table that is too short will annoy you on the regular. Spend your time/money/energy where it counts.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fall In Love

If there is a piece of furniture or décor you really love—think about it like an outfit. You can buy the fancy designer version or you can buy the less expensive Forever21 version. The same applies to furniture. If you have a reasonable budget, you can probably find a version of it you can afford. You might just have to search a little, but it is possible. There are even knockoffs or as they call it in Furnitureland, “replicas.”

Ask Questions

Let’s say you find a piece you LOVE, but it’s not within your budget, ask someone working at the store when they are having a sale. Stores find ANY reason to have a sale—after Christmas, Arbor Day, National Donut Day, etc. Sure you might have to wait a few weeks, but it’s totally worth it. Also, find out if there are any floor models available.

The same goes for colors. If you see something you like but the color doesn’t work—it might be available in another color, even if you don’t see it right there.

Stores Want To Give You Financing

This is not a finance blog and I’m certainly not telling you to buy something you can’t afford, but let’s say you have some cash coming in and you can’t wait for a television stand--just finance it. Pretty much every furniture store, whether it’s a local store (Stu’s Furniture) or a major like Crate and Barrel offer financing, often at a lower rate for a specific time period. Don’t deprive yourself of something you really want if you can’t afford it upfront or rack up a ton of interest on your current card.

There are also other benefits of store credit cards including discounts, events, free shipping, etc. If you aren’t sure if a store offers financing, just ask. When I was deep into my furniture hunt, I noticed some stores had signs out while others did not.  

Remember It’s Not Forever

Two years into this furniture and I’m already thinking about what I will do next go-round.  

So Last Week...I Fly Like Paper, Get High Like Planes Edition

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What a week. Sorry if I’ve been a little MIA on the blog and social. I went to New York to see my mom for her birthday. It’s been fun, but I miss LA so much. I just want to go home and ignore everyone. But everyone knows that will most likely happen never. I've never needed a vacation so badly in my life. Does anyone want to send me on a press trip? Please? 

Here are a few links I found while 30,000(ish) above the ground or while having my patience tested completely by the TSA. Can someone please tell me why are drug sniffing dogs so darn cute?

My Domaine: IKEA Just Launched Its Most Un-IKEA Line Yet

WOW! None of these products from Ikea actually look like they are from Ikea. Get yourself to the place I have dubbed “Swedish Maze Hell” right now. Or just buy online. That’s probably easier.

The Mighty: Why I'm Coming Out About My Invisible Disability

Although my condition is far less severe, as someone with chronic debilitating lower back pain, I related a lot to this. It’s an important read.

The Village Voice: Just Say Julie

I am obsessed with Julie Klausner and her Hulu show Difficult People. She’s my redheaded spirit animal and a comedic genius. Don’t miss this interview with her and watch the show!

Architectural Digest: Carole Radziwill Gives AD A Tour Of Her SoHo Duplex

Carole Radziwill took her apartment from pad to palace. She is a Princess after all. You will want to steal her style hard. Your jaw will drop!

Bulletproof Blog: Why Coconut Oil is Better than Vegetable Oil

I feel like I’ve had this conversation with everyone I know. Can we just end this argument once and for all? Team Coconut Oil for life!

 

 

So Last Week...All Decor Edition

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Happy Sunday! I’ve had decor on my mind a lot lately. Part of it is because Ali and I have recorded several episodes of our podcast at my place. I love my apartment, but to be honest, it still feels 90% finished to me. Like I haven’t put the cherry on top of a delicious ice cream sundae. There are still a few projects I have left to do. Either way, it’s a rental, so I can’t make any major changes here, but I think I’ll find the time to get my space to 100% before the end of 2017.

But, no matter what state my home is in, I’m always obsessed with design. I just can’t resist looking at looking décor, furniture and renovation blogs. Here are some posts I came across this week. As always, they’re so last week, but totally worth your time.

York Avenue Blog: NYC Studio Apartment Home Tour

Jacqueline Clair has one of the most darling NYC studio apartments I’ve ever seen. She recently moved out and I’m hankering to see how she decorates her new place. Although my current apartment is a good size, her style and use of space continues to inspire me.

Design Indulgence: What To Buy At Ikea

Personally, I’m not the biggest Ikea shopper because the store is so large, I feel like I’m stuck in a Swedish maze of torture. Luckily, this post has some interesting ideas of what to buy there.

Becki Owens: Get The Look Las Palmas Master Bathroom

This bathroom is seriously #goals. Even if you aren’t renovating, check out the gorgeous accessory picks. I want everything!  

The Inspired Room: Tiny Bedroom Ideas

These are some great ideas to give a cozy space extra big style. If warm and inviting is what you like, then this is your post.

Style By Emily Henderson: How To Get That Effortless Expensive California Look On A Budget

If you are a fan of white wood floors, which is personally one on my favorite design elements, you will especially appreciate this post. Emily Henderson presents some beautiful and very affordable decorating ideas. She also talks budgets and keeps it real, which I just love and so relate to.

 

 

Pinterest This! My So-Called Bar Cart

In a previous post, I talked about an aspect of my living space that I didn’t like, which is my lack of closet space. But, there are so many things I love about my home, including my little bar cart corner. I love bar carts because they’re an easy, sophisticated way to decorate your space. They also serve a purpose, especially if you don’t have a ton of storage for bottles and glasses in your kitchen.

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If you’re wondering why I took off the wheels off (I guess its technically no longer a cart, oops) it’s because of Milo (big) and Lulu (little).

The bar tools and shaker are Preston by Ralph Lauren. There is an entire Preston line, which includes an ice bucket, a wine coaster and drink coasters. But, I only choose a few items because I’m not a fan of having absolutely everything matching. The ice bucket, decanter and glasses are all from Tiffany & Co, but different lines.

There are so many ways to style your bar cart, depending on your space, style and budget. If you're a wine drinker, your cart will look different than someone who is really into mixed drinks. Here are some of my favorite bar carts and accessories. Well, at least my favorite ones that I didn't buy. 

Wayfair: Loudon Chrome Serving Cart

This is similar to my CB2 cart, but less than half the price.

CB2: Elixir Mini Bar

If you prefer a cabinet to a cart, this midcentury modern mini bar is so stylish.

Anthropologie: Oscarine Lucite Bar Cart

The brass on this lucite cart pops, but if brass isn’t your thing, it’s also available in silver.

Apt 2B: Deepwell Bar Cart

If The Great Gatsby were a bar cart, this would be it. Obsessed with the rose gold detailing.

Crate and Barrel: Set of 12 Stemless Wine Glasses

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I use these glasses as my everyday drinking glasses, so they're not currently on the cart. They’re cheap, durable and dishwasher safe, so you can break them guilt-free.

Crate and Barrel: Nattie Champagne Glasses

Love these classic champagne glasses from Crate & Barrel. Like the stemless wine glasses, they're cheap. Read: good for the clumsy. 

Michael Aram Dogwood Napkin Holder

 

Napkins are really just disposable coasters.

Kate Spade Mask Bottle Opener

I love this bottle opener, but please don't ask me how it works. 

Dresses To Decor: Roberta Roller Rabbit Edition

Hello Bunnies! Welcome to Dresses To Décor, an ongoing series that explores labels with equally fabulous clothing and home lines. Today's post is about one of my favorite designers, Roberta Roller Rabbit. She is a D2D superstar because she uses many of the same prints for both. 

So, who is Roberta Roller Rabbit? It’s #GirlBoss Roberta Freymann, who started the company in 2003. The bunny branding was inspired by a scrap of fabric she found in India. Every single garment they make is unique because the fabric is printed from wood blocks that were hand-carved in India. It's even more artisanal than craft brewed beer. From dresses (or kurtas) to duvets and dog beds, this bunny teaches us to never underestimate the power of the print.

Naolin

The Naolin Inez dress is fabulous on its own, but can also be layered all year round. For a boho look in the winter, wear it underneath a thick white sweater. In the spring and fall, chic up your Inez with a denim jacket. It even works as a swimsuit coverup in the summer. 

Naolin also looks beautiful in any bedroom, as a focal point with this bedding set or as an accent with pillows. Just don't fall asleep in your dress. That's Naolin overload!

Jemina

Jemina is a vibrant print available in several colors including pink, blue, and red. I love the Jemina kurta! If you aren't familiar with kurtas (no judgement, I had no idea what they were until last week), they are a traditional Indian style tunic top made of a loose, breathable cotton. 

The Jemina quilt can dress up a plain couch and make those Netflix binges so comfortable, your SmartTv will probably ask if you are still watching. (On that note, does anyone else feel like they're being judged when that happens?) As with the rest of these prints, an accent pillow is available incase you don't want to go full-on Jemina. 

Monkey

Throw a jungle party and have the whole family monkey around in matching pajamas for men, women, children and even babies. A classic Roberta Roller Rabbit print, Monkey is fun and whimsical. 

For your youngest guests, the monkey sleepover bag is perfect for camping inside and an easier alternative to an air mattress (I always have a panic attack trying to seal those things up after removing the pump) or trundle bed (have you ever tried to pop up one of those things without needing to see a chiropractor the next day?).

But don't let your furry friends feel left out. Puppy or kitty will delightfully pass out on this crate liner, which you could probably use as a regular pet bed. Seriously, if my bulldog didn't have a tendency to pee on them, this picture would be of my living room.

Amanda

How could I fail to mention my namesake print? I'm all about this super stylish kimono. I also love the Bondi Beach Bag. Not just because it's cute, but because it's machine washable. If you frequently read this blog, you know anything that is machine washable gets extra bonus points.

You can also Amandafy your tabletop with these fun placemats and cloth napkins.

Chasca

Chasca feels like chevron 2.0 to me. A year-round print, you can wear the wool scarf to brighten up a winter white coat, or maximize your comfort with this fab maxi dress in the summer. 

Chasca can also transform a monochromatic bedroom with a matching duvet and pillow case set. Then you can accessorize the room in a variety of color choices. The possibilities to have lots of colorful things that will ultimately collect dust are endless. 

Furniture

Roberta Roller Rabbit has some of the most unique furniture I've ever seen. When I looked at the collection in person at their store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, my jaw literally dropped and I told my mother who was shopping with me, to take notes. 

With its eclectic style, featuring crossed stainless steel legs and a mother-of-pearl top, the writing desk is absolutely my favorite piece in the collection. Add an antique mirror and it can transform into a vanity. 

The beside table can also be a couchside table, or accent table. Don't let labels be limiting, it looks beautiful anywhere in your home.

The nesting table set is a unique addition to a traditional living room. Because it's a set of two tables, you can use them separately, making this a more cost-affective purchase (or a good way to justify buying it).