Shopping & Thrifting

Outdoor Sofa Searching

The combination of all this nice weather and hosting Clara’s party outside have us back on The Outdoor Update Train. Chugga chugga, baby. Just picture me wearing spit-up-stained overalls with a striped hat to shade my mom-to-an-adorable-baby-who-wakes-up-all-night eyes. It’s particularly exciting because we worked for a few months last year to renovate the sunroom by ripping up the old carpet, removing the old broken doors, lofting the ceiling, getting some electrical work done, installing a plank ceiling, hanging two fans, and tiling the floor. There’s currently a daybed out there (an indoor daybed from West Elm, which has no long-term business being outside) along with an ancient Ikea coffee table. And two of our dining room chairs haven’t made it back inside since the birthday party.

We stole those two chairs, plus four of their brethren from the dining room for extra party seating (they’re outdoor chairs from Target) – and seeing the space filled up with all that temporary/borrowed/mismatched furniture really got us craving some more permanent pieces out there. And so the hunt for an outdoor sofa began.

We figured that buying the biggest piece first would help us determine what other items we’ll need to fill things out. And since we already have a dining table with an umbrella on the deck, we thought a cushy lounge area in the shade of the sunroom-turned-veranda was in order. We knew we wanted that woven wicker look over something wooden or metal (we both fell hard for the Arhaus furniture at the showhouse, but it was more than we wanted to spend). We also wanted Sunbrella fabric, which we hear is super durable and long-lasting, so here are a few of the things we checked out:

1.  We liked the look of this sofa from Crate & Barrel, but we heard from a few friends with similar sofas that two-piece or three-piece bases can drift apart, so we’d rather have a sofa that’s all one piece. We did like that it came with Sunbrella fabric, and we appreciated that it was on sale, although it was still $2,222.

2. This Pottery Barn couch looked amazing to us. So luxe and cushy. When we first saw it, it was selling for around $2,000 I think – but it was $399 more to upgrade to Sunbrella fabric – and now it’s no longer available. Womp.

3. This is another Pottery Barn option that’s still available, but the $1,400 version (pictured above) is more of a loveseat. Our space would need the larger $1,800 option, but neither of them came with Sunbrella fabric, which was an additional upcharge of $300+.

4. We saw this one on Amazon for $489 (so much cheaper than the others!) with a really promising 4.5 star rating. I excitedly read about how much people loved it… but then I discovered the one star reviews from people who had theirs for more than one season. Apparently the wicker fell apart after one summer of use for a number of people. Another womp.

5. We’ve seen this baby from Restoration Hardware in the showroom and it’s gorgeous! But the fact that it’s sold without any cushions (it’s $1500 for the wicker part and an additional $555 for the Sunbrella cushions) was kind of a bummer.

6. We had also been eying this one from Home Depot since hearing awesome things about the brand (Brown Jordan) having a really well made product. It comes with a 15 year frame warranty, a 5 year fabric warranty, and free white-glove shipping (they carry it wherever you want it and unwrap it/place it for you). We also appreciated the $1,399 price tag and the fact that it comes standard with Sunbrella fabric.

While on our little sofa hunt, we also checked places like Craigslist, Joss & Main, Overstock, Hayneedle, and Wayfair but didn’t see anything we liked as much. We really appreciated being able to see as many of our options in person as we could – just to make sure they were comfortable, not too low to the ground, and the fabric wasn’t scratchy. In fact, when we stumbled upon a floor model of the Home Depot/Brown Jordan option (technically it was the chair from that set) it pushed us over the edge. It was comfortable and it looked great in person. Boom, this guy was on his way to our house:

Although the price is nothing to sneeze at, we hope that it’ll be a nice long-lasting choice for us, which is the goal with the sunroom (there’s no Phase 2 out there). Its arrival should be the kick-start to some other updates that we’ve meaning to get going on back there, like making a coffee table, installing some sconces for lighting/ambiance, adding an outdoor-friendly table to fill out the other side of the space, and introducing some finishing touches (potted plants, side tables, etc).

Until then, you can find me standing in the driveway holding an adorable baby and waiting for the delivery truck. Really, I need to calm down.



Hall Bathroom Happenings

The upstairs hall bathroom has pretty much been ignored for the past nine months, other than hanging a shower curtain after we moved in and occasionally cleaning the toilet. But these builder basic mirrors have been on our hit list from day one.

It took us nearly two years to get around to updating the one in our last hall bathroom by framing it out, so we weren’t about to let these go as long.

Sherry has been on the lookout for something with a more interesting shape (round? quatrefoil? Eminem’s face?) so framing these out wasn’t our plan this time. Instead, we glanced at whatever mirrors were around when we dropped in on thrift stores or places like HomeGoods and Ikea. We managed to find one for our master bathroom pretty quickly, but this room took a bit longer – especially since we needed two matching ones. We finally found two of these at HomeGoods (update: they were $69 each). Clara gave them two thumbs up and a ringing endorsement, saying “I like it because it’s like a shiny necklace!”

Installing the mirrors was easier than fiddling with one of those tiny necklace claspy things that you ladies seem to have mastered (those are an enigma to me). Down came the old mirror by unscrewing the top mirror clips and carefully sliding it out of place.

The mirrors had two D-hooks on the back, so in order to hang them I did three things:

  1. I used tape to temporarily mark on the side of the mirror where my screw would need to sit on the back
  2. I measured the distance from the edge to the D-hook
  3. I measured the distance between the two D-hooks

I held the first mirror in place while Sherry directed me so it was centered and not too low or too high. Then she marked the wall where my tape indicated while I continued to hold it in place. Of course, the screw was inset a bit from the edge, which is where my first measurement came in handy – allowing me to scoot my mark in to the correct spot to catch the D-ring.

I used a yardstick/level combo to mark where the other screw needed to go. The level made sure it was at the same height as my first mark, and the yardstick helped me get it exactly where it needed to be, based on my other initial measurement.

Then it was just an anchor and a screw into the wall in each spot and I was all set. Well, that and I had to repeat those steps for the second mirror, making sure it was centered and at the same height from the countertop.

One thing I appreciate about the mirrors we chose is that although they look like they’re super heavy and made of metal, they’re pretty light and it’s just the paint that makes them look like that (I think they’re really made of plaster or wood).

The last step was slipping those D-hooks on the back of the mirror over the screws and our mirrors were officially “installed.” Clara was convinced the update was just for her, since her favorite pastime as of late is playing in the sink (someone is very ready for spring so we can break out her water table again).

Although there’s plenty more to be done in this room (new lights, new faucets, non shell-shaped sinks, a new tile job down the line, perhaps an entirely tiled wall behind the mirrors someday?) the mirrors are a nice step forward.

It’s as if Clara never noticed the old mirrors were there, but now that they’re gold and necklace-y, our little magpie keeps getting distracted by her own reflection.

Is anyone else updating their bathroom mirrors? Or catching their offspring enjoying their own reflection a little too much? If you scroll back two pictures does it look like a cartoony face to you? The lights are the eyes, and the mirror is the mouth. Kinda fitting for a kids room… although those lights still have to go eventually.