Moodboard: Living Room

You’d think that I’d have more restraint when it comes to totally redecorating Boyfriend’s condo, seeing as I do not own it and am merely providing the pleasure of my company when it comes to monthly renumeration, but no. Within 6 months of dating I’d talked him into painting his bedroom dark gray, painting the full bathroom blue, and investing in a mattress pad and duvet set. I’m also responsible for every framed piece of art on the walls upstairs (though I was magnanimous enough to let him decide what he wanted). Since moving in I’ve relocated the leather sofa from the living room to the den downstairs, replaced it with my dark gray Karlstad, bought us a new coffee table, swapped out the living room light fixture for a dark gray drum pendant light, changed his dining room entirely using my dad’s old drafting table, and have added and subtracted about a million different tchotchkes and pieces, including a black and white striped rug by the front door that Fitz promptly ate.

But my giving does not stop there.

For the past few weeks I’ve been on a serious rug-kick. Our entire upstairs is open plan, meaning there is virtually no separation between living room and dining room and kitchen. Also, all the walls are tan, but I’ve succeeded in convincing Boyfriend to let me paint the 3 walls in the living room bright white (white!). While the pendant light changed up the room significantly by playing with the height of the whole space (the ceilings are 14′), I’ve been looking for something to really anchor the living room and make it feel like it’s own space. Thus, rug shopping.

It took me two weeks, but I found a contender that met all of our requirements: low pile (because I live with someone who is tactically defensive and the feeling of shag rugs makes his skin crawl), dark (because our black dog sheds like his hair follicles are watching Richard Simmons workout videos), durable (because I’m sorry, have I not introduced you to Fitz, the Supreme Chewer of All The Things?), and was not an inordinate amount of money. There is a good chance that despite our best efforts at dog-parenting, the lunatic will still find a way to chew through the rug, and I didn’t want to give him a $600 chew toy. Also? I love a good bargain hunt.

Enter: this black jute rug. It checked all the boxes on our list and it was only $140 (obviously I had a coupon). For visual reference, here’s a moodboard I threw together:

1. Chair and Ottoman / 2. Pillow / 3. Drum Pendant Light / 4. Rug / 5. IKEA Sofa

I mean, voila, right? WRONG.

Because I am an idiot and ordered the wrong size rug by about 3 feet. In my haste to finalize the transaction yesterday, I inadvertently bought an 8′ x 11′, when we needed a 6′ x 9′. And no, the $100 price increase didn’t even clue me in. So when I got a shipping confirmation email last night after work, it dawned on me that maybe 8′ x 11′ was too big. I broke out a tape measurer to double-check and sure enough, unless I was intending to carpet the entire living room and cover our floor vent in the corner, I’d messed up. And it was saying it was non-returnable.

Here’s why I love Overstock, though: not only is shipping on everything $2.95 (assuming they aren’t running one of their frequent free-shipping offers) and everything ships lightening fast (I ordered it yesterday and it will be here tomorrow), but when I called to explain my error the sweet woman on the phone told me that once it arrives all I have to do is call for a return label and they’ll cover the return shipping. Whew. I went ahead and ordered the correct size right after that call, meaning yesterday I spent $400 on rugs. Oy.

Now about that chair and ottoman. No, I don’t own them (yet), but I am seriously talking myself into them. Right now we have a leather chair and ottoman that match the leather sofa we moved to the downstairs den, and there’s nothing wrong with it other than the fact that Fitz’s nails are leaving noticeable scratches, and you sort of slide out of it if you try to recline. Plus, do I need an excuse to bring that sexy chair into my house? No, I didn’t think so.

14 thoughts on “Moodboard: Living Room

  1. I have to say that the pillow throws me (get it? har har), but other than that, I lurve everything else about that room. I can totally see myself sitting in it drinking my #10 and tonic or my Campari and Blood Orange soda and chatting with you about our favorite movies. I really think you need the chair. I mean, it’s like a pop of color instead of a neutral amidst all that steely gray. Go for it. And now I think *I* need the rug for *my* living room, which needs its own pop of black. Hmm.

    1. Ooh, go for the rug! Or if you don’t, you could always come visit mine and maybe stop for a cocktail or two (or 5) and a movie marathon. I am definitely going to buy some #10 this weekend! You’d convinced me :)

      I’m working hard to convince myself and J that the chair is a good idea. Otherwise we’re going to be swimming in a sea of black and gray. The real deterrent isn’t the price, it’s the dog! xo

  2. We ARE sisters, see? Here’s why: I’ve only lived with my bf for six months and I have taken over. We can’t repaint as it’s rented but I have moved almost everything and even better I’ve managed to persuade him to get rid of most of his stuff. And don’t think I didn’t employ the crying tactic. Because I did. Oh and we have a combined kitchen/diner/sitting room too. And we are looking for a new rug too. See? sisters!

    We are thinking about this one. what do you think? My mum says it’s too floral. I think it’s ok as long as we buy nothing floral to go with it. would appreciate comments?

    And Lauren please can I have a campari and blood orange soda? That’s liek the most Amalfi drink I can imagine x

    PS little chicken I may be near Zara home tonight so remind what it is that you wanted?

    1. Sisters! While I haven’t persuaded J to get rid of anything (just relocate) and I haven’t tried the crying tactic (though if I have to live with tan walls forever I might actually cry real tears), we are very similar. Thankfully, he is extremely receptive to all the changes I’ve implemented and always likes how things turn out in the end. He always says, “You’re the designer, I trust you!” But he’s so left-brained that by default I’m a better designer than he is, haha.

      I actually really, really love that rug. If you paired it with a lot of masculine and industrial elements it could work really well without being to floral and girly. Maybe a raw wood coffee table or something? I love that. Nice find!

      I have a vision of us all sprawled out on lounge chairs in Amalfi now drinking cocktails. Ahh, thanks for that :)

      Zara Home! Not that I’d ask you, but if you happen to be wandering around the store and you find this gold fish candle, well, you know, I’ll totally pay you back for it. ;) xoxo

  3. Very sleek living room, I like! Still love your Zara home pillow and it looks great on the chair. It looks so comfortable and would make a perfect spot for chilling with your feet on the ottoman…

    annie, love the rug! But it’s one of the pieces that would not get my husbands approval ;)

    1. Thanks, Nina! I just plopped the pillow on the sofa today, after I vacuumed the entire living room last night including the whole sofa, cushions and all. Too. Much. Dog hair. It’s a curse! I think I’m going to have to be super vigilant about making sure that pillow stays clean!

      Haha, I can understand why P might not like that rug! Maybe you could put it in the room with the butterfly cord pulls ;)

  4. You do make me laugh Erin, good job your little pooch cannot understand what you say otherwise he could get an inferiority complex !

    I like the rug, the Zara cushion zhushes your scheme up a bit, very nice. Can you show us some photos of the art you’ve hung please? tres interested in that.

    Den gave up a long time ago trying to have a say in what comes into our house, I applaud myself on how well I’ve moulded him x

    1. Oh, on the contrary! If Fitz could understand me I think he’d be so pleased with himself, haha. Go figure!

      Once I have the living room painted and the way I want it (which could be a while) I’ll do a full reveal and show you some goodies. In the meantime I’ll be drooling over your house photos. Seriously so in love with your whole house. I give you great credit for whipping Den into submission on all things design related! Teach me your methods! xoxo

    1. Just tan, I think! Or “natural” as the case may be. The right rug will be here tomorrow (Friday)!

  5. Oh, thanks for putting that little mood board together for us. I’m such a visual person, it was a tremendous help. I love that chair and ottoman, and how the whole room is coming together. Like Lauren said, it’s just the pop of light your gray needs. Though, I thought I saw a tweet where BF warns you not to buy it. Oh, there, I see it down below in recent tweets. ;) So what’s the final verdict?
    I like your advice to Annie…Pair that rug with some masculine pieces. I love the rug, Annie! Must admit, when I read “floral rug” I was a little scared. But it’s a graphic floral and so pretty.
    Erin, I’m thinking you could do more of these room mood boards. I like. ;)

    1. Haha, yeah that Recent Tweets widget is helpful, no? I think I have him partially convinced, once he looked at it online he agreed that it was really nice and I think the moodboard above helped sway him a little bit. He’s just concerned about buying something so expensive without getting to sit in it first (totally fair). So final verdict is we’re still deciding!
      That rug is a really great find, Annie! Floral rug conjures up a totally different image in my head.
      I like the idea of doing more mood boards! They’re really fun to cook up. xo

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