No Excuses Allowed!!



I’ve said the same thing so many times on The Skirted Roundtable that Megan and Linda both groan and say “not again”  whenever I bring the subject up.  But it’s true:   The IKEA slipcovered sofa is the best deal out there!!   There are SO many great looking design options today for those just starting out or for those just starting over.    I only wish I had had all these choices when I was decorating my first apartment – some thirty-five years ago.  Maybe then my apartment wouldn’t have looked like this:




OK, quit laughing!!!!  This was a loooooong time ago and I was a poor, single, 20-something secretary.  I wrote about my gorgeous space HERE if you want to really crack yourself up.   This picture makes me want to cry actually.   As you can see, I could have used  those IKEA sofas.   In truth, back then I desperately wanted white love seats – but no one made slipcovers in the 70s, and keeping white sofas clean is impossible unless they are slipped.  So, I settled for the next best thing – cream colored sofas in some type of hideous stain resistant fabric that felt like Velcro!! 

Which is why I say it over and over again until Megan and Linda want to slug me or gag me:  if I was starting out today, or if I was furnishing a vacation house, I would run to IKEA and buy their slipcovered sofa in white – for $399.    I’ve spent more out on a dinner at a nice place, and we all know where that money ends up – in the toilet!    Instead of spending $399.00 on a fancy meal or a dress you might wear once or twice, you could own a decent, long wearing sofa, with a white cotton slipcover, no less!   There is just no excuse anymore for not having a good looking home because today, there are so many cost friendly choices available.



$399 IKEA sofa, slipcovered in white cotton.  Of course, it also comes in different colors – like black, navy blue, and my new favorite – gray!  The other colors are a little more expensive at $499.00 – but still, that is dirt cheap.




BEMZ:   Ready-made slipcovers for IKEA sofas


Since I am so in love with the IKEA slipcovered sofa, I was thrilled to get a press release from Bemz, the company who make ready made slipcovers for IKEA furniture.    Bemz has recently come out with a new line of Belgian linen fabric slips, which they call their “Loose Fit Country” line.   Bemz is a located in Sweden, but shipping is only $20.00 to the United States.     Prices for the regular Bemz slipcovers are less than the new Belgian linen, but at $482, for a three seater sofa, you can up the quality of your IKEA sofa tremendously.    I love the look of the Bemz slipcover with the hems slightly draping on the floor.  And nothing beats 100% Belgian linen for beauty.  




This IKEA dining room chair is only $79.99 and is another candidate for a Bemz slipcover in the white Belgian linen.




These Bemz linen slips are $122.   All of the Bemz Belgian linen slips come in white, linen, brown, and gray options.  




This Bemz slipcover is softly pleated – another option.



What else is looking good these days at IKEA?    For just $299.00,  I noticed they FINALLY came out with a chaise without an arm!   Wouldn’t two of these be great looking, flanking a big stone fireplace in a cabin on a lake????  






For $349 – I love it in the gray.  I would mix the gray slips with the white slips, especially since the fabrics are solid.   The gray slips would look especially great in a room painted dark gray on the walls with white painted floors.





IKEA:  Just $99.00  in white, $149. in other colors.   You could pair two of these to make a great coffee table - or you could even do them in another color – like the gray for a contrast with the white sofa, or the navy blue if you were designing a beach house. 




Here is IKEA’s version of the white slipcovers mixed with the gray.  And notice the gray walls and the great sheer gray curtains.  




Real Life:  One of my favorite bloggers, Holly from Life in the Fun Lane, bought her IKEA sectional on Craig’s List for just  a song.   I love her house – all dark, dark hardwoods and everything else is white!!!





 More Real Life:  The IKEA slipped ottoman.  From Pink and Polka Dot blog HERE.



More Real Life:  The Style Sisters blog HERE with a red slipped Ikea sofa and the matching chair in blue and white stripes.  So cute!!!




More Real Life:  Just Beachy, HERE,  another favorite blog of mine, recently updated her IKEA sofa with a new slip from IKEA. 




When I wrote about gray wicker, style icon Jill Brinson left a comment saying she bought 3 car loads of the gray wicker at IKEA!   For just $59, I would do the same thing – this basket is fabulous.   Again, two of these would make great coffee tables or – you could stack them up a wall, put them underneath a console, use them in front of beds,  or have cushions made for the tops of them.   They are almost 20” tall! 





These baskets from IKEA are just $16.00, but they are also large at 17” x 21”.    I would fill up bookcases with these, use them in bathrooms, on tables, on top or underneath consoles – the uses are endless, and they are so great looking and soooo cheap and soooo gray!!!!    





These IKEA lanterns come in two sizes, large for $14.99 at 17” and smaller for $6.99.    These would be great electrified and used over a kitchen island, flanking sinks and mirrors, on top of consoles and coffee tables, and used indoors and out.





IKEA:  18” of great design for only $2.99.  I would bring these inside and use in pairs. 



For $299., I would add a genuine cowhide layered over seagrass.   Great price, of course – but in the Sunday paper, they said these are on sale for $99!!!!!!  Check this out before you go though.



A quick check of other catalogues shows a few new items with great looks, and cheap prices.  Now, for sure, Wisteria is much more expensive than IKEA, but their prices are still very affordable compared to what the stores charge.   This new item has great appeal  - trendy nail heads, love the arms, and at $1,149.00 – the price is still great. 





I LOVE this accent chair with the Suzani upholstery.   At $600 from Wisteria – the fabric alone is worth the price.





Wisteria:   This is a huge mirror, at 44"w  x 75.4"h.   Just $449.00.   If this price is out of your range, just wait.  Wisteria always has the best sales.  Even at regular price, this is a lot of look for the money.



Another Wisteria look – love this striped dhurri in apple green!  Refreshing change from the usual blue and white.  Starts at $499.  I would layer the smaller size over seagrass.  This sofa is a great look too – love it’s scalloped back and tall arms. 




Real life examples showing Wisteria bought products – here Trish from the beautiful blog Trouvais pairs the Wisteria zinc altar with a cloche and the Wisteria book boxes.   Trish is such a great stylist – everything here looks antique as opposed to coming from a catalogue.   The cross shadow box is $79 and the book box is $44 and $49.   Wisteria also sell the cloches.  



Here Trish from Trouvais shows the Wisteria sunburst mirror she bought sitting on top of a signed, 18th century settee she found.  I love her concrete balls too!!  Trish actually applied some gold paint to the mirror to make it more gilded.   Wisteria $149.  



More real life Wisteria:  in my daughter’s bedroom, I used the Wisteria chaise longue - $1,119.00, which I had slipcovered in white linen.  It comes in a natural linen.   Also, I used Wisteria’s blue book boxes on the table (Found for the Home).    I love the book boxes – they are so functional for hiding small things in!! 





Real Life Wisteria:  my favorite buy ever.  About five years ago I bought this set of two chairs and one table from Wisteria for the back yard.   They still sell it for $249!  




This month’s House Beautiful showed a room designed by Jim Howard.   I love the bobbin chair, but they are usually so expensive.  Until now….


Check out Wisteria’s bobbin chair, in black!   WOW!   Just $599.00 – not bad for such an attractive accent chair.  




And finally, after I chastised Pottery Barn for not getting with the gray wicker program, I noticed this great looking office chair!  Granted, it’s not in the trendy gray, but still – it’s sooooo cute!!!!   Totally adorable!!!   And only $399.00 – which is a great price for a functioning swivel with up and down lever.

Coming this week – a giveaway to end all giveaways.  I promise you!!!!!! 

And please check out our latest interview with Diane Dorrans Saeks on The Skirted Roundtable, HERE.

Cote de Texas at the Decorative Center Tuesday


Yes, you heard that correctly.   This Tuesday,  I will be part of a panel discussion on the Evolution of Design presented by The Editor At Large in conjunction with the Decorative Center of Houston’s Spring Market 2010.  Whew, that’s a mouthful.    Also on the panel will be Ronda Carman of All The Best blog, Jillian St. Charles of HGTV fame, and Brad Ford, interior designer extraordinaire who also writes the blog Design Therapy.

The event will be held at the Decorative Center on Woodway on Tuesday April 27, at 3:00 p.m.   Veranda magazine is also hosting an event that morning at 10:30 am.   Both events are open to the public.

So…….if you would like to come here me discuss the Evolution of Design and how it ties in with the internet and blogging, please come!   The event will take place in the ground floor Gallery.    I’m looking forward to meeting you!

p.s. If you don’t know what I look like,  I’ll be the girl on the panel with the I.V. drip of Valium hanging from my veins!!!!   Yes, to say I am just a tad bit nervous about this is a huge understatement.  It sounded like a great idea six months ago.  YIKES!!