Friday, July 29, 2011

Sectionals - What's the Big Deal?

I am just going to come out and say it, I am not a fan of sectional sofas. I just don't get it. Most of them are pretty unattractive and they really don't give you as much seating as you think. When people sit in a living room together they usually do not sit next to each other. Sectionals make for a really awkward conversation layout. It is very uncomfortable to talk to someone who is sitting parallel with you.

Also, no one sits in the corner of the sectional unless their kids or your watching TV. You have to sit further back and your legs don't fit comfortably. So really, a sectional only seats three people. Two on the long side and one on the short. Unless of course you have one of those sectionals with a chaise on the end and then no one is going to sit there either. Those are for reclining and watching TV and your guests usually don't feel comfortable just kicking back on your chaise while you chew the fat.

This is why I believe a sofa and a couple chairs is a much better option. Unless it is a family room or den where the main function of the room is to watch TV with your family. But if this the room that you also receive guests in, I say nix the sectional.

Here is an example of a furniture plan, one with the sectional and one without. 

Here you can see the room with a very large sectional. But really, only three people are probably going to sit on it at one time unless they're kids or a family watching TV together. The corner and the end are too deep to sit and talk with guests and 4 people are not going to sit all in a row on that long side. There is some room to add a couple chairs because this a very large room so that puts the conversation seat count at 5. The focus of this layout is TV viewing.

Here is the same room with a sofa instead of the sectional. Now even though it's a three seater sofa, there will probably only be two people sitting on it at once because no one likes to sit in the middle of a sofa. It's just awkward  for conversation and American's really like their personal space. So, with the three chairs this room also has seating for 5. This layout is better for conversation without losing the TV viewing value. It's not as good for TV watching as the sectional but I think it's better to have a more dual function room. 

I will admit that there are some good looking sectionals out there. Here are some pretty good looking rooms with sectionals. I just personally prefer a sofa. 

I prefer a sofa with a couple chairs. It could be because of my phobia of being too close to people, I like my personal space. When visiting with a friend I would much rather sit in my own chair than on a sofa with someone!

Oh I love this! There are so many chairs, you can have six people over and everyone gets their own piece of furniture!

What's your opinion on sectionals? Do you like sitting close to everyone? 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"What Were They Thinking Thursday!!??" - Crafts Gone Bad

Raise your hand if you have a glue gun at home. I've got a few and I love to get crafty every now and then. There is something very relaxing about working with your hands and creating something from scratch. I've made some really cool things and some really horrible things too. Not every thing comes out looking the way it did in my head and sometimes it was just a bad idea in the first place.

There is a place for craft projects in your home. They can be a great way to get the look of something more expensive by being creative with your materials and using a little elbow grease. However, there's also a point where things become too "crafty". You don't want every thing hanging on the wall being some form of craft project you attempted. You need to mix in some other pieces as well. Same goes for furniture. One hand-painted design on a bench can be cute, but don't paint birds on everything!

Before beginning a craft project, there are two questions you should ask yourself. 1. Is this REALLY a good idea. 2. Can I REALLY accomplish this successfully?

Here are some craft projects gone bad:

Upside down plants covered in fabric? This project was not a good idea.

Kinda cute if it's a kid's craft for Christmas but a little cheesy if it's not made by the kids. 

This is a really great idea that was just executed poorly. The pictures look great but the placement is bad. Needs to be re-hung. 

Do you paint birds on things? This could be cute but the colors are all wrong and the execution isn't great. Not a very good paint job on those branches.

Mirrored hearth? This looks terrible! Especially with that brick, it's very obvious someone was trying to "dress up" their fireplace on their own. This is a bad idea and bad execution.

What in the world are these people thinking? Gluing every bead and marble found in your house to the wall is a very bad idea.

This is just ugly, bad idea.

Here's a better idea for a craft project with those books.

Do not cover your fridge in paper. This is bad idea. It looks super "crafty" and only draws even more attention to the ugly fridge.

A better idea is the make the fridge a message board with chalkboard paint.

Hmmm, this could be a cute idea to hang a wreath in a frame, but the execution is done poorly.

This is a creative idea but super bad execution. This just looks like a bunch of trash piled up on the ceiling!

Now here are a couple really great craft projects that were both great ideas and great execution:

Bathroom storage solution from mason jars. 

Really cool DIY art piece. 

I love this globe painted in chalkboard paint. This could be a great learning tool for your kids to teach them countries!

Simply wrapping fabric around a canvas is a great idea but the execution needs to be spot on. It needs to be wrapped tightly with no wrinkles and the fabric needs to be lined up really straight.

Framing fabric in simple frames is another easy DIY wall art project.

So what about you? Have you had any craft projects gone bad? I know I have! I once tried to repaint a chair and it just came out looking terrible. All kinds of drip marks and brush marks. I am not good at painting furniture and I've learned to accept that.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Are you watching???

I just watched HGTV's new show Home by Novogratz for the first time last night and loved it! I love how crazy and funky the Novogratz designs are. I never watched their show on Bravo so I really didn't even know much about them.

Cortney and Robert Novogratz are a husband wife duo design team with some really creative designs. Their show on Bravo was called 9 By Design because not only are they fabulous designers but they also have 7 children! That's right, I said 7! Wow!

Ok, let's check out some of their work:

First up, their home in NYC. They completely gutted this place and it turned it into a really cool family home. 

With seven kids, I am sure this room gets a lot of use!

And now a look at their country home:

I love how bright and cheery their designs are. It just makes me happy!

Here's a look at some rooms from the new show on HGTV, Home by Novogratz:

These first 3 pictures are from an episode about two sisters who love to surf and recently bought a beach house that needed some major design attention.

I love the girly striped staircase

Next up is a family beach condo in Long Beach, NJ:

Love the graphic carpet tiles and those cage chairs! Not to mention that family light box art. 

Here's the boys' room. The beds are actually covered in duct tape. I think this is such a creative idea to dress up boring furniture. The boys thought it was the coolest thing!

 This girls room. I love the shiny curtain for art behind the bed and that chair is just crazy!

 And then we get to the parent's room. As much as I love the Novogratz, this room looks like a huge miss to me. First up, the yellow carpet and yellow walls is way to much. I get that they are trying to make it fun and bright but in the words of Vern Yip, this is a color that you can see through your eyelids.  Also, those lamps and blanket look bad and that bed doesn't go at all. The neon sign looks tacky with the rest of the furniture. Nothing goes at all, even for an eclectic space, not to mention the mirror on the ceiling....seriously?

What do you think?