Living Room, 5 years In!

I’ve realized lately that I tend to blog about a room once it’s renovated, and then I kind of move on. I guess I feel like…how many times does anyone possibly want to look at the same room, just a little altered from last time we looked at the room? I never feel like a room is finished because I move stuff around ALL THE DAMN TIME for shits and giggles, and then posting about it feels so…self-indulgent? Unimportant? And then years go by and the room actually does look TOTALLY different than it did before, and then I feel a little regretful that entire iterations of the space have gone undocumented in the meantime. The public must know. For the purpose of…I don’t know, this is a blog and that is what we do here.

Which leads us to my living room, which regularly ends up as the victim of my late-night puttering. And the last time I felt inclined to write a blog post about it was OVER THREE YEARS AGO! Oopsie! We have some catching up to do!

Back when I bought the house, the living room looked like this!

A couple years later, it looked like this! Let’s take a moment to appreciate and mourn the extreme cuteness and specialness that was Linus. I miss that dog so fucking much.

Today, it’s more like this! I didn’t consult my old pictures before taking new pictures, so APOLOGIES for the inconsistent angles. I didn’t ask Mekko (or Linus, who did not take direction) to pose for pictures—she does that on her own free will—so, I don’t know, do we feel weirded out she chose the same spot? It’s like she…is trying to tell me…something. (She isn’t; she’s a dog.)

So some things have changed and some have not changed. My dumb little bench is still my coffee table, which really just goes to show how utterly impossible it is to find a good coffee table. I MEAN MY GOD. All the ones that are right in most ways are still so wrong in other ways I fear I will die before the culture at large figures this mess out.

I got that painting a couple weeks ago from a local consignment place. I had this idea that I’d paint the frame but instead I got home and immediately just put it up and so far have not addressed it further. It appears to be signed S. Eagle in the bottom right corner. Seagull?

Also, the sofa is new! And by new, I mean no longer really new, but I guess making its big blog debut? Just in time for me to WANT IT OUT OF MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW? Fancy that! So this is the IKEA NOCKEBY 3-seater, which I found in the As-Is section at IKEA around 3 years ago for something stupid, like $200. I didn’t like the legs so I swapped them for these Pretty Pegs, which this couch isn’t really made to do but I made it work. I’ll spare you the DIY tutorial but it involves extra screws and additional support and it’s just not that interesting. Anyway. The NOCKEBY is in most ways a good sofa, but I’m not allowed to own a sofa that isn’t going to also serve as a luxury dog bed. This sofa has a limited selection of slipcovers, and this one (which may now be discontinued?) is TERRIBLE when forced to interact with either dog hair or dog nails. TERRIBLE. Of course it can be taken off and washed, but with IKEA couches that’s actually kind of a production, and it doesn’t wash well, and I just do not like it at all.

This lead me to purchasing a SECOND, DIFFERENT slipcover, which had a tighter weave, and that was SOMEHOW EVEN WORSE. After trying every stain removal method I could imagine, I could never get the thing clean and I eventually threw it away.

SO now I’m at this dumb crossroads of either buying yet another slipcover ($$) for this so-so cheap sofa I performed some light hackery on, or getting this menace out of my life and buying a new leather sofa ($$$). I suppose I could also just put the original black/chrome sofa back, since I still have it, and it IS leather, but I didn’t like it in here either so I’m not sure that’s an improvement.

I think I just need a different sofa.

Let me think about it for another three to five years.

The rug is also new! But not new-new. I got it at auction and I like it! The colors and the pattern are so bright and bold and fun. Which is also me saying: I have not taken the time to learn anything about the origins of this rug, but it is a nice rug that was $300 and the main color is mustard and I’m into it.

2013! Those walls were wild, man.


So this looks like that now, you get it. More stuff on the mantel. Less big scary lady. Bertoia wire chair from yore still hangin out.

Ya know, I feel like I pulled this faux fireplace project off.

The arts above the fireplace are by Gregory Gummersall. On the mantel are stuff and things. We have vintage studio pottery. We have my dead dog’s collar. We have 2 Dala horses. We have my precious lamp. We have some antique crocks.

WE HAVE THIS BANANAS CRYSTAL I paid $5 for at a garage sale recently. I’m not, like, a ~crystal person~ but I’m totally a crystal person. Also, Dala horse butts are so cute.

This is 2015. This wall has always been tricky. I’ve since moved the piano. I have NO IDEA what to do with the piano. It’s HUGE and in reality, there are exactly 3 walls on the main floor that can fit it. I do not play piano. I do not have any desire to learn how to play the piano. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to know how to play the piano, but I do not see myself trying to learn that of all things in the foreseeable future. Shower/car singing is my only real musical passion. But I have this huge piano that came with my home, because the man who lived in it FROM AGE SEVEN TO NINETY-TWO was the lead organist at the Old Dutch Church and taught piano lessons out of this very house during the Depression and, like, the war and shit and who the hell am I to put his piano on fucking Facebook Marketplace?

It’s a real problem.

Also I got a nice bench that matches it pretty perfectly. And then I moved them both into the hoard room of doom.

So, in a fit of I-don’t-know-what, I made this situation all by myself and I call it Curiosity Corner because I don’t know what it does, it just is. It is my things assembled in a way that is just a way to look at a lot of things at once. Shiny objects I have acquired by various means.

The mirrors are nutso but I like it a little nutso.

I inherited these two really groovy lucite end tables from a recent exciting purge of my parents’ storage space, which came in a shipment including things like my old soccer trophies and these truly astonishingly long spools I made of my finger-knittings (not pictured). The tables originally came from my grandparents’ house! I don’t really have anywhere for large end tables like this right now, so to maximize Curiosity Corner I put them side-by-side and then put things all around them. Over! Under! Inside! More things!

That blanket folded up on the chair, yonder, I bought at a war reenactment with my friend Chandler in high school. The bud vase I got at a thrift store in Sweden. That little colorful container has a set of matching coasters in it, and once lived in my grandparents’ rec room (the other grandparents, not the lucite table grandparents). My friend Maya gave me that mirror above the lamp. The lamp is from IKEA and I love that thing. Maybe not as precious as some of the other stuff but I’d still TRY to save it in a fire.

Also on display are a few things I’ve found in the walls or swept into the corner of the attic, that kind of thing. I blogged about the one in the back a while ago!

Is this…doxxing? Forgive me Madame Jeanson.

That pillow in the background was part of the Marimekko for Target collection and the alpaca wool pillow on my safari chair was a thrift find a couple weeks ago! It was $20 with the down insert and is in PERFECT condition. It’s by Elvang Denmark and was…definitely more than $20 new. Look at me with a fancy throw pillow.

Does that about cover things? Mekko’s OVER. IT.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 8.23.18
    Moxie said:

    Oh Linus! I was thinking of him a couple of weeks ago. (Yes, I am a weirdo who thinks about bloggers’ pets because they are sweet and we often see as much of them as the bloggers.) Mekko is so pretty. I feel you on the furniture is basically pet beds. On top of it, because ours are cats, there are certain cardboard boxes that we are not allowed to throw away, because they are in fact very special beds.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha! Cats and their boxes are so hilarious. I especially like when their pudge and fur has to spill out over the sides. <3

    • 8.23.18
      Bethany said:

      This is literally my life. I wish there was a way to send you a picture of my fat orange cat with his fat and fur spilling out over a peaches box, and sitting in this funny little inside window box thing we have in our own old house (built in 1900). Fat cats are never not funny.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Currently accepting any and all submissions to!

  2. 8.23.18
    Chrissy said:

    I totally bought my greyhound her own IKEA sofa instead of a dog bed (and it cost less).

    Living room looks great. Pianos are tricky but I think you are right to keep it in the house. We had a few odd pieces left by the former owner as well. Well worth the karma to keep it so the house remembers the good times.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      I’m gonna humbly request pics of the greyhound on her personal IKEA sofa, please!

    • 8.30.18
      Chrissy said:

      Check your inbox!

    • 8.23.18
      Whitney Kerr said:

      As a fellow greyhound owner, I approve this message ;)
      We have two sets of double stacked costco beds for our pup. She Loooooves it when we break out the futon mattress and the whole family hangs out on the “giant dog bed” :P

  3. 8.23.18
    June said:

    LOVE what you’ve done with the place…. and now on to couches/dogs/slipcovers. I bought a white cotton damask sofa in a consignment store and brought it home to my three dogs. Sofa was from a decorator’s display area and I loved the size and it was incredibly comfortable. I had an acquaintance who made slip covers so I selected a heavy weight upholstery canvas, bought yardage as suggested by friend. she took it to the laundromat and washed/dried the fabric THREE TIMES in hottest water/hottest drying temp. Made the slipcover to my specs (slightly loose for ease of removal). Dogs did their thing. Slip cover wore like iron, gave sofa away after 15 years of use, upholstery looked great, slips showed a little wear. I use an old recipe from Heloise (which I’m sure is toxic) for stain removal: 1/3 isopropyl alc, 1/3 ammonia, 1/3 water. removes red wine from white carpeting, pet stains. Go in peace.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Smart! I’ll have to try that recipe—Heloise has never led me wrong! Except maybe the hint of using cigarette ash for watermarks on wood…I think I’ll take the water marks, thanks! Haha

  4. 8.23.18
    Ronnie said:

    You have summed up the difficulties coffee tables perfectly!

  5. 8.23.18
    Beth said:

    Everything looks great! Though I loved the previous iterations of the room, I think the current space looks more cozy. Also, I get so excited every time I get an email saying that you have a new post up!

  6. 8.23.18
    SP said:

    Well, if you ever decide to get rid of your “dumb little bench” you can send me an email. I would buy it for top dollar. It has character! It also brings the whole room together. Great writing, as usual. You have made my day!

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha! I could practically mass produce them with all my old lumber!

    • 8.23.18
      Marlena said:

      I would totally buy one or two of your DLB’s!

    • 8.23.18
      Jo said:

      Ohmigosh! Yes! Please mass produce them from old lumber! I would buy one.

    • 8.23.18
      Rachel said:

      I also really love the bench! You could totally mass produce and sell them to fund other house projects! LOL.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      TRUST ME I have considered such schemes. Maybe…if I just make stuff…out of stuff I have…I never have to leave the house??

  7. 8.23.18
    Kit said:

    I feel like once you have more finished rooms it’ll feel right to put the piano back where you had it, but while you have such (relatively) little space to LIVE in, who needs a piano up in their biz? The Curiosity Corner is great. Coffee tables are witchcraft. I’m glad the scary lady is gone, but hope she is well. Good post!

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Could be! It doesn’t really translate to photos, but the piano on that wall feels kind of weird because it’s about the same height of the fireplace mantel, and so when you’re on the couch it’s like you’re surrounded by…too many tall things? Which may not make sense as an actual problem but it felt like one, hahaha.

      Scary lady lives safely among the hoard…she could make a reappearance at ANY TIME!! ;)

  8. 8.23.18
    brenda said:

    So if you could capture with photos and blog your thoughts every time you moved your water bottle from one place to another I’m sure we’d all love it!

    ‘the public must know’ ‘before the culture at large figures this mess out’ and love the ‘not new new’ mustard forward rug … and what the heck is this Madame Jeanson’s late of 6th Ave card with the New Number letting everyone know she’s now Bet S 8th and 9th and does Made Up stuff + presses straw bonnets (I have some bent straw that I will now attempt to iron)

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha! I don’t know! But it really reminded me to go get my straw bonnet cleaned and pressed! Always forget to take better care of my straw bonnets! Damnit!

  9. 8.23.18
    Arli said:

    It has really changed a lot! I love the current version. Hope you find the “right” couch. I’m on the same hunt.

  10. 8.23.18
    SB said:

    I’m having the same problem with my hunt for coffee tables… on the brink of ordering something custom from the Amish.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Ohhhhhh, custom Amish table…you have my full support! I’ll probably end up cobbling together a few more tables and then deciding all I ever really needed was an upholstered ottoman.

  11. 8.23.18
    marc said:

    I live in a very white, very minimal space that I love. But I love your space also! Beautifully curated and edited. Warm, interesting and inviting. But one question…what did you do wit your Womb Chair?

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Marc! As a minimalist at heart who’s never been able to really be one in practice, I’m glad the room doesn’t make you twitchy! The womb chair is still around, just relocated to the upstairs TV den. I play a lot of musical chairs in this house.

  12. 8.23.18
    Jen Faur said:

    Another FANTASTIC read.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Jen! ;)

  13. 8.23.18
    Amanda Fox said:

    I love this room so much! And I feel you on the impossible furniture choices with large dogs.

  14. 8.23.18
    Toral said:

    As a Kingston fan/daily upstate home searcher, I absolutely love this post. And I’m in the market for a piano and would 100% buy it from you!

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Hey, if you can take it, I’m open! I go back and forth and back and forth because on one hand it does feel like it belongs in some way to the house, and in another sense wouldn’t it be more honored in a place where someone could actually play it? And felt inclined to keep it tuned and in good repair and stuff? It IS a really cool piano, and a few piano-playing friends have commented on how nice it is to play!

    • 8.23.18
      wilma said:

      Sometimes a thing has a place. And then that place changes. And then the thing needs a new place. It’s the circle of life…or maybe the cycle of stuff :) Anyway, letting it go does not mean it wasn’t loved, it just means it will be loved again.

  15. 8.23.18
    Laura said:

    First of all: coffee tables suck. It is known.

    Second-of-ly…if you ever want to get rid of the rug from the 2015 iteration, give me a call! (Well, not an actual call, because I am a stranger and you obviously don’t have my phone number. But still. That rug is gorge.)

    And lastly…how is the comfort of the Nockeby? I’m pretty set on that couch for my basement (gotta have a comfy Netflix perch, yaknow) so I’d be curious to know if it’s at least comfortable, even if the slipcover sucks. Also, I literally just contacted Comfort Works yesterday about their Ikea slipcovers, asking which ones are pet friendly, and apparently they have several lines that are. They specifically mentioned their Gaia and Kino lines. They might be worth a shot, and I bet they’d sponsor you! Deuce Cities Henhouse did a post not too long ago with a review.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Good to know about the covers!

      I’d say overall yes the couch is comfortable, but there are definitely more comfy couches out there. The foam in those big side armrest cushions is very firm, so ultimately ample throw pillows are a must in order to lay down or honestly really even sit comfortably in most positions? The seat and the back cushions are cushy and nice, though. So I have mixed feelings, which are also tied to how large the sofa really is with those bulky side cushions, which don’t really serve the overall comfort…since sofas that are the same dimensions typically seat more people by not giving over so much space to the armrests. Also, I don’t know if this is true of the Comfort Works/third-party covers, but maybe worth mentioning: I used to have a KARLSTAD IKEA sofa which was GREAT, partly because both sides of the back and seat cushions were finished the same way, but on the NOCKEBY you only get one side of the cushion cover—the other is the thin cheap liner stuff mostly, so you can’t flip the cushions around between washings like on the KARLSTAD, which I do miss. Anyway, if you can, I’d definitely recommend checking it out in person before purchasing…luckily I feel like these kinds of low chunky modern sofas are much more widely available than they were a few years ago, so you may decide spending a little more on something else might be worth it.

  16. 8.23.18
    carswell said:

    You might noodle around the Bemz website for another cover for your IKEA couch. They have a ton of different fabric choices and several price points.

    I really like the new rug. It brightens up the space considerably.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Love Bemz! It’s been a while since I looked at their stuff! I think I mainly need to decide if a better slipcover would solve the problem, or if I really just don’t even love the couch enough in the first place for that to be a worthwhile investment, you know? Those covers aren’t cheap! INDECISION!

      (although, for anyone else looking, Bemz appears to be having a 20% off flash sale right now! Just saying!

  17. 8.23.18
    Andrea said:

    I get so excited when you pop up in my feed. And bonus dog pics yay. All they stylings look great but I actually prefer the piano in the room. I think the solution is you need to get some friends who play the piano! Sing-a-longs!!!

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Stop reminding me I don’t have friends!!! ;)

  18. 8.23.18
    SheLikesToTravel said:

    Ha! I am also using a bench in place of a coffee table. Because of all of the same challenges.

  19. 8.23.18
    Amanda Taylor said:

    I love an ever evolving room! Maybe because mine are always every evolving? I wouldn’t be able to get rid of that piano either. I mean, geez. It’s like the definition of history!

  20. 8.23.18
    Rachel said:

    Dude, you are SO good at putting a room together – how do you think of this stuff?! I lack skills.

    I’m sure you’ve already thought of this since Kim and Scott of Yellow Brick Home are all about them, but as far as decently-priced and stylish leather sofas go, we’ve had our Article Timber sofa since January and love it. (We also decided we needed leather for luxury dog bed purposes.)

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Rachel, that’s very kind! And oh trust me I have thought of it—haha! Glad to hear you like it!! The few things I have from Article are great. And I actually got to hang out on Kim and Scott’s Mello sofa last week! It’s SO nice.

  21. 8.23.18
    soliterra said:

    No please please please keep the piano. Pianos have souls. Like books. Don’t listen to the naysayers! When I scrolled and saw the piano I sighed. It’s lovely. And how I love your posts, your design sense, and your writing. You make me happy!

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      It’s not going anywhere for now! Mostly because I can’t imagine moving it!! I don’t know though, would its soul be happier in a place where it would get used and enjoyed?? These are the questions!

  22. 8.23.18
    Susan L said:

    Daniel, I see you are entering your yellow phase – rug, painting, banana crystals, even book in new arrangement. Very nice, warms up the room beautifully! Heartwarming to see Linus. It reminds us all to change things up once in a while, to get a fresh perspective. Thanks.

  23. 8.23.18
    Linda said:

    Just sell the piano! Too large an item to keep hanging onto and moving around. The house does not need it and neither do you.

    • 8.23.18
      Daniel said:

      Sigh, I know this is probably the right answer! If the house was twice as big we wouldn’t even be talking about it, but it really is a HUGE thing to keep around considering it has no real function for me. Not to mention that one of the three walls where it fits is in this room, where I already had it and didn’t like it, and the other is in the dining room, which I’m not thrilled with the idea of, and the third wall is in the someday-amazing *other* living room—which is basically the best wall in the house and I know I’m pretty sure I’d rather have a big piece of art there than a piano. Sooooooo….yeah. BUT THE HISTORY!

    • 8.24.18
      April said:

      How about this for a compromise?

      My husband and I are working on a restoration of our 1910 Victorian in nearby Poughkeepsie. I have an upright piano that was my mom’s, but the last time the piano tuner came out to tune her, he told me that she’s too old now and needs to go to the salvage store (big sadnesses!). I can still get her to plunk out some tunes, but she is past her prime. I grew up in a family of musicians (my father is a classical pianist as his full-time job), and music is a big part of our leisure time hobbies (in addition to our restoration work). What if we bought your piano from you? We’d carry on the history of having a lovely old piano living in a lovely old Hudson Valley home. I’d get to bring a new piece of history in my home, AND I would get a piano that would continue to work for years (win/win for me). You’d get to remove something from your “hoard room of doom” while knowing that it would have a much-cherished place in a similar home a few towns away. Let me know!

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      APRIL! I love this plan! My biggest worry with letting it go is that it won’t be loved and appreciated, or that it’ll become the victim of some kind of hacking endeavor, which I think would be a shame for such a great old piano! I’ll shoot ya an email! :)

    • 8.31.18
      April said:


      This is wonderful news! I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon and then we can schedule some time to visit you and your piano in Kingston.


  24. 8.23.18
    Casey Bond said:

    If I were you, id give or donate that piano to someone who will play it! thats probably what the old man would want!!

    I say this as someone who grew up in a house that came with a piano, but the piano was put in the basement when the house was built and COULD NOT be removed. Sadly, we had to dismantle it and throw it out one day and it just seemed like such a sad waste.

  25. 8.23.18
    Lori said:

    That bit about the piano made me laugh out loud. You are hilarious.

    I also recently procured a mirror that looks like the one on the upper right of your curiosity wall for $8 and have been trying to figure out where it goes. I also have ended up hoarding a bunch of round mirrors that currently lack homes. So clearly, what the solution is is to get EVEN MORE MIRRORS and gallery that shit up. Excellent. Twist my arm.

    I really enjoy how the new painting and the rug go together. It feels warm and happy, which is exactly the kind of thing I want to wallow in these days.

    Speaking of rearranging the living room, yesterday I scored this awesome comfy camel leather Selig lounge chair & ottoman, which means my shitty black Eames reproduction is going on Craigslist with the quickness (& then rearranging shall commence). There’s some rust on the chrome bits on the chair and ottoman base. I seem to remember you cleaning up vintage chrome at some point? Did you use anything besides steel wool? Should I be sealing it with something after?

    Anyway, I enjoy these posts. I love your bigass DIYs and destructo-restructo sagas, but the little things are so satisfying & fun too.

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Ohhhh, Selig Lounge! Score!!

      On vintage chrome, I’ve actually had better luck with tin foil, of all things! Rip off a good piece, dip in water, and scrub scrub scrub the chrome. I think there’s a variation on this that recommends Coca-Cola instead of water (I assume for the acidity?) but I can’t recall ever having tried that one! Barkeeper’s Friend is also a great scouring powder for all types of metal and does well with rust. I buy mine at Target!

  26. 8.23.18

    Another great post Daniel.

    I am liking this iteration and while some things have definitely changed in the space, much of it has remained largely the same. I’d say it’s more of an evolution of the room rather than a complete remove everything and replace with all new.

    I agree a bit of yellow, along with the other colors helps to bring a sense of warmth, but also to lighten the room up a bit. I love your curiosity corner, it’s wonderful and a great use of the Lucite tables here, they blend in, add a bit of that late 60’s, early 70’s mod modern look to the space and works well in your home. I’m a fan of mixing modern, post war designs and with modern materials into an older more traditional space such as this.

    I, too have done some shifting in my house, namely in the kitchen whereby I got rid of some glassware I never use or no longer use and moved a few things to those places to make more room for the pantry cabinet. I also added a light over my Rimforsa island, come counter for added light there as the latest bit of change in that room. I may do more later on but for now, I like it.

    Sometimes it’s all about just removing stuff you no longer want/use/need and shifting stuff around to make better use of storage and other times, you need to switch a few things out for something else like you did here and another time, a simple replacement of a major piece for something more appropriate is all that the room needs but in the end, your space never is truly finished and then it comes time to repaint… :-)

    Speaking of, got my hall painted an awesome brown called Awesome Auburn, put up a track light I was given but want to change out the basic heads for some vintage eyeball units, preferably in shiny brass and began to add art to its walls and so far, even though it’s not finished, I love how it’s turning out.

    Can’t wait to be steadily working and can resume with repainting, next is the living room.

    Keep at it and totally agree having a few rooms you can enjoy is what you need while you work on the rest of the house.

    Keep at it Daniel!

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      All your progress sounds great, John! Congrats!!

  27. 8.23.18
    Meredith said:

    I need more Daniel in my life, for gems such as: The public must know. For the purpose of”¦I don’t know, this is a blog and that is what we do here.

    Made me snort-laugh at my desk. Where I was DEFINITELY working and not reading your blog…*whistle*

  28. 8.23.18
    Mom said:

    A. Sweet, sweet Linus. ;-(
    B. Pianos are so hard. I had our piano that my dad bought for me at an auction when I was five. I knew there was NO place to put it. But, I could only get rid of it if I knew I could make someone else happy with it. I did that and a star was born. So, things that are good can be passed along and spread their happiness. Go forth and spread the happiness a piano can bring to someone else.

  29. 8.23.18
    Isabel said:

    Beautiful! I love how cozy your living room looks and that Curiosity Corner is so great!!!

  30. 8.23.18
    Keely said:

    This might be silly for such an inexpensive sofa, and I apologize if someone has already mentioned this in the comments. We have been thinking about buying the nockeby sectional with the intent to possibly buy one of these Comfort Works slipcovers that comes in a lot of different fabric types and styles (including outdoor fabric). Could be worth a shot! I like the shape of the nockeby.

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Keely!

  31. 8.23.18
    Jenna said:

    I love the mirrors, and that awesome soft lamp in front of them – but I miss the scary lady painting.
    But not as much as I miss Linus’s silly little muppet face. Give Mekko some extra snuggles for me in Linus’s place.

    As for the piano…uprights are a dime a dozen. If you really wanted another one after you unload this bad boy, they’d be easy to find. People are ALWAYS trying to get rid of them. Or – hear my insanity out – what if…you REPURPOSED the piano! You’re crafty and nutty cuckoo – what if you turned it into some cool bar or sideboard? Amirite?

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Hahaha, I need that project like another hole in my head! And to be honest, I’d much rather see the piano used as a piano than something else—too many good sideboards and bars in the world to be found should the need arise! :)

  32. 8.23.18
    Mary said:

    You sure know how to put a room together. It looks cool, casual, collected. And comfortable!
    I was wondering…when you get your pillows, rugs, blankets, do you wash them or get them cleaned before you use them? I get weirded out by used stuff sometimes.

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Mary! I deal with that stuff on a case-by-case basis…everything typically gets cleaned, but sometimes a rug just needs a good vacuuming (like this one, which has to be fairly new and was obviously very lightly used), and sometimes I break out the actual rug cleaner, and I’ve also been known to hose the whole thing down and let it dry outdoors or even throw a small one in the wash on the wool cycle. The hand wash/wool cycle on my washing machine is AWESOME and does beautifully for vintage blankets and pillows and stuff. Admittedly the wool pillow in this post looks so unused that I didn’t even wash it, which is maybe gross but…well, maybe I’m gross. Haha!

  33. 8.23.18
    Alena said:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for indulging us, the public. <3 :)

  34. 8.23.18
    Nikki said:

    Gooooodness, I love how you’ve styled the room, it’s giving me all sorts of ideas for how I’d like tweak my very weirdly shaped living room! Also, I totally understand you on the couch stuff. I love my couch, but after bringing home a bulldog in the fall, it has become QUITE apparent that the fabric is an absolute magnet for bulldog hair and no amount of vacuuming or lint-rolling will release the devils. I would love to replace it with some sort of worn leather couch, but it seems silly to spend that kind of money when I’m also faced with replacing 1000 sq/ft of mismatched laminate flooring.

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      OH BOY do I hear ya. Diverting a couple thousand bucks to a couch while my kitchen still doesn’t have cabinets or countertops or finished flooring is pretty unthinkable right now. But it’s nice to dream! I guess on the bright side, the couch will eventually be EVEN MORE EXCITING because this one will, by then, be reduced to a pile of rags.

  35. 8.23.18

    Thankyou for posting an update about your living room! Firstly, our dogs (and kids) have practically lived on our chesterfield couches for well over a decade now and they’re still going strong. You can’t beat leather – you can just hose that shit down! Secondly, I am SO GLAD scary lady has left. The new art above the mantle says “a calm, happy person lives here” instead of “GET OUT BEFORE I KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP”. Just saying. Thirdly, those round pots (crocks?) on the mantle are perfection. I need to start collecting them right away. xx

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:


  36. 8.23.18
    Ali said:

    5 years? I must have been reading your amazing blog for about five years or something?

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      It really flies by!

  37. 8.23.18
    Jill said:

    1) I have wanted a dog for a very very long time, and Mekko’s adorable slumbering is not helping!

    2) I’ve met a few kids/people who would love to learn the piano but don’t have one to practice on (space/money limitations). This may be exceedingly weird, but you could potentially reach out to local music teachers and say you’ve got a nice piano going unused and would be willing to host piano practice hours for local students (and their chaperones) who need access to piano?

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Aw, that is a nice idea! I’m not opposed, although I think I’d prefer to just have somebody take it and love it than keep my home accessible for something like that…I’m not sure I’m generous enough to have a bunch of kids in and out of the house all the time, ya know? I’m no fun!

  38. 8.23.18
    Kim said:

    Your design aesthetic is a complete 180 from my own, and yet I absolutely LOVE seeing how you decorate a space and all the little bits and bobs that make you happy. And Mekko making herself at home (just like the late lamented Linus–a true cutie) on the sofa.
    As for the piano, is there somewhere/one in Kingston that would appreciate its history? I agree that if it’s of no use to you (as a piano) then it’s silly to keep it, but I’d also hate to see something like that end up unappreciated by someone. Or, you know, turned into a weird fish tank art piece or something.

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Kim! I haven’t really attempted to pass the piano along, but a commenter above might be interested and I think it sounds pretty great! Not quite local, but local-ish. :)

  39. 8.23.18
    Adriana Gores said:

    Curiosity Corner…that is all.

  40. 8.23.18
    Anne said:

    The room looks great. Regarding coffee tables, They’re a pain, aren’t they? They’re never the right height or style. We went with two little tables instead, one of which is a non-thrifty thing from DWR (Vitra Noguchi Prismatic table in black, this has gotten more expensive since we got it), that we can move around as we need to, and one Eames walnut stool (which we got on massive sale). Way better for room flow than a full coffee table, less annoying, fully portable. And if we temporarily need more surface area, we just can set a tray on top of either one.

  41. 8.24.18
    Junedotbe said:

    Awww Linus! (Is it weird/wrong to miss somebody else’s pet?!) And I love to see Mekko is doing so well.

    And gosh, that curiosity corner! Your mirror collection is fantastic. Minimalism is so 2015… 2018 is all about maximalism ;-)

  42. 8.24.18
    lisa anne said:

    Gut the piano :-) and hang the harp on the wall!
    Of the 3 crocks under the Lucite table… what is in the small one?
    Love your posts as always!
    Peace Man

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Lisa Anne! It’s this piece of bluestone I found in the backyard…no idea where it came from, but it looks like it broke off of some larger carved piece of…something. It’s a curiosity! :)

  43. 8.24.18
    Mouse said:

    Give the piano to Toral or someone who will PLAY IT!

    As much as I love the idea of the piano staying in its home, I am a musician and I think instruments should be played. I knew a family that was ruthlessly practical and non-artistic, and when they told me that they had had an upright piano that they gutted and made into a desk, I utterly plotzed. And not a good plotz.
    So don’t do THAT.

    Also, I love the new colors, the yellow and peach-ishness. And v. jealous of your pillow find……

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha, don’t worry! I won’t do that!

  44. 8.24.18
    Wendy said:

    The room looks great! Keep the piano….I am looking for a great free one. Too bad I am probably 2K miles from you. I could give it a good home.

  45. 8.24.18
    Shayna said:

    So, as far as the couch thing goes, look into Macy’s. Their stain prevention plan is really good. I got a massive sectional (perks of the burbs) whose protection plan cost maybe $350. For 5 years. And they just come clean it. Even pet damage. And if they can’t get a stain out they replace the part and if they can’t replace the part they replace the sofa and if they’ve stopped making that one they give you a new one from the current line.

    ::makes mental note to schedule couch cleaning::

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Wow, that’s amazing! I had no idea! I hope Macy’s sticks around…the one here closed, sigh.

  46. 8.24.18
    Debbie in Toronto said:

    Long time no comment…and I haven’t gone thru all the others but have you looked into Bemz…they do slipcovers for old and new ikea…they have saved all my furniture from the scrap heap.

  47. 8.24.18
    Hope said:

    I don’t think it’s Mekko who is trying to tell you something.

    That room was perfect for Linus. I love the way the sheepskins looked like more fluffy little dogs or maybe Linus looked like a decorator sheepskin. And now the fabrics are all smooth and and sleek and you’ve color coordinated with Mekko. Interior design seems like a healthy way to handle grief.

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      I didn’t think about it that way, but hey! Very true.

  48. 8.24.18
    Elise said:

    I love the Scary Lady painting! And your comment about doxxing almost made me spit out my coffee. But my favorite from this post (apart from seeing Mekko and the late great Linus) was this gem:
    “I have this huge piano that came with my home, because the man who lived in it FROM AGE SEVEN TO NINETY-TWO was the lead organist at the Old Dutch Church and taught piano lessons out of this very house during the Depression and, like, the war and shit and who the hell am I to put his piano on fucking Facebook Marketplace?”
    That is my favorite bit of writing. Thanks for brightening up the world with your writing and your presence.

  49. 8.24.18
    Chris Uebbing said:

    I am a dog person. When I bought my house I was adamant about avoiding a couch with fabric ulpholstery., but was staggered by the price of leather. A month or so in I did a walk=through @ a bachelor photographer’s estate sale, and flipped out when I saw his practically unsat-upon black leather mid-century modern couch with matching chair. On closer inspection, vinyl, but the design was super clean. They threw in a a black mosaic tile coffee table for a total of $250.00. Every time my darling Becca needs to empty her delicate stomach on her resting place, I thank my lucky stars.

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      What a steal!!

  50. 8.24.18
    Colleen said:

    Daniel- I love your carpets! Is your new carpet plush or a flat weave kilim? The colors (especially the yellow) and the patterns definitely call to mind the Kazak carpets from the Caucasus region. If you google images of that style, you’ll find carpets that look very similar to the one now in your living room.

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      This one is plush! And since I’m more used to antique/semi-antique threadbare kind of rugs, it feels VERY plush, haha! I definitely have to do some more reading to try to figure out an origin…you could be right!

  51. 8.25.18
    Carrie said:

    You have an excellent eye for and selection of carpets bought at bargain prices. This looks like a wool (weft, colored area) on cotton (warp, fringe ends), Caucasian Kazakh carpet. A unique work of art itself. Love your blog!

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Carrie!

  52. 8.26.18
    Polly said:

    My sofa hunt was also pretty dog focused and I ended up with Ikea Soderhamn with Samsta dark grey cover and it’s worked really well. The cover is kind of smooth so really easy to remove dog hair, it doesn’t mind claws and the bottom covers and cushion covers can be removed in seconds and chucked in the wash. It’s nice and deep and wide so there’s actually room for me and the dog with her gangly lurcher legs to stretch out. My flat is really small so the narrow arms means it fits in despite being a good sized sofa. Oof I had no idea I was so desperate to share my sofa thoughts with someone. Thank you for keeping it real and being the only blog around to acknowledge we are mainly buying sofas for our dogs!

    • 8.28.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha, sofa thoughts are ALWAYS welcome here. Especially when dogs are involved! Makes me miss my old KARLSTAD—I never loved everything about that couch, but it was big and comfy and the fabric was perfect for dogs.

  53. 8.26.18
    Kelly said:

    I feel your coffee table pain. End tables are also difficult. I splurged on a leather sofa because my sofa is also my dog’s luxury bed. Much easier to de-hair. =)

  54. 8.27.18
    Bonnie said:

    The living room is looking as great as ever, only different, and I never get tired of seeing Linus and Mekko. How weird is it that so many people miss Linus! Not weird at all!

  55. 8.29.18
    SG said:

    Oh man…I FEEL YOU on the dog/couch dilemma! We have a pittie mix (@miathebipolarbear on instagram) who destroyed 4 couches in the course of 6 months at one point. the most recent is a hideous leather sectional that is much too big for the room its in but was free. When the corner seat cushion was destroyed by the dog to the point of no return, I folded her dog bed into (she never used the bed on the floor, and she sleeps on the couch soooooo…..made sense!) and now it’s incredibly uncomfortable.

    Boo and I remain at an impasse: I want to buy an acceptable but not perfect Ikea couch and buy multiple covers so that we have backups for when the dogs paws wear away the fabric and we can swap the cover out before she gets THROUGH the fabric and is tearing apart the cushion itself. Boo hates fabric couches and wants to buy a HIGH QUALITY leather couch…but two of the four couches that the dog has destroyed were leather! I hate leather couches, and since 2 of the 4 previously destroyed couches were leather, I’m not confident that even if we spend $$$ on a leather couch it will be paw proof.

    UGH. Kevlar couch covers? Is that a thing? Would it be paw proof?

  56. 8.29.18
    Allana said:

    I want to see the hoard room of doom!

  57. 8.30.18
    V.J. said:

    I love that alpaca wool pillow.

  58. 9.14.18
    Lisa said:

    I love what you’ve done with the space!!! It’s marvelous and colorful and just beautiful to look at and I just wanted to let you know.

    For the piano: If you really don’t want it, what about donating it to a local school or charity? Or else donating it via or something similar.

  59. 9.19.18
    Staci said:

    I am SO HERE for the curiosity corner. I wish I had a corner in my home that could hold such wonders. Thanks for the update! <3

  60. 10.14.18
    Bonnie M said:

    I have just discovered your blog after googling “will my ikea cabinets sit flush with the wall if i use the suspension rail”. And not finding the answer to my question. But at least reading your blog made it all worth it. ive read 2 of your posts now and its so good i cant read it all at once. Hoard room of doom. You have turned my renovation nightmare into something I probably should laugh at more, and swear at. All I can say is when I bought our house and thought asbestos was not a problem what the fuck was I thinking.
    BTW have you had a go at the piano?

  61. 10.14.18
    Bonnie M said:

    And another BTW: I love that painting of that crazy exorcist lady. Not sure I could live with her in my house though, those eyes look like they would follow you.

  62. 10.26.18
    Brie said:

    Re: the piano. Have you considered holding fashionable but intimate soirees in your living room and getting a pianist to play during them? Twenties style. :)

  63. 1.24.22
    Kristen said:

    Hello :). What is the white paint that you used on your walls? It looks like the perfect white.