No Plastic Slipcovers in MY Home. Ikea But Are You Listening?

Can  you believe it’s Wednesday already?   The sun is shining and the weather is almost tropical at 37 degrees! I ditched the boots to wear these Via Spiga flats.

Via Spigas Pointy toed flats No old lady shoes for me!

Pointy toes, toe cleavage and no socks—my feet were so happy! In an effort to ward off boredom, I decided to take a trip to my local Ikea for some decorating ideas.

Ikea signJust my luck, Bonaparte had a light schedule this morning and decided to accompany me. I’m up to his tricks. He only went with me because he wanted to make sure I didn’t spend any money.   He sure didn’t complain when I treated him to a hot dog though.

Haute Dog CuisineI’m a giver! At fifty cents the Ikea “haute” dog is the least expensive item in the store!

I need to do some more decorating in our empty nest and it’s more fun  decorating on a budget.

When I moved from our two bedroom Manhattan apartment into a four-bedroom home in New Jersey, I found myself in a new world of interior design. Having been a city dweller, finding a great parking space took precedence over how your apartment was decorated.

Important to apartment dwellers. Crown molding.  Parquet floors. Dead roaches!

As long as the crown molding was painted in a sparkling white enamel, my old-school parquet floors were polished to the ultimate shine, and the exterminators got rid of the roaches, the apartment was designer heaven! All those furnishings that made the apartment seem so crammed were lost in a sea of wasted space with the move to the house.

Since we were a one-income household, I learned to decorate on a budget. Luckily, we lived in a town bordering on Princeton. Princeton had the best trash days ever! And so, my home was done in “Pedigreed Princeton Trashé”

Cabinet Full ViewClub Cchair

Pedigreed”Trashé” that I no longer have!

My other guilty decorating pleasure was rummaging through the Salvation Army “Red, White, and Blue Store” in Mercerville, NJ.  Most of my “good china” and my silver are from that thrifty goldmine!

If you are ever in the Mercerville, NJ area, please do yourself a favor and stop by the Red, White and Blue Store. You won’t be sorry!   Red White And Blue Store

I love white and off-white sofas. LOVE THEM.  I also have a “thing” about slipcovered sofas.  I’m not talkin’ about those see-through, plastic slipcovers my mother and aunts had on their furniture. I’m talking about the slipcovers you remove and wash!! ( When the three kids, two dogs, and the never-ending flow of friends were in and out of the house, I would have been crazed to even think of having anything white to sit on or lay around on.)  In fact, I did have slipcovers custom made for the sofas in the family room.  The slipcovers were jacquard–not plastic!


Our “downsized” chateau is now home to three sofas in various shades of white, a white loveseat and a white club chair.  We have white walls.

Living Room ArmoireThere’s a lotta white going on–the entertainment armoire is white too!

I’m searching for red accents but it has to be the right shade of red.

A wall of pilllows and no red.A wall full of pillows at Ikea–but no red ones!  ARRRGH!!

No burgundy or orange-red will do. In my mind, I have the red I need. Unfortunately the stores do not. Also, I refuse to spend a fortune on any accent pieces be they furniture or pillows or anything else! That’s why I love Ikea, Home Goods, vintage furniture stores, and flea markets for great finds! It’s fun to mix high end, low end, and finds.

Living Room Sofas. Lotta white.

Ethan Allen sofa to the left. “Cindy Crawford” Sofa (remarkably, the sofa is great) on the right. Chippy’s tennis ball in front of the sofa.

A few years ago, a small fortune was spent on an Ethan Allen sofa. It is the most comfortable sofa on earth, but is starting to look its age. We have a Cindy Crawford sofa from another higher end furniture store, and it looks great. But with just two of us living in our home—why do we need to spend enormous amounts of money on furniture that won’t get used every day?    That’s the beauty of Ikea.

Two views of the family room. Ektorp sofa and chair. Ikea beds in both guest rooms. Chippy loves one in particular!

SunroomEktorp loveseat in the sunroom. The only room that’s completed–and my favorite spot in the house!

Ikea has this line of sofas and chairs—Ektorp. The pricing is great and the slipcovers can be removed to wash or additional slipcovers can be purchased for pennies compared to the price it costs to have them custom made. We also have Ikea beds in both guestrooms. There is only one slight issue with Ikea furniture. You have to be a rocket scientist to assemble the furniture. I’m not kidding. We purchased a desk for Oona when she was in school, when Bonaparte assembled the desk; there was a lot of cursing in his native French tongue coming from the room. It lasted for hours. And hours!

The delivery and assembly services that Ikea offers made our lives so much easier.  ikea home delivery truck The delivery was a flat fee of $59.00.  We paid maybe $150.00 more for assembly.

We have pieces from vintage furniture stores, garage sales, Craigslist ads, antique shops all purchased in a leisurely pace and agreed on by both Bonaparte and me.

Craigslist desk, flea market chair, Vintage cabinet.

I think our only furniture “regret” was a dining room table from the store “Arhaus”. It’s a great table, sturdy and very much our taste, but it was just way, way overpriced. Can’t win ’em all you know!

Dining roomArhaus table, overpriced. The rug was a steal at Lowe’s, though!

We still have to paint, have that last bathroom built, fix up our home office a bit—make it more streamlined, and get bookcases. Other than that, it’s just those darn accents!  I’ll keep you posted!

These days, the main reason for our decorating on a budget is that we would rather spend more money on traveling than decorating. In downsizing, we both agree that we don’t need all the “stuff” we had in our past lives.   It is nice though, to have a comfortable and nicely furnished home for when the kids are all at home—don’t ya think? Besides–we have plenty of time to look for items that we really love!

Here’s a real “WTF” moment!  I was at Wegman’s doing some shopping and came across this. Carnation “Breakfast Essentials”. It’s a rebranding of Carnation “Instant Breakfast”!

It USED to be Carnation Instant Breakfast.

It’s still Instant Breakfast to me!

I’m  kudos to Kate Spade for using 93 year-young Iris Apfel in her ad campaign.

Kate Spade AdKarlie isn’t nearly as “Kloss” to the ageless beauty of Ms. Apfel!  Me-owww!

Look at Helen Mirren. OMG—I love her. She’s so gorgeous!

Helen Mirrin For L'Oreal

Helen Mirren rocks it!

It’s so great she’s the new face of L’Oreal’s UK campaign, but I wish she would be the new face for L’Oreal in the States!

What about the ethereal beauty Charlotte Rampling for Nars?

Charlotte Rampling for Nars

Rampling rocks & rolls it!!!

Companies that use older women will definitely have my business.  I believe some Nars blush is in order!

Since I rambled on about decorating the house…here’s a good one from CSNY!

Enjoy the rest of the day! I’m getting ready for Mob Wives!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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