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Form Versus Function

08.10.17

Form Versus Function from The Design Confidential via @thedesconf I have been on the hunt for new seating for the better part of a year now. I have scrolled, swiped and clicked through literally thousands of options. Thousands, I tell you. There are some gorgeous goods out there, many are even comfortable and come in decent fabric or leather options. But still, it always seems to come down to the ever so frustrating choice between form and function. Why can’t I have the modular, designer sofa that looks different than every other sofa out there, comes in fabulous leather colors and perhaps also has power recliners, USB plugs and storage…  Why doesn’t that gorgeous chair I love, in the amazing linen colorway, also come with a swivel and rock option? Sigh…. There is nothing I love more than a chair that rocks, except for one that swivels and rocks.

This does not just include seating, there are dozens of other items that come at a great aesthetic cost for choosing comfort or function. The list is small by no means… But, I think perhaps I am giving in and going over to the designer dark side on the seating genre. I can no longer choose looks as the primary focus for my design plans. I can’t even choose comfort and looks if that comfort does not include bells, whistles and fireworks! It may be the end (or perhaps the glorious new beginning) of my design career as I now completely refuse to choose seating and other items for clients (any myself) that don’t hold up to children, dogs, bunnies (yep, we added that crazy to the mix) and lazy weekends on the couch with peanut butter, jelly and of course – chocolate milk. Because let’s be real, that is what childhood is all about and there will be collateral damage.

So, I have found a few seemingly wonderful options that don’t push the 90’s PTA president look too far in the wrong direction. Nor do they read too Mod or too – just plain weird – I think. I will do a round up for all of them in the next week or so, but for now I am biting the bullet and taking the plunge. It may end up being the most costly design mistake that I can’t Photoshop out with ease – or it may be glorious… we shall see. I am pulling together a mood board to reassure myself that a sofa of this nature can indeed be stylish, all while we sit in glorious comfort in the power recliners it has on board. Fingers crossed. While I give this one in particular a whirl, I thought I would share some of the other items I have put through this rigorous regiment and that have come through the other side in all their wondrous glory.

My current M.O. – I shall not keep pieces that don’t quite work for my needs – any more. I would rather live without, consequently my donation list is long. But I am excited to say the list of things that fills my decor and lifestyle love tank up to the brim, is growing at a fairly decent pace. After truly testing most of these items for well over a year, I can say with certainty about every piece here (except for the sofa, that is T.B.D.)… they are all amazing and life changing in their lack of problematic existence and ease of my own.

Sofa with Chaise and Power Recliners / I will keep you posted on this one. I can speak to the comfort, it’s remarkable. I can’t speak to the actual look of it in my space or how it will hold up to the abuse, but so far the mood board is very promising.

Fouta Towels / After having several loads of towels to content with, inadequate storage for them all and the 5 year mildew smell set in, no matter what you do… I decided every bulky towel had to go and replaced them all with these hand and bath towels. Now my laundry loads are gloriously easy to deal, a snap to store and even the after bath mess from my boys is rather chic.

Executive Desk Chair / This is one beauty that looks (and feels) like a Time Life Chair without the thousands in cost. Not the cheapest chair, to be sure, but if you like the look and you aren’t set on the brass frame, this one at a far less expensive price is a fantastic option.

Brass Curtain Rods / Ah yes, these are not only glorious but heavy duty and low cost! A trifecta of goodness.

Soap Dispensers / 1000 disposable soap dispensers later, a refillable version that I can use in every room and refill with soap that isn’t horrible on my hands was a must. I mix these soaps (here and here) for the perfect feel and cleanse, and simply refill the bottles as needed.

Matte Black Flatware / I received this flatware for Christmas and I adore everything about it. I even like the weight, which I was worried would be too heavy for me and my babes. It is perfect on all fronts and makes everyday eating look amazing. It has taken a beating and still looks fantastic.

Moroccan Pouf / This is nothing new and always functional, so what does set this apart is the fact that I ordered one that wasn’t stuffed. I was not sure how this would play out and ultimately I ended up stuffing it with off season clothing and items that I wasn’t ready to let go of, but that I wasn’t using at the moment. It freed up a glorious amount of space in my closet and I can swap things out with ease and fill it up more if it flattens. No more deflated pouf syndrome like I experience with traditionally stuffed poufs.

Hide Rug / I wager you have never seen a cow with grass stains or chocolate smears… It seems to work the same way with hides for the floor. These are truly the only rugs that have withstood my dogs and their tendency to think anything on the floor that resembles a rug, is a potty pad. Also the children… so wonderful and really the only option for us at this stage in our animal and child filled lives. Whether you go with a patchwork option as you see here or a more traditional style, these rugs will go the distance.

 

Showcase

Reader Showcase // MacBees German Reef Sectional Sofa

08.02.17

You Can Build This! A Gorgeous Reader Showcase Built from DIY Furniture Plans by The Design Confidential

For all of my worldly builders out there, this Reader Showcase is going to be particularly exciting for you! Complete with German sizes of lumber used and fantastic mods, this build is absolutely wonderful and gives a gorgeous account of how to make my plans work for you!

Corner and Armless Units

  • Height: 82 cm
  • Seat Height: 32 cm
  • Sitting Area: 64 cm x 64 cm since the cushions are 65 cm x 65 cm
  • Cushions Used: Arholma from Ikea / here and here

Armless Chair

  • Width: 64 cm
  • Depth: 83 cm

Corner Chair

  • Width and Depth: 83 cm
Here is what he says: We made the back higher, so you can lay your head onto it and we added corner slats, so that the cushions won’t slip through. Furthermore, we used 5 slats so that you can sit on it without cushions if you like 🙂
We skipped the last corner leg and used a long 120cm screw for the corner top (first photo below).
Cheers and thx for the great inspiration. :-))
Lumber Used

Spruce at 40 x 80 mm and 20 x 80 mm

Plans

Free DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Toddler Cabin Bed

07.20.17

Make your toddler feel like the king of the wild with this DIY Furniture Plan to Build a Toddler Sized Cabin Bed. This Cabin features 4 lookout windows to keep an eye on all the wildlife, a comfortably pitched roof for lots of headroom and a small staircase just for fun! Build this and maybe your little one will sleep in for a change – or sleep in their own room all night long. If you prefer plans for the Twin Sized Cabin Bed or the Full Sized Cabin Bed, we’ve got you covered! Read More

Showcase

Reader Showcase // Erin’s Provence Beam Dining

07.18.17
This gorgeous builder’s showcase is giving off some serious backyard dinner party vibes, don’t you think? I think the color they chose might be up there on my list of faves for this particular piece, and all outdoor furniture for that matter. There is something to be said for crisp and clean… You can head on over to Erin’s blog and get the low down on how this build came together, the link is down below!
To Read More About This Build, Visit This Blog Post

A few afternoons

Raised the height to accommodate the chair arms.

Paint – lovely, lovely paint!

Home / Studio

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Hide Out in the Dark

07.13.17

The Design Confidential x Lennox Collab / Cool Home Tech Updates via @thedesconf

This post was brought to you by Lennox. Innovation never felt so good. ​Contact your local Lennox dealer today to learn more about the precise and efficient HVAC products Lennox offers.

Two weeks ago it rained and temps were hovering in the mid-sixties, which in this neck of the woods typically means no one goes outside to play. No less than seven days later, the temperatures are well over a hundred and far too hot to go outside for any reason at all. In Northern California, temperatures above the one hundred mark are a standard occurrence, from June till August. While the climate here is anything but humid, it is just humid enough, that no amount of shade makes it bearable to sit outside, at least not by choice.

The Design Confidential x Lennox Collab / Cool Home Tech Updates via @thedesconf

Our home was built in 2005 and while it is not old, it is certainly not new enough to benefit from many of the energy efficient standards they have put into practice over the last few years. In fact, I might wager to guess that if we had an energy audit done, we would easily be no higher than a rating in the sixtieth percentile for energy efficiency, and this would not be for a lack of energy efficient building materials and appliances. Our poor rating would far more likely be due to the insane amount of energy loss that occurs throughout our home, thanks to a handful of details that have been overlooked and have taken a turn for the worse over time. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the second-floor bedroom my boys share.  Let me show you what I mean…

The Design Confidential x Lennox Collab / Cool Home Tech Updates via @thedesconf

Above is a very rough and general floor plan that shows how my home lays out, the direction the rooms face and the location of my existing thermostats. One of the greatest difficulties we deal with each summer is in trying to cool the southern facing rooms. This is made worse by the fact that our upstairs thermostat is on the opposite side of the house, facing north, and the first floor thermostat is in the only space in this entire house that does not have eight thousand windows, magnifying the heat and cooking us from the inside, out.  It only makes matters worse that the southern facing rooms are separated from the rest of the house by no less than eight million miles of hallway and more windows than any person should have to deal with, without having an unlimited budget to counteract the energy loss that happens consequently.

The boys currently share bedroom 3 on the second floor, which is the southernmost facing room in the house. There is not much in the way of shelter from the 100 plus degree sun that beats down on that side of our home, from morning till night. Even with twice the amount of window coverings in this space, there is no lack of light and heat to raise the indoor temperatures up into the nineties in the blink of an eye. To cool their room down to a slightly tolerable temperature, I have to turn the air conditioning down to near below freezing temps in the master bedroom. It creates a misery of overwhelming proportions and can cost upwards of $600 per month in the warmest months of the year. To pay such a high price only to suffer both extremes, hardly seems fair.

The Design Confidential x Lennox Collab / Cool Home Tech Updates via @thedesconf

I currently have a complex system in place for opening and closing the blinds, depending on the time of day and whether I am trying to let in light, shield from the heat or usher in the cooler temps once the sun has set for the night. While this frequently feels futile, every little bit truly helps and I am perfectly willing to commit this act of futility and hide out in the dark, if it means we can eek out a few more good years before we need to replace our entire HVAC system, outright. Given the sprawl of our home’s footprint, when the system goes, it will be nothing short of a small fortune to replace it and address those areas where the energy loss is greatest, or we risk winding up in a similar scenario in the future. Likely, the replacement cost of a new hi-tech unit that is more functional for our home and the extreme climate we have here, will be the least of the costs as the windows, inadequate insulation and miles upon miles of ducting, are also likely culprits of increased heat in the summer time. The total cost of the updates that need to take place to make this home run efficiently and comfortably will absolutely be several tens of thousands of dollars, but in the meantime, I think there must be some more affordable upgrades I might do to better the functionality of our units and lower the cost of our utility bill each month.

The easiest upgrade of all is also the least costly and that is to install fans in those bedrooms that are currently lacking in the cool air department. This is an update I have planned for the guest bedroom, shortly, but for the boy’s room this is not an option. Their bunk bed limits what I can put on the ceiling and the size of their room is just too small to place two beds and still have room for toys or anything else.

The Design Confidential x Lennox Collab / Cool Home Tech Updates via @thedesconf

When Lennox reached out about their new iComfort® S30 thermostat, it got me thinking about how this might be helpful to someone who doesn’t happen to have one of their amazing heating and cooling units. What I found when I started digging around, was exciting given my current plight. It turns out Lennox is a maker of home heating and cooling systems with excellent ratings and reviews all around. In addition to heating and cooling units, they also have several air purification systems and a zoning system that I am seriously looking into. It will let you create up to four separate zones for heating and cooling your home.  This means that when one zone needs to be cooled, while another does not, energy is not wasted through collateral cooling or heating, where it isn’t needed. Essentially, I will not freeze while my boys are roasting. When paired with their new iComfort® S30 thermostat, this stands to be a fantastic solution for making the whole home completely comfortable and potentially lower your bills while you are at it.

It sounds like it works through a series of dampers placed in the ducting, that act to open or close the airway depending on your needs. This seems like it would increase the efficiency of my system, making it a life well spent in the process. I know the benefits of a new hi-tech unit, but I wasn’t expecting to find something that would help my unit become a bit more hi-tech without having to replace it outright. This seems like a fantastic investment, regardless of the unit you may or may not have. If I could split my home into four separate zones, it seems as though it would provide a customizable solution for my heating and cooling issues. From there, the iComfort® S30 would allow me to control the various zones via an app (this obviously means, from the comfort of my bed), and I would live on as the happiest camper of all.

Do you all struggle with this issue as well? Or maybe you have the opposite problem? What are your summertime solutions to beat the heat? 

This post was brought to you by Lennox. Innovation never felt so good.