Two Lamps and a Rug

I was hoping to show you guys the boys’ room this week, since it has been “almost finished” for quite a while now, but it is still only almost finished AND it is filthy. It kinda looks like you’d imagine a bedroom shared by THREE boys would look. Eek. I was planning to finish this weekend, but we didn’t. So yeah, one of these days we’ll call it finished and I’ll ask them to clean it to MY standards. Then I’ll take some pics.

The living room is no where close to finished. It really isn’t even started. I packed away the Christmas and then pretty much did nothing in there.

(Man, those two paragraphs make it sound like we’re doing a bunch of slacking off around here. Actually, we spent all weekend doing next-time-we-have-a-nice-day projects. It was gorgeous. And now it is back to freezing. Ugh.)

overgrown trees

The amount of work needed in this yard is unreal! I’ll tell you all about it someday.


caleshovel caleI’m expecting the living room to take quite a while to come together. I eventually need to paint in there, but we need to make some decisions about the ceiling and molding first. Also, we’re planning to open it up to the kitchen (not soon…maybe not even this year), and that will potentially have a huge impact on the layout and design of the room.

So, I feel torn between doing nothing and doing some sort of “for now” decorating. It’s looking like it will have some “for now” going on in there. That doesn’t surprise anyone, right?

I wanted to show you a few items I’ve picked up for the living room, even though we’re a long way away from a whole-room reveal. These aren’t just any three items. They’re things I’ve had my eye out for since …well, a long time.

Once upon a time I fell in love with a graphic black and white rug. And then Nate Berkus had to go and do this Elle Decor cover in September of 2008. Then the entire world fell in love with “my” rug. Sigh. I hate when that happens.

Elle Decor CoverOf course Nate’s is Madeline Weinrib, but that is not exactly in my budget. Pottery Barn mass produced one that same year, but I think they have discontinued it because I can’t find it now.  And then there was the IKEA Stockholm rug. It was out of stock every time I went to IKEA for about 5 years. I swear.

Just as well. I didn’t really have any use for it anyway. I wanted it for under a dining table, but yeah…three boys. I’m crazy but not a complete idiot. It was just one of those things I loved, but never actually could justify. But now I have hardwood. Every. Where. I NEED rugs.

I had the IKEA tab open on my computer for several days while I was making a shopping list for things I needed post-move (I’m not the only one who uses tabbed browsing as a to-do list, right?) and I clicked on it to check stock on a couple things. The page had been refreshed because I let my battery die.

There it was in all its glory. The words I love to see, “new lower price.” Whuuut?! Save $100?! So then I checked stock and saw those green boxes! It told me they had three. Only three and it is marked down by ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS?! “Grab your books boys, we’re doing school on the road today.”

So yeah, I bought that darn rug that everyone else loves. Whatever. I’ll just pretend like the whole free world doesn’t own it and that I have some amazing individual style.

You guys saw it in the Christmas post. Isn’t it gorgeous?! Christmas

I loved it. For like two seconds. Then I love/hated it. A strong amount of love/hate. Like I haven’t had this kind of love/hate relationship since the original 90210. And I’m so, so sad about it. I want to love it. Really I do. But it just isn’t what I expected. If we never went in that room, it would be wonderful. It’s so beautiful with its black and white graphic self. But the practicality, quality, and just plain real-life function of it leave much to be desired. (It already has a snag and I don’t even have pets.)

My return period is almost over, so I’ve got to decide. Ugh. That is, if they’ll let me return it at all. I know their mattress return policy is great! And they let you return unused items, but a rug? I guess I should call the store and see. If IKEA was across town, I would return that thing in a heart beat. If I miss it and change my mind, I could go re-buy it tomorrow.

But, IKEA is so far away. But, I’ve got better things to do than vacuum three times a day. But it is exactly what I wanted. But it is totally impractical. Life is hard, y’all.

Here’s the week of Christmas when my husband was home and we all spent more time in the living room than usual. I vacuumed it every day that week. Every. single. day. And it could have used it three times per day.

Granted, we won't always have tree needles and pink ornament glitter..

Granted, we won’t always have tree needles and pink ornament glitter..

Here is after a good vacuuming. My boys sat on it Christmas morning in their new, black, fuzzy Batman pajamas. I can’t get those pills to vacuum up. Eventually I’ll get them all by fuzz

And this is just a regular ol’ day. Dirt. Hair. Crumbs? We rarely ever wear shoes in the house, and no one is supposed to eat in there.

I guess I could shave my head?

I guess I could shave my head?

So anyway, lots to think about. I’ll let you know what I decide.

tripod lamp


Something I love/love is this tripod lamp!

I found it last Summer at Sam’s. It sat in the box for months because we had already decided at that point to move to Edmond; it was only a matter of finding an amazing deal on a house. I figured it would be easier to move already boxed up, so I just left it.

I’ve wanted a tripod lamp for years. They are not usually very affordable, and I change lamps like Taylor Swift changes boyfriends. I just can’t spend that kind of money on a lamp, whether I’m totally in love with it or not.


tripod lamps

  1. Target $55.24
  2. Overstock $101.99
  3. Walmart $517.50
  4. Pottery Barn $469
  5. Lighting New York $377.90
  6. JC Penney $250
  7. Bed Bath and Beyond $299.99
  8. West Elm $249
  9. Shades of Light $470
  10. Lamps Plus $199.99


Target has the only one in my price range, but I’ve seen it in person and I don’t like it. It’s a bit flimsy…like a lamp shade on three wires. The Overstock one is not too far beyond a sane amount to spend on a lamp, but I prefer a barrel shade, and I don’t like that one long pole at the top. So, I was thrilled to find this one at Sam’s for $47!  cale wrench cale tripod


cale lampcale box










Do you know what an arco lamp is? Follow the link for more detail, but basically it is a mid-century floor lamp with a marble base and a huge arc. I think it is both beautiful, and brilliant. And it has been on my I-hope-someday-I-find-that-amazing-MCM-piece-for-dirt-cheap list for a long time.

I totally searched for an arco lamp WITH that darn rug, just to show you. See? It's everywhere!

I totally searched for an arco lamp WITH that darn rug, just to show you. See? It’s everywhere!

I didn’t find an original. I didn’t even find the authentic design still produced today. But I did find an inspired version that I love. It’s not a knockoff. Knockoffs try to have the exact look as the original, while an inspired design is just that. Inspired by the original, but not a copy. Even a knockoff of the arco lamp will run you a big chunk of change.arco prices







I found an inspired version at Ross for $45, about a month after I found the tripod lamp at Sam’s. You can see it in the background of the Christmas image above. It’s smaller than the original, but that actually makes it more functional over a desk or reading chair (which is how I want to use it).

Of course I wasn’t looking for a lamp either time I found these, but they are each styles I’ve loved for years and I’ve spent months looking for similar affordable options in years past. If I believed in design gods, I’d think they were smiling down on me. These are both new, not thrifted, but it is the same principle mentioned in my thrifting post.  Keep your eye out for things you really love. I realize that not everyone has an extra forty-five bucks to spend on a lamp found while out grocery shopping at a warehouse store. There was a day I couldn’t have spent an extra $10 no matter how much I loved it, but if you can swing it, these are the splurges you will not regret in the future. I’m speaking from experience. Those shoes that you’ll hate next season… not so much. That dinner and dessert that is going to forever reside on your hips…not so much. So yeah, trust me. If you’re going to spend money that is not in your budget, spend it on home accessories! Every. Single. Time. (But don’t do that. Stick to your budget. Seriously consider budgeting for these times, though. 🙂 )

Making your house a lovely home is not as simple as running out to IKEA and buying every single item from the showroom because you’ve set aside a certain week as “the week” that you are going to redecorate your living room. The most inviting, comfortable, and attractive homes are definitely layered over time. You have to always have your eyes open and don’t settle for something you feel only lukewarm about just to get the job done.