Something New

My sister and I recently redecorated our living room.  For the past decade since we opened our photography studio, we’ve had ugly, gross, secondhand couches and love seats.  It seems nearly every time we had clients with small children or pets, our furniture would get messed up, so we never wanted to put any money into it.

Once we had a client who fed their baby a bottle of red juice.  It was shortly after they left that I lifted a cushion off the couch and found where the bottle leaked a large red stain that would never come out, and rather than admitting it to us, the client hid the stain with a pillow.  Another couple of times, we found a dirty diaper stuffed between the seat and the back.  Too many times to count, we’ve had kids with sharp toys stab something into the seats or stand on them with their dirty shoes, or had their dogs (or babies) slobber or urinate on them.

Last year, we decided that the current professional photography market where we live didn’t support portraiture, at least not enough to justify living with furniture that we were embarrassed to use.  As such, we decided to cut our studio’s family portraiture and remain focused only on weddings.  And earlier this month, we went furniture shopping.

So I’m very excited to have finally gotten a brand new sofa, loveseat, coffee table and side table, with no danger of other people’s children or pets coming to damage them. Because of the tungsten lighting in the room, the color shown isn’t true.  They’re really more green and less brown than they look here.

We looked at several different furniture stores, but the moment I saw this couch and love seat, I fell in love.  I love the color, the fabric, and the retro shape it has to it when you look at it straight on.  And I love that the coffee table has the storage shelf underneath for lap blankets and baskets for remotes and things.

Because this is the also the room where my computer is located and where I spend most of my waking hours, I’m very happy that the energy in the room has escalated into a much more positive place and I no longer feel anxiety to work in a room that I hate.  I’m hoping my writing productivity will also increase with the new energy.

Time to talk:  What’s the last new piece of furniture you purchased, and how did it make you feel?  Was it exactly what you wanted, or did you have to settle for something else due to price, size, or some other reason?  Have you ever had a room that just emanated bad energy, and as soon as you changed it, it felt more inviting?

58 thoughts on “Something New

  1. It looks lovely! And green is one of my favourite colours in all its hues, its very restful, and should create a lovely atmosphere in which to work… enjoy!

  2. The bathroom at home when I was a kid emanated bad energy I can tell you young Rachel. You see my dad – a bricklayer by trade – used to drink 10 pints of ale every night then upon returning home he would inevitably scoff a beef dripping sandwich with whelks as a side dish (all true by the way). He would always get up early for work the next day which meant I didn’t get to wash etc. until after he’d been. Yes I know all about ‘bad energy’!

  3. For some reason buying furniture, even if it’s little things like cabinets and bookshelves (which I bought plenty of when I moved house last February), always makes me feel good.
    Next on the list is a new couch, as I have spent so many years sitting in the same place on my current one all the springs have exploded out the bottom 🙂

    • Oh, no! 😦 Actually, the ones I had before the last set had springs popping through where my son decided to use them as a trampoline! If you have “warehouse” furniture stores there, they can usually be talked down on the price as opposed to retail stores, especially if you pay with cash. I saved $150 on this, plus got no tax and free delivery that same day just to make an on-the-spot purchase and pay in cash. 🙂 Good luck and post pictures when you gets yours, okay?

    • Yes, you had the coolest (and most “fashionable”) find and follow-up to that purchase. I bought a used couch once but all I found in it were someone’s old emergency room discharge papers! It kind of made me scared of what they might have had and if they had it on the couch!

  4. Looks great Rachel! We actually had red leather couches for a long time and the kids just destroyed them. When we moved, we decided to just get a used brown sectional that honestly is not very attractive (though really not ugly) but is super comfy. Honestly, I just felt smart and relieved that we bought something that we knew wasn’t going to get destroyed. I’m glad you made the switch AFTER deciding to move to a more wedding oriented theme. Otherwise, you would just want to cry when the kids made a mess of your new decor.

    • I had black leather one time, and the same thing happened with the kids. Then I had black cloth, and the white bulldog didn’t help when his hair kept sticking in that couch. I went through a couple of futons that got saggy way too soon. Then all the studio furniture that other people destroyed. I’m glad to have something new and prettier than the last monstrosity I had in here. 🙂 Thank you!

  5. it looks fantastic, rachel. i agree, color and the things within a room can change the energy completely. i’ve been slowly but surely changing each room in my little cottage to better reflect the feeling i want when I’m in each room –

    • Thank you! Yes, when I first heard about feng shui, I was a skeptic. But I’m totally a believer in a room’s energy now. I feel SO much more relaxed in here with this. I literally hated being home with the last ones. I hope you’ll share photos of yours when you’re done, and maybe with Nacho – the cat not the food- giving the seal of approval in each room. 🙂

  6. Happy for you, Rachel. Your room is inviting and lovely. I purchased a chair for my bedroom to replace an old chair with sentimental value. I love my new chair because it is new, pretty, and comfortable. More new furniture is in my future 😀

  7. Reblogged this on Angie Mc's Reblog Love and commented:
    “I’m very happy that the energy in the room has escalated into a much more positive place and I no longer feel anxiety to work in a room that I hate. I’m hoping my writing productivity will also increase with the new energy.”

  8. Lovely furniture and arrangement! For me, I tend to lean toward earthy tones for furniture, such as browns, greens, tans, in addition to black and blues–so I think the color you chose is very nice 🙂

  9. The last piece of new furniture that I purchased was a computer desk for my twin. (I inherited his old desk, along with the old computer — last year we decided that sharing a computer wasn’t working, especially with both of us writing and me blogging a lot and him in grad school.) It’s a nice desk, especially since it wasn’t very expensive, and it has plenty of shelf space for both books and cats (upper surface of over-the-desk shelf = cat perch). Sort of ‘Craftsman’ style, in black-stained wood –real wood, not embossed paper “veneer” over chipboard.

    The apartment I had about a decade and a half ago was one of those “bad energy” spaces when I first moved in. The living room had one long wall covered in that imitation-wood paneling popular for renovated basements in decades long past… It made the whole space dark and closed-in — and lopsided, because the other walls were white — despite the end of the room being wall-to-wall windows. I wasn’t allowed to paint over the ugly paneling, so I bought a very large piece of white fabric (5 yards of the 108-inch-wide muslin used to back quilts with) and covered the whole wall with a slightly draped “curtain.” That one change made the room look open and bright. (I also covered my ugly couch with a sheet about a shade lighter than your new sofa — I needed some green in the room, and I wasn’t allowed to have houseplants.)

    • Well, your newly inherited desk sounds perfect wit the cat perch. That’s a bonus that makes the whole writing experience worthwhile. 😉

      Yeah, that sounds very attractive… I like the Craftsman style (real wood) too, much better than the particleboard furniture.

      Ugh! That apartment sounds dreadful! I hate when you’re not allowed to paint and make the place your own. And I grew up in a house that had that awful wood paneling, so I know too well how claustrophobic that can be. So why weren’t you allowed to have plants?

  10. What a gorgeous upgrade, Rachel. I’m sure you are going to do fantastic work with this new combo as the centerpiece of your new living room! Great choice of decor. Yes, I agree, furniture vibe can make a big difference in production, at home and in the office.

    Our latest addition was the new flat screen and speaker bar, hung on the wall wireless, which changes the whole dynamic of our living room. Which in the daytime is my office, and I am revved up and writing hard!

    • Thank you! Now you and Karen will have a place to sit when you visit. 🙂

      So is the TV mounted as well? Before the new flat screen, did you have the bulky old-school TV or just a different flat screen?

      • We will sit in comfort and style down Florda way. 🙂

        The new TV is mounted as well. The old was a flat screen that sat on a stand, and all the wires were clumped behind it. But visible from the sides with my stereo equipment and the the Blue-Ray and the cable box …

  11. Congratulations on your new furniture and re-decorated room! It’s lovely! The clients you had sound truly horrid. I can’t imagine making or leaving such a mess in someone’s studio. We haven’t bought any new furniture in forever, but we did remodel our bathroom last year. The tub we replaced was avocado green, so that tells you how old it was, and we got all new tile for the walls and floor. The bathroom is definitely more inviting now! 🙂

    • Aha! The 70s called and wanted their bathroom back? 😉 I think that every time I see those owls that are popular again now. I think my kitchen now is from the 70s, and the refrigerator and dishwasher work like they’re from the 60s. The only thing that makes me think otherwise is they are not that awful harvest gold or metallic rust color. LOL! 😀 I want to see photos of your new bathroom! 🙂

      • We did our kitchen several years ago. We had an old oven, too, probably from the 70s or before.

        I’m not sure I know about the owls. My knowledge of owl popularity is limited to Bryn Mawr college, where my older daughter and her wife went, and “Twin Peaks” references. 🙂

      • Oh, you don’t remember the macrame owls that were EVERYWHERE in the 70s? Owls are making a big comeback now, only they’re cuter, but that’s all they remind me of. 🙂

    • Thank you! Yes, these couches are definitely curl-up- worthy. They’re quite comfy, especially compared to the last ones. 🙂 (Though your comfy chair looks quite inviting, too!) 😀

  12. Gee, can you work on MY family room? Office? Bedrm? =) Tempted to be jealous of that sharp eye and magic hands. I’m with you on the energy. Light/matter/color will transmit and block energy in different combinations. Great post.


  13. Lovely furniture! We’ve upgraded any number of pieces- having had our share of assorted conditions and colors. My favorite piece picked out decades ago in a different marriage was a pretty white couch with a design which had flowers but without so much of the type of floral design I think of if someone speaks of floral furniture.( Very nice of me to consider the entire planet has tacky taste in their preferences of a floral deign,right? OY!) It had a bunch of pastels wasn’t the crowded all over floral. But not minimalist either. Well there you have it…a description sure to hit the many theaters of displayed artistic design. My husband has mainly been the one to buy furnitire. He asks my opinion ,then buys what he wanted to begin with. Thankfully he usually has great taste, an artistic eye. Only a few pieces have been something I was aware daily that they really wereen’t what I would choose to have in my home. Compromise… we do learn to pick our battles, right? For the [ast decade pr so , we’ve mostly held to a young to elderly canine preferred furniture which speaks of the ongoing search for what won’t show the nasties of canine life. With having had 5 greyhounds at the same time, this soon became a project abandoned to that furniture no one would get hurt on or destroy within the first year.
    The nastiest piece was a giant sectional which was a color we never both saw the same- biege, tan or what my husband saw as “sea foam green”. in that not real suede material This couch went through the various numbers of rescued animals, dogs, cats, ferrets (ew talk about nasty smell) and all of their assorted wetnesses ,accidents. Their ends- front and rear had left notorious soilings, splatteringsspillings, plus that of many a lapheld plate spillingor drink dropped. It was something I tried to prevent from being funky. This resulted in an even nastier discoloration detexturizing of the fabric. Add to that tthe greyhounds liked to try to fluff their couch cushions ,leaving various slashes sewn and retorn in the cushion.. I became certain whatever was living in it in terms of smells and touch (ew those damp warm warm days,) was moving into our lungs, atmosphere, and bodies having incapacitate us. In truth there is no telling what had come to call it home. We couldn’t have gotten rid of it in a timelyenough manner. Was the pits. COurse we could discuss the carpetting i came to find out that my husband and his mistress at that time had picked it out- no liking of that. My kids hated it. The paint whipped appearnace of it was in colors they called the vomit rug. AH good times. lol oy. We have more tame earthy solid secure furniture now…cleqaner and easier upkeep now, It’s all been very telling of the lives it all held.. Life’s funny that way. l

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