This Is Why We Have Nice Things

It’s been like…. never… since we had two solid incomes. Even when I had a solid income before, and Kamel had a solid income, 50% of it went to the wedding. Literally %50. So, we live on $40 of groceries a week, and we limit the amount of activities we do that cost money, and we really really don’t buy new things. Well, that is to say, we didn’t.

This is Floyd. I found him at SFMOMA and he is my favorite.

Now that we have real income, the kind that you can save and still go on a trip or two, the kind that allows you to pay off your credit card debt, or allows you to go out to dinner once a week, we can finally invest in some stuff we’ve been drooling over for over a year (or more).

And over the past few months, we’ve finally started to piece together kind of a kick ass living room. The rug is Target, and we had it in our last apartment. The green coffee-table on wheels is from CB2, as is that ball of light coming from the corner. This apartment doesn’t have overhead lighting. And we didn’t really think about it until after we moved.

Because we viewed the apartment during the day, and we have that wall of windows to give us plenty of natural light, I was prancing around being all “weeeeee!” about the place and having my brain explode over closet space, but all the while the apartment was keeping a dirty little secret. The secret that it was actually a dark cave. With windows. Also, that chair in the photos used to be red, but my parents had it in the living room with our giant picture windows for so many years that it bleached out. It’s one of my favortist things ever.

This lamp is from Crate and Barrel and was $79.99. I think it looks like a lady. Try finding a lamp with style with an actual shade that isn’t plastic for under $100. It’s impossible (it’s probably not impossible). I looked everywhere (this is an exaggeration, but look! pretty!).

I just can’t get over the light. Also, that’s my stack of unread books from my book list… in size order. That is a small desk my parents bought me when I was losing my mind in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment I shared with Claire in Seattle. It’s from target and when we have parties it’s the booze station.

The photographs are all Kamel’s work except for one and that black sensor thing is my beloved Kinect. And yes, behind the TV, those are bunny ears.

Our newest edition is this classy TV stand that so lovingly holds our PS3 and Xbox, plus it has drawers to hide all the shit many valuables Kamel likes to leave out and about. Ahem.

This TV stand was something we searched and searched and searched for, something we wanted to invest in because I was so effing sick of our stupid ikea dorm room furniture that looked cheap and was all scratched and made me hate life. So, naturally, after searching and searching and searching for months, we bought this beauty at …. Ikea… for under 200 bucks. Then we replaced the normal knobs with pretty ones from anthropologie. For $8 a knob, we classed that sucker up.

Hi Floyd!

I feel like our living room is almost complete, except for that big blank spot above the lamp where a large wedding photo will eventually hang, and the wall directly opposite the windows where we have some pretty sick limited edition concept art from Jurassic Park, signed by Stan Winston and Crash Mcreery to also hang. But once we have the dining room and the rest of the our walls gussied up, I’ll give you another tour. Also, for the first time ever, really like having people over. You should stop by, we’ll sing karaoke and drink wine.

34 thoughts on “This Is Why We Have Nice Things”

  1. I love the shape of your blue lamp! It’s very … sensuous? Can I call a lamp sensuous? I guess I just did.

    I also cannot BELIEVE you got that entertainment unit at Ikea. We desperately need a new one around here and have been stopping and sighing and drooling over them for ages. I’m a little ashamed that I never seriously considered the Ikea option, but that looks awesome.

    1. Right?! They actually have some more upscale-looking stuff than I thought. We almost bought this very industrial looking locker type thing that was red for the TV stand. But with the industrial coffee table, I didn’t want to go too “tool shed”. It’s worth a walk through. And if you don’t lose your mind in the maze, consider yourself a very strong person. (It’s an added zen perk)

  2. I totally feel you on having two incomes and being able to save for stuff or travel or get niice stuff.
    And I am in love Floyd.
    Your apartment is looking great, love the green rolling table over the carpet !

  3. So very classy!
    I love your TV stand and its new buttons, it looks great! But I would worry that the PS3 doesn’t seem to have lots of room and might get hot and make some noise with its fan? (in the summer, my man has been known to take his PS3 out of its tiny spot and devote it one of our portable fans to keep it cool enough so that it doesn’t explode or something…)
    And Floyd is just awesome, great choice!

    1. I worried about that at first, but there is a big enough opening on the back and has enough room to breathe. Then after playing games for a while and not hearing the fan kick in made me feel even better about the placement. =)

  4. If I stop by, do I have to sing? 😉 I volunteer to pick up the dancing slack if I don’t have to sing…

    Also, all your purchases are awesome. You have great taste, lady!

  5. I love it! I remember a few months ago when we rearranged all the furniture in our living room and actually put the art we like on the actual walls in ACTUAL FRAMES (that is, not stuck on our bookshelves languishing away) and it was like we had a whole new house. I went from liking our living room just fine to LOVING it.

    Also, that is a rockin’ blue lamp. I love it. Also your coffee table. Everything looks great!

    1. Why thank you. I realize knobs are not brain surgery, but I felt REALLY INVENTIVE switching them out. Hahahaha I think this speaks to my DIY Non-ability.

  6. Love the picture wall above the TV! I’ve been meaning to do something like that on our staircase forever, but still haven’t gotten any of our wedding photos framed…

  7. We had a hand-me-down TV stand that I haaaated. It was black and silver plastic, with a glass shelf in the middle, and it was a remnant from the days of giant, heavy, monster televisions and therefore was taking up WAY too much room in our tiny NYC apartment. We’ve been looking everywhere for a new one, and when I walked into our neighborhood antique shop this weekend and saw an old buffet with an open shelf and closed storage beneath it, I called my husband IMMEDIATELY and make him come pick us (as in, me and the buffet) up. We cut a hole in the back for cords (which felt a little wrong but WHATEVER) and it’s perfect! And we have closed storage so game controllers and random cords and chargers can GO IN A DRAWER and omg everything is amazing. It seriously changed the whole feel of the room! And today on my lunch break I’m going to wander over to Anthro to look for new knobs.

    Long story short, I know exactly how making those little decor changes can change the way you feel about a space, and how much pride it can inspire. Your living room looks AWESOME!

  8. There’s something about buying furniture that makes you feel so grownup. We finally bought a tv stand last fall and suddenly our apartment graduated from two college dorm-rooms vomited into an apartment into a real, adult home. And I love that blue lamp. A lot. Good work!

  9. Ohhh I loooooooove this. Floyd is bangin. I want to hang out with him. For reals. And have him give me his pattern via a skirt. Right!?

    Also – the knobs girlfriend, way to go!

    Finally – it makes absolutely perfect sense that the tiny 15th ave apartment desk is now a booze station. From losing your mind to….losing your mind drunk! much better 🙂

  10. and I’m having the same problem with overhead lighting and LAMPS. For the love of pete! they are either 300 bucks and oh so gorgeous or they are 29.99 and from target and plastic and gross! Hence why I put a nice one of my xmas list and santa did not disappoint 🙂

  11. I have that same tv stand. We love it and it doesn’t to look too Ikea-y, if you know what I mean. Our coffee is similar to yours as well, except ours is a industrial metal color. Yay for matching furniture! Love your living by the way!

  12. I’ve been eyeballing that same standing lamp!!! We have had the same crappy standing lamps from Ikea for (count them) FIVE years, and while it is pretty unbelievable that we’ve never had to change a lightbulb, they are ugly and I hate them. There are all of these furniture updates I really want to make, but I’m trying really hard to wait until we buy a place (maybe next year) so I can really tailor our furniture to the space. I have dreams of a gigantic dining room table…

  13. I am so jealous of your incredibly stylish, grown-up looking living room. I want all the things in it. All the things.

    1. Thank you for saying that!! I have to admit that there was a voice in the back of my mind telling me that, “your living room sucks, you aren’t that good at putting rooms together, it’s NOTHING like the awesome spaces on designsponge, you have no idea what you’re doing, and you don’t even have an END TABLE. How could you even think about putting photos on the internet? All your photos aren’t hung yet, and that storage you’re dreaming of for behind the couch isn’t even close to being a reality. You need another, bigger, bookshelf, and really? beige walls? how boring.WHERE are the thrift store finds that you painted yourself? Complete? This is only marginally livable.”


      1. I realize I am my own worst enemy. And possibly a little wackadoo, but I just can’t turn off the voices. The best I got is trying to ignore them. Sigh.

        1. Whatever, designsponge. I’d rather live in something that looks liveable than perfect. This looks very well put-together, but also like people actually LIVE in said living room 😉

  14. ha. I was JUST thinking to myself how our apartment went from “meh, we can afford it” to “Home” by filling it with our my stuff. I still want to make it a little more cohesively ‘decorated’ but that will take time.

  15. Oh I am jealous! We have an awesome little house, and much available awesome art. But by the time we put up the mega 5-piece print we got given as a wedding present (which I LOVE), the large mirror we used as a wedding guest book and an epic multi-photo frame of wedding photos, our lounge seems quite full!
    The study has two of my own photos printed as A0 posters and our degrees (and a window wall), and the bedroom… Actually, the bedroom has only two pieces of art… But then, one wall is the window and another is the wardrobe, so that limits spaces…
    Even the hallway is full of art prints! But I have decided we have too many wedding photos up now – 15 in the frame in the lounge, 2 canvas in the hall, the image in the guest book mirror plus a few others in frames on a bookshelf. But I want photos of us, rather than artsy photos I took (I feel like a showoff showing my own photos in the house), and we just dont take photos of us! Oh well, roll on Europe when we will!
    Answer? We need a bigger house!
    (and sorry, this is SO much longer than it needs to be!)

  16. I am so jealous of your nice matching living room. Ours is a combination of my furniture and the Boy’s, which makes for a terrible combination of white girly things and industrial black, ugh.

    To make it worse, his parents are offloading onto us a black leather armchair (the Boy is terribly excited) which will look SO crap against our chocolate brown couches, argh!!

    We have to move soon to a new rental place, so there’s no point worrying about it now, plus we want to buy a place in another year-ish, so I guess my dreams of actual nice furniture will have to wait…but it does make me a bit sad sometimes when I sit and stare at our tragic looking living room!

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