The verdict

I wrote last week about the hemming and hawing over the purchase of a new, custom loveseat, one of the most expensive purchases for this house (or any other house) that we have made. If you read that post, you know I was nervous because I almost always hate something new when it comes into my home, at least for the first 24 hours.

Well. The loveseat arrived Friday, and true to form, I hated it. I mean, I recognized it as a thing of beauty, particularly its sinuous, curved sides and the way the metallic thread in the fabric sparkled under direct light.

But I hated it in the room. The tweedy fabric felt, well, too tweedy on the stark, moorish tile pattern of the orange and white rug. The back felt just a little too high with the low-slung profile of the DWR bantam sofa, a little too proper with the slouchiness of the vintage danish armchair. The stupid thing is, I knew these things when I ordered the sofa. I had measured, and knew the back would be 2 inches taller than the sofa's back, but somehow thought it wouldn't bother me in real life. I knew that the tweed was a bit dull in flat daylight (though gorgeous in the bright sun and under the overhead.) I knew that the shape was more sophisticated than the two big pieces already in the room. I CHOSE it for its sophisticated and feminine counterpoint to those pieces. Which just goes to show, it's all in the mix, and the mix is more art than science.

Over the weekend, I stole many furtive sidelong glances at the little lady, wishing she was this guy,

and that I had snapped him up at the antique store and had him recovered in deep brown velvet. (In my pining, I conveniently ignored the fact that Dave nixed this piece on comfort, and that I had rejected deep brown velvet for sucking the light out of the room.) I think part of the problem is that the vibe of the room came together in my mind after I decided on the loveseat, and I had settled into something slouchy and bold and a little more masculine than I typically go.

Now, of course, I have visions of upping the sophistication to match this new piece, with a white shag beni ourain rug
and gold poufs (Nate Berkus peddles a version on HSN for just $99 each, compared to $325 for the John Derian ones),

maybe even some kind of round marble and bronze midcentury coffee table. But of course the whole idea of a new loveseat was to bring together everything I had already put in the room. This is the other trouble with bringing in a new piece: it changes the way you see everything else.

But another thing happened over the weekend, too. I fell asleep on the loveseat watching a movie, because it is super comfy. (The movie was Network, circa 1974, which has the most incredible 1970s furnishings and interiors). My girls snuggled in to it (and jumped off the seat one too many times.)

And I kept admiring its corner when I looked down the hall from the kitchen and dining room.

As things will, it grew on me. And I knew that a little styling might go a long way. Today was NOT the day to drive all over town, with 3-5 inches of unplowed snow on the ground, but I had a bee in my bonnet and persevered, like an idiot. One of the pillows I set out to get, the gilded grasscloth you see here

eluded me on the grounds that west Elm is closed for inventory today (it shocks me how often this happens to me), but the pillows I brought home were cheaper anyway, and it's possible (though I can't believe I'm saying this), that the gold thread in the pillow + the loveseat might have been too much gold. I think the white and the graphic zigzag bring the couch to life and play down the sophistication. In a good way.

Plus, the white flokati was $12 from Target and the brown and white zig zag was on sale for $13 at Kohls, and free to me, because I had a merchandise credit from Christmas!

What do you think?

p.s. These are the first photos of the living room on this blog, and I kind of can't believe I'm putting them up with the mess on the coffee table. Keeping it real, I guess. Keeping it real.