Archives for April 2011

My New Chairs!

My New Chairs!

Ihave been on the hunt for a few occasional chairs for my dining room and extra seating. I needed chairs that were durable, easy to move around, would work in a variety of rooms including outdoor spaces, be appropriate at dining tables or as stand alone chairs, would mix and mingle with my other chairs (including my green Pottery Barn ones), and ideally, even be stackable when I needed them to get out of the way. And of course, they had to have PERSONALITY.

I wasn’t asking too much was I? Ha.

My New Chairs!

I’ve been looking for chairs for quite some time, but most of the chairs I found and fell in love were was out of my price range. Until a couple of weeks ago! I found some metal chairs on (this is NOT a sponsored link, FYI) that were reasonably priced for new chairs (less than $50 a piece), pretty darn stylin’ in an old funky cafe way and would work great for my needs! I was so tempted by silver or adorable red ones, but black just made more sense for my house.

My New Chairs!

My New Chairs!

They weren’t at all what I originally was thinking, but hey, I’m an eclectic kind of girl and I can go with the flow. The best thing about these chairs is when I find my IDEAL dining chairs, these will be my extra chairs and can be tucked here and there around the house.

My New Chairs!

Dream Patio from Pottery Barn

I love these Tolix Cafe Chairs from Pottery Barn. This is where I got the idea I wanted chairs that I could take outside someday when I have a charming patio exactly like the one in the photo! These chairs are so adorable!!

One advantage of the Pottery Barn ones is they don’t have arms so if you are a little eh hem, wider (um, as many of us are) and want to completely fit in the chair, the Pottery Barn ones might be the right choice. They are more expensive, but I haven’t compared my chairs with the Pottery Barn ones side by side as far as size or quality. I do love the shape of the Pottery Barn ones though!

The other thing to note about the arms on my chairs is that the way the arms are designed they still work well with pulling up to a table, so I’m happy about that too!


*Update: I’ve had many questions about my dining room light fixture! It’s an outdoor lantern from Pottery Barn, here is the link!

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

You might remember a little over a week ago when I introduced you to Amanda from Everyday Elements. She was embarking on a Home Office Makeover and going to take us along for the ride! I always love seeing makeovers and it is fun to see one happen before my eyes where I don’t have to spend a cent!

Today for Part Two of this Home Office Makeover series, Amanda is going to take us on her IKEA shopping trip. If you have never been to IKEA, you can experience it through Amanda’s eyes. And if you have been, I hope you’ll share your best IKEA SHOPPING TIPS in the comments! Take it away, Amanda!

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First I want to thank Melissa for sharing about my office remodel here at The Inspired Room. You’re the best, Melissa!

Melissa shared with you shots of my many-windowed-bedroom-turned-office, which seriously needed some attention. I wanted this done before my first in-person photography workshop, so I knew I need to kill a lot of birds with one stone. What better place to do that than IKEA?

On April 16th, my husband, sister, niece and I headed to IKEA in Charlotte, NC, about 2.5 hours from my home. My sister drove her own car, as she was heading back home to Raleigh, NC. We were taking my Dodge Grand Caravan (that does not have the “stow and go” seats), so my husband took out the two back seats and was going to take out the middle two also, but I said “oh, don’t bother, we won’t have THAT much stuff to bring home.” (Yes, I later regretted those words).

TIP: Make sure you have PLENTY of room in your vehicle to bring home your IKEA finds.

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

We grabbed the ready-to-be-loaded down IKEA buggy and started on our way.

My sister, who is a big The Inspired Room fan, wanted to be “in” one of the pictures without really having her picture taken, so when I went to take a shot of the buggy, she put her hand in quick. Hi, Kirstie, love you!!!

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

The main thing I wanted to get accomplished first was finding the desk. For me, everything was going to revolve around the desk. Well, this proceeded to be a bit of a problem because I wanted simple and user friendly, my husband wanted non-girly and sturdy and my sister wanted attractive and fashionable.

I think they shot down the first three desks I liked. I was not a happy IKEA shopper at that point. And, if I liked a desk that my husband sort of okayed, then he would wiggle it, shake it, press down on it, look under it and if it was not deemed structurally sound, it got vetoed.

Me: Oh, this one is simple and functional, I like it.

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}


Him: Let me see. Wiggle, shake, look under….nope.

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

Me: Oh, I love this one. A bit traditional but simple and all I need.
Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

Him: Too girly, and….wiggle, shake, look under….not sound enough. Veto.
Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

After about five vetoes (I am not kidding), we stumble across a desk that both my sister and husband like and it fits my qualifications, so I consent. Of course it is the most expensive one. Wonderful. See, it’s easy for them to pick when it’s not their money being spent.

Oh, and notice this one is not girly…. Which at that point I had to ask him why did that matter? It is my office mister! Love you, Sweetheart. Kisses.

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}


We then went on a hunt for book shelves and a credenza type thing for behind my desk. That was a whole new adventure. Oh, and I didn’t mention that it was BUSY that day and I am not such a good crowd person so my stress level was getting on up there.

After that we work through the bottom floor, looking at lights, frames, drapes and other accessories. I wish I had pictures of lots of little things I bought for the office, but really other than some frames, two baskets that I don’t need now, a set of drapes I have to return and a trash can, I didn’t do much buggy filling on that floor. Well, I had a stool that I later couldn’t buy in there, but that is a story I do not have time to tell.

So, now we are on to the warehouse to collect our goodies. Being newbie IKEA furniture shoppers that we were, we were NOT prepared for this part. Oh. My. Word. I cannot tell you how upset I was by the SECOND time I had to go back upstairs to find out all the little parts we needed for something.

TIP: If you are planning an IKEA trip for furniture, take along a notebook and pen and write down EVERYTHING. Trust me. Do it.

Below is a shot of our buggy, and one cart. Foolish us. Thinking one cart was all we needed. ;-)

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

By the time we got all we needed and pushed out way to the checkout, this is what our little buggy train looked like:

TIP: You will probably need more than one cart if you are doing some serious shopping.


Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

Now is the time I start doing some recalculating of my items and I think I am at around $930. Praying I figured everything correctly.

Shopping at IKEA for a New Home Office! {And tips for newbie IKEA shoppers!}

Hey! Not bad, I was $70 off and just barely over $1000, I’ll take that.

That is when I remembered that I had not given them the ticket for the top of the desk, something we just had a paper for, to pick up in a different area. That was another $130. I was too sad to take a picture of that. :-(

So, I put my big-girl pants on and moved forward. Now, let’s get this stuff loaded up. After arranging and rearranging, my husband did manage to get everything in the back of the van. Barely. Sure with those middle two seats had been taken out.

There you have it, my office IKEA adventure. Good news: most everything I needed to build my sleek new office came home with me. Bad new: I went over budget.

I am actually writing this from my new desk, in my freshly painted office. Things have come together nicely with just a few hiccups here and there. Next week I will share a few more in-process pictures then reveal the after shots, so you can see how things worked out!

Thanks Amanda! That was fun and I cannot wait to see how your room comes together!


As long as we are talking about IKEA, I thought I’d share my top five IKEA shopping tips:

1) Measure your rooms and spaces and write all measurements in a notebook that you bring with you.

2) Bring a measuring tape.

3) Don’t bring early grade school boys with you if you need to actually SHOP while you are at IKEA.

4) Eat the meatballs and lingonberry sauce for lunch. Do it.

5) Oh, and buy the lingonberry sauce for later. You can make anything tastier with that sauce.

Have you been to IKEA?

What are your tips for making the most of your IKEA shopping trip? Please share them in the comments!


A note from my awesome sponsor Sarah at Three Boys: In honor of earth day, Shaklee is offering FREE MEMBERSHIP {$19.95} value if you purchase $30 in products, click here for details. Plus for all new members, a special Three Boys promo! You can email Sarah for details or just see your surprise at check out.