Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Eckhardts! I am so excited to take a little break and relax with my family. I hope you enjoy your holiday as well. Here's an instagram photo of two scowling cats to warm your heart.

Thank you so much for visiting The Room Journal. I am really enjoying blogging, and having readers and blog friends makes it so much more fun. I really appreciate you being here!

Happy Holidays and cheers to 2014!

-Layne, Rand, Max, and Mitzi

Sofa Search 2013 Is Over!

It's here!!

You might remember how I have been dreaming of replacing our sofa for a while now.  I wasn't sure this day would ever come. It was looking like I might have to save up my pennies and spend $800 or more for a new sofa to get everything I was looking for. In fact, the other night we stopped into the JCPenney Home Store to look around, and I happened to see one of my favorites: the Darrin sofa.

When I was able to see it in person, the first thing I did was make sure those round pillows weren't attached, and they weren't. 

This was exactly what I was looking for. The midcentury shape, the tapered legs, the warm brown color, the was perfect, except for the $1600 price tag. And that was on sale from $2700. Good grief. 

So yesterday when I wandered into Urban Market, I was very excited to see the perfect little vintage leather sofa sitting there, ready to come home with me. At $330, it was still a chunk of money, but I knew I would not find a leather mid century-looking sofa anywhere else for that price. Warm brown leather, tapered legs, the shape, the was all there. 

So I bought it. And I LOVE it.

It is definitely vintage, and I would much rather spend my money at a flea market than at a big corporate store anyway. Doesn't that just seem better in principle? 

The tag inside says Custom Built Berne Furniture, Berne Indiana. I Googled it, and the company claims to use top-grain leather and refers to themselves as "high-end." Fancy!

I tried to get Max to model on the new sofa, but he bit me. He looks a little annoyed in these photos.

This sofa is comfy, clean, and repels cat hair beautifully. No strange smells, and the leather is in crazy good condition. There is a little funkiness happening with one cushion that doesn't lay down perfectly. I decided before I bought it that I could really live with it and be fine. When I got it home, I noticed that the cushions unzip, so maybe I could reach my hand in there and fix the stuffing a little bit... I'll let you know.

You are not allowed to see the rest of this room because it is a disaster. All the stuff from the bedroom is now thrown all over the living room, because a very big project is starting in there. More on that later!

A Little Help, Please!

A while back, I was lucky enough to get a Canon Rebel DSLR that was slightly used, but in great condition, and since then I have been having a blast learning how to use it and how to take better pictures of my home and projects.

On the fall day I took it with me to Jordan Valley Park and downtown Springfield, I noticed a light leak that was happening when I shot into the sun. It looked like a half circle, like something was reflecting off the edge of the lens. Here's a couple of examples from that day:

More recently, I put my cat in the snow and tried to take some pictures of him (I'm a jerk), and with the bright white snow, the same thing happened again. 

This doesn't happen every time, just when the light is bright and just right, but when it happens, it's always in the same place. I've done a little internet searching, and I've come across some promising leads, but I'm still not even sure what words I should be searching for.

One explanation I've come across (and it's sort of common sense) is that the lens needs taken apart and cleaned. This involves purchasing a cleaning kit.

Another possibility is a light leak, but every source I have found on light leaks talks about them in a positive way. I like cool effects on my pictures, but I want to control them, and this is not something I can control. I want to be able to take photos without this weird crescent shape across the middle, and I haven't found any sites that address light leaks as a problem.

There's a store in my town that specializes just in cameras, so I might stop by and ask them. I hope this isn't a permanent problem with my beloved camera (although for the price I paid, I still got a pretty good deal, I guess). 

So, any thoughts? Anyone out there have a DSLR and had a similar issue? Are there any great resources you know of that might help me? 

My Christmas Wishlist

Almost all of my Christmas shopping is done, so I thought I'd go ahead and share my Christmas wish list, just in case anyone out there is looking for last minute gift ideas...maybe even for me. (Wink, wink, Rand!)

Here's what I dream of finding under my tree on Christmas morning:

1. Anna Dorfman now has a Society 6 shop! I really admire her and I would love to have something she's created hanging in my home! This Focus print is my favorite, but there are so many beautiful things in her shop to choose from.

2. These boots look like something I could wear all the time, in every season. 

3. This is another Society 6 print featuring the characters from my favorite TV show ever, Arrested Development. LOVE. I especially love that Tobias is blue!

4. Morgan Satterfield is another blogger I find really inspiring, and this Daily Pill Necklace is her design from her shop, Camp Provisions. Both are beautiful, but I think I want the circular one.

5. I would really love to be able to run errands on my vintage bike, but it's so hard to bike around carrying my purse and anything I've purchased. A bicycle basket would be a huge help, like this one.

6. These TOMS wedges also look like they would go with so many, many outfits.

7. I can't stop thinking about the Stendig calendar. Time to get one!

8. This Stay Home Club shirt is perfection.  So me...and it also reminds me that I need two more cats. 

Do you see anything you like? What's on your wish list this year? If you've blogged your wish list, please share a link!


This weekend my record collection was this close to sliding off the record cart, so I started shopping around my house for a container that could keep them from toppling over. I was surprised that I had this basket on hand and it fits perfectly!

I have no idea where it's from. In fact, I think my mom gave it to me.  I set it on the floor in front of the fireplace, and it's created a nice little music nook in my house. Not that I really lay there to listen to records that often, but it's cozy. Now I would love to have these record dividers by designer Kate Koepell.

A lot of the records I have here are actually my mom's. When I was little, she stayed home with me, and she said we would listen to records all day while we went about our routine. One Christmas Day, years later, my sister got my mom a new turntable, so she dug out her records from the closet and we started listening. I discovered that I recognized and knew the words to songs I hadn't heard in years, like Simon and Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock" and Peter, Paul, and Mary's "Lemon Tree," (which I seriously thought for years was a kid's song...). Music has incredible power to take you back in time, even when you were so young you don't have a clear memory of what that time looked like.

Since the day I rediscovered my mom's music, I've been slowly gathering up a collection of my own. So I made you a little playlist of some of my favorites from my mom's and from my own records.  My musical tastes are all over the place, but perhaps you'll hear something you like. So press play, turn up the volume, and let's rearrange furniture....

My First Mood Board

Lately I've been playing around with creating "mood boards" and round-ups of items I want to share with you, so today I'm finally ready to reveal one. This is a little round-up of pretty bedroom items I like and that I think would be lovely in a room together. These items are mostly out of my budget for now, which is why I love idea boards like this. If I have a strong sense of what I like, then I feel more confident digging through junk at flea markets in search of similar items.

You never know! I did stumble across a teak platform bed with floating nightstands like the one above on Craigslist. Maybe I'll find a vintage kilim at a flea market someday...

Source List:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Wall Color: Moonlight White by Benjamin Moore

Decorating Around White Floors

Remember back when we ripped up our bedroom carpet on a whim, and then when I decided to paint the floors, and when my car needed repaired so we couldn't afford to take on the project? Then Thanksgiving happened, and now Christmas and so on. Life got in the way of my decorating dreams.

That dream is still alive, though, and I'm hoping to get this project back underway while I'm on Christmas break. After a lot of debate, pinning, and pro/con listing, I've landed back on white floors. I know gray may be a little more forgiving about dirt and scuffs, but it just doesn't make my heart flutter the way white floors do. Every time I come across a photo of white floors, I tell myself that I will regret it if I don't try white floors in my bedroom.

I've been reading a lot of advice about how to paint wood floors white (if you're interested, I'm relying on this advice from Door Sixteen), but in my digging, I've noticed a few details that I really love about rooms with white floors. I've gathered up some examples of what I'm seeing and hope to recreate in my room. 

{Photo by Christina Strutt, via Design Sponge}

Add in bright pops of color. You can stay in one color family, or be all over the place. With my thrifting habit, I know I will be all over the place. Colors just seem to sparkle in these all-white rooms, and they keep the room from feeling cold and empty.

{Photo by Petra Bindel, via Door Sixteen}

Turns out, white on white on white is fine. I wouldn't have thought this, but look at the photo above. White walls, white floors, white credenza, white chair. It works. And look! A pop of color!

{Photo by Angus McRitchie, via Style At Home}

{via The Apartment}

Break up white floors with a big rug. I've seen lots of photos without rugs, but I think I like it better with. The rugs seem to stand out just that much more. If I could afford it, I would layer vintage rugs all over my white floors, but rugs are so expensive, so I will probably have just one in my bedroom.

{Photo by Betina Hastoft, via Nordic Design}

Consider going high-gloss. I've noticed different levels of glossiness in the white floor photos I've come across, but I don't know much about it. I like the glossy look, since I love how lights and reflections show up on our downstairs hardwood floors. But are there disadvantages? Is this just a high-gloss paint or is it something else, like a lacquer? How durable is it on the floor? Aren't you glad you come to my blog so I can ask you all these questions?

{Photo by Anna Dorfman, via Door Sixteen}

White floors and white walls provide the perfect place for an accent wall.  Remember how badly I want a black wall? An all white room is a great place to feature any color accent wall you want, or a great wallpaper would be awesome, too. For me, it will be most likely be black paint.

{From Elle Decor UK via Sacramento Street}

White and wood are perfect together. I think this works best if you've got beautiful mid century pieces that are in great shape like those above (my bedroom won't), but still. Point taken.

Next up: gathering up materials and moving all the furniture out of the bedroom. I am so excited about this project, especially because, according to Anna Dorfman:
"EVERYTHING looks good in an all-white room. I should take a photo of some moldy salad in there just to prove it."

 I can't wait!

More Products for Crazy Cat Ladies

Good morning and happy Monday!

Since my last post on products for crazy cat ladies like me, I've come across a few more items that only a cat lover could understand. Here are a few more products I've gathered up for those of us who obsess over our feline fur babies.

I am seriously considering ordering one of those cat clocks. I'm also considering getting another cat.

My First Rag Rug in Progress

I started crocheting my first rag rug over Thanksgiving break, and I got an opportunity to make some more progress yesterday when we had our first snow day of the school year. This rug contains pieces of old sheets, Rand's shirts and pajama pants, and some old curtains. I know I'm going to need some more fabric very soon, so it might be a good time to get Rand to clean out his t-shirt drawer. I'm trying my best to stick to cool colors and whites.

As you can see above, I snapped my crochet hook in two. This is the second hook I've broken on this project. I've bought a third hook now, and this time I bought an aluminum one instead of acrylic. Hopefully this one can take the heat. It's size N, if you're curious.

The curling edges have been a big challenge. Every tutorial I've read says to add stitches if it seems to be curling up. I've done that, and all I got was lumpy + curling. However, every row has stopped curling up after I've added more rows after it, so maybe it will get over it eventually and lay down flat. This thing is thick and warm, though. I think it will go in the bedroom, if I ever finish it.

What do you think? Have you ever made a rag rug, and maybe you have tips for the curling issue? Or maybe just words of encouragement? If you are interested in making one of your own, there are tutorials all over the place for these. I used my Better Homes and Gardens Rug Making book, but there are great tutorials here, here, here, and here. I'll share the results when I'm done!

I'm Guest Posting!

Hello, Roomies!

Today I'm getting crafty over at Melinda's Musings with a super easy holiday DIY. Hop on over and take a look!

Have a lovely week!

{Etsy Love} Linda Tillman's Gallery

If, like me, you are easily distracted by shiny pretty things, you might understand how difficult Christmas shopping can be for people like us. Just when I have a clear idea of the gift I'm looking for-Oh! Shiny! What's that?! And then I realize it's an hour later.

I was digging around for a little gift for my mom the other day and I stumbled across a new favorite. Since it's not time to shop for myself, all I can do is share Linda Tillman's Gallery with everyone who will listen. She has a beautiful collection of prints that feature mid-century modern awesomeness. Tillman's pieces include touches of Southern California scenery, iconic furniture, cute cats and dogs, and hints of atomic space-age glamour, and they are really reasonably priced. As in, I might talk myself into getting more than one. Wouldn't these look great as a pair on the wall?

And of course, you know which ones are at the top of my wish list:

Cats and fabulous furniture? Perfection, in my book.

Visit Linda Tillman's Gallery to see the rest of her collection.

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Loving Woven Wall Hangings

My "wall carpet thingy" is finally validated, thanks to Decor8.

The first time I saw one of these wall hangings was over at The Brick House. I was instantly in love, so I filed it away in the back of my mind for future thrifting trips. You can bet I was pretty excited to come across one in the basement of one of my favorite flea markets here in Springfield. I was even more excited when I learned it was priced at $6.00 and everything in that booth was 50% off. 

So I hung it above my fireplace. 

I love this thing, and I'm feeling pretty satisfied after I came across this article on Decor8 and this article on The Design Files about artists who are currently making these kinds of lovely woven wall hangings. Here's a look at what they are talking about. I think they are insanely beautiful.

This past weekend, on our Thanksgiving trip to Warsaw, Missouri, I picked up this guy and gave him a dowel rod:


My husband sometimes appears to think I'm insane. But I'm going to keep buying any reasonably priced woven wall hangings (and paint-by-numbers, Rand!) I can, because I think they are lovely, and they can really amp up a room. Does anyone else out there agree?

Thrifty Finds // 7

This weekend we had Rand's side of the family's Thanksgiving celebration, and we all gathered together in Warsaw (Missouri, not Poland) for family time and flea market time. Here are the few little goodies I picked up while I was there:

Woven Wall Hanging, $15.00
This is on the upper end of what I would call a thrifty price. But I love these! In fact, I'm going to write another post about how much I love these.

Vintage Bullet Planter, $10.00
This thing needs a good cleaning and maybe some spray paint on those shabby legs. But I still like it!!

Records-Cat Stevens, Bing Crosby, and Rod Stewart, $1.00 each. We like to rock.

So this corner of my living room got some special treatment after this thrifty trip. I just stuck a pot of bamboo in the planter for now, but hopefully soon I will get time to plant something directly in it. Here's what this corner looks like now:

Have you had any good thrifty finds lately?

Lately I've been doing better than I can afford to be. I need to cut back, but it's tough when I keep finding good stuff! By the way, I passed up A LOT of paint by numbers while I was there. That took some restraint.

Do you think there will be any drainage issues when I put a plant into that bullet planter? 

Have you had any of your Thanksgivings yet?
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