Monday, September 26, 2011

Circle Gets the Square

For quite a while now we've been thinking about getting rid of our old coffee table for something a little more modern that would be more kid friendly at the same time (no this is not any sort of "we're having a baby" announcement, we have 6 nieces and nephews that are over a lot, so we like to keep things pretty kid friendly for them). We had been eying this ottoman from Target for a while.
It's just so great, has a place for storage, and even a hard top on the opposite side of the top to make a table top, but the $170 price tag had us cringing, so we hadn't ever really looked at it too closely, other than the fact that I neurotically checked to see if it was on sale every time I went into Target. Well, the ottoman didn't go on sale, but we had a garage sale, and decided before hand that the money we made could go to buying the new ottoman. We actually went to buy it before the garage sale even happened just in case we didn't like it and wanted to keep our current coffee table (which we planned to sell in the garage sale). But of course we knew we would love the round one, the shape would make the flow from the living room to the kitchen so much better, and all that storage, how could we not...(this is what they call foreshadowing in literature). So we went out and bought the ottoman, confident that it would be great in it's new home. And then, it wasn't.
 It wasn't horrible, it just wasn't as great as we were hoping, it kind of felt too small and too big for the space at the same time somehow. See how it almost cuts off the walkway between the chair and couch?
So, seeing that the round one may not be quite right for us, we decided to go back and check out some square ones we had looked at while we were there too. (I couldn't find the exact ottoman on the Target website, but it's pretty much like this only without the legs.)
They were listed at $70, which would only be saving us $30, so when we thought we liked the round one so much better it didn't really seem worth the savings when we liked the round one more. But since we weren't as enamored with the round one as we thought we would be we decided to go back and get a couple of the square ones to see what we thought of them. We kept the round one too though, just in case we did end up liking it better still. So, off on another trip to Target (good thing it's only a few blocks from our house). We weren't terribly excited at the prospect of spending $70 a piece on the little square ottomans, but we thought we should give them a chance. When we checked out at Target though, we discovered that they were on sale for $51 a piece! That definitely made us like them a little more. So we happily came home with our two square ottomans, which with our Target debit card's 5% off plus another 5% off coupon we had, cost us just $100.39. Let me tell you, the extra $30 in savings may not have been that much of an incentive to us, but an extra $70 is definitely a good one for us. So we moved the round ottoman out of the way and set up the two square ones.
We immediately liked the look of the two square ones better, plus the extra $70 that we would be saving on them was still in the back of our minds helping us decide. We decided to keep both overnight though to think on it before making any rash decisions. We even set up the round one again so that we could wake up to it and see again what we thought of it. The next morning we still weren't feeling the round one though, so back it went that afternoon and we haven't looked back. We really love the square ottomans, and we really like the tray option that they have. We still haven't decided what we're going to store in them, but I'm ok with having storage space that's just free whenever we decide we need it. And they look so great in the space. Here's a look at the transformation from old coffee table to round ottoman to square ottomans. 
The square ones just seem to fit so well, plus since we plan to sell the old coffee table, along with a matching end table on Craigslist and if we're lucky we may come out right around even for the cost to buy vs. selling price. Not a bad deal for such an updated look that's more efficient (since they each have storage and are much more comfortable to rest your feet on than the old coffee table was) and they're more kid friendly! It's a win, win, win!
Anyone else out there gotten a much more updated coffee table situation lately? Or maybe made another trade off that you feel like you got the better end of the deal on?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Have I Mentioned?

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Target? I probably love it a little too much, and since it's only a few blocks from our house, I frequent on a very regular basis. We're talking it's a very strange week if I haven't been there, and I'm usually there multiple times a week.

So why am I telling you about my Target addiction today? Well, there is an upside to my obsession, I see pretty much everything in the store and know when there is new stuff and when there is stuff that has gone on clearance. One of my most recent finds were the curtains I got for the back room.  I managed to snag them for only $7/panel, which is quite the steal. Update: I just went to Target again this weekend and they are now on clearance for $4 at our store.
As I mentioned here I had already bought the curtains, but was just waiting to get the rods. Well I went to Big Lots (another favorite place, especially for curtain rods) and got some finally. So up went the curtains.
 We hung them as close as we could to the ceiling while still having them graze the floor. (I can't stand too short curtains, it's like those people who wear too short of pants, it just doesn't look right). Having the curtains up higher draws the eye up and automatically makes the windows look just a hair bigger. Plus, since the ceiling in this room is only seven foot it helps to make it see just a little larger.
The one thing I love most about these curtains is their subtle diamond pattern. I think it really adds depth and dimension compared to a plain white sheer panel.

And I checked having them closed at night and they provide a surprising amount of privacy. You can see through them a little if you really concentrate, but hopefully we won't really have people standing outside trying to see through them that hard. If so then we have a whole other problem. And since we're curtain closers anyway it works out well for us (we don't really like to mess with the blinds every night, so we just close the curtains instead). They also do a great job of filtering the light in the day if we happen to leave them closed. Compare: Open:
You may not be able to tell the best in the pictures, but the closed curtains kind of redistribute the light so that it brightens the whole room rather than having direct sun in some areas and then darker shadows in others.

We really like that we didn't have to spend very much to have great looking windows (because we're kind of cheap skates). In all we ended up paying $7/panel and bought six curtain panels, $7 for each of the two shorter curtain rods and $10 for the longer rod over the double windows. So in all we only spent $66 for the entire window treatments. Not too shabby considering that you can pay that for a single pair of curtains easily in a lot of stores.