How could I forget that my husband and I cannot shop for furniture without arguing with one another? I have written about our disagreements and debacles quite a few times before. There was the infamous coffee table that was recently shipped off to good will and before that arguments over bed frames and china cabinets.
It seems that most of the high end furniture stores have gone out of business in our area, so this weekend we ventured out to IKEA in the hopes of finding a new rug for our living room. The trouble is our living room is a hodgepodge of mismatched furniture. We own a plaid sofa bed that my husband bought for his first apartment. A purple chair and ottoman gifted to us from a renovated beach house and two IKEA chairs with brown and blue slipcovers.
With a cat who likes to claw at furniture there seemed no point in updating the living room. Despite the fact that neither of us was particularly comfy or cozy we decided to keep things as they were for the time being, but the minute we reached the rug department of IKEA all hell broke lose.
My husband didn’t want to purchase a rug that matched neither the sofa, chairs or ottoman. We walked around and around the rug department in search of something that was both big enough to fit the room and plain enough to match at least one piece of furniture. We were frustrated by the selection and the awful setup of our current space. Cat or no cat it just doesn’t feel comfy in there.
We walked out with a $99 rug that fit the space, but was unlikely to match anything inside our living room. He was mad and I was mad that he was mad. I know that seems ridiculous, but it’s absolutely true. I was as frustrated as he is about the situation, but I wasn’t willing to shell out a ton of money knowing that our cat will likely rip the new furniture to threads.
So we threw the rug into the back of the car and started off on our next set of errands. We barely spoke to each other on the ride other than to say neither of us was happy and for me to remind myself yet again not to go to a furniture store with my husband.
Next stop Costco. Well low and behold that trip to Costco solved all our problems. We found a new corner sofa that cost $799 and included an ottoman. It matched the new rug and two of our slipcovered IKEA chairs perfectly. I’m still not convinced that the cat won’t rip it to shreds, but for the price I decided to hope for the best and give it a try. At night we’ll cover the cushions with sheets and in the day we’ll have a water bottle on hand if the cat starts scratching.
We set up the new space and the room feels unbelievably homey. The rug is perfect for our son to crawl and play on. The sofa is soft and comfortable and helps define a space for us to enjoy each other’s company. Our living room is quite large and the sofa helps cut off some of the excess space. In that excess space we placed the purple chair and ottoman. They don’t match the sofa, rug or IKEA chairs, but they are slightly out of view when you are sitting on the new sofa and can eventually be slipcovered or replaced. Right now that’s the cat’s seat and we’re hoping it stays that way for awhile.
Our moods definitely softened once we donated our old plaid couch and sat down on our plushy, new sofa. At the end of the day I realized it wasn’t just about how the furniture looked. Given our issues with the cat I was okay with the fact that things were mismatched and ugly. What I didn’t realize was how the overall look of the living room was impacting our mood.
Clutter and cleanliness have a direct impact on my thoughts and feelings. If things are out of order I can’t seem to concentrate. With the furniture in disarray, shredded by cat claws and old and faded it felt less homey and comforting. With the new setup I love reading books to my son in the corner of the couch or chasing him around the ottoman. When my husband comes home the couch is large enough for all three of us to lounge and rest and for our son to climb over, around and between us.
I do know that it’s hard to teach an old cat new tricks. I sure hope he leaves the sofa alone. Step one make sure he knows exactly where the scratching posts are located. Step two trim, trim, trim those claws and hope for the best.