Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Love Affair With Society6

If someone had told me three months ago that today I'd have a mortgage and no longer renting my little ol' unit on the beach, I would have laughed. There's no way I could have predicted the whirlwind of the last few months! 

While living so close to the beach was nothing short of a dream come true, being in a new house feels like being on holiday. There are luxuries I've never had before. Ducted heating/cooling. A dishwasher. A gas stove. A detachable shower head. And did I mention wi-fi?

Oh, I know I'll be missing the proximity to the beach when summer hits again, but the unit was a real terror to live in during winter. Those gusty ocean winds and tall ceilings. Power bills past a thousand dollars trying to keep the place at a reasonable temperature (never warm, mind you).

And so, Jeff and I realised pretty early on that we'd need to get some new furniture. The most urgent things needing replacements were the hand-me-down couches from my parents and the dining table, which didn't actually belong to us. 

Suddenly all that fashion passion of mine transferred over to furniture and home decor. I had to decide on a colour scheme and style. There were countless trips to Ikea, Freedom, Harvey Norman, Classic Timber, Nick Scali and Amart. Jeff started losing his patience with me, so I'd go on my own. I'd have the whole house picked out, and then change my mind.

I realised that there were a lot of styles I liked. After house sharing at the unit for so many years, the decor became this odd, eclectic amalgamation of styles, ranging from retro to new and shiny - to plain-old-falling-apart. I didn't actually know what I liked. I didn't know what was me.

It wasn't until I spotted this page in an old issue of Cosmopolitan that everything came together in my mind.

Perhaps it shouldn't have been a surprise that in the end, it was fashion that inspired me to "dress" my house. I had been toying with the idea of turquoise for a while, but I'm attracted to warm colours and was hesitant to have such a cool colour palette. When I saw this page, I realised the answer was to bring coral into the equation.

After spotting this turquoise couch in Nick Scali and Jeff pretending he was Kate Winslet posing for her first nude sketch ("It was the most erotic moment of my life...up until then at least") we really, really wanted it.

As you can see to the left of the couch, there's an extensive range of colours to choose from. Initially we had wanted a more neutral colour, but my mum was there and talked us into being bold. "Everyone goes for neutral. You're decorating in turquoise anyway! Make it your statement piece." With the wide, flat arm rests (perfect for resting your laptop on) and adjustable head rests, it wasn't hard to be persuaded into believing this was the ideal couch. The annoying thing was, everything I wanted was already picked out in my mind at Freedom. I'd even purchased their membership card so I could get all the discounts. After splurging on the Nick Scali couch, the dining table and buffet I wanted were just too expensive. Luckily we were able to pick up a 12-piece set from Amart (dining, coffee table, buffet, etc) which was fantastic value for money, and wasn't too far off what I wanted anyway.

Enter Society6. I can't remember exactly how I found this website. I'm sure it must have been through home decor blog hopping. What I do know is that I lost hours of my life searching the prints. The artwork on the site is created by hundreds of thousands of artists from around the world. Every time you purchase something, you support the artist. The products are made using high quality materials and are shipped to you on behalf of the artist, who keep control of their rights.

Not only can you buy prints in a variety of sizes, but the artwork is also available as clocks, rugs, shower curtains, quilt covers, t-shirts, mugs, phone covers, laptop covers, and so on. You can search art according to colour (very handy) and there's also a lot of fan art on there. For example, type in "breaking bad" and watch the prints of Walter White and Jessie fill up your screen.

After searching on Houzz for a few hours (fantastic resource for getting ideas), I knew I wanted to do a group of prints on the main wall in the lounge. I finally selected twelve prints and three stretched canvases (with Jeff's input), ordered them in various sizes and impatiently awaited their arrival. I knew it would take several weeks for them to be delivered from the US. When they arrived, they were breathtaking. I laid them out on the dining table.

I shot over to Ikea to get the frames and set to work. Using a print hanging tool from BigW, mum helped me to arrange them on the wall.

I ordered the illustrated recipes to go over the buffet.

The three matching Back To The Future prints we hung over the television on the opposite wall.

Ikea didn't have the right sized frames for these ones, so we had them professionally framed.

I then decided to order another print for the entrance, to go over the record player. I decided to pay extra and ordered this one framed. You can choose from a variety of frame colours, but I just went with white. The framed prints are acrylic, not glass, but I think it still looks fine.

Next, I ordered cushion covers! Once again, I headed to Ikea for the cushion inserts. I bought the feather-filled ones, which cost $9 each. The foam ones are $3 and are fine too. It just depends on what you prefer. Personally, I wish the feather cushions were more full. However, this is how they turned out.

Links to cushions:

The plain coral cushions are from Freedom, so I did get some use out of my membership after all! The rug is from Rugs A Million which I love, but had to get a non-slip underlay to stop it from sliding around. My mum picked up this orange striped chair for $20 from a car boot sale, woot!

The table-runner was an eBay find, as were the two white DVD bookcases. They cost me approximately $100 each, flat-packed. 

It's been exciting to see our little living space come together. Society6 made it so easy for us to personalize the space, which made it such a joy. Jeff was skeptical at first (he'd be happy living off milk crates), but now loves how everything has turned out.

I'm also currently waiting on a clock and a quilt cover from Society6....teehee.

Thanks for reading x