Monday, November 16, 2015

To Tuft or Not To Tuft ...

As many of you know by now, I moved in September. This is the second move in 2015, a move instigated by this guy:

Arlo - French Bulldog and General Awesome Sidekick!
There were a few things that I needed in a new place, and finding it in my budget, with a dog, wasn't easy. In fact, it wasn't even nearly possible. Thankfully, I work for a great property management company with a diverse portfolio, including apartments that are dog-friendly, in a rather elite suburb of Buffalo.
It was, however, not without its fair share of challenges. Here's what the living room in the model apartment looks like:
Carpeted from wall to wall, void of any molding or architectural interest, and an eye-sore of an air-conditioning unit: it's not a dump - but it's not the ritz, either. I knew that I could make some improvements, thanks to my position with the company. They'd be out of my own pocket, but the positives far outweighed the initial ding to my pocket.
When I took my unit, it looked like this:
Pretty, right? I got permission to put down a different floor in the living room of the apartment than the carpet that they typically install prior to a tenant moving in. Thankfully! I still have carpet in the hallway and in the bedrooms, but for just a little over $350, the living room eventually looked like this:

Not too shabby, right? Once the furniture went into place, it became a little more obvious that in order to get a look that I wanted, I was going to have to spend some more money and create some architectural interest in the space. I started with a giant piece of art, which I did myself, a Cy Twombly inspired piece that I think I could have sold 15 times already:

At just over 6' tall and 8' long, it's a large statement in the room. Of course, I took the squat little window on the other side and visually raised the height of it by adding my bamboo roman shades and custom curtains. It wasn't quite enough though. So, inspired by mirrored walls I created a little mirror alcove of my own:
Using mirrors from the dollar store, (yes, they were $1/ea!) and doing a fun treatment on them to have them look like antique mirrors really added a beautiful and architecturally interesting piece to the room, for about $50 for the molding, mirrors, and glue.
So, this is really where the living room is today. This morning in fact. So why is this post called To Tuft or Not To Tuft? See those mouton leg French ottomans? They're moving on. The room is large enough to have a pretty significant piece of furniture there, and the opportunity to have the layout I want is worth the switch up. You see, the living room is 20' long! And there's plenty of opportunity for two seating groups. The sofa and two Bergere chairs create one group, and this large ottoman I'm creating for the center of the room creates another along with two additional Bergere chairs, serving as a backless sofa to both spaces.
So, the question is not whether or not to fill the space with a very large ottoman that will be multifunctional. That's happening. The question is whether or not tufting is the ticket, and I think it is. Take a look at a few inspiration pics, and let me know what you think!

Inspiration photos sourced on Pinterest


  1. Tufting of course! Your room is beautiful .... and your frenchie adorable!

  2. OMG, Amazing make over. Please can you share how you did the mirrors they turned out beautifully.

  3. Artie- The living room looks amazing! You have done a wonderful job with it. I know you and Arlo are loving living there now. I voted tufted btw:) xxojoan

  4. Oh migosh. You made that room look so fresh and bright. Wonderful! And Arlo is such a cutie pie!

  5. Tufting, yes! The entire vibe of this beautiful room you have created cries out for it! Tell us more about the mirror and the art you created ~~ also the flooring you chose.

  6. Yes it is indeed what you need. I have an oval tufted ottoman/coffee table in my living room and love it!!! It seems to add a texture without pattern. Go for it! Looking forward to the reveal. BTW, show us your upholstered walls. :)

  7. I'm thinking about tufting, too, so your post was timely. So happy to see your darling French Bulldog--a cutie. Love what you've done to your living room!

  8. Tufting is hot. Go with it, definitely! Also would love you to do a post on how you aged your dollar store mirrors. Everything looks gorgeous!

  9. Since the rest of the upholstery in your room, (as well as the inspiration rooms) is smooth with solid colors, I think tufted gives the room texture and a focal point. I love what you did! I would also like to know how you antiqued the mirrors. Great job!

  10. I love the tufting idea! And your living room looks beautiful! (Reminds me a little of Joni's at Cote de Texas with the similar white slip covered chairs and the zebra rug:))

    You did an amazing job! (might have to copy the dollar store mirror idea - brilliant!)

    Sheila Irwin

  11. Yes to tufting. Dear Lillie blog has a great tutorial and link.
    Your living room looks great- such creative ideas!
    Best, Robin

  12. Yes, tuft! It will add visual and textural interest. How about a tutorial on your artwork? What then will you do with the French ottomans? If you're selling, I'd like to buy.

  13. I'm 100% for tufting.

    You've done a beautiful job in making an apartment into a lovely home. Of course a dog adds fun to any household.

  14. I can't believe its the same room!! Beyond fab!!! Leslie Sinclair

  15. Definitely tufting!

    Can you teach us how to antique a mirror please?!

  16. I would love to know how you did the mirror...You are one talented fellow, keep up the good work.

  17. Artie!
    LOVE your new living room! IT should be the model -
    Your frenchie is too adorable! Love!
    I do like tufting, although it's become terribly trendy, so I think it would be fine if
    you end up not having it- since a well placed throw-tray combo on a large ottoman looks great too
    and ends up hiding most of the tufting detail anyway...

    Dean Farris
    Naples, FL

  18. And I really like the quality of the sun coming into the room!

  19. Please , not a large tuftet ottoman !
    It is so plump . And you start covering it up to make it look more elegant .
    Try to find two rather large Chinese extra tables .
    You can put them together or use them seperatly .
    And change them again with a mirrored top .

    Love , what you did with the room . Good luck !

  20. Spectacular transition, Artie ben! Am loving it. Re the tufting, I'm afraid I am not the one to ask as I am a wee bit prejudice towards it since I have always had pieces of same which I became so tired of that I had much of it reupholstered and still do not regret doing so. -Brenda-

  21. love the mirrors!! how did you get the frame to stay?

  22. Such beautiful decoration always admirable . Just awesome .

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