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Kathryn's "The Couch was the Catalyst"

Name:

Kathryn

Location:

Iowa City, Iowa

Division:

Small

Square Feet:

999

What I Love About My Home


I love the feel of the place. The couch was the catalyst. I found this icky blue beat-up couch on a family vacation and I just knew it could be amazing. I had the couch and an extra roll of black-and-white wall paper. The design developed from there. It feels chic, stylish, and inviting on a student’s budget.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home


This condo had zero architectural interest. You might even say it had negative architectural interest with its popcorn ceilings, outdated cabinets, ugly linoleum, etc. In addition, I had to accept the fact that any upgrades I made needed to suit the budget of future buyers, mostly graduate students. This condo is a testament to getting creative with low-cost materials and remnants. I hung the curtains over the sliding door with plumbing materials. I replaced the ugly linoleum with updated linoleum arranged in a checker-board pattern. I repurposed old furniture. One left-over roll of designer wallpaper, painted cabinets, and a chalkboard wall made all the difference in the kitchen. Broken and battered closet doors were removed and replaced with industrial shelving and fabric. The artwork consists of inexpensive prints and photographs taken by my husband.

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Comments (42)

The couch is really fantastic!

posted by aaakid on April 21, 2011 at 8:17pm
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Go Hawks! The red pyramid-like things should be gold. :)

posted by teapotrose on April 21, 2011 at 9:32am
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I love the couch! Where did you get the fabric? I've been searching online with no success.

posted by Erin in Ottawa on April 22, 2011 at 7:32pm
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this place makes me dizzy. yet, it is very well put together and deserves my fav. vote!

posted by queenyellowsun on April 23, 2011 at 2:52am
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I like the high contrast.

posted by Miami Elaine on April 21, 2011 at 9:40am
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Seriously, from one Iowan to another, I think it's very cool. :)

posted by teapotrose on April 21, 2011 at 9:57am
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I love this look. I don't understand the black & white wall paper unless it is cloth.I'm guessing it is. The second I saw wallpaper it made me wonder. The look is fantastic all through.

posted by laurastutler on April 21, 2011 at 10:19am
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I looooooooove houndstooth!
And that shag rug is awesome!

posted by pheebs79 on April 21, 2011 at 11:40am
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OMG, that couch is beyond amazing. You upholstered it with wallpaper? What???

posted by Cassis on April 21, 2011 at 12:01pm
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where did you get that amazing couch???????

posted by Pamela L on April 21, 2011 at 12:11pm
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That cannot be, upholstery with wallpaper....unheard of!!! That couch is amazing.Cool

posted by her_royal_gr8ness on April 21, 2011 at 12:34pm
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Thanks for all of the nice comments! Sorry for the confusion. I put the roll of wallpaper in the kitchen on the soffit over the cabinets and on the wall with windows. The wallpaper dictated the black-and-white color scheme. I reupholstered the ugly blue couch in houndstooth fabric. I knew when I found the couch that it had great potential, but it turned out better than I imagined. I liked it so much I started a small business recovering furniture.

posted by Kathryn from The Sumptuous Chair on April 21, 2011 at 12:44pm
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Not my taste at all, but I've got to give you credit for having the guts to really stand out with color and pattern. You've got some nice furniture and accessories and you've made it all work rather well. That you did a ton of work on a slim budget and really stretched your resources is fantastic. Congrats on having a very memorable and interesting home.

posted by RMF325 on April 21, 2011 at 1:25pm
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so jealous of your dining chairs

posted by lorrinm on April 21, 2011 at 2:39pm
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Intense. I love it. Would have loved to see more bedroom photos.

That said, I'm not sure I could live in your apartment.

posted by austinpeahen on April 21, 2011 at 7:03pm
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Photos are not showing up....

posted by junklover on April 21, 2011 at 7:44pm
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I usually don't care for accent walls, but the red is perfect here. That sofa is indeed amazing.

posted by deelw on April 21, 2011 at 8:14pm
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Outstanding high-contrast low-budget fearlessness.

Also houndstooth rocks.

posted by JosieDaisy on April 21, 2011 at 8:24pm
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this place is totally not my style at all, but hanging that curtain with the plumbing is brilliant!

posted by guesswhatwhat on April 21, 2011 at 9:11pm
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I am in love with that couch! Been a big fan of houndstooth since the 80s when I used to wear houndstooth suits :-)

But seriously, the lines and cut of the couch! Fantastic, great eye and great makeover. The shaggy black/grey/white rug is pretty great too.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 21, 2011 at 9:20pm
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Awesome!

posted by Terry Clark on April 21, 2011 at 10:48pm
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Would love to see more of the bedroom. The rest of the place, WOW, I could never do this, but bravo to you for pulling it all together. @teapotrose ~WHAT?! The red pyramid thing? Gold?!?! WHAT?! I'm going to assume they're Eiffel Tower candlesticks~which looks red at sunset. Gold?! Anyway, great work on your apartment!

posted by ach on April 21, 2011 at 11:16pm
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I must say that sofa is to die for. I love how you took a theme and ran with it.

posted by robertspeg on April 21, 2011 at 11:26pm
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I love your living room space, such dramatic and bold use of colour and pattern. Love it! I'd love to feature it in Adore Home magazine's next issue...

posted by loniparker on April 21, 2011 at 11:45pm
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I see popular trends, but it looks so original - and fabulous. Doubly impressed about the DIY. The couch is brilliant.

posted by Lilly3 on April 22, 2011 at 12:09am
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That couch deserves to have everything designed to compliment it, and you did so beautifully!!

posted by visualeyes on April 22, 2011 at 1:55am
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This place is in.... Iowa???

posted by katlia on April 22, 2011 at 2:02am
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Wow!!

posted by cmandsager on April 22, 2011 at 11:55am
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AAAHHHHHH MY EYES!!

posted by MyDogistheShihTzu on April 22, 2011 at 3:26pm
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This place is fabulous. Finally someone who knows how to decorate a space. Great job. Counts as super cool in my book!

posted by quiltmaster on April 22, 2011 at 3:26pm
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This looks like Betelgeuse

posted by pigstuy on April 23, 2011 at 3:53am
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I'm with Katlia. I've lived in Iowa. This place cannot possibly be in Iowa!

posted by amarque on April 23, 2011 at 6:16pm
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That couch is AMAZING!!!!!!!

posted by Sacha on April 24, 2011 at 8:28am
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Truly a standout space. This is a winner in every way. I have never had the nerve to try reupholstering anything beyond a dining chair. You are giving me courage!

posted by esterogen on April 24, 2011 at 12:49pm
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The fabric is Lee Jofa 'magazine street weave'. It comes in several other colors. Being a houndstooth girl I have used several. You can see it in pink on my website www.the sumptuouschair.com. I also have it in yellow on two chairs that will soon be on the site.

posted by Kathryn from The Sumptuous Chair on April 24, 2011 at 8:17pm
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This has been so much fun. Thank you for all the comments. Yes, this is in Iowa. IOWA ROCKS!!

posted by Kathryn from The Sumptuous Chair on April 24, 2011 at 8:21pm
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Another black-and-white color palette with red hints. Love chairs.

posted by Ofelia on April 25, 2011 at 8:08pm
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Kathryn from The Sumptuous Chair, FLOVE your site! And the little pink houndstooth chair? Just lovely.

posted by Erin in Ottawa on April 25, 2011 at 8:46pm
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Dear Erin in Ottawa -- Did you see the pattern name I left for you? More chairs on the website soon!! Some in yellow houndstooth!

posted by Kathryn from The Sumptuous Chair on April 25, 2011 at 9:38pm
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Thank you Kathryn, I have started searching for places that 1-ship to Canada and 2- are a wee bit less than $195 per metre, as I need 10 meters.

If you ever, ever need a new home for that sofa, you know you get tired of stuff :) let me know, I would love it and squeeze it and call it george.

posted by Erin in Ottawa on April 26, 2011 at 9:00pm
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That is literally the most amazingly beautiful couch I have ever seen. :o

posted by 0tk421 on April 26, 2011 at 10:02pm
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Houndstooth and a shag rug to match...awesome. I love the wallpaper - nice contrast

posted by Debbie Chap on June 26, 2011 at 1:06pm
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