At Home with the Kaputs: A Look at Our Living Room

Monday, July 2, 2018

We've now lived in our Tremont apartment for a little over a year - just a third of our three-year lease! It took us awhile to really settle in & decorate this place like home, but now that the wedding has passed & we're solidly here, without other major commitments in the way, our place is finally almost fully together. I know other people prioritize that & make it happen within, like, the first few weeks, but look, we're late bloomers. We rent for a reason!

Now that our living room feels complete-ish, I thought it'd be fun to share it with you.


That's the front door right there, which enters right into our living room. Howwwww 'bout that Games of Thrones doormat? Nerd alert, as soon as you walk into the house!

The recliner is a new addition, & it doesn't reallllly fit there, but it was the only spot that made sense. Why force it? Well, this recliner was my dad's favorite chair, & when my mom wanted to get rid of it this summer, I insisted we take it instead. it's so comfy, & it's one of the primary items that reminds me of him. I'm so glad to have it!

We bought the "Villa Kaput" sign on our honeymoon, the only souvenir I knew I wanted. My parents bought a "Villa Bigam" sign on their honeymoon, & it's hung on the porch of my childhood home for as long as I can remember. I thought it'd be special to get the same thing for our home, even if it's a completely different style. My mom cried when I sent her the photo.

The two framed prints are our Jewish wedding contract (learn more about it in this post) & a gold print bearing a Home Alone quote. We are people of diverse tastes, it's true. 

Doormat | c/o Wikibuy
Recliner | La-Z-Boy
Paper flowers | Love, Anji
Accessory rack | InterDesign
"Villa Kaput" sign | Handmade in Costa Rica
Ketubah (marriage contract) | Ink with Intent



This glass-top table is one of two that originally belonged to Mike's grandmother, & they're both great for storage. The small one, which is sort of hidden behind the recliner now, holds a mass of board games beneath it, with a bunch of tchotchkes on display on top. The leg lamp - a reference to A Christmas Story, which has Cleveland roots - was a wedding gift from my dear friends Christina & David & their spouses, & truly, nothing makes me happier.

Coasters | Odeme/Zola
Candle holder | PartyLite
Felt flowers | SadieBug Styles
Monogram mug | Anthropologie
Leg Lamp | Red Rider Leg Lamps
Himalayan salt lamp | Inviting Homes
Coffee table books | Cleveland: Shaping the Vision 


Again: How 'bout that Game of Thrones doormat?!

OK, onto another view...



My mom & I purchased the sofa & loveseat set from Northeast Furniture Rentals in Akron, a weird warehouse I wrote about after our visit there. Both of these pieces are on the narrow side because our old apartment had narrow doors that left us with very limited furniture options. Luckily, both of them are comfortable - & they were inexpensive, too, which means it's only slightly less heartbreaking that my cats have shredded the backs of them by using them as claw-sharpeners.

And that rug is... fine. I can't even remember where I got it from - Lowe's, maybe? - but it's not quite as big as it ought to be, for the size of the room. Still, I like that it brings in in some color, given my utter inability to coordinate anything that isn't a neutral. It doesn't look great with the couches, but I'm also not an interior designer so whatever.



We can't keep real plants in the house because our cats will eat everything - &, let's be honest, because my black thumb will kill whatever they don't eat first. Enter fake succulents, of which we own many. As it turns out, our cats still try to eat the plastic ones. Figures.

Wooden tray | vintage 
Fake succulents | Target
Coffee table books | 500 Writing Prompts 


I really love both throws & throw pillows. (Wait, why do both of those involve the word "throw"?) I think they make a home feel cozy, & they're easy to swap out when you want to change things up - plus, they're nice & easy for people who lack design sense, like me. All of ours were purchased on the cheap, & I would buy, like, a dozen more of each, if we had room for them. Gimme all the pillows & blankets, please.

Ohio pillow: Ohio Explored
Gold & white pillows | Target
Woven blanket | Crown Crafts
Faux fur blanket | Wild Mannered
Bill Murray pillow | Triple Z Threads


These amazing pillows are a new addition, & yet another symbol of our nerdiness. Obvious book-lovers here! They were a belated wedding gift from our friends Brock & Laurel, & though I know they came from Etsy, I unfortunately don't have a store link for them. But aren't they great? The champagne flutes we used under the wedding canopy had these same phrases on them, also a gift from friends. Guess the people we love know us well!



This is my new favorite spot in the living room, a hanging shelf to show off some of my favorite prints. There's a second shelf, too - a two-pack, woo! - but I encountered some troubles hanging that one, so it hasn't yet made its debut. It's coming soon, though, because I want to be able to display more of the artwork I love. I'm thinking of buying something from Shore Society or Emily Roggenburk. Whaddaya think?

Travel print | TJ Maxx
Illustration | Verity Made
Hanging shelf | c/o Wikibuy
Small print | Repurposed greeting card
Book page flower | The Open Book Shop



I bought armadillo bookends because how could I resist armadillo bookends? I spotted them at The Cleveland Flea a few months ago, & my mom laughed so hard at how excited they made me.

I wish I knew the name of the vintage shop where I bought them, but I was too overjoyed by my purchase to pay attention. I do know that the bookends look great with this TJ Maxx frame, though! (And yes, there are books hiding back there behind our Costa Rica-themed letterboard.)



Ugh, I can never seem to get the lighting right in this corner, which is a bummer - but hey, you can get a peek into my (messy!) office. There are French doors there, actually, but they're never closed. In fact, there's actually a bed blocking the door on the right, so it can't even close. Yep, there's a guest bed in my office - but it's a trundle bed, so during the day, it doubles as a couch.

That big, heavy chest of drawers belonged to my dad, now doing double-duty as extra closet space meets TV stand. Weird, right? Hey, gotta make use what you've got. I covered it with a piece of light gold fabric to try to jazz it up a little, with a small spread atop it to keep it cute - router in the back & all.





Let's zoom in on the table at the entrance to the apartment, shall we? The table itself used to be a vanity, but I removed the mirror portion, & now it works perfectly in this space - & yes, this table is a total hodge-podge of items.

I can hear you asking, "What's with the freaky skull?" & I'll tell you: While Mike was living in Egypt, he bought this statue as a weird little gift for his parents... but they didn't want it, so he reclaimed it for himself, & lucky for him, I love it, too. So bizarre.

Of course, I've paired it with some of our loveliest items for total contrast: gorgeous silk flowers, a wedding photo, a bowl of seashells from our beach honeymoon, & folded book art bearing our wedding date - yet another gift from the incredible (& incredibly thoughtful) Brock & Laurel.



I found this round shelf in the section of Target meant for decorating kids' bedrooms. Whatever. It's the perfect way to display various tchotchkes, many of which also came from Target. I swap things off this shelf as I please, depending on what I want to show off - which is usually whatever I've most recently picked up from Target's Dollar Spot. Yes, I am predictable.

Shelf | Target
Wooden K | TJ Maxx
Jewelry Box | Capri Blue
Matroyshka doll | vintage
Quote print | Macro Polo (RIP)
Framed haiku | The Haiku Guys
Chalkboard candle | Mine Design
Anchor print | Gus & Ruby Letterpress



And finally: This incredible rug was a wedding gift from my cousin Emily, & as you can see, it bears our absolutely ridiculous/wonderful wedding hashtag. Her friend Kate owns an Etsy shop called Be There in Five, which specializes in personalized doormats. Cool, right? We don't use it in a doorway, though, because I don't want it getting trampled!

So there you have it, a peek at our living room. 

To be honest, I spend the bulk of my time in my office - even when I'm not working - but the living room is my second-favorite room, perhaps because it's the most finished. As the rest of the apartment comes together - & whenever it's not super-messy - I may show that to you, too. But really, this is the best part!

Tell me about your place. What's your style? What tchotchkes do you have on display? Am I the only person who uses the word "tchotchkes"? (And yes, that's how it's spelled.)

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