LIVING ROOM: The Rug Saga

Finally, we have an area rug, people!!!

Boaz clearly approves of the new (and bigger!) rug

I seriously thought it would take me at least a year before I’d be able to purchase an area rug for the living room.  I didn’t want to settle for any old rug – I wanted it to be something I really love.  I had set my mind on a handcrafted abaca rug from Weave Manila and, like I mentioned before, they promptly gave me a quote.  I asked for quotes for smaller rugs though because I knew rug prices are pretty nuts, and I figured I’d only be able to afford a small one.  I even asked for pricing for just 4×6 and 5×8 rugs from Weave Manila!

After reading Emily Henderson’s guide on rug sizes (basically, “go big or go home” – she has an article on making the mistake of getting rugs that are too small for your space, and another article on how to pick the right size rug), I learned that even that 5×8 rug would have been puny. How clueless I was!  But I was scared that going big meant spending way, way more.  I was right, too, because the rugs I ended up checking out truly were expensive, the more square feet you go for!  Apparently, area rugs are one of those major pieces you have to invest in for your home.

I liked that boho rug I spotted in Triboa Bay, but I didn’t ask how big it was because at the time I saw it, I knew I couldn’t afford it. But it made me realize that I’ve been liking prints on my rug – nothing too busy or colorful, but some print definitely for texture.

Going home with Rug #1

So you can imagine my joy when I: 1) discovered the West Elm outlet store in Paseo de Sta. Rosa in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; 2) discovered and fell hard for their “Souk” rug; and 3) found out said rugs were on sale!  The H and I went back a week after discovering the outlet store, and we bought a 5×7 Souk rug.   Clearly, I didn’t want to listen to Emily Henderson at the time (she did say small living rooms can get away with smaller rugs).

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I was so, so tempted to get that pink print Morrocan-esque rug from West Elm, but I knew I’ll end up regretting it.  It’s like those printed b&w plates I got – I was so enamored when I first got them, but a month after, I wish I had gotten classic white plates first.  So my rule now is to always get the white or neutral-colored piece first.  (I know this is a very basic rule, but I have made the mistake way too many times of picking out the funky, colorful piece first before my neutrals).  Anyhoo, here is a photo of that Ashik rug from West Elm, in this blogger’s lovely living room.  The Ashik rug in the West Elm outlet store only comes in 5×7 though; in that blogger’s post I think she has at least an 8×10.

You can see how small the rug is, relative to the engot sprawled across.

Here’s how the 5×7 Souk rug looked in our itty bitty living room:

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The boys looking glum – because the rug made our small furniture and teeny living room look even smaller hahaha

Some people might think the rug looks fine.  But I thought it looked narrow, especially coming from the front door and considering I don’t have seating across the loveseat to sort of anchor everything in.  I took tons of photos and realized since the rug was small, having my furniture sitting on it made the living room look even smaller. I was also thinking long-term: should we move someday (and most likely to a place with a bigger living room!), then the only place I’d be able to put a 5×7 rug like this would be beside a bed.

So we decided, screw it.  Let’s go big.  I rang up the people in West Elm Sta. Rosa and reserved the 8×10 Souk rug we saw there.  We rolled up the little rug, put it aside, and a week after, we went back to Sta. Rosa and got the bigger one.  (Yes, this rug business was 3 weeks in the making).

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This is the Kasbah, another wool rug, but without tassels like the Souk and Ashik.  I really liked the print on this one too, a bit busier than the Souk.  In the end though, I ended up with the rug I liked first, and right from the start – the Souk.

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That’s Vince, our very awesome sales rep from the Sta. Rosa West Elm/Pottery Barn outlets.

Excuse the mess under the stairs!  We only have one help right now and I’m losing the battle against clutter.

We measured our living room and knew this 8×10 rug would be too big since there’s a spiral staircase in the middle of the open floor layout we have here at home.  We knew we’d have to either fold it or hem it or even cut it.  Naturally, since the point was to go big so we can bring the rug with us if we move, we opted to fold the rug.

I need to move the rug so there’s space between the rug and the far wall, but honestly, I think the whole set up finally makes our living area look bigger. The rug also solved my problems with that wall – it no longer looks so oddly bare as compared to the opposite corner, and now I don’t feel compelled to fill up that spot behind the front door.

Best of all, the whole family really enjoys the Souk.  I read online how the rug sheds, but I don’t mind – I have 3 boys, and there are plenty more messes at home to worry about.  It’s fluffy, and it’s soft, and I love how it toned down the redness of our terra cotta floor, grounded the furniture, and added just enough oomph to the living room.  The boys have been spending a LOT more time in our living room (they usually hang out in the lanai), and I’ve spotted both my eldest and my youngest taking naps there.  Since the family has been spending more time in the living room since the rug arrived, I’ve had to tweak my living room checklist a bit – for instance, floor pillows are now in order, as the boys have been hanging out sprawled in the living room.

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Bo has been taking his morning naps on the new rug – sans playmat and all my gosh. (In case you can’t tell, I’m not too fussy about the kids getting dirty).

I have seen this rug all over design blogs and in Pinterest, and I am honestly so chuffed about having one at home.  I so love it, and I never in a million years thought I’d be able to get an area rug for the living room this year!  (Thank you to my H!).

The living room is far from perfect, but I feel we are closing in. (I’m honestly having second thoughts about my love seat.  I think I should have gone fore a streamlined 3-seater or even a sectional; and because the “couch” is small, the coffee table now feels small too).  I’m looking forward actually to moving on from this corner because I’ve been rearing to focus full-time on the kids’ rooms.  I’m positive new (and clean!) curtains will make a big difference in the living room – I promise, that’s next on my list.

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Oh, and we got a home diffuser, finally oh finally!  It’s not the prettiest thing but the one with the bamboo top isn’t  bad, and we’ve always wanted to have a diffuser at home.  The H was the one who got it too – we found them for Php 500 in Dapitan!  The stall there claims it used to supply the same diffusers to Mia Maison – they sell them for around Php 2,000 there, so yay, nakatipid!  (As for the baby bottles on the table they’re there because #LIFE).

Speaking of lists, here’s a quick rundown of my immediate/priority tasks and needs for the living room:

  • 6 new curtain panels (2 sets: 1 for every day, 1 alternate set for laundry days)
  • 2 new curtains rods
  • a doormat
  • anti-mosquito plug ins
  • replace my white knit pillow sham (it sheds like crazy)
  • get 2 or 3 floor pillows
  • find a print to cover the outlet beneath the windows

My complete and last updated to-do list for the living room here.

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Merry Christmas from Bohol!

We’re currently in this awesome kid-paradise that is Henann in Bohol (at least 7 pools!). We’re taking a break from all house matters and enjoying the resort, the beach, and each other – not necessarily in that order!  We hope you all have a lovely holiday as well!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

“ARAY” IN THE PARK

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Obsessed with dinosaurs

Last week Alo and I got to go to the park while waiting for Manong Laz at his tutor.  I don’t usually have afternoons off  (which is why we have the tutor for homework support for Laz), so I really appreciated the time outdoors with Alo.  We’ve been bonding most mornings (when I don’t have hearings) when Laz is in school and I’m really grateful for that.  Laz is usually very possessive (maybe because he was the only child for 5 years), and every time I try to engage Alo, Laz jumps up and worms his way in.  I’ve been trying to manage this better, and spending time with Alo in the mornings, just the 2 of us, really helped to bring us closer together.

Alo calls dinosaurs “Aray” because when he was a baby, and we’d read dinosaur books to him, we’d pretend to be bitten by the t-rex and say “aray, aray!”* Now the name has stuck.  Alo was also really obsessed with a stray kitten he found hidden in the bushes.  I wouldn’t let him come near it, but he kept going back every few minutes to check if the kitten was still there.

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*”Aray” means “ouch”, in case you aren’t Pinoy, hehe.

 

UPDATES: 2016 Kids’ Yearly To-Do List

June is over!  We’ve conquered half of the year, so it’s time to provide a mid-year update on the 2016 Yearly To-Do List with the Kids (re-visit the full list here).  So far, we’ve done the following:

#1   hit the beach at least once a year – Done!  We went to Punta Fuego in Batangas with 1-Magala(ng) (30 March 2016; more here).

#6   staycation in ManilaEdsa Shang with Amanda, care of Lolo and Lola (15-17 April 2016; more here); Azumi for my birthday, care of Lolo and Lola again (24-25 June 2016; more here); Edsa Shang again, with 1-Magala(ng) (06-07 August 2016; more here)

#7   try something newGo-karting in Eastwood (12 March 2016; more here), laser tag for Laz for Santi and Yanni’s birthdays (25 April 2016), bowling for Laz and fishing for Alo in Tagaytay Highlands (29 May 2016; more here)

#8   take a class or have lessons in the summerswimming lessons for Laz (March-June 2016; more here), and play group for Alo (May 2016; more here)

Only 5 items out of 12 (from a list of 20 activities) checked off!  Eeek, time to buck up.  (And ideally, we should be doing something from the list every month!  As it is, most of the activities were packed into one summer!!!)

 

SETTLING INTO SECOND GRADE

Hew year, new wing! | 06 June 2016

New year, new wing! | 06 June 2016

We’re a month into 2nd Grade.  I still can’t believe my eldest baby is in second grade!!!  We visited his new classroom before school started last summer so Laz would know where to go.  We used his old school stroller since it was in great condition (thank God, too, less gastos), and are still due to replace his old lunchbox and drinking flask.  He got new black shoes and new pants.  (He still fits into his polos).  I got the pants made in Topper’s along Katipunan.  I’m happy with how they turned out because the pants the school sells runs too wide in the leg, ugh.  His old sneakers still fit, too, barely, and we’re due for new sneakers for P.E. as well.

Laz started 1st Grade very nervous, and he was pretty anxious and stressed the first two months or so, adjusting to a big school and all.  He kept worrying about his teachers, that they were too strict, there were so many rules, etc.  His teacher at the time reported that he finally seemed to relax and enjoy being with his friends come 2nd Quarter.

This year, though, Laz started Grade 2 filled with confidence.  They were no longer the runts of the school, and he had 4 other classmates from his old section.  He still sees his old classmates in the hallways (and on weekends sometimes too), and has made new friends.  He also doesn’t get too stressed about his homework anymore, although he is still a stickler about coming to school early. Plus, we’re still dealing with the picky eating!  Such a challenge especially since he packs food for recess and lunch now (we didn’t bother with the meal card; I saw the menu, Laz doesn’t eat a single dish there).

We also have a new co-parent group over at Viber, and while this section’s co-parents aren’t as tight (yet) as our 1-Magala(ng) family, I’m happy to report that, so far, our 2nd Grade co-parents seem to be an equally nice and very helpful group.  2nd Grade is off to a good start!

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