Welcome to my holiday home, friends. If you caught my post on our recent move back east and the reno project we’ve undertaken, you know that being home for the holidays is especially meaningful for us right now. It’s the first time in years that getting home won’t require a cross country flight, which means it’s the first time in years all three of us can be together. Ludo is too big to fly with us, and leaving him behind in Portland for Christmas was truly Hallmark-level heartbreaking.
That is the face of a dog who knows how to tug heartstrings, am I right? So it’ll probably come as no surprise to you that though he’s barred from airline travel, he is very much allowed on our furniture. Which leads me to the meat of this post — choosing our new couch, which was a pretty big deal for us.
We’re living in our new home through some major renovations. To be honest, I thought we’d be going back and forth more frequently to the reno-free sanctuary of my parents’ house, or even possibly renting a small studio while we undertook the brunt of the work here. But the truth is, we love our neighborhood and our cottage so much, warts and all, that we found ourselves living here full time almost off the bat.
The only rooms in the entire place that aren’t torn apart practically to the studs are the living room and one small bedroom, so I’m not kidding when I say we spend almost all of our time there. Pat and I both work from home, and we knew we’d be living, working, and entertaining all from the couch. That is a LOT of pressure for one piece of furniture.
There’s simply no way to guarantee that construction dust doesn’t travel from an active work zone into the living room, so we made the big leap from fabric to leather, and chose the Timber Sofa in Charme Tan from Article. Since leather can be wiped clean, we don’t have to worry about allergens and airborne renovation grime embedding itself into fabrics. This is a also huge advantage to dog parents like us, who still want to make our living space friendly for guests (especially those with allergies) by making sure our couch isn’t absorbing pet dander and stray hair.
We really feel that getting a leather couch has made entertaining at home both (WAY) easier and more inclusive. I used to spend upwards of an hour vacuuming our old couch every time friends came over, and was still never able to get every bit of hair off. It was the thing I was constantly apologizing for (“Sorry about the dog hair!”) no matter how hard I worked to keep it under control. Now, I literally just drag a duster or a wet cloth over the surface. It feels like I’ve won the lottery every single time.
The leather used in our Timber Charme Tan Sofa has a naturally lived in look, so I can honestly say that after weeks of extremely high traffic, any scuff marks from Ludo’s fairly long nails (they’re as short as we can clip them, but still significant) blend right in.
You know that sound of your dog “digging” himself a place to sleep on your couch, that usually happens when you’re in the shower, holding something heavy, or otherwise unable to stop him? The first few times this happened with our brand new leather couch, it scared me senseless. Months later, I’m so confident he’s not going to tear the leather into shreds that I actually stop and put a towel on before running out to correct him.
So despite the chaos in the rest of the house, the living room has become a haven for us, and the heart of all of our holiday entertaining. Our Amoeba coffee table and V Bar sideboard have been absolute home decor heros, making a semi-unfinished space look like a million bucks, and housing my massive barware collection.
I wrote up a piece for the Articulate blog on my best holiday hosting tips, all of which can (obviously) be achieved from a very lived-in living room. And whatever you do, don’t sleep on the recipe I created for the piece, which I’m calling the Scandi 75:
It’s a winter take on the classic French 75, with the inclusion of the Scandinavian spirit aquavit. I’m suuuuper happy about how it turned out (one of my absolute favorites this year — so perfectly bright and wintry and delicious), so head on over there for a peek!
And a huge thank you to Article for providing the furniture for this piece. After literal months of ‘perfect leather couch’ internet searches, I’m now so real-life happy with my Articles that my little brother bought the exact same couch! We text each other couch owning tips as if we’re raising two cousin couches, and if that doesn’t speak to some major fandom, I’m not sure what possibly could.