Why Getting a White Couch with 2 Dogs was My Greatest Idea Yet!


It’s true, I got a nearly white couch with two black hair dogs (who both shed A LOT…looking at you Big Papi). I know, it’s an insane idea. My hub, who usually goes along with my design ideas, thought so too. But I have been obsessed with the GABA sofa from Article for awhile now, and I was determined to make it work! Our livingroom has been a design head-scratcher, the dilemma: This room is our only gathering place, we don’t have a den or family room in the house, so it needs to be comfortable for movie nights, and a place for friends and family to gather for the holidays, but it’s also the first room you see when you walk through the front door, so I want it to look stylish! 

The GABA sectional solved all those problems because 1) It’s super deep for cuddling 2) The low height meant it could wrap around without blocking the view of the fireplace 3) The light color would keep the sectional from looking too heavy in the room. 


I debate between the light and dark version for a whole week, and even reached out to two of my fave bloggers  Mandi and Kim  (who also have the Pearl White version) to see if I was crazy for getting the light one with dogs (they both have two dog too). I got the same response, they LOVE it, but don’t let the dogs up on it. Here enters the problem: Our young pup Griff is a wild one that loves to do laps around the sectional, smooshing the back pillows while staring out the window, and every couch we have had before starts to pill immediately, which I HATE the feeling of. And Big Papi loves lounging on the couch and leaving black fur wherever he goes…

So I continued to debate, then closed my eyes and pressed ORDER on the GABA in Pearl White, and came up with a game plan that I hoped would work. I am happy to report, not only did it work, this couch has been a game changer in our home!

I know that sounds dramatic, but getting the nearly white couch meant we really took re-training the dog seriously, which has been SO positive.

I’ll start with what steps we took with the pups, and then I will “ohhh” and “ahhh” over HOW MUCH I love the couch and how it was the perfect piece to the livingroom puzzle
Tips to keeping the pups off the couch: 

-The day it arrived we covered every inch of it with blankets so it would not get destroyed during the training period, we kept it covered for 2 weeks. 

-Our pup know the “OFF” command, but only after they have been laying on the bed or couch for awhile. So we became diligent about saying “OFF” the second they would jump up.

-We create alternate places for them to lay, I set up dog beds by the foot of the couch. And we also DO allow them to lay on the ottoman, which we keep covered with a blanket at all times, plus you can take off the cushion cover and wash if need be. 

-Consistency was key, everytime they jumped up we said “OFF” or directed them to sit on the ottoman, and would pet them from there. After about two weeks it just clicked, and when we took off the blankets they would only sit on the ottoman (which is super cute when they both try to squeeze on it). And Griff treats the couch like hot lava now, which is a huge difference from when it was his racetrack for laps.

-Our pups are far from perfect, and will slip once and awhile, but we have been SO impressed with the fabric. After a muddy paw situation I just wiped with warm water and no marks at all! 

Now let me tell you a few other reasons I would totally recommend this couch:

-It super deep, which makes it really comfortable for lounging and movie watching (there is always a race for the corner seat!) but it still looks SUPER stylish.

-It’s also amazing for gathering, we have friends over and so many can fit comfortably, I can’t wait to host for the holidays! 

-Every other couch I’ve had that have pieces that click together have been so annoying because they are constantly coming apart, I swore I would never get another one, but it’s pretty standard on sectionals. And I am happy to report that after the moving guys clicked the pieces into place, it has not moved or pulled apart AT ALL! Such a relief, because I hated when my butt would start sinking into the gap. 

-All the cushion covers come off, so if there was spill or paw problem I would be able to launder them, which is a huge relief.

-Also just wanted to note that the couch is not a pure white, it’s a heathered super light gray which is just the slightest bit more forgiving than white. 

-And it’s low to the ground, which at first, I was nervous when the movers set up the bases because I thought they were too low, but once the back cushions were added, it was perfect, and looked great in the room because you could enter through the front door and not feel totally cut off from the livingroom. 

-I choose the Gaba left modular sectional plus an additional Gaba armless chair module to create a sectional that would fit the livingroom.


Let me know if you have any additional questions!






Two more weeks to finish our ORC bathroom! Made even more exciting by the fact that we are taking the next 7 days off for a little vacation. So we will be in turbo mode when we get back! But some huge things happened this week which is making me feel very good about finishing in time. The sink problem from last week was solved by the AMAZING people at Kohler who send over my dream console sink and with Oil-rubbed bronze legs!! The white top with dark legs tied together everything else in the room PERFECTLY! The white tub with the black faucet, and the black toilet all work together! I squealed with excitement when I saw it installed.

Next challenge to tackle is the shower. The wall are SO wonky in this 1890 home, we decided that instead of tiling we would use a surround from Kohler’s Choreograph line and I am loving how it’s looking! I think the marble on the floor and the “marble” on the walls will play nicely with each other! Stay tuned for more info on the shower door and base once we get them in!

Also some of the art I am using in the room arrived, and I am SO in love with everything this artist Jess Blazejewski does. I am so happy I found her through Minted, I am using Figure Drawing No.17 Limited Edition Art and Figure Drawing No.16 Limited Edition Art! This is the first time I got the matted art from Minted, and combined with the antique gold frame, the art looks  so high end, I absolute love it!
Ok, I have to run because vacation is starting in 3….2….1……
Make sure to check in with the other One Room Challenge designers!

At Charlotte’s House | Design Addict Mom | Erika Ward Interiors | Erin Kestenbaum | Girl & Grey

Gray Malin | Hommeboys | I Spy DIY | Jewel Marlowe | The Learner Observer | Making it Lovely

 Nicole White Designs | Old Brand New | Oscar Bravo Home | Place of My Taste | The Rath Project

Room for Tuesday | SG Style | Undecorated Home | Veronica Solomon | Media BH&G | TM by ORC



BARNHOUSE | Simple DIY Decorating for Fall


It happened! I decorated for Fall! I’ve mentioned before how I am not a huge seasonal decorator, I figured out that it was because I was either living in a tiny NYC apartment with no storage, or since I moved to Milwaukee, I have been decluttering my houses to turn into Airbnbs! Now that the Barnhouse is home and we plan on staying here for a while (plus we have somewhere to store seasonal items!), and it feels right to really celebrate the holidays,  get cozy and embrace the change of seasons! I was super excited when Crate and Barrel reached out and asked me to share a few ways to decorate for Fall, because the decor from their store is so classically beautiful and adding their pieces to the livingroom instantly elevated the space! This livingroom has seen a few different designs, but I finally feel like this neutral palette is the right one, and it gives me the freedom to make little changes to dress it up for each season!

Today, I am going to share a few simple Fall decorating Tips/DIYS, plus some of the items that I added to complete this room!

TIP 1: For the Fall I have officially switched over to faux flowers, and was SUPER happy with how realistic Crate & Barrels selection looked. To create a simple bouquet for a side table, I used the Darcy Gray Plaid Vase (I love the hand-painted strokes!) then I started by adding a few Faux Deep Red Mum Stems. Pull some of the leaves from the bottom of the stem off, and tuck them into the vase so leaves look like they are spilling out. Add in a few dried stems from the Natural Harvest Bunch to finish off the bouquet. It sits perfectly on the Sadie Drink Table which was just the right table to go between these two chairs I pulled from storage!

TIP 2: I was SO excited to find these Brass Floating Frames ( 12″ x 14″) because I knew they would be perfect for pressing dried leaves for Fall,  I used ones from the Harvest Bunch, but you could also find your own once the leaves start falling! Great thing is, once you mount these frames, you can switch out what you put in them each season!

TIP 3: For an arrangement with a little height, I added two of the Ilex White Berry Stem Branches into the Scout Brass Vase.  Add a few dried out branches to the arrangement to give it a more realistic look!

TIP 4: I did not want the mantel to look too busy and block the TV (the “art” above the mantel is really The Frame TV) and I love the natural look of Pine Chip Brown Garland mixed with a few of my antique brass candlesticks and vase. I added a Protea stem and just a few White Pumpkins, both are faux which is key for my low-maintenance Fall decor!

TIP 5: I also use the natural dried botanicals from the Harvest Bunch to jazz up an inexpensive branch wreath from the craft store. I am a fan of asymmetry, so I picked a point and fanned out the leaves in both directions, weaving the stems though the branches to secure them. Then I added a few additional dried stems, no need for it to be perfect or be too fussy, the more organic the better! Use twist ties to make sure the stems are extra secure, especially if you are hanging it outside. For now, mine hangs on the inside of the door on the Matte Wreath Hook because I love the little pop of color in my entry.

Final cozy touches include a couple pillows: Linden Mushroom Grey Pillow and Dinard Black and White Pillow and White Black Two-Tone Candle!

And there you have it! My latest (and I think greatest) version of the livingroom complete with Fall decor. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!




  • » BARNHOUSE | Simple DIY Decorating for Fall


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