Friday, June 19, 2020

Tehani natural finish furniture set [Inspiration Furniture]

This is not a sponsored post and its not really a review post but I think I'm just kind of hunting for content right now. We finally got our bedroom furniture sorted out and I really like the design so I thought I'd share.

We moved into our house a little over two years ago now. For our master bedroom, we purchased a new mattress and platform bed pretty early on, but all of the other pieces were from our previous living spaces and none of it really matched. Unfortunately, I actually don't have a before picture of the pieces in the room, but we were sharing a white face 6-drawer from my old childhood room for our clothes (which was part of a set that had pieces in the guest bedroom). We also had two small black nightstands from my husband's old apartment that were okay and matched with the bed but not really the dresser.

Although it was livable, I had always wanted to get a good set so everything was a bit more cohesive and we'd each have a little more dresser space. However, for some reason I really struggle spending money on furniture and finding a good balance between design + quality (materials) and price. We went to a bunch of different furniture stores in the first year but gave up for the most part.
After trying to kill some time at the mall this past President's Day, we finally found a set we both liked at Inspiration! The price definitely left something to be desired and it wasn't the exact color palate we intended to get, but the designs were cool and modern and after going back to the store THREE times that weekend, we finally decided to get them -
Tehani double dresser, Tehani high chest, Tehani left nightstand and Tehani right nightstand - all in "Natural Finish". There is a white high gloss version too but it's almost 2x the price and I didn't love the feet on it.

I don't know why the stock photo of the high chest is a different shade but IRL they all match.

Inspiration assembles the furniture for you at their warehouse and then you're given the option to have it delivered or pick it up. We opted to pick it up and my friends helped us (3 SUVs total) + carry the pieces into the room. All was fine and dandy until I realized that the bottom left drawer of the dresser was rubbing against the frame and wasn't closing properly. It's a LONG story and I am incredibly irritated with Inspiration customer service but we ended up getting that piece replaced. I'm only getting to write about this now because the replacement was delayed due to COVID.

Overview fisheye photo of our bedroom taken from the closet. As you can see, we have a ton of blank white walls lmao. The small purple tabs on the right are me trying to plan for future picture hangings. Idk why I took this picture with the sheet set with different color pillow cases. That looks awful fml. 

My side's furniture is the dresser and the left side nightstand. I also have a piece from our modular couch in the corner. (The rest of the couch is downstairs in the living room).

My husband's side with the high chest and right side nightstand. Also our ram ottoman with storage. He doesn't always sit there but I realized he fit nicely in the gap.

This dresser has 4 regular pull out drawers (all 3 on the left and the top on the right) and then the bottom right side is actually a cabinet with a door. I currently have my jewelry box and my hair accessory bins on top but there's plenty of space so I'm trying to figure out what else will go on there. 

Top left drawer is socks (most used fashion socks, then athletic/no show socks), inner shorts, underwear and bras. 
Middle left drawer is sleep shirts, camisoles/spaghetti strap tops and then "dressier" tops.
Bottom left drawer has denim shorts/pants, 1 sweatshirt (that's all I really need in Hawaii wtf), sleep shorts, and then workout clothes (sports bras, leggings, dry fit tops).
Top right drawer has most of my cardigans! They don't fit all that well so I'm trying to figure out a better way to store them, but they're not getting a lot of use during stay-at-home orders anyway so they stay for now lol.
Bottom right cabinet has cold/winter weather clothes for travel (like when I go to Japan in spring, fall or winter), 2 bins of more fashion socks sorted by color (one for white and one for black/darker colors) and then some roomwear (also typically only worn when it's colder).

The nightstand has one small drawer and one larger drawer + an empty cubby hole space.

Usually I have something I'm reading on the top of the nightstand that I can easily reach from the little couch piece or the bed and then my phone charger.
In the puka, I'm mostly storing books right now. There's another layer further back for books that I want to keep nearby but I am less likely to just grab and read for a bit.
In the little top drawer, I have cords, chargers and other electronic accessories. 
This bottom drawer is more of a hodge podge of storage items that used to be on top of my old dresser but now I have a good space for them tucked away. I dont use these items often but either don't want to get rid of them yet or they just aren't likely to be used daily/weekly like a multi tool, safety pins, individual jewelry boxes, etc. 

It feels a little too invasive to go through all of my husband's drawers on my blog, but he's using the high chest similarly to a dresser. There's 5 pull out drawers and 2 cubby hole spaces. One mini drawer for underwear, one mini drawer for socks, and then tshirts, shorts and athletic clothes in the larger ones. He stores his watches using a spindle thread rack on top (purposefully shifted to one side for some reason) and then has a small koa storage box in one puka and I just put the flat whale shark on the other side because it was empty and he fit.
He uses his nightstand similarly to me for electronics and other minor storage and then his nighstand puka has the AC remote, TV remote and Roku remote.

Not the most exciting blog post ever especially since the furniture is so blandly colored and my bedroom is not at all that interesting, but I do really like the design of these pieces. It feels modern but not too "cold" if that makes sense.
I did have a really difficult time with the Inspiration customer service and some adjustments were made to the replacement dresser that weren't shown on the floor model (so not what I technically signed on to purchase if I'm being picky). I'm not sure if I'll purchase with them again, but I feel like that might be too much complaining for this post. If you're on the fence about the company and think you're paying for the design versus the "quality" - that's absolutely right. I feel like if I'm paying that much, I should also get decent customer service, but what we have currently is livable and I guess the bar is set so low that I'm glad to just have what we have at this point. (If you have specific questions, feel free to email or comment and I can explain more in detail but not planning to add a wall of text here!)

Also currently ISO print art for the walls if you have any suggestions or recommendations! (Especially independent artists taking commissions or having ready to ship larger pieces that won't be too expensive to HI.)

Hope everyone is staying safe!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Ted Baker London dresses & skirt - secondhand purchases

I was itching to buy something online recently, so finally took the plunge to get a couple pre-owned Ted Baker London items from sellers on Depop. (Early on in quarantine, I tried to order a dress on Mercari but the seller wasn't able to ship out!) Once I realized that Ted Baker has clothing that fits my body pretty well in a standard size back in December, I really jumped on the bandwagon. Since the retail price is quite high for the clothing, I was determined to see what my secondhand options were!

I tried a slightly different approach to my worn mirror photos for this post. Unfortunately, I don't think they turned out as great as I envisioned in my head, but I'm glad I gave it a shot. Please let me know what you think about it! (More of my thoughts about it at the end of the post.)

Xylee juxtapose rose skater dress
I've been wanting to get my hands on a Ted Baker skater dress since the two dresses I bought from the brand previously were both knee length and fitted. This black rose printed dress probably wouldn't usually be my first choice, but the price couldn't be beat and I wanted to give the cut of dress a try before I invested money into anything more expensive. It's nothing too exciting, but the material has weight to it and feels like nice quality. Overall, no complaints based on the price I paid.

with DreamV cross strap pumps and Liz Lisa bijou necklace -

with Nine West velour sandals -

with Material Girl faux leather jacket, EATME faux leather cross belt and Nine West ankle boots -
My impression of this cap sleeve, floral bodice skater dress design is that it's simple but still cute. Nothing profound, especially if the floral print isn't particularly novel but easy to dress up or dress down. The length is still above the knee for me but modest feeling at the same time because of the solid color of the skirt. I have my eye on a few mint colored skater dresses that I think are a little more interesting that I'm willing to try out now that I know a bit more about how this style fits!

 Freeda twist neck skater dress
The bright green color really caught my eye for this item's listing. Although it doesn't have a print like most of the Ted Baker pieces I really enjoy, I thought it would a fun party dress in a lively color. It has a halter-looking neckline from the front but the straps don't actually join beyond the neck (which is my preference). Since it's secondhand, the dress has a few patches of piling scratches which isn't uncommon for this fabric but I don't think you can see them at all when worn unless you're looking for them specifically.

with Flag J sandals -

with Liz Lisa cardigan and Liz Lisa glitter pumps -
The twist on the chest actually sits with a bit of weight more than I thought it would, but it's not a really big issue based on the short amount of time I've worn the dress so far. The length is quite similar to the cap sleeve skater dress (as expected) but this dress has some cute discreet pockets! It also feels a bit more fun/flirty because my shoulders are more exposed lol.

Blayyke Peaches Ruffle Pencil Skirt
This isn't a print that I would typically pick out when buying directly from a retailer, but it seemed really interesting when browsing on Depop. Tbf anything that's in my size immediately gets my attention and this was the first skirt I came across with a reasonable price! I really liked the fitted style with the fun ruffle that I thought would be great for work. My favorite part is that the opposite side of the fabric in the ruffle is the pink version of the peach print with flowers!

with off brand tulle sleeve blouse and Jessica Simpson Dany sandals -

with Delyle Noir flare neckline blouse and Michael Kors Petra pumps -
This skirt might actual be my favorite piece of the bunch! The print is so weird but it's also just really fun and the ruffle just adds to that. The length is really nice for a fitted skirt and will be great for work with a bunch of tops that I already own. My only complaint is that the print doesn't match up nicely at all in the back but that's not a deal breaker to me.

Although Ted Baker gives their items some non-intuitive names, so far I've been having fun trying to track down the actual names and the original stock photos for these secondhand items. It's been surprisingly easy but I guess it's not that unusual for a well known brand.
Despite these being completely frivolous buys, I'm pretty pleased with my purchases. I would love to buy directly from the official Ted Baker web store, but the standard shipping price to Hawaii (no other options) is $40 no matter what you purchase - big or small! I'm glad I have some alternatives because I hate for the shipping to cost like 1/3 of the price of the item.

As for the worn mirror pictures, I don't think I'll be repeating this "outdoor" method very much going forward. It was somehow way hotter outside than inside + mosquitoes (and mosquito bites) + buzzing bees and other insects + pedestrians in the park and along the sidewalk and it's difficult to change outfits outside lol. Plus, I'm not the hugest fan of having a tilted mirror. Although it's very flattering, especially for my legs, I get a little wary about body image since this isn't really realistic for me. I know some influencers who post almost exclusively in a tilted mirror and it's not my cup of tea. (I understand that they may not have much choice based on their room layout, etc like I did here but it's just not something I want to consistently push out into the world as my personal preference.)