Foreign Service Furniture: What You Said

drexelchairFurther proving the idea that we all like to talk about our furniture (for better or for worse), our plea for comments on furniture provided in Foreign Service housing overseas and — on disguising said furniture as necessary — was well received. Here’s what you had to say via e-mail, on Facebook and on blogs (past and present) …

Round dining tables are better for getting to know people. The long tables are great for Downton Abbey, but it’s not like we have servers or butlers (which is the time frame Drexel was using for inspiration).

Dining chair seat covers are great, and if they’re removable, you can take them off when you have guests. The more formal types are great for dining chairs and sofas if you decide you don’t like the provided color schemes.

Yes, the U.S. government needs to revise its selection process for furniture, but first it needs to get better mattresses.

Why cream fabrics? They’re so hard to keep clean, especially if you host events and/or have children.

Those who do opt to disguise their furniture usually start with the living room sofas. Back in 2011, Something Edited This Way Comes hosted the Best-Disguised Foreign Service Couch Contest. It was … enlightening? The entries are listed in the comments on this post.

Seriously, though, the consensus seems to be that Ikea Ecktorp slipcovers work well on the “original” Drexel sofas but that Surefit stretchable ones are the way to go if you have the newer, seemingly more massive sofas.

And since everyone at your post probably has the same bookcases, here’s an idea for making yours a little different:022 cropped

(You can find basic instructions here.)

Non-FS blogs are a good place for inspiration, too. This post on Design Sponge features a Foreign Service officer’s house, although the only “standard” FS furniture easily recognized is in the dining room.

That house is awesome but likely unattainable for many. But Web sites such as Apartment Therapy are good for basic decorating ideas on a budget.

Pinterest is the place to go if you’d like to browse ideas collected by others. One board to check out is Drexel Furniture Hacks.

Another is Foreign Service-friendly decorating, which covers a lot more than furniture.

And Adaptation House’s Pinterest page offers similar ideas.

The Adaptation House Web site also includes a Resources page with more ideas.

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