Well, we’vepainted. Next up? We had to furnish the room. And if you know us, then you know that the first step here was to contemplate our budget. We’re definitely not the kind to up and spend full price on any item, whether big or small. Of course, we wanted to spend some time shopping around for the best deal. We wanted to start the room by focusing on a couch, so off to shop for couches we went. Havertys? Not for us. Bassett? Just not right. Adcock? Yuck.
And then, as fate had it, my dear husband fell in love with the gigantic proportions of the PB Comfort couch. Big enough for a giant with it’s extra-wide proportions, yet cute enough for me! While you (along with every other visitor we’ve ever had over to the house) may ask- “um, a white couch with two dogs… are you crazy?” let me point out that… this brilliant couch is a slip cover! That’s right folks, I can throw my couch in the washing machine. Well, kind of- the slipcover at least! Easy as pie. So we splurged on the PB Comfort couch (well of course I used a 10% off coupon I had AND waited until it was on sale!) and then I tossed on a couple of TJ Maxx leaf print pillows (which, I’d like to assure you were about half the price of these very similar Pottery Barn pillows which is reason number one million why I love TJ Maxx!) and we’ve got our main sitting area.
Then we grabbed a couple of side chairs from Target (we got them on sale for less than $100!).
Next, it was time to get some storage-type furniture into the room. While I shopped and shopped, I couldn’t bring myself to spend $200+ on any retail furniture to hold the TV. And yes, after four years of an old school 20″ tube TV and saving our pennies in anticipation, the hubster got a new (slightly too large for my taste, but what are you going to do) flat screen with the big move. But where to put it?
Enter: Craigs List, where we found a used dresser being sold for only $60. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a great job at getting any before photos of the dresser (this was pre-blogging!), but let me tell you, it was a beauty! And by beauty, I mean… a pastel painted nightmare. We purchased the dresser from a very sweet lady (after driving to her home in Middle of Nowhere, Georgia) who just didn’t have the best taste in the world. Apparently she had “refinished” the dresser on her own by painting it pink, green, yellow, white, and blue. This is where we Southerners say “bless her heart!” instead of anything negative, so I’ll leave it at that!
The worst part? David and I didn’t have the heart to tell her we were planning to refinish her “refinished” dresser, so… when she asked where we were putting the dresser, we may have led her to believe that we were using the dresser in a pink, green, yellow, white, and blue pastel bedroom. True? Not so much. But I could’t let her down! We laughed the entire way home about that one! There were some great details on the front and the size was perfect (and we haggled her down to $50), so we loaded it up and it came home with us!
The side of the dresser as we painted the living room.
The front of the dresser drawers (yellow and green) to give you an idea of how it was orginally refinished:
So did we change our living room to reflect the pink, green, yellow, white and blue pastel color scheme? Ha! Not so much…. We pulled out all of the dresser drawers and then stripped all of the paint off. (Shhh! Don’t tell Ms. Middle of Nowhere!) Next, we stained the dresser with the same Minwax stain as the front door and, once dried, sprayed it with a polyurethane lacquer. FYI, I stained both the outside and the inside of the dresser. Why? When I pulled out the dresser drawers to stain, I intended to keep them out permanently and use the space where the drawers were as shelves for our some of our electronics.
I then covered these makeshift shelves with some good ol’ scrapbook paper. To make the paper stick, I covered the shelf with Mod Podge glue. Ever used it? It’s the bomb. It could make anything stick!
We also added some new hardware- bronze finished knobs bought for less than $10 at Home Depot.
And the finished product?
Here are some close ups of the Modge Podge shelf lining.
And here it is in the living room.
Here’s the price breakdown: Craigslist dresser: $50 Minwax stain: FREE (had for front door) Lacquer: FREE (had for other projects) Sandpaper: $5 Scrapbook Paper: $1.50 Mod Podge: FREE (had for other projects) Knobs: $10 GRAND TOTAL: $66.50 I think that’s pretty good if I do say so myself!
We also pulled double duty (well, at this point, triple duty!) with the Minwax stain and lacquer by refinishing two peices of hand-me-down furniture that we had, including a side table + lamp combo (thanks Kelly!) and a coffee table (thanks Mom and Dad!).
The last furnishing we had to do was to pick a rug. This was actually very difficult for us, as we really didn’t have any clue what we were doing. All of the flooring at our old house was carpet and, aside from an occasional bath mat, we had never purchased a rug before! So we went on a rug hunt… we tried a synthetic tan rug, a rust colored hook rug, a faux jute rug, a large 8×10 size, several smaller runner sizes… and, after lugging a bunch of gigantic rugs to and from stores, I thought the search turned hopeless!
Then, I came across some inspiration on one of my all-time favorite home blogs: Young House Love. Ok, ok, let me be honest. It was less inspiration, more like I stole their rug idea! I noticed that they had a similar neutral vibe going on in their living room and, even though they don’t really have any dark wood accents, they have a very similar color scheme as well (not to mention the same Target chairs!). Their rug was funky but simple and brought a little splash of color into the room. It was perfect! So, I bit the bullet and found the Young House Love rug on Ebay. And now it’s in my living room! Call me a copycat, but I love my rug. 🙂
As for decor, we’ll get to that on another day, another time. But we’ve hit the main higlights, as these were the main essentials- the paint and the furniture. Put it all together and you’ve got… our living room! Lets not forget the before.
And here we all are in the after, living it up in our living room!
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