Catching Up- Living Room Photos!

Well, the self-imposed deadline I wrote about last time totally worked. By the time we had our housewarming party, the kitchen and dining room were painted, the curtains in every room but the dining room were hung, and everything was tidy!

Of course, I took photos to document it. A few things have changed since then, but I’m working on detailing that in other posts!

I always seem to have about five posts “pre-written” in my brain, but getting them down into the computer? Finding the time is difficult.

Forget what it looked like when we moved in at the end of April? Click Here. Has it been almost three months already?

The Patio

A Seating Area

Living Room

The week of the housewarming we pulled the trigger on the amazing credenza you see above from our favorite vintage shop, Vestige!

Living Room

Living Room

To those of you who follow my blog & were able to come to the housewarming, I had such a fabulous time! To my family members who joined us the following morning for Father’s Day brunch, same to you! I felt so happy to host two back to back gatherings in our new home!

China Cabinet Steal

When I was visiting CA about a month ago trying to nail down a place to live and turn in lots of job applications, my mother and I happened to wander through IKEA together because that’s a totally normal, fun thing to do in San Diego (and cheaper than going to Sea World. In theory). Well, we had successfully made it through the store without picking anything up, when something wonderful caught my eye in the “as-is” section.

This IKEA STOCKHOLM cabinet is not made of real wood but it seems like it is, due to a high-quality oak veneer instead of their regular “foil” veneer (which is incredibly thin and damages easily). IKEA has different quality items at different price points, and as the website shows, this goes for right around $300.

We had just come from putting down a deposit on the apartment we now live in, so the layout of the unit was very fresh in my mind. I knew that a small wall separating the kitchen from the dining area would fit the scale of this perfectly. By perfectly, I don’t mean down-to-the-inch, but a visually pleasing 3-4 inches of cushion on either side of it. I wanted this baby bad.

Guess how much I paid for it?

That’s right. Well, to make a short story long, when we spied it in the “as is” section, it was marked at $75. It was already assembled and we didn’t have room in my mom’s Corolla for it. They wouldn’t hold it for us, and we decided to roll the dice and see if it was there the next day. So, the following day my mom dropped me off at the airport to head back to Kansas and then hit up IKEA in the family pickup truck. Lo and behold, not only was this china cabinet still there, but it had been marked down an additional $25.

Let’s review. Original Price = $299. New Price = $50. That’s a 83% discount! 

Here it is, filled up with dishes and looking oh so beautiful in a space that is the perfect size for it.

I’m in love. I’m also already out of space to store dishes! 

One more thing: Do you have any tips on how to remove tape residue from glass? My razor blade didn’t seem to work this time. Help?

Downsized Living Room

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you my living room and it was looking a-something like this…

Nowadays, after bidding aideu to the blue couch inherited from college friends (we passed it on to yet another college student… perhaps it will live forever in the dorms of college students) we are working with a whole mess of mid-century modern furniture…

I love MCM furniture, very much. But I abide by a rule I read somewhere on the interwebs that said that you should only have 30% of your furniture in a given room “match” as far as time period is concerned. And the coffee table, couch, and teak-and-wicker chairs in the background are currently making up the majority of the furniture in the room, making it a little too MCM all at once. In the new place I hope to get some kind of modern industrial shelving unit or TV stand to offset the couch and coffee table, and have the chairs I reupholstered in a different room (or different vignette) to break up the Mad Men party.

From a different angle, I moved the pink and tan rug slightly and set up Doug’s cajon on it for an extra seat and to anchor the rug down. Mosey likes to move the zebra pillow and sit on it to chew his dog toys. I think in an alternate world, this would be the perfect spot for a white leather Moroccan pouf (I am constantly kicking myself for not bringing one home from Morocco–I would’ve saved like 75% off Joss & Main‘s asking price).

Here’s a never-before seen angle of the living room, our media setup. It has never before been seen for good reason… it ain’t much to look at. We’re saving up to get a proper media unit with shelves and doors to hide DVDs and video games– instead of our current setup which has video games stashed in those crates (John Derian for Target some time ago) and the DVDs in a separate room altogether. The pull mechanism in the bamboo blinds is busted, explaining their haphazard hang. And the cable cord coming in from the windowsill? I can’t even. I do love the bicycle print we picked up in Lawrence, KS a while ago, though.

The good news is, the light and airy bones of the vintage furniture lend themselves well to furniture Tetris

They will fit fabulously on the moving truck!

What do you think? Loving the Mad Men look, or do you want a bit of contrast to break up the teak party? Wanna come help load up our moving truck in a few weeks? 

Friendly Furniture

Am I the only one who views furniture as a dear friend? Even more so than clothes, I think, I get attached to the pieces of wood and/or plastic that sit firmly and consistently in their appropriate space–they provide a sense of comfort and stability. They are what makes my home mine, not somebody else’s. (Okay, I guess a locked door helps that feeling too).

That said, we have been downsizing our funriture stash since we realize that in order to afford an apartment in San Diego, at least at first, we’ll have to downsize from a two-bedroom with generous dining room to a one-bedroom with “dining area.” This is fine. I look forward to the mild weather, the sunshine, the beach, IKEA, you know… the finer things in life. However, it’s not easy for me to part with furniture, especially ones that have been with me the whole time I’ve lived here in Kansas! For example the desk-turned-media unit-turned-back-to-desk and the small blue couch were picked up by Doug and my roommate Lisa before I even moved here! Other things have been picked up for a few dollars here and there–some were even free! It’s not like I’m getting rid of big-ticket items, but the sentimental value makes up for the low price.

The good news is that by letting go, I am allowing myself to fine-tune my decorating aesthetic and opening new possibilities for future purchases ;) I’ve been pouring over the couch section in my West Elm catalog and I downloaded the IKEA catalog app for my iPhone since last year’s catalogs have already been boxed up and put away.

And now, cheesy as it is, a tribute to list of the items that have been downsized.

The desk and the tall bookshelf:

The black headboard

The blue couch

The sofa table/TV stand

The dining chairs

Pretty cheesy, I know. But the house is still starting to feel empty and we still have several weeks before we go. Luckily thanks to my hoarding tendencies we still have plenty of chairs to sit on, even after getting rid of 4 dining chairs and the blue couch. Which means that we will probably still invite company over up until the last day ;)

In All Of Its Glory

Well, when we got the new couch I had already covered it up with blankets so we could begin to use it while saving up to replace the cushions altogether. All this happened immediately, before I could document it for my blog.

Unfortunately, this ordeal has taken much longer than I had hoped, but we’re finally ready to start pursuing options as far as cushions are concerned. The website I requested some fabric samples from–weeks ago–hasn’t contacted me back so I called a man from our church who does tailoring to ask him for a recommendation. He let me know about someone from the next town over that I’m going to get a quote from. Full disclosure here, the price range we found for custom cushions online was about $300. So, we’ll see what this guy estimates for us. Even if it’s $100 more, I’m glad it will be local–I have no idea what the online guys would charge for shipping and handling, anyway. So if it’s $400-$500 we’re going to go ahead and do it. A new couch is closer to a grand, anyway, so I still think we’re saving money.

Since I had to strip the old gal down and take pictures to e-mail for my quote, I figured I’d show them with you all. Watch out. it’s kind of a hot mess.

We’re going to get all-new foam and try to get a color in the dark charcoal grey range. Gotta get a durable fabric due to Mosey’s sharp little nails. Unfortunately since we’re currently using such dilapidated cushions, it put a lot of extra stress on the support straps underneath, which broke, as you can see… and I’m going to get a quote on those, too.

Here’s a piece of the decision that hasn’t been made yet… should we get three cushions on the bottom and three on the back, as it is currently? I was toying with the idea of three on the bottom (so we can rotate them for more even wear–the middle seat is the most frequently sat-upon) and one long one across the back. Your input is welcome!

Just Like it Should Be!

The title of this post has two meanings. First, when I start a project and show it to you here on MFS, I should finish it up and show “after” pics before you forget about it altogether–which, thanks to the miracle of Memorial Day, I actually did!

Second bringing poor, abused pieces of furniture into my house and making them look like they were meant to: after a couple hours’ worth of TLC, this sad coffee table looks much, much, better–more than the $20 (0r was it $10?) we spent for it Sunday at Goodwill!



Naturally, some things didn’t disappear–like that giant water ring, but look at that wood shine! It’s much, much, much better. This took 4 applications of Watco Teak Oil–look how gorgeous it is! Now for a shot of it in the living room…

It doesn’t go with the couch we currently have in here AT ALL, but I should be getting a MCM style vintage couch from my grandma’s in Illinois soon! This will look KILLER with that.

Alas, for now, we put the black coffee table back into place temporarily so it will be a more dramatic change when the couch and table both debut to the public together.


Memorial Day Table

Last Memorial Day was eventful, we helped Doug’s parents buy a new flat screen TV–their living room is in the basement and we had to haul the broken old 5,000,000 pound old one up the stairs… it took four of us, but we did it!

This Memorial Day we’re enjoying the fact that we’re both 100% obligation free for the first time in months. No work, no church, no nothin’. We’re going to tackle a project but take it leisurely–we have all day after all!

We picked up this beauty at Goodwill yesterday and it’s going to be our “training wheels” project for wood restoration. I decided I didn’t want to tackle our reupholstered chairs for my first project because I like them too much and don’t want to mess up. So we got all the stuff we need and today’s the day. I’ll show you how it turns out, for better or for worse!

Here’s the top:

I’m hoping for some dramatic improvements. If not, we could always paint the recessed part a bold color and seal it. (Actually, it would be cool to paint that section and then “dip” the legs in a matching or contrasting color).

Now after a good bout with Murphy’s Oil Soap:

We’re going places already. We have this kind of Murphy’s… we diluted it as per instructions and filled up an old spray bottle–so handy!

Now off to sand, oil, and wax! We’ll see how we do!