Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ottoman Fabric

I have never owned a coffee table.  Ever.

Isn't that weird?

Any coffee table that I've ever lived with has been someone else's property, and since the boyfriend and I have lived together, we haven't had one.  I used to think it was because we had a small living room and saved the space for impromptu wrestling matches (with our son - heads out of the gutter, please).  Now I realize it is because I hate about 99.9% of coffee tables.

In theory, I love coffee tables.  But I have a hard time finding one that 1.) I like, 2.) will fit the space well, and 3.) I can afford. 

Some that I love:

Via Apartment Therapy (retails $500+)

Pottery Barn Rhys Table - Also $500+ (and too heavy-looking for my space)

Another industrial-style, from Knight Moves

I've been feeling the love for a big square coffee table in our new place.  Only, it needs some curves to combat the retro mid-century couch.  I found a great Asian-inspired table, like the one below, at an office discount store a couple of weeks ago.

From Caitlin Creer Interiors
Only problem was they wanted close to $300 for it (used!) - not happening.  But ever since, that table has been haunting me.  I was convinced - I will find a table like that in my budget and that will be the end of my coffee table dreaming.

Of course, whenever I make that kind of statement to myself, I almost instantly find something else and completely change directions.  Some people may say that I'm fickle - I'd like to believe that I am open-minded.

This weekend, Hancock Fabrics had a huge sale.  I wasn't planning on stopping there until I saw the red "Blowout Sale" banner from the highway.  I decided to stop, since I'm still on the hunt for the perfect fabric for my dining room chairs.

Lots of cute stuff, but nothing was knocking my socks off until I spotted this fabric on the remnant table, buried under piles of duck-themed and neon pink plaid fabrics.

As if love at first sight wasn't enough - I swear that this song was playing on the store's speaker system.

Talk about signs, right?  I wasn't waiting around for lightning to strike, so I grabbed the 2 1/2 yard remnant like a was rescuing a baby from a burning building.

Now, what did I need this for?

The colors are perfect for the living room.  It's heavy duty upholstery fabric - but there wasn't enough to do much with.  The options I quickly came up with were a skirted table or an ottoman.

It was only $4/yard - which I know is a good deal (not sure if that is what Hancock's remnants always go for - that's what they all were priced at this weekend).  However, I have no idea the maker or name of the fabric - so if you do know, please leave a comment and clue me in.

By the time I made it home, I had pretty much decided to nix the coffee table idea and make an ottoman out of this material instead.  A gorgeous, huge ottoman with lots of tufting and preferably turned legs with casters.

I laid the fabric out on the floor to make sure it would work...

Ottoman will be slightly smaller - and blue couch
will be reupholstered a different color.

I think it looks crazy good.  I'm really excited about the project.  It won't be finished any time soon, of course.  I'm going to keep on looking for an inexpensive coffee table I can convert to an ottoman, because so far the legs I'm finding online aren't super cheap.  However, I believe my $10-worth of fabric is going to make a huge statement.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yay! Friday!

I'm a stay-at-home mom, so Fridays don't mean nearly as much to me as when I was a working woman.  But they're still nice.  Mostly because the boyfriend works 6 days a week (he's my personal version of Superman) and Saturday is the one day he has off, so I look forward to Friday night rolling around.  However, this Saturday he has to work - boo.  Well, "Yay!" for money, heaven knows we need it.  Luckily he has Monday off for Memorial Day, so it'll balance out.

Speaking of money - I sold the chinoiserie dresser for $60 this morning.  Bought it for $20 and did absolutely nothing to it besides bring it home.  It actually sat on Craigslist for longer than I'm used to (almost 48 hours - shocker!) with only minimal interest, so I was beginning to wonder if I should drop the price.  Then I started thinking about keeping it.  It is probably a good thing that we didn't bring it inside the house or I would have.  Instead, a lovely lady came along who was tickled to get it and wanted to lacquer it up like the 1stDibs piece I spied.
I'm very happy that it's going to a good home.  Funny how attached I get to these pieces.

I hope everyone has a good Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chinoiserie Dresser

Sold the cabinet/table in less than 24 hours for $120, which basically doubled my money.  Not bad if you don't count the labor cost.  But then you also have to factor in the fact that I did it while staying home with my little man and for about 15 minutes-30 minutes a day.  So, although I'm hardly going to get rich, I think it was still worth it.

I went out and bought this cutie today at another Goodwill.  I used to hate Goodwill, but lately they've been very good to me.  Never hurts to check in once in a while.

It's a small dresser (more like a nightstand) made my Henry Link.  "Mandarin" is the style.  I instantly recognized it because my mom has three cabinets from the collection in her bedroom.  So, the good thing is that if no one wants to buy it from me off of Craigslist, I know my mom will want it because it matches her stuff.
Found this lacquered piece on 1stDibs and now I'm itching to paint it - but hopefully it'll sell just fine without me doing anything to it.  I'm kind of over painting for a while anyway.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Totally Awesome Cabinet/Table - Finished!

What would happen, you may wonder, if a cabinet and a table decided to hook up and have a baby?  And 30 years later that baby, down on its luck, feeling unloved, sits in a Goodwill for well over a month - neglected, scratched up, repeatedly faced with the question "What the heck is this?"  The price of $79.99 is eventually slashed to $34.99 and still no takers.

The "Before" - Goodwill evidently loves price tags.

Well, that my friend, would be the part of the story where I walk in and decide - "Yeah, this is an easy fix.  Just needs some wood filler and paint.  I can make money off of this."

Famous last words?  Let's hope not.

The "After" - Looks like a million dollars, even if its not styled, right?
 And expanded to a table:

Who doesn't need this in their house? I'm hoping it's the perfect solution for
someone, preferably someone who wants to give me money.

How did I get from the before to the after?  Let me tell you...

Totally ripping off Jenny's vision from Little Green Notebook, I first bought a can of Rustoleum "Safety Red" Enamel spray paint.  Silly me thought that at most I would maybe need 2 cans, but I wanted to try out the color first before committing to the second can.  At home, I removed the hardware and sanded the piece lightly.

The color was great - the coverage - not so much.  I'm not sure how much is due to:

1.) the fact that I read everywhere to do thin coats so much more was swirling around in the air than actually sticking to the furniture; or

2.) the fact that I hadn't primed, or

3.) a million other reasons.  But I quickly realized that it was going to take at least 4 more cans of this stuff and at $5+ a can, it was eating into my profit margin.

So I made my first big paint mistake.  At this point, if I could do it again, I would have simply bought a pint of Rustoleum "Safety Red" in the regular paint.  They sell it right next to the spray paint at my Lowes and it costs less than $9.  But no, I was loving the fact that, despite not doing that great of a job, the spray paint was quick and easy.  Yes, I did manage to paint half of the garage red despite tarping, but it only took like 5 minutes and you can recoat fairly quickly.  And no brush strokes/roller lines!  (This project came quickly on the heels of my last project - painting our dining room table about a zillion different coats in an effort to eliminate all roller lines and then finally deciding to live with a less-than-perfect-but-close-as-it-is-going-to-get finish.)

So I went back to Lowes and decided to grab 2 cans of Valspar's "Berry" spray paint.  It was less than $4 each.  Back home I went and used up both cans within a couple of minutes.  I loved the lacquered, professional look I was getting - unfortunately, I wasn't getting it everywhere.  Despite my best efforts, it was  looking splotchy, especially on the top.

Trip #3 to Lowes.  Decided that I would just bite the bullet and get the regular paint version of "Berry" and finish using a roller and brush.  Only, Valspar doesn't make "Berry" in a regular paint.  Why?  No idea, because it sounds ridiculous to me too.  After the paint guy couldn't match the color with his computer, I decided to risk it and bought Valspar's "Cherry" in glossy - hoping it would be close enough that I wouldn't have to repaint the entire thing - just the splotchy top.  In my spray-paint fume-filled head, this seemed like a good possibility - the names rhymed and everything.

Of course it didn't work out - the colors are similar, but not close enough to get away with.  So I gave the entire thing another coat and the table top got two coats for durability. 

Despite the five coats, there are still imperfections.  But, as I was prepping to do another coat today, I stepped back and thought, "No one else is going to notice this stuff except for me."  I put on the shined-up handles to double check and the imperfections quickly disappeared to me too.  At this point I have spent much more than I originally budgeted for paint, so I didn't want to keep bogging down my time as well.  I snapped some pictures and posted it to Craigslist.

Lets see if I get any bites...

Linking here
Furniture Feature Fridays

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cleaning Handles and Practically Free Nail Polish

I didn't work much on the red cabinet/table this weekend, so no finished pics yet.  They're coming soon, though, promise.  Instead I had some lovely family time, bought some $1 flip flops at Old Navy, and babysat for some friends to earn a little cash.  But I did get around to putting on another (final?) coat of paint last night and decided to spend a couple of minutes shining up the handles.

Don't you love it when you think a project will just take a couple of minutes and it quickly becomes a giant time suck?

That's how the handles went.  I read online about using household supplies to clean brass naturally.

First you make sure you have real brass by trying to stick a magnet to it - brass is not magnetic.  Then you mix 1/2 cup each of salt, vinegar, and flour.  Make a paste.  Spread it on the brass and let it sit for 30 minutes.  Then buff off.

This must work, because I found it a million places online.  But it didn't work for me.  Total fail.  In fact, I think the brass might have actually looked dirtier when I was done.

So then I went for the chemicals.  I can't give you any information about this stuff because it seems to have magically appeared in our house.  I never bought it; the boyfriend never heard of it...  Mystery.  But it works great.  Just make sure not to disregard the whole "well-ventilated area" instruction.  I may have decided that the middle of my house was well ventilated enough and accidentally gotten a little high by the fourth handle.  At least that's how I explained it to the boyfriend, who was wondering why I was getting ecstatically excited over cleaning.

Top have been buffed - bottom before.
It was pretty exciting before the fumes hit, though.  So nice and shiny! 

Oh, and I wanted to share a good CVS score (courtesy of  This week they have a deal on Revlon nail polish that you get $4 ECB (Extra Care Bucks) when you buy one.  A lot of people have $1 off coupons, so that makes for practically free nail polish.

I didn't have the coupon, though.  So I bought one of the "scented" nail polishes (Coconut Crush) - it rang up for $3.99.  Check it at the scanner, though - not all of the scented polishes are $3.99.  So I paid out of pocket for the nail polish, then turned around and got a free milk and 2 liter of coke with the $4 ECB.  I plan on going back later and doing a rolling purchase because there is a limit of 6 on the nail polishes.  If you just want to buy nail polish, that means you can score 6 nail polishes for $4 and still get $4 back at the end to spend on something else (has to be separate purchases).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Let's Talk About Design, Honey"

This is how the usual "design" conversation goes between the boyfriend and I:

Secrets of a Stylist
 Me:  "Hey honey - I really love the valances in this room.  I think I want to do something like this in the living room."

The Boyfriend:  "I really hate that."

Me:  "Really?  Well, that's what I'm doing.  It'll look great."

Now, in real life, he's not usually very negative and I'm not usually that pushy, but we have the almost exact conversation every time I show him a picture of something I like or want to do with the house.  Lately, I've been catching up on episodes of Secrets of a Stylist that I missed during the move.  (Did you know you can watch them online at - I have no idea why it took me this long to realize this.)  So, in a salute to design goddess Emily Henderson, I did a little style diagnostic of my own last night on the boyfriend.

Only I didn't use props or anything exciting like that.  Instead, I simply asked:  "If you lived by yourself and could decorate this house anyway you wanted, what would it look like?"  And he basically described this:

No offense if this is your house.  Or if you love the pictures and want to immediately go out and recreate the look for your own home.  But I kinda hate it.  In a major way.  It reminds me a bit of "Saved By the Bell" for some reason.

To give the boyfriend his due - maybe in his head his vision is much more upscale and cool looking.  But when you say "contemporary" "sleek" "minimalist" with those colors - this is what my mind sees and then immediately starts running away from.  No wonder I am so dismissive whenever he doesn't like one of my ideas.

Nine times out of ten, once I actually get around to implementing an idea - the boyfriend ends up liking it.  Like the ongoing red cabinet saga (stay tuned for tomorrow's post) - which he initially thought was a terrible idea (even with Jenny's awesome picture) and now is trying to figure out a way to keep in our house.

I'd like to believe that the fact that he always comes around is the reason I'm not crushed by his knee-jerk "I hate it."  I'd rather think that than the fact that I am a terrible girlfriend who could care less about his personal taste and if it is reflected in his house.  (Okay, I do admit to being about 10% this - because, after all, I am letting him build a golf room in our garage.)  So, after our little design talk last night, I made a promise to myself to be more give-and-take with this aspect of our relationship.  I obviously want him to have an opinion because I always run everything by him.  And I love that I can always count on his honest opinion and not just a rubber stamp approval.  It makes our house better.  It makes me pause and think about the choices I'm making, not just if I love something or not.

Like the valances.  They are awesome.  (They looked more awesome on the show than in that picture, by the way.)  But I think the boyfriend is right that they wouldn't look good in our house.  We have an oddly vaulted ceiling and the valances would probably cut the room in half and make the ceiling feel too separate from the rest of the space.  I want the ceiling to kind of fade into the background where you don't notice it, just feel the nice, open quality it gives.

Compromise - the key to any relationship.  I feel like such an after-school special.

Or at least a PSA.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Frivolous Want

I decided to go for the red with the cabinet makeover.  It's about halfway done - so I'll post pictures soon.

9-foot Pagoda Umbrella, $199.95
Pier 1 has this cute pagoda umbrella and I totally want one.  Can't afford to waste money on such frivolity right now.  But that doesn't make me want it less.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Opinion Please!!!

Hopefully someone reads this and would love to chime in because (as usual) I'm having a hard time making up my mind.

I found and bought this great cabinet today at Goodwill for $35.

It's hard to tell from this crappy before shot, but the front pulls out and you can add leaves to make a table.

Genius design - right?  Perfect for someone with a small space with no dedicated dining room, or for someone who does crafts and needs a table sometimes, or a million other houses.  So I bought it for resale.

The problem is that I want to spray paint it because of a few dings.  And so I can hopefully charge more.  I'd love to do a bright red like Jenny from Little Green Notebook.

I think it would look FABULOUS - but potentially not everyone wants to buy a bright red table.

Should I go for it?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good Day

There are definitely perks to living in a materialistic, wasteful culture.  One of them is the ability (if you're lucky like I was today) to score totally cool stuff for free.

Found an ad for this West Elm rug on the free section of Craigslist and kicked myself that the boyfriend had just left for work and thus I, being car-less, would be missing out on a great score.

Wouldn't you know it that the boyfriend forgot his keys and had to come back home.  So I put on my best, sugary sweet cajoling voice and asked him to kindly take a detour and see if the rug was still there.  By this time the ad had been live for over an hour, so I was not too hopeful.

The boyfriend called about 30 minutes later to tell me that he had looked at the rug and decided not to take it.  "It's weird - the color is really dark on one side and really light on the other."

Despite being together almost six years, I'm not always good at telling when the boyfriend is actually being stupid or just acting stupid.  I definitely thought that he was falling into the former category.  Because even if he hated it, we could have resold it.  So I gently tried to explained to him that the look was "ombre" and that it was very current.  "Please go back and pick it up."  Not happening, he was almost home.

The boyfriend arrived and pouty face (me) went out to meet him, only to discover that he had picked up the rug for me like I asked.  Did I mention that I have the best boyfriend in the entire world?  Even when he likes to give me a hard time for no apparent reason.

The rug is HUGE!  9x12.  Which it turns out is the perfect size for a rug in our living room.  Stupid me was only looking at the more affordable 5x8 rugs, which I now realize would have looked completely dinky.

Best part - looked it up online and the original price was $759.  Sweet!

Combined with getting to watch the Survivor finale tonight (go, Rob, go!), it's a pretty good day at my house.  Hope you're having a good one too.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Home Decorators Collection Rugs

Did a bunch of online window shopping for rugs today.  Found the most I liked at Home Decorators Collection, but haven't pulled the trigger on any yet.

I'm still going for a mustard/gold color in the living room.  I liked this one:

Greco Area Rug

5'3" x 8'3" for $269 (other sizes and colors available). 

And this is a must-have situation for our dining room.  Unfortunately, they're out of stock in the size I need (5x8).  It's an outdoor rug, so it would hold up to food messes really well, and the reviews are all very enthusiastic that it doesn't look like your typical outdoor rug.

Lyrical Area Rug

It's brown twin sells for $279, so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that it comes back in stock soon.

Edited to Add:  Found it for about the same price at in a lot of different sizes.
On a different note, I'm still in love with this Pier 1 chest.  It fits the entryway perfectly.  I just don't want to spend $250+ on a piece of furniture I think I could recreate pretty easily out of a garage sale piece.

Pier 1 Wycliff Chest

Check out the inside...

From Simply Seleta

Too cute!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Did I Mention I Like Roast Beef?

This post will not have pictures because I've decided pictures of raw meat don't really glam the place up.

In March when I was in Louisiana, I came across a great deal on a huge cut of beef eye of round.  Like, as big as my thigh (and I'm a pretty big girl).  So what does the bargain huntress in me decide to do?  Buy it, freeze it, transport it to Texas, and then wait until this week to cook it.  That's normal, right?

So then I had this huge chunk of cow defrosting in my fridge and had to decide what to do with it.  Here's what I came up with.

First, I cut off the two ends into about 3-4 pound roast sections.  I was happy that the middle part was still large enough to cut into 4 steaks plus about a pound of thin strips to be used in a stroganoff.  So at least 4 meals for around $10 (told you it was a good deal).  Not even counting leftovers.

But since it had previously been frozen, I needed to deal with this meat pronto.  I put one roast in a marinade and soaked it overnight for me to cook today.  Then I'll probably freeze it again for another day.  Or cut it into sandwich meat.  Haven't quite decided.  I'm going to cook the strips and freeze them so they'll be ready for a quick meal.  And the steaks are for dinner tonight.

Yesterday I made a roast from a recipe I was trying for the first time.  It was SO good I'm going to share the recipe, which is originally from Taste of Home (my favorite cookbook).  You can find the original recipe here, because I'm going to tell you my version.  (I thought the original made way too much sauce and a couple of other tweaks.)

Roast with Creamy Garlic Sauce
Serves 12.

6 oz. Dijon mustard, divided
9 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 beef roast or tenderloin (4 to 5 pounds), halved
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream

1.  Mince 8 garlic cloves and combine in a blender with 4 oz. of the mustard and 1 tablespoon of pepper.  Cover and process for 1 minute.  Add 1 tablespoon oil and process until a paste forms.  Spread over beef.

2.  In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat.  Brown beef, on piece at a time, on all sides.  Place in a shallow roasting pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.

3.  Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 25-45 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees; medium, 160; well done, 170).  Remove to a warm serving platter.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, mince the remaining garlic.  In a saucepan, combine garlic, whipping cream, sour cream and remaining mustard and pepper.  Cook and stir over low heat until heated through.  Slice beef thin.  Serve with the sauce.

This is a very good Sunday dinner-type of meal.  It messes up a fair amount of dishes cooking it, but it was well worth the effort.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Fabric Picks

I'm in love with this ikat for the living room and dining room of my house.

Robert Allen Woven Jacquard Ikat Fret Tourmaline at
Unfortunately, at $20/yard, it might be too cost prohibitive.  I easily need 24 yards.

I'm also digging this cute Indoor/Outdoor print for my son's room.  Matches the color scheme pretty well, I think.

Swavelle/Mill Creek Wolfram Cabana
And it's much more palatable to the wallet at under $9/yard.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Momma Did a Bad Bad Thing

Sorry to leave you in suspense yesterday about what I had done that was so bad.  Bad in a good way.  Like skanking yourself up to go out on a Friday night.  Or riding a motorcycle.

Only I'm a fairly boring stay-at-home mom, so my version of being bad was buying a piece of furniture behind the boyfriend's back.  And not just any piece of furniture - something so big that there was no way it could come home with me.  With money that was destined for the gas tank ($3.74/gallon - are you kidding me!).

But how could I resist?

Let me give you the whole story. 

After receiving my free haircut (Craigslist score) yesterday, I was feeling a little too pretty to go directly back home.  So I went to Big Lots to get another paintbrush and then decided to drop by the Salvation Army and see what was in.  Because that is obviously the two places you go when you're too cute to go home.

My local Salvation Army gets a lot of furniture in and I was hoping to find something cheap to resell since I'm quickly running out of items that I got for free that I can make money on.  I walked to the back room where they keep the furniture and just about fell over.

There was The General.  Yes, I've named him.  In the way that kids growing up on a farm might name a pet so they know he won't end up on the dinner table.  This thing is HUGE!  40 inches wide and 54 inches tall.  And solid wood - even the back.  Dovetailed drawers.  It was love at first sight.  Then I opened him up...

Are you kidding me?  Built-in organizers?

Pulls have been spraypainted, so I'm going to give them an antique brass finish.
At this point I braced myself to look at the price tag and come crashing down to earth.  Because there was no way I could afford this chest.  Nevermind that I've been wanting a piece of campaign furniture forever.  Nevermind that I quite possibly had a bigger reaction to seeing this chest for the first time than when they handed me my son for the first time.  There are things in this world that I want but cannot afford and I have learned to deal with it.  But that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.

$79.99  WTF?!?!?!?!

I literally looked around to make sure I wasn't on a secret camera prank show.  Then I double checked just to make sure there wasn't a 1 in front of that 7 that I had missed.  Nope.  $79.99.  I had that in my purse.  That's a crazy good price for any piece of furniture this large, useful, and of such quality.  It was still a lot of money for me to spend though...  Maybe too much...  I was hoping to buy something in the $40 range that I could resell, and I couldn't resell this.  It would be like selling off my arm.

Despite the doubts racing through my head, I wasn't holding myself back from publicly humping my new found love.  A salesman came racing over like he worked in a real furniture store and could see commission written all over me.  I quickly tried to act cool, which is pretty hard when you're standing in the middle of a room caressing a piece of furniture.

"It's nice, isn't it?"  Says he.

"Yeah, it's okay."  Says I.

"You know, if you're interested I might be able to make you a deal."

(I think at this point I might have started to fondle the salesman too.  It's all a haze of euphoria.)  "What kind of deal are we talking about?"

"I can cut $15 off."

Now, I am in no way, shape, or form a good negotiator.  The few times I've tried to haggle anything I've almost always ended up giving something away for practically free and offering them a turkey dinner to go with it.  My friend Katie is quite possibly the best negotiator I've ever seen because she frequently is the one getting things for half off with a free turkey dinner thrown it.  I tried with all of my might to channel Katie at this moment.

"I'm not sure...  It's awfully big."  (Like lots of storage space is a deal-breaker for any woman.)

"Okay, I can do $20 off.  $59.99."

"I'll take it!"

Maybe I could have gotten him lower, but I don't think so.  You should have seen the other customers circling us like a vultures with the hopes that I would walk away and they could pounce.  And really, $80 was a good deal.  $60 was more in my budget.  And if I brought it home and the boyfriend hated it, I was positive I could triple my investment easily.

Then there was the slapstick comedy of me thinking I could actually fit The General into the back of my car.  I am a really good packer, so sometimes I overestimate what I can physically fit into our Mazda Protege.  It wasn't happening.  So I went home and broke the news to the boyfriend, who was not thrilled, let me tell you.  Not only had I spent our money without talking to him, but I had also obligated him to once again borrow a van from his job so we could get it home.

So, what did I do to make it up to him?  I decided to make a little more money to cover the cost and take advantage of the van.  I sold futon for $75 (free to us) and threw in delivery for an extra $25.

I also sold my favorite chair.  I bought it a couple of years ago for my girls' room and it has been in the living room since the move.  But with the blue couch I couldn't keep it there and there wasn't anywhere else for it.  So I had to let it go.  Bought for $25.  Sold for $35.  I probably could have gotten more because I had tons of interest, but I'm content.  They paid for the piece that I want to keep and that works right now.

I would love to keep doing this as a side business.  I definitely get a little high from flipping furniture.  However I do realize that I'm also susceptible to falling in love with a piece and then you're not making any money.  So I'd have to strike a good balance somewhere until my new house is better furnished.

P.S. Once he saw it, the boyfriend admitted that he loves The General and said I did a good job.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Furniture Swap

Last week I sold two pieces of furniture on Craigslist for a profit of $150.

In case you didn't know, I am a Craigslist addict.  It's not good.  It's not pretty.  And once I get started, its very hard to stop.

I was pleased as punch with myself for the extra income and how much room it freed up in our house.  I vowed to finally finish the dining room table that I bought in October so we could also get it out of the garage.

So on Saturday, we went to Lowes and bought some more painting supplies and spent the rest of the day cleaning and organizing the garage enough for the boyfriend to get started on his project (building a putting green) while I worked on mine (the table). 

We still had two more pieces of furniture taking up a lot of room in the garage - my son's toddler bed and a recliner.

The todder bed, mattress and bedding were all gifts from my parents over the years.  We tried to sell it at the garage sale and people kept lowballing us because they just wanted the bedding (came with lots of extra sheets and pillowcases too thanks to a Target clearance).  I held firm because I was sure I could get the $40 I was asking on Craigslist.

Turned out I didn't need to.  A woman from down the street saw it when we had it outside on Saturday and she bought it for a friend's daughter.

The recliner was also free.  See a trend?  When we had our garage sale, our neighbor gave it to us because she didn't want it anymore and it had been sitting in her garage for months.  No one bought it, so it's been sitting in our garage for a month.  It's super comfortable and a La-Z-Boy, just not our style at all.

So I listed it on Craigslist.  Someone is coming to look at it today and hopefully take it off our hands and give us some more free money.  Which I have decided is the best money there is.  Much better than money you actually have to work for.

After my hot streak and making lots of cash - of course I started looking at what other people were offering.  That's only natural right? 

I found a great deal on a couch.  We desperately needed a couch because using a futon as a couch reminds me of when I first moved to Austin and lived with a psychopath.  But that's a story for another day.  Today's story is about this couch:

From Craigslist ad.
 Once I actually saw our new house in person I decided that the sectional of my dreams would not work and started keeping an eye out for a piece that would.  I knew I wanted it to be long, preferably 3 seats across instead of two long ones where someone always ends up sitting in the crack (our last couch).  The longer the better.  And I wanted something with modern, boxy lines.  And preferably something dirt cheap so that I could eventually recover it and still come out cheaper than buying a new one.

This one fit all of the above.  They only wanted $15 for it.  Which made me worry that it doubled as a bed of a St. Bernard.  Or something worse.  But I was hopeful, especially after grilling the owner.  I used my newly made stack of cash as a bribe to get my boyfriend to borrow a van from his job and go pick it up - sight unseen.  The worst that could happen would be that we hate it and lose $15.

At home.
 Do not hate.  Love love love.

The fabric is rough.  Actually, it's very soft and velvety - but its best days were years ago and it is now begging for a mercy killing.  However, it is by far one of the most comfortable couches ever.  I checked out the springs and legs from  underneath and everything seems solid and in place.  I am thinking of taking off the skirt when we have it recovered.  I'm hoping that the recovery cost will be on the lower end because it doesn't seem to detailed of a job.  I'm going to get some estimates.  But first I'm going to rent a steam cleaner and go to town on this bad boy.

Fresh off of the high of scoring a $15 diamond in the rough, I also scored a free haircut this morning.  Which I desperately needed.  And then I did something bad.  Something really bad.  But you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what because I don't have any pictures yet.