Join us on our journey to making this ugly-split level a home that we can learn to love, one DIY project at a time.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Couch Love

We recently purchased a new couch, ottoman, and oversized chair.  We are loving it! And it was a thrifty find!  This couch was purchased at Nebraska Furniture Mart, a huge and expensive (in my opinion) furniture store spread through multiple warehouse sized buildings on at least an acre of land.  There is a food in this place for crying out loud! 

We could never dream to afford anything at this place when it comes to furniture, but thankfully there is a clearance warehouse on the property.  That is always our target destination when we visit this furniture candy land.

The set we found cost us 499 dollars!  You can't find that kind of a deal even on Craigslist! 
We found this same set on their website for about 1800 dollars! -Which means we saved about 1300 dollars!  Woot!

Plus it came with all of these pillows!  And pillows are NOT cheap.  Trust me I know- I have a pillow addiction.  It only pales in comparison to my lamp addiction, but that is another story for another time.

And the reason for the amazing discount:  pilling.

There was some pilling on the ottoman and  along the edges of the couch.

Luckily though with some inexpensive tools:

We took care of that.

After shaving the couch and brushing it with the toothbrush it looks like a new beauty!  Will it pill again?  Probably, but that is okay with me because it is gorgeous and cheap!  I am not afraid to shave again! :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Living Room Update DIY fireplace

I have posted parts of my living room...But I have left out other parts. There are things about it that I do not like. For example my TV is positioned at an angle in the corner of the room near the front door and you can see the back of it slightly when you walk in from outside through the railing. I have not changed this for many years because I really REALLY like the way my photos are/were arranged behind the couch.

  If I moved the couch to the wall with the railing (literally the only other option) there would be no wall for my pictures. (Split-level problems!!) Over the years I have accepted loving half of my living room (the half with the couch on it), but within the last two weeks I have decided to change that.

  I want to love my entire living room and I want to feel like I am cozied up in a cottage whenever I take a seat and relax. This lead me to my next DIY project- a DIY fireplace! (Every cottage needs one!)

The fireplace (140.00):

I searched online everywhere for plans that fit my taste and finally I found one that was just the right amount of detail. This tutorial has everything you need to create this beaut- a cut list, step by step directions, and diagrams (This woman is a genius!). The only difference between our fire place and the one in this tutorial is the size. We scaled our fire place up because I wanted it to feel massive in my small living room.

Click her for the full tutorial
Total this project was about 150 DOLLARS - A deal when compared to buying an electric fire place at the store.

 AND without that fake glass screen with the fire light show, you can decorate the inside with birch wood or even candles for a REAL, granted smaller, fire.

Aside from the wood and the paint for this puppy, I spent money on the 'hearth.' I wanted this to feel as rustic as possible so I thought why not throw some stones at it. :) I found, at Walmart in the fall, discounted patio pavers. They were on sale for 24 cents a piece. After I measured the dimensions I would need to create a hearth for the fire place to sit on I ended up investing only about 10 bucks in patio pavers! That was CHEAPER that it would have been to buy another large piece of wood to use as the hearth (it would have had to have been the size of the mantle to look balanced which was around 17 dollars). And it makes it feel more real! BONUS!
The Hearth (10.00):

The paint job was a fun process. I was really afraid of distressing because I thought it would be hard, but it was seriously one of the easiest paint jobs I've ever done! I didn't even have to sand!! It took LITERALLY 2 hours to complete. I'm an instant gratification girl so I am all over that. So I heard about using wax or Vaseline for distressing from a neighbor and decided I'd give that technique a try (can't pass up projects that require less sanding) Here are the results:

Distressing with Vaseline:

1. Paint a base coat on bare wood- a color you want to show through when you sand. I chose Glidden Duo tintable tester 2 @ 2.99 in the color: Wild Truffle from Home Depot.
2. Rub Vaseline on all of the edges and places you want to have the under color show through.
3. Paint over everything with top color. I used left over white trim paint (Dutch Boy Dura Clean Latex kitchen, bath, and trim enamel in a semi-gloss). This is where something amazing happens. Without even sanding your piece will start to look distressed. The paint won't stick easily to the Vaseline and the way it dries over it LOOKS like natural distressing!
4. OPTIONAL: Use 300 grit sand paper to lightly sand over the edges or the places you want to see the color beneath. I did not do this, but am contemplating it.

I cannot wait to try this on more things!! Here are a few shots of the progression of the piece:
Well that's all for now folks! Coming soon: A barn wood framed TV project/ How to stain barn wood using two stains without the head ache of distressing and soaking over night (My husband figured this one out. That awesome guy!)