A Couch for Coach- Before and After

So, Coach and I have been trying to find a couch for the porch for a couple of months now. He insisted that the wicker love seat was just not long enough for afternoon napping, even using the Wally the Whale table as a foot rest. After many yard sales and curb alerts, we finally found this on one of our trash to treasure hunts at Todd Farm in Rowley.

Although it had clearly had been neglected, was filty and ragged and hosting a family of icky bugs, we decided to take a chance. For $20, the price of two burgers and fries at Five Guys, we had our couch! It was sturdy and well-made, just required some major TLC. We were even more excited when we checked online and discovered the same Benchcraft sofa selling used for $300!

The re-furbishing: We spruced it up with a bleach wash and bug spray, then primed it with Kilz to remove odors and stains. Finished with Rustoleum outdoor glossy white. So clean and pretty!! The original cushions had to be tossed, as they were smelly and moldy and just plain gross. So I created new ones from foam, poly batting and some fabulous European down-filled pillows I got on clearance at-where else-Home Goods for $20 each! (I am saving the pretty ruched satin covers for another project.)

I wanted the couch to have a more casual feel, so I made the covers from solid navy outdoor fabric, using a knife-edge for the pillows rather than formal welted cushions.   

Do you LOVE our new couch!?  It’s stylish and casual and plenty long enough for afternoon naps on the porch and it complements the other refurbished pieces already in place.

The cost breakdown: Sofa $20 Fabric $40 Foam Cushion $40  Poly Batting $5 Pillows $60 Thread $3  Paint: $7 Total Investment: $175

A little more than I usually spend on a re-furbished trash to treasure. But since it is the largest piece on the porch, and is going to be sitting right in front of the ever-stylin’ whale coffee table, I figure it was worth the investment. A whole new life for a down and out couch, saved from the dumpster with my Three R’s Principle: Re-cycle, Re-Furbish, Re-Love. Have a Terrific Tuesday! Susan

Treasures and Trash-The Reveal!

The big reveal… how’d I do?

After…

So after a couple of weeks of treasure hunting, bargain shopping and using what I already had on hand, here is the finished product! I just love it : ) Hanging cozily in the corner of my dining room, the colorful pieces create a bright mosaic that is soooo eye-catching and country pretty! Although it looks similar in style to my inspiration piece from Country Living Magazine, it has my unique color stamp on it. And isn’t that what decorating your life is all about? Let me know if you like it! (and if you happen to come across and red and white teapot in your treasure hunt, I’m your girl)

Before…Blue Botanicals…my inspiration from Country Living.

(Previous post below)

My first thought was “Ooh, that’s so country pretty!”. My second thought was “Wait, I have one of those plate racks in the barn!”. (I know, I know, who has a barn, anyway?!? And where did I get all this stuff that’s in the barn? Yard sales!!) Time for a recycling project. So I dug out this dusty old black painted rack from the loft, cleaned it off, and then painted it with several coats of Benjamin Moore Atrium White  Regal Aqual Pearl.

Now, realizing that the dining room where the rack will be hanging is red and white, I decided to hit the road in seach of yard sales to find some pretty red platters, plates and cups for my as-yet-to-be-hung plate rack. And since today was Small Business Saturday, I checked out some of our local downtown antique shops as well. First up, the Craigslist resale store. Didn’t know these existed! Apparently you give them your stuff on commission and they sell them on CL. You get rid of stuff, they make money-brilliant! The place was packed with stuff and shoppers, but no luck there, unless I happened to be in the market for a pink car. So, off to check out an estate sale.  Sadly, these typically hold the belongings of a deceased love one, whose life will be measured in the profits gained from the sale of their treasures. I found these pretty little scalloped plates-and I will give them a good home and pass them on to the next generation, who will most likely sell them at my estate sale-hopefully for a profit…

Then on to The Queen’s Vault Antique Shop. Loads of victorian furniture, silver, crystal and blue and white dishes galore! Discovered that although blue and white is quite common for porcelain and pottery, red and white is much rarer and difficult to come across. But I did find a pretty red cup and saucer, and left my “wish list” in case he comes across anything else.  Next up was Wakefield Uncommon Antiques.

(We have a beautiful lake in Wakefield, and at one end is a large common with a gazebo. Hence the clever name…) Score! Loads of red and white to choose from. Didn’t buy anything because the prices weren’t marked and the young lad manning the register had no idea what to charge. Will have to return when the owner is present. I need those dishes! After that, a drive around town to admire the gloriously blooming trees and tulips, a few more yard sales and then all of a sudden I was at HomeGoods! Now I don’t know about your car, but it appears that my new CRV has a Blue-tooth enabled homing device that guides me directly to the nearest HomeGoods. Scored again with two plates in the clearance racks that will add a bit more color to my collection. Tomorrow’s task will be to hang the shelf securely so that it won’t come crashing down with all of my new-found treasures. When you have a home that was built during the James Buchanan Administration, chances are you have walls made of horsehair and lathing. This lathing is small skinny strips of wood, held together with plaster mixed with the hair of a horses mane or tail. Seriously? Every time I hammer anything, all I hear is chunks of the stuff falling out of the wall. This ought to be good…pics to follow.

The Three “R’s” – Re-Imagine, Re-Purpose, Re-Love

Like most working women, I treasure the weekends. They allow us some free time to catch our collective breath and unwind, before gearing up for the upcoming work week. Saturdays are cleaning and errand day, but Sundays are usually saved for special projects that I have set aside, typically involving crafting, sewing or home improvements. Today was a “3 R’s Project”: Re-Imagine, Re-Purpose, Re-Love. I was a DIY fanatic well before HGTV and the DIY Network came along. My mantra? “Sure, I can do that!”

Over the years, I have created extravagent wedding cakes, painted folk art, and more recently, I create and donate T-Shirt Quilts through “Threads Of Hope”– all the while working on refurbishing and restoring my 1850’s homestead. I never shy away from a project, whether its re-clapboarding the front of the house, baking a fantastic cake for a party, building a fieldstone wall, adding wainscotting to a room or crafting a quilt for an auction. I’ll try anything, with the exception of electricty. Attempted to splice some wires once with shockingly bad results. Lesson learned. I love re-using, re-cycling, re-beautifying things and giving them a new purpose.

Today I re-covered two pillows for my living room due to the “decorating domino effect”. Not sure what that means? I’ll explain. My living room is decorated in shades of blues and creams with brown accents. Recently I purchase a new rug for my dining room-red and white and gorgeous! So now the dining room rug has found a new home in the living room. Unfortunately, the transported rug is in shades of blues and reds, so exit the brown accents from the living room and enter the reds. Therefore, the brown and blue pillows needed new covers to co-ordinate-got that?

Now, dropping $50.00 for a new throw pillow is not something I am able or willing to do. My shopping is a constant struggle between want and need, and throw pillows typically don’t fall into the need column within my limited decorating budget. So, having two perfectly good down-filled pillow inserts, it was time to pull from my fabric grab-bag to re-cover them. Disclaimer: In a previous blog, Map It Out, I described my husband as a pack-rat. I want to state here that I do have my weakness when it comes to saving:fabric.

I save left-over fabric pieces, curtains, sheets, bedspreads, pretty dresses, in the event that I might need a scrap or two for a project someday. In my defense, I do a lot of quilt-making, painting and crafts, and fabric scraps are used for everything from rags to ruffles. Today, I pulled a lovely old blue Waverly Toile Valance out of my bin, and with that discarded window treatment I made two new covers for my living room throw pillows-love them! The cost? $1.78 for the covered button kit I purchased at Joanns (using a 50% coupon, of course). Had I gone shopping for those same two Waverly-covered, down-filled pillows, I would have paid upwards of $45 each, and with all due respect, they would not be nearly as pretty as the ones I created today.

So another Sunday gone, another re-purposing project completed-time to go clean up the dining room and gear up for another Monday morning. In the meantime, I can check pillows off the list of things to re-imagine, re-purpose and re-love.

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