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The following is a post from my beautiful wife, Michelle. Thanks hunny!
The couch that started it all.
It was a fateful rainy day in Seattle. Just a girl and her baby walking through a thrift store….and then….she saw it! It’s what she’d been waiting all her life for. The one. The perfect floral couch!
I looked, I lusted, I sat and took a quick sniff….but then I left. What in the world would I do with a crazy couch like that? I already owned three couches, all of which I love. Go home, Michelle, go home! But first, post a photo on facebook!
I got home and had non-buyer’s remorse. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it! So after a little encouragement from friends and 27 comments later, I was all in. I called up the thrift store and bought it over the phone! Crazay! I seriously had only sat on it for about a second, and gave it only a quick sniff.
I got some quick inspiration from Pinterest
The room was a dark red and had a super cozy, kind of cabiny feel to it. I really liked that it was so cozy down there because that’s where we kept our TV and watch movies. We don’t have cable or watch TV really, but the couch down there was good for snuggling so that’s where we watch the occasional movie. I wanted to keep the cozy feel and didn’t want it a ton brighter but it was VERY dark down there, with the only window being the sliding glass door.
So I had to move the couch out of the room. I didn’t want to sell it because it’s a Henrodon (read: super high end) sofa that we got as a hand-me down. It has down-filled cushions and is SO comfy, so even though it’s not gorgeous, I chose to keep that one instead of the one we had upstairs.
The papasan was going to have to go, it wouldn’t work in any other area of the house. The TV stand also wasn’t my favorite, we got it for free and I wanted something with more storage. The coffee table is mission style and wouldn’t fit with the style of the new couch and didn’t go with any of the furniture upstairs. Basically we emptied the room.
I really liked the paint color in the inspiration picture with the teepee. I wanted a kind of greige that was cozy but went with the cool colors in the couch. I wanted to do an accent color on the fireplace wall because it wouldn’t stand out very well with a paint color that’s the same color as the mortar. I originally wanted an emerald green but after doing a digital mock-up decided I needed to go with something a little lighter. Thanks to a good friend of mine who happens to be an interior designer I went with a happy yellow that goes a little green. A great option, because it goes green, it’s on the other end of the color wheel from the red brick which is a great contrast.
I was hosting thanksgiving and couldn’t have my beautiful new couch sharing a room with that awful red….so I recruited my brother in law and we painted like crazy and I got the room mostly together right before hosting thanksgiving!
We also picked up a new dresser turned TV stand that I am planning to re-do this summer by painting glossy white and snagged a new TV for an awesome deal too. We found 2 perfect blue wicker chairs that are great for that room because we can move them around easily to create a lot of space for kids to play. We still need to figure out a permanent solution for art/photos above the couch and I’m sure I’ll be switching out the photo above the fire place as I see that one permanently landing in our bedroom. The bar area also needs some help but it’s getting there!
Dollars and Cents
Things We Sold
- Sold the TV stand for $40 (paid $0 3 years ago)
- Sold the papasan for $30 (paid $25 4 years ago)
- Sold the blinds for $20 (paid $0, came with the house, suckaz!)
- Sold the coffee table (with the other couch and chair set) for $170 total (paid $25 for the coffee table 4 years ago, $175 for the couch and chair set 4 years ago.)
So total we were up $60 over what we had even paid for the furniture originally for a total of $260. (AWESOME!)
Things We Bought
- Purchased couch for $40
- Purchased dresser for $40 (for future, we will need to buy paint, so that will increase the cost slightly)
- Purchased 2 blue wicker chairs for $20
- Purchased white curtains and curtain rod from IKEA (still need to be hung) for approximately $30
Purchased furniture for a total of $130
That’s $130 profit we can use toward re-doing the office and other projects!! Yahoo!! Hoping to sell some more stuff this summer, maybe through a garage sale or something. And since we don’t game much, Jake could sell his Xbox games on musicMagpie.com for some free ca$h money if he doesn’t want to hassle with Craigslist people who buy electronics. They are a little weird. Just sayin’. Either way, we’ll see how many upgrades we can do for $0!
So here’s where we are now.
Of course there is a lot more I would like to do, like re-do the trim and doors all around the house to white instead of this awful fake wood, but all with time (and $$$). The new colors and furniture layout has really opened up the space and made it more functional for our family’s lifestyle. Life’s been super busy so there are still the outlets to replace with child-safe ones and it always takes me way too long to decide on art for the walls…but it will get there! This is where we are now and I’m happy with it 🙂
Comments: What are YOUR current house projects? Have you set a budget for them?Stay tuned for more upgrades at the iHB household for a budget of $0!
40 thoughts on “Redecorate For Free: Family Room Project”
It looks great! Our main project this year is not really decorating specific, but de-crapifying specific. We have a bunch I mean a BUNCH of crap we have to get rid of and am hoping to make some money off Craigslist. 🙂
Thanks John! Good luck! Don’t sell to anyone who can’t form a sentence…lol
We have a lot of house projects to complete before we sell our house. Ugh what kills me is that we will barely be able to even enjoy it!
Super bummer, it will pay off though!
What a difference! It is so much brighter! Floral patterns are not my style, but you pulled everything together nicely. My hubby and I bought a fixer upper house and every project goes WAY over budget because of the issues discovered. In the end, we will have a great home, so that is our silver lining during the times I am cringing at my budget.
That’s the nature of fixer-upers huh? 🙂 Luckily our house only needs cosmetic improvements, discovering issues would stress me out!! good luck! 🙂
Bravo, I think the “after” pictures are awesome. We will be furnishing our new home soon and I only hope we are able to do it as effectively as you!
Nick, all I can say is craigslist! I feel that a house should feel collected, not decorated, and going with used furniture not only saves you money but makes your pieces more unique 🙂
Much brighter…baby head freaked me out at first! But it’s a cute pillow!
Just an FYI, if you google it, ACE Hardware has a coupon for a free quart of paint on March 9th! Might help lower the cost of that dresser redo (not sure if the one quart will be enough, but it may if you have primer from any other projects leftover!
Last year when we had to furnish a whole house on a tiny budget, I got over the used couch thing. It was tough. We went to a high end consignment shop and found a great set and lovely coffee table…wasn’t so cheap, but it was all in great shape. Leftover from a house staging company.
Thanks for the tip!! I’m totally checking that out!!
Buying furniture that was used for staging is seriously the way to go if you want stuff that is basically new for way less than new $$
I bet you could count the number of butts that had been on your couch before you owned it on one hand! 😉
Then again if you have some friends that can also take advantage of the deal, that may eat you what you need…
Nice job, I’m all about major makeovers for a low budget, zero is even better! My problem is that any project I start seems to take on a life of it’s own with mini projects spinning off of them faster than I can tackle them!
oh Joe….don’t I know it!! There is definitely a MAJOR domino effect here! But makes for more blog posts 😉
I will say that I would never purchase that print of couch, but that is not my style. You pulled it in well and really brightened up the room, which is a huge plus. Nice work!
Very nice! I love how bright and cheery it looks.
Random question: Do you ever worry about bedbugs when buying used upholstery? I’m all about buying stuff from thrift stores, but I’m paranoid about couches and stuff unless I know exactly where it came from. I don’t mean this as critical, just wondering. Maybe I am just super paranoid.
Thanks for posting!
Hannah, I did a thorough inspection for bed bugs and then had it professionally steam cleaned (you should have seen the water that came out of it!!! YUCK!!!) That is seriously almost a whole other blog post….
but yes, I worry about that, so I always check. (granted I had already bought the couch when I checked but I was going to just toss it and cut my losses if I found some…I hadn’t brought it into the house yet, it was in the garage.)
That’s a great question and a legit concern.
You can’t just have a decapitated baby head on a couch and not explain!
HAHAHAHAHA!!!! That was Jake’s fathers day present (aren’t I a good wife?? ;D) Check this out.
it’s a local seattle company….too funny!
Patterns are a hot rage with some decorators and can make any boring room an inviting space. The colour change made a huge difference in the overall appeal of the room from what I can tell in the photos. The space is not only brighter but seems as if it is much larger now. It’s hard to feel when you aren’t there lol.. I have so many projects to do this year, not sure where I will start.
Thanks, I think so too 🙂
Love the before and after photos! That’s a pretty cool couch and I love the new paint color. Have to admit the face pillow scared me a little at first, but when I saw the up close photo, pretty darned adorable!
lol! yes, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Nolan has an uncle that is super freaked out by it! What’s even better is that when Nolan was about 9 months old or so, he loved to hug and kiss it!
Not going to lie, I zoomed in on the human head and stared at it for a while before scrolling down. That was a trippy pic at 2 am.
Hahaha. Still sometimes creeps me out to this day. You know, late at night, forgot something downstairs and it’s all dark, and the moonlight is perfectly places on the floating head on the couch….
I love it~ I especially love the baby boy pillow. What a nice touch!
Isn’t it just the best? Nothing says “we’re weird” like a floating baby head.
The after makeover is a 100% improvement. Congratulations on you accomplishment and obvious talent!!
I tell her this all the time. Pretty lucky to live with a frugal designer 🙂
you guys are too sweet
That “face” cushion is awesome. I have to look into getting something like that. You should toss that TV above the fireplace with a cheap wall mount from Costco. I think that would look great.
I would consider hanging it above the dresser, but despite the size of our tv, we barely ever use it. And I’m kind of morally against making it the absolute focal point (ie: above the fireplace). But I was just thinking today that it may be nice to have it hung above the dresser/tv stand 🙂 thanks for the suggestion 🙂
Very impressive renovation. Nothing is too costly or impossible when you are resourceful and creative enough.
Thanks Mike 🙂
Wow that’s such a great difference! My current house project is to get curtains for the bedroom and main room. It’s been taking me forever though, I just can’t seem to wrangle the cash for it.
We need curtains too. Like….everywhere! Wanted to get the furniture stuff done first, then we’ll rock some sweet curtains. Michelle’s probably going to just make them, though. She’s crafty like that 🙂
And hey, sounds like you want me to make you a budget (huh, huh?) How about it 😉
I love the lighter color. It’s amazing what a little paint can do. I actually just finished turning my daughter’s lovely yellow room that I chose for her when she was a baby to Pepto Bismol pink because that is her birthday present. We are going for princess castle. Not really my taste, but I am not 6 years old either!
Pepto pink sounds pretty awesome. Probably going to be the color of our master bedroom. 🙂
This project is a proof that you don’t need a fortune to redecorate your home AT ALL. All you need is motivation, some organizational skills and a supportive partner to back you up. P.s. I LOVE your couch!
LoL, at least someone likes it! 😉