Wednesday, April 22, 2009

P.S. My furniture is thrifty as well

And I'm moving in less than a month and wanted to dedicate a blog post to my house because I am really going to miss it. I am also really happy at how well I think it turned out. The only room that I am really not 100% happy with is the master bedroom (see previous post for pics of that). Otherwise, I love the way my dining room, living room and guest room all look, so I thought I'd share with you some pics and talk about some of my good deals in the world of home decor!

Above is the far wall in my living room. The polka dotted chair and the chest (which is actually a tv cabinet from the 50s) are both Salvation Army finds. I had to do quite a bit of work to each piece, but I was able to get great quality custom furniture for a fraction of the retail price. Granted, the stuff was not in good condition when we bought it, the chair was this awful mauve color, but the cushions were down filled and it had hand tied springs and a hardwood construction (i.e. it had great bones). I found the fabric at a discount fabric store and with the designer's discount my mom (the antique dealer/teacher) receives, I got the 10 yards necessary to recover it for less than $80. Recovering the chair was another $200 and I paid $15 for it, but I got a really good quality piece that would retail for at least $500 for around $300 and I will be able to use it for years to come. The tv cabinet is a similar find -- it was like $60 and all I had to do was paint it black. Eventually I am going to turn it into a really cool bar, replacing the interior shelving with mirror and somehow making another door out of the remaining t.v. screen.
This is another view of my living room that shows another one of my favorite things -- my couch. This was not a salvation army find, but it was a hand me down from my parents. It was actually the first piece of furniture they ever bought together as a married couple and my mom saved it for me for my first home. I think it is one of the most classic sofa styles on the market and I intend to keep it for many years to come. I should also note that I did not receive it in this condition -- it was bought in like 1982 and the fabric definitely showed its age. So again, I was able to use my mom's designer connections for the fabric and upholstery. Because the fabric was a little hard to find this piece was very expensive to recover ($800, yikes!), but considering that mom and dad paid over $1,000 for the couch itself in 1982, I still consider this a good deal because buying a new piece of the same quality would probably be over $2,500 at this point, especially for one with custom fabric. Also, because of the quality of the piece, it will grow with me as I start my career and am able to move into a larger home. Plus, a good piece of furniture will only increase in value, and you can save money in other places. In my living room case it is the ottoman which was a Target find and my area rug which is from Lowes! The white chairs were bought as a pair from an antique store and apparently were also quite a find -- they are covered in white linen and have a hardwood construction and are also a piece that will grow with me.

This is a picture from my guest bedroom. I would love to have an identical type of feel to my master bedroom, and hopefully mom or CraigsList will come through soon with cherry queen size 4 poster bed. Anyway, this is my favorite piece of furniture in the entire house. I saw it in my mom's antique shop and had to have it. You can't tell it but the grain on the wood on the drawer fronts is very unique and beautiful. This picture is also a great example of a place to save money -- artwork. The photo arrangement above the chest is compliments of Wal-Mart and a disposable camera. They are photos I took while on vacation in Austria that I enlarged myself at the Kodak picture maker at Wal-Mart and the frames came from the picture frame section. I love the way it turned out -- I think it adds a very personal touch to the room.

This is what I wish the master bedroom looked like. Like I said before I really hope to find a queen size similar bed. The bed was an antique auction find by my mom (she's so good y'all) and is solid cherry and handmade. I love 4 poster beds, I think they seamlessly fit into any type of decor. I also love the bright colored sheets mixed with the white duvet and bedspread, I feel like it makes the room pop. The bed linens are also a place where I saved money, the sheets are Ralph Lauren which I got on sale at the Polo Outlet. The bedspread was on clearance from TJMaxx and the duvet is from KMart on sale. Again -- don't discount your local KMart or Wal Mart for bedding options as many of their higher end lines are of very good quality.

This is a pic of my dining room. I actually made the table runner with leftover fabric from an upholstery project. I inherited the table and chairs from my grandparents and the buffet from my mom (again, learn to love the hand me downs, you can always personalize them to your taste). The wine glasses are also an auction find from my mom that she couldn't sell at her shop, I think they make a very nice collection.

This is the final picture from my living room. The marble top chest was another piece that my mom couldn't sell in her shop. I love it -- it's probably my second favorite piece in the whole house. The print was another find - $20 at a consignment shop! New lampshades made the three lamps in this pic more current and in line with my tastes (another good tip -- a new shade can completely change the look of a lamp).

Finally we have a pic of my mantle. The fireplace does not work so I use it as my entertainment center. I wish I had a little shelf to sit the tv on, but oh well I will eventually talk my mom and stepfather into making me one! My favorite find in terms of the mantle is the artwork -- that's a Goonies movie poster that I purchased at a college poster sale for like $8. The frame is from Target for less than $40. I think its a really cool looking piece that I intend to keep forever (mostly b/c the Goonies is my favorite movie ever)!

That's all I've got folks! I realize this post is long, but hopefully it will give you all some thrifty decorating ideas! Remember -- any piece can either be (1) painted, (2) refinished, or (3) recovered. I should also note that (in honor of Earth Day) it is way greener to buy a quality piece of furniture that you can have recovered as your tastes change because fewer resources are destroyed by the recovering process than by the disposing of and buying a new piece process. To me, quality furniture is like a good pair of shoes or a good dutch oven, you should buy the best you can afford as it will be worth it in the long run because the piece will last forever! That said, don't discount your local thrift store, consignment shop, etc. in your furniture search. These places are full of good quality items at affordable prices and the money you save by buying a used piece you can put towards custom upholstery or refinishing!

I realize this post was quite long, but I really wanted to dedicate a post to my house because I'm really going to miss it! Hopefully my new home will be just as charming, which I am hopeful for b/c I hear that Chicago is full of vintage apts!


AmyT said...

I'm lovin' the look - I just love that polka dotted chair!!!!! very cute!

Katie Lake said...

I am going to be sad when I can't come stay in "my" room anymore. Glad the world now knows about your "Nerdy Chic" style. You should have included the part about how bf wasn't allowed to sit on the couch after he spilled coffee on it hehe.

Katie said...

It's true, the bf did spill an entire cup of coffee on my couch which was an avoidable mistake -- in a not so smart move he decided to rest the totally full cup on the arm of the couch and not on the end table. It was obvious accident waiting to happen... Although interestingly enough I still let the dog sit on the couch (on a blanket of course -- she's not allowed on the couch unless I put a blanket down). I'm a little OCD clean :-)

Needs Help said...

Love that polka dot chair :)

CTB said...

Looks great! I love that you have the Goonies poster on your mantle. It really makes the space personal.

Raike said...

Thanks for sharing beautiful pictures of your home decor!! I love polka dotted chair and the chest and would like to pick at walmart.