Tag Archives: blue velvet sofa

Living Room Update | 1


Hello again, friends. It’s been a while (again) since I posted, and to tell you the truth I had to scramble to finish this post to get it out on August 31st and avoid having a calendar month that contained zero posts. But as the saying goes, something is better than nothing, and the something that I have for you today is, in fact, pretty good! I left you last time with an update on the dining room, since we had just (at the time) done a switcheroo with our living/dining room spaces. I promised you then an update on the new (at the time) living room space, and I finally have that for you today!

Let’s start from the very top with this space. Here’s what it looked like when we moved in in February.


Next, we have the dining room phase. This was part one of the dining room phase, when we still had our round table. There was a part two of this phase in which we had our current table in this space, but let’s just skip that, mmmkay? The dining room phase in all its parts was clearly a misguided phase.


And finally the current much-improved living room space!

IMG_7228-3 IMG_7232IMG_7238-2IMG_7231IMG_7233         IMG_7240 IMG_7241 IMG_7263

Tons better, right? I realized I never even posted a picture of the living room furniture in the other space, and that’s because it never really worked in that space enough for me to want to show it to you. Even though this space is smaller, it’s much better suited for furniture to be grouped for conversation, and of course it will be nice to use our fireplace in our actual living room during the winter.

One of the reasons we initially didn’t want to use this space for the living room was that we didn’t want the TV over the fireplace. It wasn’t even so much for design reasons that we wanted to avoid this as for a host of other logistical inconveniences, including: uneven mantle, need to potentially drill into brick, lack of ready electrical source, presence of ready heat source in close proximity several months out of the year. The solution we came up with was to house the TV on a bookcase on an adjacent wall.


I like to think this maintains the fireplace as the focal point of the room. The TV is still a little bit of an eyesore, but I hope as I get around to hanging things on the wall it will become less attention-getting. Ps, the TV console is an Ikea Billy bookcase to which we added the nifty Morliden glass doors. I love how much more custom the doors make the piece look. Right now I have them lined with fabric, but I could see doing marble paper, or a cool printed gift wrap or wall paper.

All in all, the living room is in pretty good shape, but there are still a couple projects left from the master list:

  • Refinish floors
  • Paint
  • Replace trim
  • New light fixture

Justin has been working on installing the trim (which I can’t wait to show you), but it’s definitely still going to take some time before it’s all in. We also have to add that list to replace the weights inside the windows that allow them to be raised/lowered. They were removed at some point in time and for who knows what unimaginable reason, but Justin is going to repair them when he removes the window trim. Thank goodness he is so handy because I already broke one storm window all by myself–I’d be living with Saran Wrap over all the windows in no time.

I do plan to be back with more regular updates and content as we move into fall and (say it ain’t so) winter, so hopefully there won’t be any more long periods of radio silence on my end. Hope you’ve all had a lovely summer! I bought a water color set and have been painting as gleefully as (and definitely no more skillfully than) a five year old. What have you been up to lately?

Sofa Reupholstery Reveal


This post has been long delayed by the fact that there is apparently no time of day/afternoon/night or combination of weather conditions good for photographing a dark couch directly in front of a large, east-facing window. After a certain point, I just decided to give you what I got! There should be plenty more opportunities later on for this couch to make an appearance, but for now I think you’ll get the idea. So let’s skip straight to the reveal!

Couch before-afterIMG_6186IMG_6151-2

Is that a lens flare, or just the heavens shining approval on this beautiful sofa? Let’s all pretend like we don’t know the real answer to that.

Here’s the cost breakdown I promised to show exactly what went into this project:

          Sofa – $100
          Fabric – $85
          Upholstery (Labor) – $560
          Total – $745

A few words about each of these costs. The sofa came from a flea market. It was originally priced at $150, but after letting it sit there for several weeks and a bit of negotiation with the vendor, we were able to get it for $100. The cushion foam is new and the frame is in great condition, so I’d call it a pretty good bargain.

We bought the fabric at a local wholesale fabric store for $8/yard. We needed 12 yards, but at this store if you buy the entire bolt, you get a 20% discount, so we ended up getting 13 yards for around $85. Some people would probably contend that $8/yard is way too cheap to be quality fabric, but this particular fabric was recommended by the store owner and approved by the upholsterer, so beyond that, we just have to wait and see how it holds up. With 8 loose cushions, there is plenty of opportunity to distribute the wear, so I’m optimistic that we can keep the fabric looking good for a long while.

I think I’ve mentioned before that upholstery costs vary A LOT based on geography, but even given that we live the budget-friendly Midwest, I believe $560 is very cost effective for the labor to reupholster an 8-foot + couch. The original estimate I got for the labor was between $400-550, so although it ended up costing more than the high estimate (some work was needed with the springs, and it took more materials than expected to re-pad the frame), I’m still very okay with that investment.

When we looked into buying a new sofa, we figured out we would need at least about $1200 (though preferably twice that) to get something in the size, style, and quality we wanted. $750 is by no means chump change and is far and away the most we’ve ever invested in a piece of furniture, but I think it was money well spent. We saved a few hundred dollars, supported a local craftsman, gave a old, cool sofa new life, and got a custom piece that we love.