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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Patience and Persistence Pay Off - The Search for a "New" Sofa

Befores and Afters

I wish I had taken a "before," - no actually an after picture of our old couch.  AFTER years of use and abuse; AFTER dogs; AFTER naps; AFTER food .... you get the idea. It had a LOT of afters. Lucky for me and you I was just ready to get it out of the house. The finish on the "leather" had worn off in places, the cushions were a little flat (and smelly), and the fabric was snagged and worn. It was a sad-looking piece, but it served its purpose.

My Problem!

I know myself. I know how I am. I get a style in my head, it travels to my heart, and nothing else will suffice for the space and feel of the room.  I was in trouble because, I knew what I wanted as a replacement. No more heavy, dark, Tuscany-style furniture. Unlike the old farmhouse, this new house lends itself to a more modern, easy-living vibe.

What I had in mind was something more modern: low back, fabric, clean lines. I wanted nailhead trim, gray. I wanted something like this:

I had been shopping for a replacement in a few furniture stores. While the prices weren't too bad, I wasn't sure we wanted to lay out the money for a new couch. 

The search was on!

I pored over CL, furniture store sales, websites and came up empty. Finally after a month of searching a post came up on my Facebook feed. It was for an older couch, but the color and the shape were right. It was just a little frumpy looking. But for a final cost of $60, the price was right. 

We brought it home. It was in great shape, no tears, worn spots, or snags! There were two things that didn't fit my vision:  the skirt, which made the couch look a little frumpy and the lack of the bling of the nailhead trim. For $60 I felt I could take the leap and do some surgery on our new lackluster friend. (Why would you cover up that beautiful arm?)

The Challenge

When we lifted up the skirts we found beautiful tapered legs. Hmmm...if only the skirt could be shortened to show them off. The nailhead trim seemed to be an easy fix. I purchased some pewter nailheads off of Amazon, found here -   I probably could have found them cheaper, but I was excited to get started.

After a little trimming around the legs, we were able to staple the skirt up under the edge of the couch. It already looked more modern and streamlined. I trusted the nailhead trim to my daughter who did an amazing job of hammering all those little nails in just the right spots. She outlined the piping on the arms and along the bottom, where the skirt was attached. 

The Result

Here are some inspiration couches that I liked: 

This is what our little find ended up looking like

For less than $100 and with a little patience and persistence, we ended up with a sleek, updated, beauty. If we can do it, so can you!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to do so.

To see more updates to our new home follow this link:

To see more fab ideas for updates, etc, go to  Not Just a Housewife at

Monday, July 14, 2014

Does Absence Really Make for Fond Hearts?

First,  let me start by apologizing for the loooong delay in any new posts. I'm so sorry. I've felt like I've been neglecting the blog, and you for a long time. It's been a crazy fall, winter and spring. But, let me explain.

My husband and I have wanted to live in the South for at least the last 23 years. In 2011, we again began to seriously discuss the possibility of relocating. After a three year search for employment, we have moved! Yep, I now live where it's not only acceptable, but necessary for the word "y'all" to be in your everyday vocabulary. And, you don't say, "Hi," it's "Hey, how y'all doin'?"

It's been an anxious whirlwind for the last 3/4 of a year! Leaving family! Paperwork! Looking for that house that had our name on it! Paperwork! Packing! Selling a home! Paperwork! Buying a home! Paperwork!  You get the idea.

We bought a fixer-upper in a semi-rural area. We've started putting our fingerprints on it so it's starting to feel more like home. And, anyway, if you have a creative bone in your body, you KNOW you can't call a space home until you've changed some things, right?

We haven't been updating much furniture lately. It's been rooms, walls and floors. Here are some pics of what we've been up to:

 This is the dining room area. In the first pic, notice the paneling? Not my "thing." We painstakingly filled all those paneling cracks with joint compound - yep, EVERY SINGLE ONE! That required masks, shop vacs, fans, plastic. It looked like a HazMat scene!

Then came the mess of sanding them flush with the rest of the paneling. What a mess! But, it was cheaper and less expensive than putting up drywall. We updated the lighting, the wall color, the floor...I should also say that the wall on the left of the first picture is no longer there. It was a wall that encased the basement steps. We took it out and put in a wrought iron and wood railing. (my daughter's dog photobombed the raling pic.) We still have some minor tasks like dressing out the newel posts, restaining the steps and quarter round on the base, but what an improvement!

Here are a few more before and afters:

 Repainted the walls, updated fans and moved in our stuff!

 Shutters removed, a fresh coat of paint and LOTS of overgrown bushes removed! It's amazing what a little elbow grease and some time can do!

We thought the door was solid wood until we started sanding it to refinish it. It was terribly faded on the bottom half from the sun. When we started sanding, the door started turning white. It was vinyl. Bring out the latex paint and gel stains. Some stained hands later, it looks like real wood.

That's it for now. We probably won't be updating much furniture in the near future, but we'll be updating. If you have questions about techniques, experiences, pros or cons with what we've done here or in another post, please ask away. \

I promise to be back sooner this time!