To refresh your memory, this was the old layout:
This was the updated plan for the changes I wanted to make:
- Move the chair into the seating area (ultimately replacing the wicker with something else)
- Get rid of that awkward short table next to the TV
- Replace the awkward table with a bar cart or wine bar
- Move the desk next to the window
- Get a standing lamp
- Put two small x-benches where the desk used to be
First change (and the easiest one so far) was moving the desk next to the window - it really opens things up when you first walk in the room, and it's so nice to work in this sunny nook! The standing lamp was also an easy decision to make, and I love how it looks next to the desk!
Moving on to the second change... here is a good snapshot of that awkward little table next to the TV.
It was WAY too short, and this is pretty much how it stood for the last year since we moved in. It's not AWFUL, but it always drove me crazy. To say I wasn't sad to see it go is a gross understatement!
While I'd been lusting after a bar cart like these bad boys, they really are not in the budget at $700 a pop (for the cheap ones!) and so I had to get creative.
We had a wine rack in the dining room, sort of tucked into the corner - you couldn't see it, and it ultimately made the room feel a bit cramped.
One day I had an ah-ha moment, and decided that the wine rack would be the PERFECT solution for this area of the living room. Moving it out of the dining room would open up that space, and re-purposing it for the living room would mean one less thing to buy!
It's not some unique, heirloom piece (it was from Target to be completely honest) but it was the right height and width, so I was determined to make it work...
I snapped these photos really quickly after I moved it over from the dining room - I was super happy that it was just the right height for the mirror but the cheap look of the faux wood was not doing it for me.
I'm also VERY over the black/brown wood look, which I went a little crazy with a few years ago when we were buying furniture for our first apartment. Now, I feel like EVERYTHING is black / brown wood, and it HAS to change.
Here is a close-up of the finish, and that glorious hardware...
Blah. Boring. Cheap.
I've long admired the look of campaign furniture - the brackets, and hardware really dress things up, and so with this image in my mind, I set out for a mini makeover...
I needed paint, and hardware, but the weather had been really cold here, so I was in no mood to walk down to the hardware store and pick up a new quart of paint.
Feeling lazy, I decided to try mixing some paint I had laying around. I had a dark blue-grey quart of oil based paint that I had used to paint the back of our bookshelves with, and another quart of taupe chalkboard paint that I had used on the console table in our hallway. My little experiment could have ended disastrously but I figured that if it looked awful, or I ended up with peel-y paint, I could just sand it off, and start over.
I grabbed a Tupperware, started mixing, and much to my surprise, the color was PERFECT - a true grey, with blue undertones - JUST what I wanted.
The oil based paint made the application go on super smooth, and since the chalkboard paint was also in there, it dried really fast, and feels REALLY durable. Time will be the true test to it's durability, but after waiting 24 hours for the paint to "cure" it was ready to get some hardware!
While I really admire the look of the traditional campaign pulls, most of them require you to bevel out an indent in the drawer so that it lays flush with the piece.
I decided that trying to bevel out an indentation on a drawer that is probably made of particle board (god knows what it's made of) would be a terrible idea... even if it were real wood, I think that's probably way above my skill level.
With images in my head of myself royally messing up the face of the drawer I decided to go with an alternative - cup pulls have a similar look and feel, but I could just drill them right in - no muss, no fuss.
I laid everything out, and started drilling - since there was just one drawer, I just eyeballed it for the center, and the pull strategically covered up the centered hole from the original knob - no need to fill it, sand it and paint it.
Here she is - the finished product!
Isn't she pretty??
I love how the grey paint looks with the brass hardware, and most of all, I love how we now have a little variation to our living room that is FULL of black/brown furniture. I left the back of the wine rack black - mainly because it was too hard to fit my hand back there to paint it, but I like the contrast.
I'd had grand visions of putting casters on the bottom, but I think with all the brass hardware I added that casters would have been a bit much.
The best part of this project was that it cost me next to nothing!
The whole project cost me about $9 - mainly the cost of the hardware - the paint was free, and I used a $1.00 foam brush that I tossed afterwards.
My list is slowly dwindling in the living room, and I LOVE crossing things off... after these updates, here's how the list stands:
- Put two small x-benches where the desk used to be
Of course, I've since added to the list...
- Hang two additional curtain panels on the center windows
- Replace wicker chair (with a white slipper chair perhaps)
- Replace black and white Ikea prints
- Replace or revamp coffee table
I'm sure as I continue to make progress, the list will continue to grow, but at least I've made some headway!!