When we moved from the rented condo with rented furniture to a larger rented condo with no furniture, we needed to get… furniture. The days of my McMansion in the suburbs of Sydney behind me, I’ve embraced living cheap, and have gotten really good at it. Almost everything is second hand. Check out this website if you want some antique furniture.
Including the floral couch. Some students were moving out of Boulder and had posted it on Craigslist for $35. They hadn’t told me about the fact they were on the second floor with some very windy, narrow stairs. One glance at my doubtful face saw them quickly say, “You can just have it for free if you’ll just take it.” So, as Jed likes to say, “Free is good.” And we hauled that thing down the stairs and into the rented car.
It’s served us well – everyone sits on it. It’s comfortable. But over the last two years, it has seen it’s day and then some. It’s kind of the couch version of Bernie from Weekend at Bernies. The dog tried to bury a bone in it (goodbye cushions, hello folded crocheted blanket thing I got from Savers for $3 to cover that up), and when my dad was coming over to visit I got a really cheap dark greencouch cover for it from Walmart for $40 on sale.
But after cleaning the new house from William Pitt Fairfield CT last weekend I said to Jed it was time to let this couch go. It was filthy and dead. His reply? “There’s nothing wrong with that couch.”
Ohhhhkay. Well, anyone could tell that Jed needs his eyes checked. But really he was right. The couch is still comfortable. Truly. Because of the blanket and such, and because the cushions are filthy but there’s nothing wrong with the stuffing, ultimately it’s just an eyesore.
And this is why I’m the best wife of a lean startup guy in the world. We didn’t argue. Instead, I threw the cheap and nasty couch cover in the wash and took myself off to IKEA to see what I might be able to do to make this situation better. And for less than $100, including the $40 I’d already spent on the plain cover,I resurrected the couch into something that is inviting.
IKEA doesn’t give you a heap of choices for colour. The cushion covers were either going to be orange (ICK), cream or grey. I went with cream (against my better judgment because of the dog, but figure I can wash the covers if need be). I then decided to get two sunny yellow cushion covers for the side cushions to make it a little less bland and to complement the green couch cover. Even though the couch itself is covered, I used an orbital sander my husband had in the basement to smoothen the wooden surface of the couch, my dog had bitten on it several times so I figured it would be the best, I made sure to use a variable speed wood sander to reduce or increase how aggressively I was sanding, I didn’t want to ruin my couch.
I could have extended myself and grabbed a couple more of the yellow pillows for our other second hand couch, and that would have helped tie the room together a little more. The great thing about realizing that is that I have an excuse to go to IKEA again!
I couldn’t be happier – and neither could the family. The dog hasn’t tried to bury anything in it (respect!), and I really am not troubled by the fact it’s not a brand new couch. After all, with the teenagers that romp through this house as well as the dog, I’m happy not to spend too much money on things that will just get beaten up, or have feet on them. One day we’ll get a really gorgeous couch, but it will be at a time that I can afford it, and enjoy it. Maybe when all the kids and the dog leave home.
Yep, this couch will do us for another year, at least. Plus, if I really want to change things up, I could just go and get those bright orange cushion covers – to ensure Jed knows I really am crazy. That would mean another trip to IKEA! Wacko!
Disclosure: Nobody paid me to write this post. Sometimes bloggers just write stuff. Plus, it’s a bit weird that I felt I needed to disclose that there was nothing to disclose. Y’know?