I did it! I rid our living room corner of ugly cords! After my last post about finding a way to hide the stereo and internet wires in the corner, I started stalking Craigslist for the perfect bookcase made of real wood and fancy mouldings. And I found it, but the person never got back to me. So then I purchased the next one that seemed like a reasonable size because frankly I was sick of waiting. I used Rustoleum Black Oil-Based Paint for a nice glossy surface just like I did with the white dining table and the wood tray, but this time I learned a little trick from Censational Girl. If you add a little Penetrol to your paint, it helps lessen the brush strokes and makes using oil-based paint much easier. It really makes a difference.
This was what we were working with. Pretty rough. (This is obviously a before of the area and not the bookcase because I was too excited to start painting once we got it that I forgot to take a before picture of the piece of furniture itself. Typical.)
Much better. I used the bottom shelf of the bookcase to store the stereo and speakers and drilled a large hole in the back of the bookcase so I could pull the cords around and into the shelf and keep them hidden in a nice storage basket. I actually started out with the cords in a plastic bin, but it wasn’t quite tall enough, so I shoved the bin in the basket. That way it was sturdy and attractive.
These were all the reject books from our bookcases in the front room but they actually cleaned up pretty well. Please don’t judge me for all the Sookie Stackhouse books. One day maybe I’ll be a grown up and have lots of Shakespeare and Dickens. But for now, it is Sookie.
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I mentioned several weeks ago that Corey randomly came home with a used media center from Goodwill. Well we finally finished updating that sucker and I cannot believe how much of an improvement it makes on my TV watching situation. I spend half the time just thinking to myself “Self, that is good lookin.” Initially we were going to paint it white but then I realized that that side of the room has absolutely no color, so I went with navy instead. You guys know how I can only paint things neutral colors. It is a rule I guess. And since you can never have too much gold, I picked up some brackets from Home Depot to make it look a little bit like a campaign dresser.
- Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Spray Paint in Navy (we needed 4 cans)
- Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Primer
- Polycrylic Sealer
- Brass brackets (2 sets of 4)
- Brass ring pulls
This is more of a before and after than a DIY, but I did want to mention a couple of things. I decided to use spray paint instead of oil-based paint because I thought it might be an easier way of getting a lacquered look, but I thought it was actually much more of a pain because the darn thing needed so many coats. I’ve since read that there is a fancy adapter that makes the paint spread easier, so maybe do that. After sanding, priming, and then 4 coats of paint, the finish was still super uneven. Luckily, two coats of the polycrylic created a nice and glossy finish. We let the media center sit for another day or so and then Corey installed the brackets by placing them onto the desired position, drilling in little holes for the screws, and then screwing in the brackets.
I found the botanical prints at Habitat for Humanity Restore last week and I really love them, but I do think I need something going on on the other side of the wall as well. Maybe in the corner. Oh, and disregard the mess of cords behind the stand. Just pretend I organized them already.
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Compared to many other living rooms around town, mine would most likely be considered rather small. But don’t tell it I said that. I can tell that it has a little bit of a complex about it and I wouldn’t want to hurt its feelings. The style of my house is actually called “Cottage” if that tells you anything. In the wintertime when I have my fire crackling I am happy for the coziness of the little space. But lately I have been feeling a little closed in. Part of the problem is that when I first started buying things for my house almost 4 years ago when I bought it, I for some reason and without realizing it bought lots of brown items. Brown sofa, brown rug, and dark wood media console. The fact that my wood floors are also dark brown didn’t help the problem. But then I also had a hand me down wooden coffee table. I have known that I wanted to replace it but never really found anything that rung my bell. At least nothing that was within my budget. Then, in the winter, West Elm had a sale and I found a table that I thought just might be the ticket. Unfortunately it was backordered and backordered and backordered until I finally received it about 2 days before I left for Europe.
Sorry for how dark some of these pictures are. Had to take them early in the morning and that is not a good time of day for my living room.
Here is the before…
The old hand me down (but in great condition because I refinished it before I moved in my house) coffee table.
Here is the after…
My shiny, light and airy coffee table from West Elm. It is smaller which gives me more room to walk around in here. This combined with the fact that it takes up much less visual space in the room and bounces light around makes it just what I was looking for. The mirror top is “flocked” (whatever that means). That makes it look a little antiqued which I like to think hides spots somewhat. But I could also just be telling myself that.
This is my unstyled and jumbled media console so that you can have a better idea of all of the dark brown I have been working with. I would paint this but it is such a nice piece I have some guilt when I consider it.
Kitties’ reaction when I was trying to open up the box that it came in to get out the glass. “You didn’t need this, right mom?”
That’s all. Just a quick little update. I am still working on Ireland pictures. Fingers crossed I finish editing them this century.
P.S. When I bought this coffee table, it was $15o cheaper than it is now. Maybe if you are gonna buy it wait till it goes on sale again cause that is just silly.
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