Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Little Old Lady No More

I've been trying my hand at finding neglected furniture at the auction and redoing it.  It's been fun, and as long as you know what to look for, it can save you a ton of money.  I found this beauty at the auction a few weeks ago.

An old grandma couch from 1968.  Lemon-lime with cream.  Not the cutest girl in the room, that's for sure, but I could tell she had great bones--clean, classic lines, solid construction.  I sat on it--no broken springs. I shook it--no wobbles.  I even looked under her skirt--legs were in great shape.  I decided to watch what she went for that night at the sale.  Bidding started at $40, and I ended up getting it for $50--with buyer's fees and tax that's right around $60!  I brought it home and promptly put it away, trying to keep the "grandma couch smell" as isolated as possible while I looked for fabric.
Fabric hunting took longer than I thought--three to four weeks, actually.  I was looking for something really tailored, masculine, lightweight men's suiting style, and I couldn't find what I wanted anywhere. When I did, I knew that was THE fabric.  And at $3.99/yard, fifteen yards only set me back $60.

On the top of my bucket list right now is learning to reupholster--I have two small chairs that I'm going to tackle as learning projects.  But doing an entire couch?  Not now, probably not ever.  I have a great upholstery company that has done a few projects for me, and I dropped off old grandma couch at Shirley's to see what magic she could work.

Old grandma couch had been at Shirley's shop for a few days, when I answered the phone and heard the squeals of my upholsterer on the other end of the line.  You have no idea what you just bought, she began.  Then she proceeded to relate the details of the couch's construction to me--solid oak frame with legs that are one continuous piece of that frame, special coils and padding, etc.  She said that I couldn't get a couch of that quality at Ethan Allen any more.  I would have to special order those springs from Thomasville, and the couch would run anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000.  Your kids will never wear this thing out, she concluded, and she knows my kids, so that's really an endorsement.

I could barely wait the week it took to finish it.  Here is what it looks like now:
I get so happy every time I see it. Here are another few shots:




Can you believe it's the same couch?  They added padding to the cushions and modernized the piping details on the arms, but that's all.  I couldn't be happier. It went from an old grandma in a flowery dress to a young man in an expensive suit.  And while I was reading a design magazine, I came across this picture:

No. That is not my couch.  It is the Jackson sofa from Williams Sonoma.  Starting price $2250.  I scored--big!

Lily came into the living room, took one look at the new couch, let out a squeal (this is a girl after my own heart!) and exclaimed, "It looks like a couch from one of those design shows!"  Thank you, darling daughter.

But my favorite response yet has been Brad's reaction. He was a little leery of this whole new hobby--it does entail spending some cash, that's for sure.  But when he saw the finished product, sat on it, evaluated the workmanship, etc., he asked, "So, do you really like it?"  Duh.  "Well, if you do, then we need a new rug and a new chair as well."

Now that's what I like to hear!  I'm on it!

Linking this post up to My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and  Miss Mustard Seed's Friday Furniture Party.
Furniture Feature Fridays



31 comments:

  1. Wow! Jen! That is amazing! Score indeed. What an amazing transformation. I am curious what the cost was for the re-upholstering and the final total investment. I love makeovers.

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  2. That is awesome. Yours is better than the Williams Sonoma one. It's a lot thinner, it still has the grandma couch look, but with awesome modern upholstery (I'm sure you knew all that, I just had to say what I liked about it).

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  3. Wow - that is quite a transformation! Your Lily was right - the whole room looks like something from a glossy design magazine.

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  4. Crazy amazing...now run out and grab me some of that $3.99 material and Ill send you the cash!!!!
    Beautiful!

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  5. Holy cow! That is an AMAZING transformation! I wish I lived closer to Shirley - I have a chair I've been carrying around for 20+ years that could use a new look! :)

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  6. Wow! That's really neat that you know what good quality furniture is and how to re-use it. Brad in one lucky man! lol

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  7. It's PERFECT! :o) And I REALLY wish my hubby would say stuff like that to me! ha ha ha!

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  8. LOVE IT!! I want to know where you got the orange pillows. I have a dark brown couch and i want to accent with orange. So????
    You are awesome!!!
    - John's wife.

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  9. I am SO impressed with what you did here. What a clever woman you are!

    =D

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  10. love, love, love!!!

    Great pictures too. . .love the close up of the afghan!

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  11. LOVE IT! It's absolutely fabulous! Way to go. I think I'm most impressed that you found fabric for $3.00 a yard. HELLO, where? Can't wait to come over and peruse the merchandise.

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  12. This is amazing Jen!Really!! What a find. You should be proud for sure:)
    have a happy day

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  13. Holy transformation! You scored big time Jen...good eye! I love the color and the pillow accents you used. I have a plaid couch and have been dreaming of a simple solid color that I can add pretty pillows too. I am inspired!

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  14. It looks fantastic! What a find

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  15. Holy cow! Can't believe that's the same couch I saw shoved in the closet. It looks great. Changes the whole look of the room too. Lily's comment made me laugh. Good girl. :)

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  16. Utterly positively SPECTACULAR transformation...be still my heart...

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  17. Gorgeous!!!! And your staging is perfection.

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  18. Wow Jen, I have no idea how I missed this post? Drooling over here. I have two couches in my living room I am considering reupholstering. You do have a great upholsterer. She did an amazing job. Do you mind revealing how much the job cost? I have no idea if it's worth it for my pieces or not. We still like them, and they seem to be in good shape. Just curious.
    Dana

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  19. Yup..that amazing...

    And the question of the day...How much did Shirley setcha back? Hmmm? Hmmm? We are all dying to know..

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  20. Um, WOW. So where did Tucker go?

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  21. That is an AMAZING couch indeed! Wow! You totally scored a deal with that! I just love Brad's reaction to seeing the new couch :)

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  22. This turned out great! Talented lady. I found you from MMS.

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  23. WOW!! It's gorgeous. I don't know that I would have seen the potential. Good for you!!

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  24. What a fabulous find! LOVE how it turned out.

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  25. Yes, when I saw the picture my exact thoughts were it looks like something on a design show or in a magazine! Amazing!

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