It’s September 15, so it might as well be October in my book. I’m in FULL FALL mode over here. When does Hocus Pocus start playing every day on ABC Family? I’m waiting anxiously over here, television schedule controller people. In anticipation, autumn has vomited all over my house. Chestnut and harvest candles are constantly lit, pumpkins and apples abound, and plaid throw blankets are strewn across every cozy surface. IT’S HAPPENING. All you summer people can cry into your beach blankets, because fall is here with a vengeance 🙂
To celebrate, I gave our front room a little makeover. I originally put this plan in motion with the thought that it would be nice to have a television and sofa in the front so I have a place to escape once football season starts. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Giants (despite their poor showing as of late), but when your guy is as obsessed with fantasy football as mine is, it’s just healthier for the relationship to leave the room 😉 Sundays are fully booked around here, and between Monday and Thursday night games too…well you get the picture. So I started thinking seriously about how I could make the front room work as a place to sit and watch TV. If you remember in this post, I had explained that the room in question up until this point has been mostly unused space. Our Christmas tree goes there every year and it was furnished well enough, but we never put it to good use because of the awkward layout and the fact that we didn’t have a couch in there. I’ve always wanted to make it a more functional space, because there’s a fireplace there and it would be so nice to sit with the windows open in the spring and look at the Christmas tree in the winter, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it well.
Cut to now, I had to find a couch that would fit and be functional. There was only one place to put the couch, and it had to be small enough not to block the whole space. I settled on the Ikea Ektorp loveseat. Not a full couch, but big enough for two people (and/or a dog or two) and a perfect fit for the space I had in mind. It was right in our budget at $379, but the best part was that it has removable, washable slipcovers. I chose the color Blekinge White for a few reasons: it was the least expensive, it was possibly the most durable fabric (cotton) and hello, bleachable! Sure, the directions say not to bleach it, but I’ve read enough blogger reviews of the Ektorp to feel comfortable bleaching it if necessary. I’ve already washed the seat cushions once and they came out great.
So now the couch is there when you come in the front door, which creates kind of an entryway in front of you. The couch placement solves the symmetry issue I’d been battling by visually separating the room into two spaces (entryway and living space) and directly faces the television. I found a media cabinet at Target that fits the TV I already had without overwhelming the small space it needed to fit. Best part? It was originally $230, but I got it for $150 with a Labor Day sale, discount code and red card discount. I love a deal.
The couch purchase coincided with me finally acting on my latent desire to paint the front door. It’s always been blue, a kind of muted teal leftover from the previous homeowners, but I finally decided it was time for a change. I searched what felt like endlessly on Pinterest for color inspiration and ultimately decided on a deep red, with plans to paint the shutters on the house black later on this season. It has turned into a full room makeover.
I sanded the door with a palm sander a bit before starting with a coat of primer. I used Glidden Gripper and had my pals at Home Depot tint it gray to cover the blue better and lessen the need for a billion coats of red. It worked well, I only needed three coats of paint in the end (for the front and back of the door). I originally wanted Barn Red by Martha Stewart, but apparently Home Depot 86’ed her in favor of Ralph Lauren, so I went with Balmoral Red by RL. It’s perfect. Enjoy my paint manicure.
It almost looks like a deep blue-based cranberry color against our house, but the exterior shots will have to wait until I’m done with the garden facelift that’s currently happening. For now, enjoy the interior shots shots in this post 🙂
One more thing I did with the door that totally changed the look – I spray painted the existing hardware. Here’s what it looked like before.
I carefully took everything off and took photos as I went so I’d know where everything went back on, then gave it all a good sanding. Turns out, it was bright brass under there.
I gave everything three coats of black satin spray paint, let it dry then installed it again at the end of the night.
So here’s what the room used to look like:
The square coffee table is a loaner from my parents, but I think we might get the Ikea Ektorp ottoman eventually. The top lifts off for more storage space, and if there’s anything a tiny house needs, it’s more storage space!
A bargain fall decor tip: the leaves framed on the wall are just gathered from the yard outside. I framed them in a clearance frame from Target two years ago and it’s a sweet little bit of art that no one else has. The chalkboard was one of my first DIY projects in our home. I found a framed print at Goodwill for $3 and threw away the art (sacrilege I know, but trust me it was no great loss). I spray painted the frame off white, spray painted the glass with chalkboard paint and voila! A nice big chalkboard for less than $10. I use chalk markers (my favorites are by Super Chalks, found on Amazon here) to make the letters a bit fancier than pieces of chalk usually allow.
Another one of my favorite DIY’s: my friend gave me this piece of wood salvaged from a barn in Maine. I turned it into a rustic coat rack by attaching inexpensive hooks from Home Depot, then mounting it on the wall using French cleats. It’s a great place to hang our coats, bags and hats without taking up valuable floor space in an already small room, plus it’s pretty so it’s almost like a functional piece of art.
So that’s my big update for now. We watch TV a lot here now, and it’s so nice to have a new cozy room that didn’t cost us an arm and a leg. It’ll be so nice in the winter too, to have a fire going and curl up on the couch, watching Christmas movies in front of the tree. I KNOW it’s only September, but yeah I’m excited, so sue me. PS, the dogs love the new couch too 🙂