Finding A Place For Our Thrifted Retro Sofa

We went to a Salvation Army store hoping to find a pusher for our then 9-month old baby girl and left the store with a new/old retro sofa!

Who would have predicted that would happen? Not us. We were not in the market for a new sofa at all, although we were talking about replacing our too-big-for-the-room queen bed in the guest room with a sofa bed. This would give us more walking space in the room and we could even use the rarely-used guest room as a playroom when we don’t have guests. We also have been on the lookout for a small sofa for our office, but we had no real plans to buy anything just yet.

We just fell in love with this retro sofa and the deal was even sweeter when we found that it had a bed in it as well. The mattress is in really good shape. It looks like it’s been barely used.


This photo doesn’t really show the colors of the sofa, but you’ll see a better photo soon that really shows what it looks like in real life. The colors include yellow, orange, coral, navy blue, white/cream, and brown.


What’s more, the sofa was already professionally cleaned and sanitized! Check out your Salvation Army store if you’re iffy about buying upholstered pieces from thrift stores (bed bugs, anyone?). We found a good number of upholstered furniture that were cleaned and sanitized.


At first, I thought that the sofa would be perfect for our office, since we need a sofa for that room, too. But then we remembered the situation with our guest bedroom, so we weren’t sure. To help us decide, I took a cushion and tested out how it would look in both the guest bedroom and the office.

The guest bedroom is painted in Kerry Blue (Martha Stewart) and it really helped the colors in the sofa cushion POP.  By the way, this is the best photo that truly shows you the colors of the sofa.


The office is painted in Intense Teal (Sherwin Williams) and it is SO HARD to accurately capture the teal color in photos. It always comes out looking like royal blue or bright blue. This random photo was unexpectedly my best effort in all of my years of trying to take a half-way decent photo of the color:


Just ignore the blurry and cute baby in the photo, focus on the wall color (especially on the left of Janella’s head) and how it looks with the sofa cushion.

No way, right? It just didn’t go. That cemented my decision: the sofa was destined to be in the guest bedroom slash playroom slash exercise room. Hopefully, that will help make that room much more functional and useful for our daily lives.

A huge drawback to the sofa is HOW FREAKING HEAVY IT IS. I mean, it’s so heavy that I’d rather attempt to lift an elephant than to carry this sofa again. Somehow, I was able to help Nick drag the sofa off the truck and into the garage without killing myself, but I just couldn’t muster the energy needed to carry it into the house. We asked a friend, Sean, to help Nick carry it into the house…

…and this happened.


I don’t blame Nick or Sean for this sad, sad, sad incident. I blame the brick wall corner on the exterior of our home. I blame the sofa for being so heavy. I blame our wallets for being too thin to hire professional movers.

It’s a good thing that the sofa has such a busy pattern. I’m sure I can stitch it up with a dark thread without it showing too much. Hopefully! I’ll share whenever I get around to doing that.

And when I think about it even more, the sofa is just a really perfect fit for the room. The coral in it will go great with the coral nightstands that are in my plans and the yellow goes well with the yellow lamps that are already in there. Perfect.

guest bedroom mockup(from my guest bedroom plans)

I’m so happy with the sofa and with its price tag. It was only $200 – a great price for a practically brand-new sofa with a bed in it. It is so comfy to sit in, too.

The next step is to lug it from our living room, where it’s chilling, into the guest bedroom, which is only around 10 steps away. I’m really not looking forward to that 10 steps.

Actually, before I do that, I’ll have to sell the bed on Craig’s List. I hope to get a good price for it. I’ll need to convince Nick to spend the spoils on house decor, instead of less important things like food and clothing. I mean, right?


Okay, our garage is really full right now…

…but it’s filled with goodness!

Over the past two weeks, we’ve had some great luck with Craig’s List and thrift stores. We also finally hit up Habitat for Humanity’s Restore (the one in Austin is the original one, did you know that?) and was amazed at all the stuff in there.

First up, my favorite find – a dresser for the nursery!

We found this dresser at our favorite thrift store, Next to New (where we found our campaign nightstands). I saw it tucked away in a crowded area in the store and thought it would be too expensive. I pointed it out to Nick and he checked the price – it was around $225. Yeah, too expensive.

But the dresser had been there for weeks now and the price had dropped down to $56! We snatched that baby right up.

Finally… after months of looking on Craig’s List and sellers who never responded or sold their dresser after promising it to me and saying “sorry” to me when I knocked on their door, we now have an awesome dresser for the nursery! And this is more beautiful than any other dresser that I looked at, and at a better price. It was meant to be!

I’m not sure what our plans are for the dresser, so we’ll drag it up to the nursery soon and let it marinate for a while before we decide anything.

Oh – you noticed the missing drawer?

So sad. The dresser tilted over in the truck while we were driving it home, and this broke. But we’ll fix it, no worries.

The dresser also came with this mirror:

I’m not sure what we’ll do with it. Any ideas?

At the Restore, we looked for cabinets for our laundry room. This is what we bought:

We also bought a third matching cabinet – it’s not pictured here. These cabinets will probably require a lot of work – paint stripping, sanding, and painting. But it will be worth it in the end, especially for the low price ($55 for all three cabinets) we paid! I’m so sick of our little shelf that our towels and stuff always fall off, especially when Tala’s hanging out there.

The cabinets might end up a dark gray with the walls a light blue… Not 100% sure yet.

What else? I got this funky cabinet/side table at Goodwill:

It’s not real wood, so we’ll definitely be painting that sucker. Perhaps something other than white… maybe turquoise? It depends on what we’ll use it for – we could use it as a bar cabinet in our dining room or as an entry table. It has a little shelf that could be great for storing wine bottles or shoes, so we have options.

We also got nightstands for our guest room via Craig’s List:

I like the detail down the middle – with paint and new pulls, they will be looking snazzy in no time.

Okay, that’s the end of our thrifting spree! We have a lot of work ahead us in refinishing all these pieces, but right now I’m just giddy with the possibilities.

Can you tell I’m in a good mood?

Happy birthday to me!

As with previous birthdays, my 29th birthday started with me drowsy and fuzzy-minded in the morning. Nick woke me up at 5 am, thrust a laptop under my wrinkled bed-face, and commanded me to check my email.

I got an email from him that said:

On the first hour of my 29th birthday,
My true love sent to me
A purple paint on the bathroom wall.

That was enough to wake me up. I dashed off to the bathroom, eager to see what he painted. I just knew that he had finally picked up a sample of the perfect purple color from Benjamin Moore – the same purple  that I saw on the tv show Secrets of a Stylist.

e b purple

There were a total of four swatches painted on the bathroom walls, showing how the color would look with different lights. And I love the color! It’s better than what we had considered previously, which was much more purple and might look too garish on all four walls.

The rest of the day was just so much fun, with me receiving emails from him all day. The second email read,

On the second hour of my 29th Birthday,
My true love sent to me
Two gold pillows,
And a purple paint on the bathroom wall.

And I found these waiting for me on our sofa:

e b pillows

The cutest yellow pillows, ever! I’ve been bugging him about yellow pillows for our sofa for forever, showing him picture after picture of various pillows on the ‘net. I’m not sure if he got the pillows to make me happy or to shut me up… but I love them! The pillow on the left is from West Elm, and the right one is from World Market.

The third email said,

On the third hour of my 29th Birthday,
My true love sent to me
Three stylish purses,
Two gold pillows,
And a purple paint on the bathroom wall. 

These cute purses were waiting for me in the car:

e b purses

Yes, the black one is actually a Louis Vuitton! What! Did he win a poker tournament or something? No – it was thrifted! My little thrifty husband! (It might be a fake, but I don’t really care – its cute and I’m not a purse aficionado so I can’t tell the difference) The brown purse is thrifted as well, and the blue one is from Old Navy. So cute. I need some kind of purse organizer in my closet – maybe a couple of cute hooks?

Fourth email:

On the fourth hour of my 29th Birthday,
My true love sent to me
Four wizardous stories,
Three stylish purses,
Two gold pillows,
And a purple paint on the bathroom wall. 

He later admitted to me that he wasn’t sure if wizardous was even a word, but that it sounded too fun to not use! I agree – inventing words is a favorite pastime of mine. Anyway – on to the books.

e b wizardbooks

I recently read a graphic novel version of the Wizard of Oz and was really surprised at how different it was from the movie. The author of the graphic novel said that the original novel is really different and there’s a whole series, not just one story. So, Nick got me the novel version of the story as well as the famous Wicked books. Bonus – all of the books were either thrifted or from a used book store. He’s a money-saving genius.

And then:

On the fifth hour of my 29th Birthday,
My true love sent to me
Five whiten outfits,
Four wizardous stories,
Three stylish purses,
Two gold pillows,
And a purple paint on the bathroom wall. 

Whiten? A play on “golden” – very cute. Did I get five new white outfits? No, but someone else did:

e b 5 white

I melted. These are so CUTE and so TINY. I am going to iron on some fun stuff this summer!

My day wasn’t over yet…

On the sixth hour of my 29th Birthday,
My true love sent to me
Six gorgeous earrings,
Five whiten outfits,
Four wizardous stories,
Three stylish purses,
Two gold pillows,
And a purple paint on the bathroom wall.

I don’t wear rings other than my wedding/engagement ring, bracelets slide off my bony wrists, and necklaces are pretty but sometimes annoying when I’m signing too fast. I’m a earring lady first and foremost and Nick got me six gorgeous and colorful earrings! All the more to add to my jewelry dresser.

On the seventh hour of my 29th Birthday,
My true love sent to me
Seven milky chocolates,
Six gorgeous earrings,
Five whiten outfits,
Four wizardous stories,
Three stylish purses,
Two gold pillows,
And a purple paint on the bathroom wall.

Apparently someone wants me to get fat and the baby fat along with me – Nick gave me six Reese cups and one Heath bar. These are my favorite candies that I RARELY eat (not because I’m a perfect person, but because I gain weight EASILY). But if I can’t eat a few candies while pregnant, when can I???

By the time I got my eighth email, it was dark outside and I was relaxing and happy and eating a Reese cup.

On the eighth hour of my 29th Birthday,
My true love sent to me
Eight informative literature,
Seven milky chocolates,
Six gorgeous earrings,
Five whiten outfits,
Four wizardous stories,
Three stylish purses,
Two gold pillows,
And a purple paint on the bathroom wall.

e b 8 books

All books about pregnancy, baby gear, and child rearing, as well as two cute books to read to the baby. I love Dr. Seuss and plan to buy all of his books – loved him when I was growing up and still do. Again, all of the books were thrifted!

Ready to hit the sheets, I opened the last email from sweet Nick –

On the ninth hour of my 29th Birthday,
My true love sent to me
Nine squared Ribbas,
Eight informative literature,
Seven milky chocolates,
Six gorgeous earrings,
Five whiten outfits,
Four wizardous stories,
Three stylish purses,
Two gold pillows,
And a purple paint on the bathroom wall!

Yay!! I’ve been prattling off about the RIBBA frames for, like, forever and am thrilled that we’ll be getting them within three months! They’ll go in the nursery.

What a day! But I also got a monetary gift from Nick’s parents that will go towards some more (and much needed) pregnancy clothes. AND I also got an awesome gift for the nursery from my mom!! Look at this!

e b pouf

A gray knitted pouf from CB2 that I’ve been drooling over since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I love it – it’s firm and perfect and comfy and and and.

I’m glad my birthday comes once a year or I would become so very spoiled with my loved ones bestowing gifts on me. But it was a great day and I needed it after several months of feeling ugh. I’m feeling really great these days and hope this energy continues on throughout the second trimester!

The Bedroom Nightstand Saga Comes to an End… Almost.

I can’t believe that our struggle to find nightstands for our master bedroom took almost a year!

In May 2010, we almost got nightstands off Craig’s List but backed out when we found that they weren’t solid wood. We decided we wanted campaign nightstands instead.

But we couldn’t find any on Craig’s, so in October 2010, I came up with some ideas to hack the Rast nightstand and decided that I wanted to do them Dorothy Draper-style. But we didn’t get a chance to go to IKEA. Nick We kept on putting the trip off.

Then in February, we hit up a couple of new-to-us thrift stores. One of them was called Next to New. The north Austin thrift store has a nice selection of furniture, frames, clothes, and appliances and a pricing system that I hadn’t seen before:


Basically, they tell you WHEN the price will drop. Of course, the risk is there that the item will be gone before the prices drop, but it’s a great idea! This price is for a beautiful, large campaign dresser that could be used as a TV table.

As Nick was ogling this dresser, I walked around and found two campaign nightstands! We considered waiting for the prices to drop, but we didn’t want to risk it and just bought them! I think we paid $70 for the pair.


The cool thing about these nightstands is how the top drawer opens up like a secretary desk.


Plenty of room for all the books that are threatening to take over our house!

It’s funny how our plans went full circle and we went back to our original plan. We plan to paint the nightstands either a light gray or white and maybe spray the hardware to be darker. Hopefully the result will look something like this:

lonny, feb/march 2010 issue

At least, I was thrilled that someone tried the Dorothy Draper hack on the Rast nightstand and it turned out fabulous, just like I thought it would!! Check it out here. But I’m sure you all have already seen it while I was in my pregnancy haze.

Thrift Stores = Craig’s List without the emails, phone calls, and awkward small talk

While I’m still stuck in my garage priming my wood, I thought I’d take a break and tell you how much I love thrift stores.

I am a convert. I still love Craig’s List because I can “shop” from the comforts of my Craig’s List sofa and view hundreds of different things in a short time, but thrift stores are faster (e.g. no emails, no phone calls, no “bring your bikini, we have a pool here if you want to come earlier” talk) and cheaper. CHEAPER.

Thrift Store Purchase #1:

We recently bought a couple of vases and decor for our tv set, but realized we needed blocks or boxes to put the vases on so they’re not all the same height. We’ve been using… *ahem* DVDs.

Yes, I know that’s just sad. But THRIFT STORE to the rescue!

Spray painted black, this box will be perfect for our needs. And this cost… I don’t remember, but it was nothing.

Thrift Store Purchase #2:

I have a bad habit. I throw clothes and shoes at the foot of our bed… Please do not throw tomatoes at me. I hope this bench will help me just a little…

And only for 7.99? Try to imagine it painted and happy with a cushion on top. Yes.

Can you tell I’ve found another addiction? And know what? I don’t have to drag Nick to thrift stores with me anymore. He’s addicted too. Thrift stores have cheap books!! He’s been buying books like crazy. I mean, like 10 books in three stores. Can you stop until we finish our book shelves, Nick? But I shouldn’t complain… anything that allows me to go to thrift stores as often as I want to is a good thing. This leads us to…

Thrift Store Purchase #3:

We love to cook. We love to be healthy. We LOVE Cooking Light annual cookbooks. They are awesome and all of their recipes are great. Nick has been giving me these big cookbooks for the past two Christmases. So, when he saw the 2005 cookbook at Goodwill, he jumped on that. We’ve been using it for the past two weeks…

And you see things in thrift stores you never thought you’d need or want.

We were fascinated by this. But it’s $25, a tad pricey for a thrift store. And we’re not sure if it would even work in our house. But it’s kind of cool. If the price goes down and the thingy is still there, we might consider it…

AND I’ve bought some classroom materials at thrift stores. Who would’ve thought? Not me.

AND the Goodwill near our workplace has silent auctions every week, ending on saturdays! This is not going to end well.