Monday, November 26, 2012

What to do when you have no money

Seriously folks. Who has money? Ok, some people do. And I am very happy for them. Truly. No bitterness. I am a believer in being happy for others. Spending time on bitterness and jealousy does no good and changes nothing.

But boy it would be nice wouldn't it? To have money I mean. Now granted, we have enough for our needs, and a little to spare. I'm talking about the kind of money where when your old couches stop being enough back support and you need new ones, but there is no budget for new ones so you improvise.

Are you with me still?

I have been wanting new couches for a while. Lovely, soft, not stained or squashed, back supporting couches. Preferably in gray.

And I will get them eventually. But for now, I have been left with the dilemma of how to fix our family room so that there are couches in there that are comfortable enough for me and my degenerative discs to sit on.

For a while I have been thinking about moving our black couches from the "formal" living room into the family room, and then moving all of my craft stuff into the "formal" room. Which would also give Jeff his office back.

But honestly, I hate the black couches. I have never really loved them. I only bought them because I was too impatient to wait the two weeks for the brown ones I really wanted to come. Stupid I know. And I've lived with that mistake for the past 8 years. I am over black in general, even though I still liked the way the room looked. Just the thought of moving them into our main sitting room left me feeling blah.

But, when telling my sister my dilemma, and trying to justify why we should spend 1100 bucks on new couches, she also suggested the black couches moving, and I poo poohed it saying how much I hate them.

Well, I do hate them. But I did it. I swallowed my pride(thanks for talking it through with me Maile), moved them all into the family room and spent the day transforming the "formal" living room into my craft area. And I paid for it severely with back pain that night. But it was worth it. Mostly.

Here is the before.

Not bad. In fact I loved that room for a long time. But desperate times my friends.

And here are the afters...We saved the red couch from the family room. The yellow couch, which I coveted and loved, that Jeff's mom so generously gave us, was seriously kuput. Not just in looks, but in broken, sinky-ness from the love my kids gave it. So Jeff gleefully saw-zalled it to pieces and it is going to the dump.

I have a pile of stuff hidden between the two white pieces of furniture that I have not decided what to do with yet. Don't judge me for being real folks. I know you're not. Most of us have hidden piles of stuff waiting to be sorted through. Right?

Julia helped me paint this book shelf this lovely blue color. My back was done by this point. Yes, we painted it the same day we moved it all around. So?

I took down the red curtains that I made from a king size Ikea duvet cover, and put up some white ones that I had laying around. Seriously, I have 4 sets of un-used curtains in my house right now. I have a problem friends. Then I took some un-used, much loved fabric that used to be my dining room table cloth, and I hot glued it to the white curtains. I have some other fabric coming to do the same with the computer area curtains. If you haven't discovered the greatness of glue guns, may I say, Come, join us:)

A little spray paint turned these formally black frames into white loveliness. However, nothing can fix their crookedness.

That very first day, I spent nothing. I just shopped my house and made do. But by black Friday, I realized that a few of my lamps were not working. So, taking some of the money I made from my Amy and Amber sale, I headed out with Kate to Target and got these darling little things:

I love the little rosettes on the one above, and the little tassles thingies on this one.

And I may have spent 12 bucks giving this random awesomeness a new home.

So, I spent 60 dollars total on this room.

Not bad., and certainly less than 1100. I also ordered new curtains from Target for the family room where the black couches reside. The old red ones were just too much and I am trying to tone down the darkness of those couches. Once the curtains come, I will show you. But not until:)

The computer area is also getting a redo, and the great thing is that I don't have to paint. I left it the green color and it is working just wonderfully. I am a painting fiend, but lately, with the back pain, it's just not easy like it once was. When the computer area is done, I will show that off as well.

It is really satisfying to both redecorate (that room was mostly the same for 4 years. That is a loooong time for me), and to be smarter financially. Do I still want new couches with all my heart? Yes. Do I still want to give those black leather things away? Yes. But can I wait a little longer? For sure.

Amy-1 million


  1. Looks really good! I love the red couch! I would love to have a budget for new couches too. And a stove, washer, dryer...

  2. It looks great, Amy! You have so many fun things in your house (I especially love the wall hanging about accomplishments. I may have to steal that. Did you make it?) I really like the black couches! They are versatile...and leather!! I came across a saying the other day that said "The grass is green where you water it" (a reference to the grass is greener on the other side) I think there is something to that for sure. and I use it on Joe who doesn't enjoy living in our small house. Love what you have, right? I also love how you repurposed your 'old' tablecloth that I have always loved (in pictures) and also I have never seen your computer area! Trying to piece your life together in pictures, my friend. Someday I'll get out there to see you for real!

    1. Oh Chris I would love that!!!!! But I'm still hoping for a 40th birthday ticket out to RI:)

  3. i love what you've done. but, your house always looked good to me!! looks even better in person if that's possible!!

  4. I'm late to the part, but I have to tell you that I always love seeing photos of your home. You have a wonderful sense of design and every room feels warm and 'loved in'.


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