We went back and forth on whether we’d furnish this living room space in the house in Las Vegas. For months I hesitated but then decided that since I had scored two awesome blue velvet chairs for cheap from a thrift store many moons ago to go ahead and purchase an affordable rug and sofa to create a sitting room. We’re celebrating Christmas and entertaining guests here for the holidays and I can use the pieces for styling other flips so it made sense.
I do so much shopping online these days, and there are discounts to be scored when you do, but there is always a risk when you can’t inspect the piece in person so I rely on online reviews for other people’s opinions. I’m sure you do the same! In this room, I had some misfortune with online purchases but some good luck too, here’s the story of how the space came together.
I ordered a basic coffee table from Joss & Main with saved up credit several months ago, at first for the family room but then when it arrived I didn’t like it at all so I ended up substituting something else in there.
This table sat in the garage for months and I debated returning it because it was not what was pictured, specifically the wood stain and finish. I saw a walnutish color stained top in the picture so I envisioned a walnut top, but I should have ignored the picture and read the small print where it described the top color as "distressed maroon." I usually pay more attention. I didn’t, ugh!! Why Kate whyyyy?
So when it arrived it looked like this which is not really maroon more weird red but whatever. Not what I wanted. AT ALL.
I decided I could still use it if I could only get red of the weird red coating. Over the weekend I gave it go, I sanded it off, stained it and waxed it and I’m happy to say I rescued it from its strange reddish top so it would fit the space. Not walnut, much paler since I sanded it to its raw state, but I do love how it turned out.
Excuse the bad in process pics because mine is an older iPhone 4 but here’s how Operation Red Removal went down.
First, an orbital sander is your best friend for stripping a finish on wood like this. Sand with the grain. Coarse 60 to remove the stain and varnish followed up by fine 120 for making the wood smooth.
I applied one coat of Rust-Oleum’s Weathered Gray stain to neutralize the yellow tones in the wood. I decided I liked it paler and a lighter shade of gray so I left it alone.
Getting the color you desire with stain can be tricky, and depends on various factors, including the wood you’re working with. See this table project on using/mixing darker stain and this planter project for how the same weathered gray stain looks on a different kind of wood (darker, more even). I gave it a coat of clear wax (Briwax) one the stain was dry, and I’ll apply one more before I leave town.
The successful online purchases? This gray sofa and rug!
I’ve ordered a dozen rugs online over the years and this one ranks high as a new favorite. It’s very soft and I love the pattern, neutral yet graphic, a mid tone gray and pale cream in Ikat inspired geometric pattern and a great price!
I also ordered this gray Winslow sofa from Overstock, I was drawn to it for the style (modern), the price (affordable), and the reviews (mostly great). The navy accent pillow and plaid throw are both from Target (in stores), the trio of watercolor blue palm prints are from Driftwood Interiors, a favorite Etsy shop.
The sofa’s fabric is really nice, a true pale gray linen blend, it arrived in three boxes and it assembled in less than an hour. The sofa’s seat cushions are firm, not the best for spaces where you’re watching TV for hours, or may wish to take a long winter’s nap, but they’re comfortable enough for sitting for shorter periods of time.
The cushions are finished on both sides and they can be removed for spot or dry cleaning. For the money and the look, I give it a thumbs up, but having owned it for less than a week I’ll have to wait a few months until we know how it holds up over time.
You may have noticed the new plantation shutters. Never in my life have I ever had plantation shutters but I knew they’d be perfect in this space. I was approached by Smith & Noble to try out their shutters so I partnered with them on the order and install, I’ll share more about them tomorrow…
Yesterday, I couldn’t resist a bit of holiday decorating, adding a reindeer from Target and some ornaments in a bowl, also swapped the agave for a living tree. With friends and family arriving to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s next month, they help to make the space more merry.
What about you? Share your online purchase successes and failures, I’d love to hear!