Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Impulse Buy

After our first wedding this month, my cousin Brandon and his new wife Stacey (congrats again you two!), we were in Madison. They had a gorgeous rooftop bar wedding at Sundance Cinema (yes, I'm talking Robert Redford's Sundance). So very cool. They got this super awesome custom movie poster made for them. As a movie admirer, I'm crazy jealous. Sadly my flash cut off a part of it...

The day after, we had brunch with the fam, bummed around the State Capitol with my parents and lightly visited the farmers' market. Around noon we decided to part ways and head back to Milwaukee do continue our never ending yard work. As we headed down E. Washington Ave. we saw a Salvation Army and decided to check it out.  To our surprise, the business above them, Furniture Steals and Deals, was at the end of a mandated close-out liquidation. Everything must go sort of a deal.

Max and I have had our little hearts set on buying a semi-modern sectional couch for quite some time now. Most of our searching up until now has only been passive and a little bit of Craigslist searching. Nothing major. We figured it was something we really could not afford at this time with everything else on our plate with home upgrades and now our wedding.

So we started walking around the close-out sale. A few things caught our eye. A sales woman told us that the sale was at its second to last day and if we saw anything we liked, make an offer even if its not on the sticker price. We thanked her and continued looking.

And then we saw it. A two-piece sectional, with beige attached cushions and notably great craftsmanship. Max and I looked at each other and we both knew. This was the couch we had been searching for all this time. We checked out the tag. Original price $1479 and now $927. And then we thought, she did say make an offer. So we chatted and asked ourselves, what could we really afford. We looked at our finances and figured $600 is about all we could afford otherwise we would have to walk away.

We waited until the sales lady was free and Max put in an offer of $550 to show we were serious. She busted out a calculator and counter offered with $595. We both said "SOLD". With taxes it came to $629. Not bad for a brand new two-piece sectional! Sometimes it pays to haggle a little bit!

We then came up with another problem, how to get it home. Max's first instinct was to rely on Mom and Dad's trailer (all those college moving days), but I instantly thought with the fuel cost and time we would have to spend moving it, it would probably easier and cheaper to rent a truck. On the spot, we started calling around comparing prices of small vehicles and one way trip costs. U-Haul had the best deal a one-way cargo van for $123 with taxes and everything. It was awesome because they said they just started doing these as a trial run from the Madison to Chicago area. The awesome thing about the van. It was brand new. Only had four miles on it! 

The couch fit perfectly. Max drove the van and I drove our CR-V and we were off.

After checking out the company of the sofa we just purchased (hoping we didn't get screwed), Newport Upolstery is a newer U.S. company started in 2010. With the purpose of creating jobs here in the U.S. with quality sustainable furniture (so their website says). I just know that it was very comfortable, made of real wood, you could tell the fabric and stitching was done very well and the sofa seemed very durable. The fact they are creating local jobs and using less materials to make a quality product. We were in love.

Keep a look out for their products!

Here is our sofa's new home, in our former "sitting area". Adding a sectional created a ripple effect with our furniture, so stay tuned for another update how our entire house got moved around.

The beige color has a red and blue thread undertone so its easy to add to pretty much any decor or wall color we chose. All the cushions are attached to the sofa and after more research of Newport's website, I found out why the couch is so comfy. They have a specially engineered cushion called the "Pocketed Coil System". I'm impressed. I definitely felt the uniform seat. Compared to our leather blend couch from Ashley Furniture, its a 100% more uniform and comfortable. Look out guests, you are in for a treat.*

We moved the TV in here but we are now planning to wall mount it on the other wall sometime soon to free up more floor space and keep it from jutting over in the walkway.

Isn't she pretty! Turk loves it too because now he can sit on the chaise hangover and look out he window all day. He also has already learned its an awesome nap spot.

See how the TV juts out a little bit now. We will have to get on that one soon.

Final cost with moving (truck and fuel) expenses: $787.

It might not have been your average impulse buy of a pack of gum or a magazine talking about Brangelina's wedding watch, but definitely crazily changes our house. We really couldn't be happier!

*image by Newport Upholstery

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fun With Fabric

May has already been kicking my butt. I haven't been this busy since my sorority days in college. Four Weddings and A Funeral? Well I have two weddings, two Brewers baseball games, one Incubus concert, one charity walk, one family reunion, possible tooth removal and our engagement photos...all while we are still trying to fix up the house, oh and did I mention we are still planning our wedding?!

I have been squirreling away frames I see from Goodwill, Salvation Army and the Dollar Tree to finally start getting things on the walls. They did not need to match though. Little paint can fix just about anything.

I first used my trusty Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover Primer and primed each surface of the frames.

I made sure to get into every crevice of the surfaces to ensure proper paint adhesion.

I then went back with Rust-Oleum white paint in a satin finish. Using a couple of coats for proper coverage.

Ten newly ready frames for my artistic creativity and photos to be added!

So back to the title of this post "Fun With Fabric". Many of the frames I bought were new and many came with white matching pre-cut mats.

Using one of the pre-matted frames, I used a bold printed piece of fabric I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics for about $3 and (after ironing the fabric first) cut the fabric to size. I used those awkward  family print that comes with the frame as my guide. 

Since it came with the mat, I just framed the printed fabric.

And since you all know by now I have a dirty love affair with striped prints, I did the same with a navy and cream using a little Dollar Tree pre-matted frame. Total cost of these projects with frames was about $11.

After working so crazily hard on making our walls smooth and hole free, I had a hard time putting nails back in them. I headed over to Lowe's and picked up a bunch of 3M Command hangers to prevent my possible indecisiveness from later having to re-repair the walls, again.

I hung them with my homemade fabric artwork from here above our couch in the living room. I apologize for the photo, I best lighting doesn't always give the greatest non-reflective glare of our front lawn.

So what do you think!? Not to shabby huh? I might add a few more things when I finally get some nice end tables in here. All in do time though.

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