Why I Will Never Stop Shopping at Thrift Stores

A couple weeks ago I made reference that I had some exciting news to share, and because of it, there would be a lot of interior decorating inspired posts coming up. Well, here is the first of many! However, I should probably take a step back and fill you in on the details. After nine plus years of living in our condo, we finally decided it was time to say good-bye to high-rise living and move into a single family home. It was a big change, and there are many things we are missing about condo life - smelling what our neighbors were eating for dinner, waiting 10 minutes every morning for an elevator, receiving dirty looks when we let our dogs run around the lobby off leash, and being woken up at 3 am by our 20-something year old neighbors after a night out. (I'm laying on the sarcasm here if you can't tell)! Yep, it was a hard choice all right, but we were ready! Although we only moved four miles away, the area has a completely different vibe and we have been enjoying trying out all the new restaurants, bars and shops. Oh yeah, and it means I have a new house to decorate! 

I think I pretty much had every room fully decorated in my head after the first walk-through, however I don't think the bank account was really feeling my vibe of turning our home into a decorator's show house within the first month of moving in. That far from discouraged me though, as I'm always up for a little challenge, especially if it comes in the form of pleats and tufting.  

During one of my furniture shopping excursions at one of the thrift stores I frequent, I spotted this couch. I don't know why, but I was immediately drawn to it. No, I don't think it was the saggy cushions or the faded velvet that drew me in, but more so the unique lines and low profile. And at $75, it made the idea dragging this couch home even more appealing. 

Once I got back to my shop, I beelined straight to my upholstery guy to start scheming. Use this fabric, add this trim, change out this cushion...it was a done deal. I had a vision and was so excited to start the transformation.

Once we started tearing it up, it became clear what a great quality sofa it was. It was a solid Maple frame which was still sturdy and structurally sound. 

I know that depending on what kind of fabric you go with, reupholstering furniture can get pricey real quick. For any of you in the Chicago area, there is a little gem in Pilsen called Textile Discount Outlet and there prices are rock bottom unbeatable! It's a three story building, so go when you have an adequate amount of time and patience, but I'm telling you now, it is worth the trip! 

Below are a couple inspirational sofas I used when choosing my fabric and trim.

I went with an off-white fabric with a Greek Key trim from M&J Trimming.

Here are a couple progress shots...

And the final product!

A far cry from where it began. I'm still blown away when I look at the before pictures. 

The biggest change we made was swapping out the three cushions for one long cushion. In my opinion, this change really takes the piece up a notch in sophistication and creates a more formal feel. 

One feature that I actually really liked from the original sofa was the trim detail. It dresses the couch up a bit and adds a bit of interest to an otherwise all white sofa.

The amount of craftsmanship that went into this piece is incredible. After every time I see an old piece of furniture reupholstered, my appreciation for that skill grows.

It takes a great deal of patience and precision, both of which I struggle with! The only C I ever received in high school was Home Ec after I failed miserably at trying to sew a pair of boxer shorts. It wasn't my thing then and it ain't my thing now!

I'm still working on the rest of the room, but in case you're wondering, there are more upholstery projects in the works. And yes, the entire dining room was another project I took on. I'll be sharing details on that room later.

I'm beginning to see the endless possibilities I have now when it comes to decorating, and I've had so much fun teaming up with people in other trades in order to offer a full line of furniture, not only for myself but also for clients. 

The only downside I've experienced so far...the whole family is enjoying the couch just as much as me...