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Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the word ‘sofa’? I also hate the words ‘swag’ and ‘sneakers’ in case you are wondering (Apparently, I hate words that start with an ‘s’).

Anyway, the point is there are tables which go behind couches and they are often called ‘sofa tables’, but since I just can’t call them that, I’m going with ‘behind-the-couch table.’ Just go with it.

My living room is long and skinny which makes arranging it interesting. I’ve found that a table behind the couch not only “shortens” the distance between the couch and the rest of the room, but it also gives me a place to display cool stuff. The one I found I wanted was from IKEA and it cost $170 (It is now discontinued). So since I couldn’t afford it at the time I created my very own behind-the-couch table!

I used empty tubs and boxes to create the “table” and then covered it in fabric.

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It was like this for almost a year before I gave it a makeover by adding another layer of tub lids to make it sturdier. I also changed the fabric to a clean white sheet.
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This version lasted another one and a half years. It was always on my to-do list to build or buy something more permanent, but the temporary version worked so nicely it wasn’t a major priority.

But the temp solution definitely wasn’t flawless. Of course, it all comes back to Bob. As you know, Bob sucks. He regularly sits on this “table” meaning it was starting to buckle under his weight. Last week, when he got particularly riled up about a cat/squirrel/mail person he knocked over one of my plants. Thankfully he didn’t break the planter but it looked like this:

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If this were a solid surface I could easily wipe off the dirt, but since it’s a sheet it requires removing all of the things, washing the sheet, and then putting back all of the things. And I’m super lazy. I’m so lazy that I would rather build a table than just wash the sheet. I guess maybe that doesn’t make me lazy, just weird.

So I just did it. I followed a few tutorials (this one and this one). Here is what I bought to make a 75″ long behind-the-couch table to fit behind an IKEA Karlstad couch:

2 – 23″ tall 12″ x 2″ boards

1- 75″ long 12″ x 2″ board

4 – corner braces, size 4″

1 – 15 quantity box of 1.5″ wood screws

4 – 3″ wood screws (I had these on hand)

Honestly the most difficult part of this whole thing was buying and having the lumber cut. It was stressful because I’ve never done it before. Also, loading and unloading the lumber to and from my car and then into my house was a little sweaty.

I connected the “legs” to the main board by using the corner braces. I pre-drilled the holes which made it really simple and fast.

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When I stood the table up (quite a bit more difficult than you would think) it was a bit wobbly. I decided I’d rather lose the smooth top surface for sturdiness, so I drilled four (two on each side) 3″ screws to further stabilize it. Since this step was unplanned, I just used what I had on hand. I was lucky enough to find 4 – 3″ screws but they unfortunately didn’t have a flat profile. Ah well, it wasn’t worth a trip to the store so I have no regrets.

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Next came my least favorite part, painting. I can’t seem to go a weekend without painting something. If I believed in purgatory, I’d venture to say it involved an endless painting project.

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As you can see, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother to paint the underside. Future Jasmin may be annoyed at this decision, but present Jasmin is very pleased with the choice.

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I am not the best at being patient so I should have sanded more, should have put on a second coat of primer, should have bought a clear sealer, should have should have should have blah blah blah. You should do all of those things. Do as I say, not as I do.

I tried my hardest to wait a full 48 hours so it would cure, but I only made it about 30 hours. Again, do as I say, not as I do. Seriously.

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A power strip and router are hiding under the table.

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Not bad if I do say so myself!! And the best part is it only cost me $41 and one afternoon. If you are nervous about building a simple piece of furniture like this here’s my public endorsement: You can do it!*

*As long as you have a power drill and a vehicle big enough to transport the wood. Oh, and $41.

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 4 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

IKEA Musings

August 5, 2012 — 3 Comments

Yesterday I got this in the mail:

Do you like IKEA? I, unashamedly, do. Getting this catalogue totally made my day. In my every day life I try to eat locally, but shopping locally is a lot harder. Groceries purchased at local grocers are more expensive, handcrafted furniture is more expensive, boutique clothing is more expensive, etc. And since my big bonus hasn’t arrived (it never will) I can’t afford to always shop locally. I say all of this because sometimes shopping at big box stores is the best option. Maybe some day I will be able to support local artisans in all my interior design purchases but for now I’m limited to a few small purchases here and there. But the point of this post is to celebrate IKEA. I’m some what of an IKEA newbie. My first time going was only four years ago. There isn’t an IKEA in Indianapolis so I never went growing up. When I moved to DC there was one a few miles away in Maryland so I went there a few times. I liked it a lot and bought a few things there but I was living in tiny apartments so I couldn’t buy much. When I moved back to Indianapolis last year I found out the closest one is two hours away in a suburb of Cincinnati, OH. I’ve been a few times since I’ve been back and when I first bought my house I bought a lot of furniture there. My best IKEA tip is this. Go on Wednesday morning at 10:00am. Why that specific time? Because every Wednesday the ‘As Is’ section is 50% off everything. That’s pretty much how cheap I am. I go to the cheapest furniture store in the world and I shop the clearance section. Go figure. Here are a few of my IKEA purchases:

This is my favorite IKEA purchase of all time. This is the STOCKHOLM RAND rug. It retails for $299 for the 5’x7′ and I got it for $50 in the ‘As Is’ section. Yes, that’s right, $50! Best. Purchase. Ever.

These shelves are EKBY JÄRPEN/ EKBY BJÄRNUM. They were $29.99 each. I wish I had gotten one more and made it three instead of two, so maybe I’ll do that soon. The only thing about these shelves is that they are only about 10″ deep so make sure you read the dimensions on these products before you buy them.

I’m not actually sure what this bookcase is. I’m guessing it’s a Billy bookcase with legs and glass doors. I got in ‘As Is’ for $120. It’s a great bookcase and I can not stress enough how much I love glass doors on bookcases. NO DUST. Enough said. The problem I’m having with this bookcase right now is that it’s black. I really like dark walls and so it is getting lost in the wall color (this picture was taken before I painted my bedroom walls dark blue). I’m thinking of painting it white, but that seems like a lot of work so I’m really debating whether or not to go for it.

This image has two IKEA items. The first is the large art print on canvas. I got it as a Christmas gift about three years ago from my mother. I’ve always been drawn to Gustav Klimt’s art and when I saw this close up large scale print of “The Three Ages of Woman: Mother and Child” I knew I had to have it. It costs $79.99. Sometimes I feel self-conscious about having it because I’m not a mother, but most of the time I really love it. The second item is the cabinet. I don’t have any idea what kind of cabinet it is. I got it in the ‘As Is’ section for about $70 I think. I don’t remember the exact amount. On IKEA’s website I tried to look up what kind it is, but no luck. My best guess is something in the BESTÅ family. I think it is intended to be a TV cabinet but I use it my dining room as a sideboard. During parties I use it as a bar cart.

When I first put it in the dining room I was using the cabinet part to store serving platters and other kitchen things, but then I realized that I had plenty of room in my kitchen for that stuff. Now I use it for my craft storage. It works great there because it’s right by the dining room table which is where I do most of my crafting anyway (excuse the blurry picture).

mylittlehousedesign.com IKEA Musings

This image shows two more IKEA items. The couch is IKEA’s KARLSTAD couch in Isunda Gray. I love this couch and I’m hoping to purchase a second one soon. I am a huge fan of the Karlstad line. It has the clean line of a classic Billy Baldwin couch without the huge price tag. The 6.5′ couch is only $599.00 and if you’ve ever shopped for a couch you know that’s a great price. The second item is the coffee table. It is the STRIND table which retails for $99. I got it for $30 in the ‘As Is’ section. It works really well in here for now but I have dreams of something a litte different in the future. It is a great starter coffee table.

mylittlehousedesign.com IKEA Musings

This is an old photo but I have still have both of these pieces (in different places now). The first is the LACK coffee table. This is an IKEA classic, most often seen in dorm rooms and tiny apartments, but it serves it’s purpose. I have another LACK table in birch on castors that is currently collecting dust on my unused front porch. They are so cheap it really doesn’t matter what you do with them. They white table was only $7.99…seriously. I think I got the one on castors for about $15 in ‘As Is.’ The lamp is the VÄTE lamp and it was $29.99. I got it four years ago and it has surprisingly survived countless moves. I’m honestly so impressed that it hasn’t ripped yet (knock on wood…er laminate, this is an IKEA post afterall).

This is the BÖJA lamp. I have two and they are about 20″ tall. Currently they are flanking my TV. I really like them. They give off good light. They retail for $39.99 and I got both for $30. Go me!

mylittlehousedesign.com IKEA Musings

This is a lamp I got on Craigslist. Yes, two of my very favorite things in one, IKEA and Craigslist. I bought it for $50. It retails for $59.99. It was brand new. Not my best Craigslist haggling but it saved my $9.99 and a four hour drive so it was worth it. I have so much more IKEA stuff in my house. Mostly kitchen stuff like dishes, wine glasses, and glass canisters. I also have have sheets and a duvet cover, a quilt, and lighting fixtures (which can be seen in other posts). It is a great place to spend the day. I love the little houses they create within the store. I love all the great storage solutions (even though I don’t have enough stuff to require all that storage). I always have a long list of things I want to buy there. What’s your favorite IKEA purchase?