Here is the thing about painting your living room black: it makes everything look like it was put there on purpose. The sloppy cushions, the 3-month-old magazine, the 32oz Diet Dr Pepper Big Gulp from last thursday…yes. They all look like they were put there on purpose. This puts a lot of pressure on the items you actually want to be in the room on purpose, so I took my sweet time in figuring out this little corner. After many hours searching for bookcases online, it turned out that I already owned one. Like a third string soap opera character, she was the love-child I never knew I had, living in the garage.
This girl started out at Jubilee Thrift (one of my all-time favorite sources for used furniture). I’m sucker for all things faux bamboo, and priced at $45, she needed to come home with me. Also, the corn-fed teenage boy who loaded her in the car was wearing a New Kids on the Block T shirt and when I asked him if he got it from his mom he said “Yes Miss” instead of “Yes Ma’am” which made me feel like I was 17 again. So this experience was a winner all-around.
When I got her home I could tell she needed a new coat of paint, and it just so happened I had some coral-ish cantaloupe color laying around from the door in my craft room…
Cantaloupe makes a strangely excellent door color. Also, if you have yet to invest in a wrapping station, you might want to get on that.
I covered the shelf backing piece in wrapping paper. It’s not bad, but it’s not good. I think I was watching a lot of Downton Abbey at that time. Then, because I’m a lemming, I went over the cantaloupe with Annie Sloan dark wax.
Side rant on on the chalk-milk-wax-alternative paint craze of 2013: This Annie Sloan chalk paint thing has been all over the place, and I know some people love it, but I’m going to be honest: I hate it. I tried the chalk paint on a table years ago and it was so bad I had to throw it out. I didn’t even posses the patience to take it to a thrift store. I took it to the alley. Somebody might have picked it up, or it might have gone straight to the landfill. Don’t know, don’t care. All I know is that paint dried uneven, unpredictable and looked like the makings of a bad swap meet so it had to go. It would have looked better had I just used kindergarden tempera paint. This incident probably would not have ticked me off had the stuff not cost THREE TIMES as much as regular latex, and, dumbass that I am, went and spent $36 on a tub of dark wax that never got opened…until I painted this dresser turned cantaloupe and decided that dark wax would bring out all the fun bamboo details, right? Wrong. It doesn’t look old or distressed or interesting, it just looked dirty. A friend who saw it in person just after I finished the wax said, “So what color are you going to paint it?” LIKE IT NEEDED A PAINT JOB. So I spent the better part of the night trying to rub the wax off. Most of it came off, but still, yeah. Not a fan of the Annie Sloan paint craze and I would suggest staying away from impulsive dark waxing situations at all costs.
So endith the rant.
So then I added some knobs, filled it with stuff, and the things that bothered me didn’t bother me for the better part of a year. Until one day I was dusting and realized there was a ton of dust because, duh, I rarely touched anything on those shelves. That was mostly jewelry and makeup…stuff that I wasn’t using so much since I quit my job in the summer of 2014 and all I wear now is yoga pants and deodorant, and that’s on a good day. Why let all this clutter stay there collecting dust?
So the shelving until on the top came off and went to go live in the garage while I now enjoyed a generous bedside table and my new and exciting wallpaper. Huzzah!
Right about that same time, I was looking at the leftover scraps of removable wallpaper from my fridge and thinking they could be turned into something fun. Something useful…
Where could I use a dash of pattern?
So that was it! The shelf came out of retirement, I added the wallpaper scraps, and the two went to live happily together in the corner of my living room. And because the shelf is so narrow, there was room for an accent arm chair, which was perfect because I needed one. My sofa sectional seats like 300 people but it’s double-wide deep and not everyone likes the lack of back support. This chair is a little firmer and higher than usual, so that’s good. It was under $200, which is pretty inexpensive for upholstered furniture, but very expensive for a cat scratcher, which is exactly what it will evolve into given time and Lola‘s determination. I’d include a link to where I got it, At Home, but they don’t feature it online. If you have never been to an At Home store I highly recommend it. Formerly called Garden Ridge, At Home is like a Home Goods and a World Market and a craft store rolled into one then super sized to Costco proportions. They are big Texas but there are a couple her in the Chicago suburbs, so I make the trek every once in a while. Their Christmas section is spectacular. Everything is very reasonably priced, and occasionally dirt cheap. I cannot speak to the long-term durability of this chair, but I have a rug of theirs 3 years now and it’s doing great, so my hopes are high. Also this is not a sponsored post or anything I’m just trying to compliment one company seeing as I just trashed on Annie Sloan paint above in this post and I feel a little guilty about that. This is like my mother telling me that you have to say three good things before you say one bad thing, only I said a lot more than one bad thing and you aren’t my mom. So that’s what I know about that.
I have a bookshelf, she has a sister. They live in separate rooms and look a lot a like, but are different in special ways. Yay! Bookshelf!