Ottoman Empire

Sometimes a room comes together pretty easily–you plan, execute, and tweak and then sit back and think to yourself: this is exactly what I was picturing!  You pour yourself a drink and sit back and enjoy your new space.

And then there are those times when you spend tons of time planning and changing your mind, then finally executing the plan (which ends up taking waaaay longer than expected) and then when you’re mostly done you step back and think “something just isn’t right.”  Well, our living room is definitely in that latter category.  I’ve been slowly trying to identify what’s working and what isn’t and it is getting better, but things still feel off.  I think I mentioned this before when I posted about the rug situation in there.

One thing I finally identified as not working in the space is our ottoman:

Flor Tiles - living room

Don’t get me wrong, I still love this guy.  He’s been with me since grad school.  We’ve been through a lot together.  He was originally a faux leather that, not surprisingly, didn’t last forever.  Then he became my first attempt at re-upholstery (read more about that here).  Although I generally like the way he turned out and was happy with the look in our condo, he just didn’t seem to fit it well in our new living room.  Perhaps because the color is too close to the new couch slipcover?  I figured out that the shape also bothers me since the couch is a symmetrical but the ottoman is rectangular so it always looks a little off.  And the legs look so bulky and choppy to me.  For months now I’ve been mulling over solutions in my head.  I looked at lots of fabric options online to possibly reupholster it again.  I looked at getting a new ottoman too–but the ones I liked were always hundreds of dollars, which seemed like too much to spend when really, my existing ottoman still works.

Then, it happened.  The design gods finally took pity on me.  It was one of those magical moments when I was out for an early morning yard sale excursion.  I happened to look beneath a table and see the perfect ottoman sitting underneath.  I asked if it was part of the sale.  They said it was.  I  asked how much, and they said it was a donation-based yard sale and that I should pay whatever I wanted.  They asked if I really wanted it even though it was stained, and I said I planned to recover it so it didn’t bother me and they were so excited that their old family ottoman was going to get reincarnated in a new home that they carried it to the car for me and were practically hugging me.  This is not an exaggeration!

So here’s what I brought home:

new living room ottoman before

So yes, the upholstery was stained (and still had some pet hair on it) but since I knew I’ be removing the fabric  I was just fine with it.   I mean, come on, those legs!  So georgous!  So shapely and sleek and beautiful!

I wasn’t ready yet to re-upholster it yet though since I hadn’t selected a fabric, so this guy was down in the basement for most of the summer.  I kicked around ideas for what type of fabric to shop for (patterned?  neutral?  bold color?  something to match the couch?) and finally decided I wanted something with a bit of texture in a solid color (since I already have a lot of pattern with pillows and the chairs in the room) in a color that would coordinate with the wall color (Silver Marlin by Benjamin Moore–it is a very gray greenish blue that is just lovely!).  I wanted to find a way to tie the room together and finally realized that the color on the walls could be brought more into the middle of the room this way.

I found a few good fabric options online but never pulled the trigger because it can be so hard to know the true of fabric on the computer screen.  I’ve bought a lot of fabric online but it is rarely the same as it is in-person.  So imagine my delight when we were vacationing in Wisconsin a few weeks ago and I randomly stopped into a JoAnn Fabric store to entertain Sydney while DH finished up dinner with his brother next door…and found the perfect fabric!  I knew immediately when I saw it that it was exactly what I had been looking for–similar in color to the walls but a bit darker, with a nice linen-like texture, in a home decor weight fabric.  And at 50% off?  I couldn’t believe my luck!

Once I had all the pieces assembled I finally was able to set to work on this piece. Although I had planned to re-upholster it I actually opted to first try just a slipcover.  I did that with another project I plan to share soon and it turned out pretty well.  This was partly because my staple gun is not great and often leads to a lot of cursing, and partly because I liked the idea of potentially being able to remove it if it needed a good cleaning.   So over the last week during TV time with DH I removed the old upholstery and got to work fitting the ottoman for a slipcover with the new fabric.  Ladies and Gentleman, here she is!:

slipcovered ottoman 1

Isn’t she lovely?  I still can’t get over those gorgeous legs!  They go nicely with the floor color.  And since this ottoman is square it doesn’t look off-balance the way the previous ottoman did.  In this panned-out shot you can see what I mean about how it ties in with the wall color nicely!

slipcovered ottoman 2

The top does tend to wrinkle just a bit since it is slipcovered instead of upholstered but so far it hasn’t really bothered us:

slipcovered ottoman

I’m so happy that something in this room came together so easily!  The ottoman swap has improved this room’s feel greatly.  We’ve had a few people over since I did this little project and everyone has definitely noticed and commented how much they love it, so I’m thrilled this one worked out.

What have been your favorite yard sale finds?




5 thoughts on “Ottoman Empire

  1. You keep very high standards! Your original photo looks pretty good to me, but I do agree that with your “new” ottoman it is a step up. I love the ottoman fabric and you are very clever to cover it. As for my favourite yard sale item, I have plenty of items with lots of potential, yet to be fulfilled. You are inspiring me though!

    • So glad my little project inspired you to tackle some of your own! My advice if you need some inspiration is to start with the easiest one. The confidence boost will help you tackle a more challenging or involved project!


  2. Pingback: Reading Nook | the2bedroomblues

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