A Sofa Project

It’s happened. My longtime plans have finally come to fruition. This is one of those situations where you have something that both looks and works perfectly fine, but even so you can’t help but want to replace it with something else for the sake of a refresher. The things is, I knew a refresher of this sort would take a little extra time and effort, but apparently it would also take quite a bit of sweat, and seemingly a teeny smidgen of blood too (relax, nothing a Band-Aid couldn’t handle). But we did it—we finally replaced the sofa feet.

This project has been brewing in my mind for about a year now. It started with me internally scheming to replace the sofa with something more sleek and modern and probably gray. But then the more I thought about it, all I could think of was how nice our sofa was in terms of quality and comfort. Not to mention we didn’t have to pay a dime for it, and a new sofa would cost some big, gut wrenching bucks. So I let that idea fizzle out for a little bit, swept it under the rug, so to speak. And then something pretty wonderful happened.

Mustard Seen Interiors

Photo from Miss Mustard Seed.

I came across this photo on Pinterest and was immediately like ‘OMG!’ because this is basically exactly what our sofa looks like but with much cooler, far more interesting feet. And I really loved the idea of casters.

After further research, I discovered this was actually a $2800 sofa from Pottery Barn. So with that knowledge came new inspiration–I finally found my affordable sofa refresher, revealed a true ‘get-the-look-for-less’ opportunity, and nothing was going to slow me down again (or so I thought).

My initial browsing for sofa feet was backed by an assumption that our own sofa’s feet screwed off, because just about every sofa I had looked at utilized this function, and why would you design a sofa whose feet could not be removed anyway? That would just be illogical, like for the sake of moving it through a tight doorway, or because of crazy people like me who actually think to replace them.

But no. Oh, no. You can’t ever assume these things because as it turns out, and what we learned just before we were about to make a purchase on new sofa feet, was that our existing ones didn’t actually screw off. They didn’t pop off. They didn’t slide off. There was no hidden mechanism to remove the feet because they were actually made from the same cut of solid wood extending into the foundation of the sofa arms. That’s great. Awesome.

Now, when I speak of solid wood, I mean really, really solid wood. Because when we finally got around to organizing a crew that could come over and supply the necessary tools, muscle, and handyman knowledge to help with this venture of removing the existing feet, we played the trial and error game with several different hand saws–some of which would have taken us all day to get the job done. And right about here in the story is where the sweat and blood came in, but again, nobody lost a finger. It’s OK.

So three people, three different saws and probably about three hours later, the masterpiece was finally finished, the sofa’s leather unscathed. And let me tell you, it was absolutely worth the wait.


I scoured high and low, mostly online, to find the right feet. There are a few wood craft stores out there that specialize in really nice, completely finished sofa feet, but then I thought, ‘Hey, I haven’t done anything the quick and easy way up to this point, so why start now?’ And on that note I ended up at Lowe’s where I purchased two unfinished curvy feet for the sofa front, two unfinished simple pegs for the sofa back (that had to be trimmed to match the length of the front feet with the casters), metal attachments to screw in the new legs, and two wheel casters (that we had to spray paint to match the vintage look of the sofa’s existing decorative studs). All said and done, let’s call this whole process a cost of about $50, with 3-4 days of prep for wood staining and caster painting.


Moral of the story is: this project was not one for wimps or for the lazy. But it’s done. And I love it. And the good news is, the new legs SCREW OFF, so I can now replace them WHENEVER MY HEART DESIRES. Yes!

A big thank you to the strong and crafty handymen who continue to find the patience required to support me in my never-ending décor adventures. You are truly the best.

Vintage Art

I have a somewhat new thing for vintage art, paintings in particular. Most of the art hanging on my walls already is either self-made or inhertied-antique, so as I’m shopping antique paintings for the first time I’m learning it’s slightly challenging to snatch what I would consider decent/reasonably priced stuff. I mean, you really have to look, and you have to know the right places to look.

I’m especially drawn to landscapes. Pieces are ideally framed in real wood. I also like when you can see the brush strokes and/or texture of the canvas. Signatures not required–I can’t even pretend to know anything about art, so awareness of the original artist isn’t a top priority of mine, which is also probably why I refuse to pay more than $50 for a painting. Sorry.


Above: Home of Julie Paterson of Cloth Fabric on The Design Files.

For local shopping, I’ve had the best luck at The Eclectic Collection, both in Abington and West Bridgewater, MA. I’m literally at these shops every other weekend because they are such gold mines. The prices are unbeatable.

When the season calls for it, the Brimfield Antique Show is a day-trip of a shopping experience with rows of vendors for as far as the eye can see. I’ve only been once but it was amazing. My next big antique extravaganza planned for the spring is The Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in CT which is just as grand as Brimfield. Both events are ideal for art shopping but maybe skim Apartment Therapy’s guide to shopping large events like these before you go, as they can be pretty overwhelming.

As far as online shopping, the best place for antique paintings I’ve found is Etsy. You can sort by the type of art you are looking for and you can also add a cap for pricing. Shipping costs are usually pretty decent too.

Liess Home

Above: Home decorator and textile designer Laura Liess’s kitchen.


Above: Guest house of Catherine Burke, writer of A Country Farmhouse blog and contributor of Country Living magazine.


Above: The Woodsman Tavern and Market of Portland, OR via Remodelista.

A Lesson in Lighting

Lighting is an important element to consider when decorating a space. On the practical end of the spectrum, we have the kind of bright light needed for tasks such as cooking in the kitchen, beautifying in the bathroom, or reading at a desk. The opposite side of that spectrum is softer lighting for ambiance. The most comfortable rooms sit at a balance of both, a lesson I very recently learned in my own living room.

My problem wasn’t that I didn’t have enough light. It was actually that I had too much, or too much in the wrong places I should say. When we moved into the apartment, all we had in terms of table lights were task lamps, which are great, not dissing task lamps at all here. The one we were using atop our living room side table was this awesome Industrial Task Lamp in polished nickel from West Elm. I’ve had it for years and it’s served its purpose in a number of spots in my home, however there was something about having it right above our heads at the couch’s corner seat that felt a bit like we were under police interrogation. You know, like, ‘We have witnesses who place you at the scene of the candy bowl massacre last night.’ It really wasn’t good.


Above: Gaby Burger’s home via The Glitter Guide. Photo by Anna with Love Photography.


Above: Shannon Claire’s living room via her Burlap and Lace Blog.

It is pretty, isn’t it? Which is definitely why it took me so long to switch the task lamp for a traditional table lamp, of which I probably wouldn’t even have tried if it weren’t for the ginormous new flat screen television we purchased “for the Superbowl” which forced me to switch around some existing tabletop decor.

The end result of this accidental improvement is light that feels cozy and rustic.


Above: Photo via Pinterest via Desire to Inspire. Original designer unknown.

Our apartment walls are Sherwin Williams Dover White so the natural toned lamp shades provide a warmth even when not in use. Create the look with the following pieces:

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Above: Weston Rattan Table Lamp via Overstock.com.

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Above: Linden Droplet Table Lamp from Target.

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Above: Lite Linen Shade Lamp from Crate & Barrel.

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Above: Coventry Summer Lattice Lamp via Bed Bath and Beyond.