Day 15 of escrow on a house you barely remember feels a little like your second week of a romance with a boy you met and made out with on a plane, then promised to keep in touch with. (Not that I would have done something like that in high school. Ahem.) You’re all fizzy with adoration and anticipation of another meeting, but when you really, really think about it, you’re not sure you remember whether he had hazel eyes, or maybe blue, and come to think of it, he did smell a little funny…
So I’ve been keeping myself busy fantasizing about decorating the house. Even if my long-distance lover smells a little funny when I see him again, at least I can dress him up with some truly fabulous window treatments.
The plan, so far, is to do our best to furnish the not-yet-ours Dunsmuir house with stylish-yet-budget items. A second mortgage–even a relatively small one–makes each shopping trip that much more indulgent. I started by downloading a fancy craigslist iPhone app (I think it works better than the craigslist website.) and frantically searching for bunk beds. I haven’t secured the bunks yet, but I did get a full-size cherry bed for $50.
The gods of Berkeley’s curbside giveaways must like my plan and delivered up a mid-century, hideously upholstered but fabulously built loveseat, officially covered in early ’60s burnt orange. (I call it “Don Draper’s office orange.” A friend dubbed it a “loveseat with boundaries.” )
I found this puppy free on the sidewalk while driving around on a Saturday morning, then spent the rest of the weekend bruising my fingertips on a first-time upholstery project for a home I’m not yet totally sure I will actually own. Figuring that $20 in Ikea yardage made a pretty good price for the seat, I set to work. Once Tim and I tore apart the seat, finally figuring out how this thing fit together, I ran out to a fabric store to buy 2 yards of high-density foam. Eighty (eight. zero.) dollars later, the real work began. Eighty dollars!? I’m sure the seat would cost much more brand new, but man. No wonder it costs so much to have a professional reupholster something.
Over the course of the weekend, I discovered some upholstery secrets. Spray glue and headless nails come in handy for a project like this, and the best tool to cut $80 foam is an electric turkey carver. Oh, also, if you plan to Scotch Guard your finished project, remember to have removed all Sharpie lines from the underlying foam. It turns out that soaking even color-fast fabric in Scotch Guard wicks up the ink left on foam below, staining your fabric. Let’s discuss the irony of fabric stained by the stain-proofing process. And please, don’t look too closely at the front of the lefthand seat.
Here’s the finished project, plus some shots from along the way. Even if the house falls through for some reason, I think I’ll keep the chair.