Hello! Long time no type. I’ve been busy over here – both on and off blog-worthy projects – but am back to share some updates I did in our family room that is off our open concept galley kitchen.

And the coolest part? I did it for only $10 outta my own pocket! Seriously. I’ll explain as I go, but basically it involves a present, some gift cards and Craigslist.
First up, the present. Chef Kev gifted me this awesome rug for Christmas (Jernved rug from Ikea) that I had been eyeing. I wanted to infuse some colour into our family room area (it was suffering from a bad case of the beige) and I thought this was a good contender, so put it on my Christmas Wish List. 
The rug was awesome but immediately made everything look dingy and super-beige.
(Sorry for the bad lighting but I took these at night). 
Beige walls, beige couch, and browny/beige furniture. It didn’t feel too uplifting!
The couch looked dingy, the cubby system clashed and the coffee table just looked wrong. I had big plans originally to refinish the coffee table when I got it second hand, but never got around to it. Whoops.
Looking at the room it had issues. Big ones. There were too many tones going on and eventually I couldn’t handle it anymore. My design brain twitched whenever I walked into the space.
After seeing my face scrunch up for the 757th time, Chef Kev said “I don’t care what you do to fix it, just don’t spend any money”. Well, that sounded like a challenge to me!
Guess what it looks like today? Ta da!
So, let me explain how this little room grew into her new rug. 
This is where Craigslist comes in. First to go was the Ikea Expedit cubby unit. I ideally wanted a real-wood, mid-century modern credenza to go along that wall that I could turn into a media centre. However, after months searching Craigslist and second hand shops I realized that one just wasn’t in my budget. Sure, I could sell the coffee table and couch and then MAYBE have enough to buy one, but I’m sort of partial to couches and coffee tables and wanted to replace those too. 
In the end I realized that the Expedit unit itself actually worked okay, it was just the colour that I hated for this space.
So out went the ‘birch’ finish. I sold it on Craigslist for $50 (minus the baskets)…
and in entered the ‘black/brown’ one that I purchased on Craigslist for $50. The cool thing here was that this replacement unit actually came with six of the same wicker baskets as the one I had. I ended up using them down in our recreation room where we have another Expedit unit.
Next up was the old couch, well, actually it’s a love seat but who’s counting?
I wanted something darker – either a brown tone or a gray, and definitely something more streamlined and modern. 
So, out went the old love  seat – sold on Craigslist for $80…
and in came the ‘new’ love seat – also bought on Craigslist – for $200.
Last but not least on my furniture hit list was the coffee table. 
Out with the old (sold on Craigslist for $40)…
And in with the ‘new’ – purchased on Craigslist for $80!
When I saw this coffee table I knew it would look really cool in this space. It is actually an old coffee table that had been sandblasted down and professionally repainted this awesome red. 
Sadly, after chatting with the seller, she had a change of heart and decided not to sell! She had listed it as she was redecorating and didn’t think it would go with her new décor. But she loved it so she also wanted to keep it. Due to the enormous response she second guessed herself so decided to hold on to it. 
I was upset but kept on hunting. After a few days I dropped her an email saying that if she had a change of heart again then I was still interested. She emailed back that she was actually thinking of selling it again as she just didn’t think she could make it work in her new space. She asked me to give her the weekend to think about it, and on Monday let me know that I could have it! So, word to the wise – if this happens to you, a friendly follow-up email may work in your favour!
I love how this coffee table plays off the pattern in the carpet. And I  LOVE the awesome curves and super cute legs!
Now, if you’ve been doing any math then you may have noticed that I sold $170 worth of furniture but purchased $330. There is no mathematician anywhere that can make that add up to a difference of $10 right?!
Right. However, I also sold a few other things that did not need replacing so that helped my cause. 
I sold our second desk (currently being unused in the guest bedroom) for $100 and the old desk chair in that room as well for $10.
I also sold the four old Ikea bins that we were using in the recreation room Expedit unit when I got the six wicker baskets with the unit I purchased. I sold my old ones for $40.
So, in the end I sold $320 worth of furniture and purchased the stuff for my new family room for $330. 
I know Chef Kev said not to spend any money (such an accountant!) but he was more than okay to let go of the $10 when he saw how good it looked. 🙂
An astute eye may have also noticed that I painted. That is where the gift cards come in! I received some Home Depot gift cards for Christmas and knew I was going to use them on paint. Even before the carpet/beige issue, I had been wanting to repaint the family room and kitchen area. They actually function as one big open concept space but had been painted two different colours and it always bugged me slightly. I think living with it that way since 2006 (when we bought our townhouse) was being more than patient!
So, here is the old again – a beigey colour…
And the new! 
The colour is a nice light gray shade and is called “Barley Beige” by CIL. I had to laugh at the name since I was trying to get away from the beige and ended up with a colour that had ‘beige’ in the name. Weird. Definitely a gray though!
You can see it better here against white.
The other colour that was in this open concept area was an avocado green that the old owners used around the kitchen table nook and in the kitchen.
See how both the beige and green are here? Weird.
The same view with the new gray paint.
Looking the other way we used to see the same old green…
But now we see calming gray (yay).
Looking from the family room to the kitchen you can see how the old colour used to break up the space.
But not anymore!
Overall, the whole space feels larger, brighter and more connected. I love it.
I also took the opportunity to paint the ‘cable hide’ in the same colour as the wall paint (it used to be white if you noticed it in the photos above).
Now it blends in seamlessly!
I also restyled the shelves over the couch in a lighter and fresher way.
I’m really happy with how the space feels now.
Once more, the family room before:
And after!
Best $10 I ever spent. 
What about you? Any Craigslist scores lately or rooms that you refreshed with paint? 
It feels like Spring cleaning has officially started! What are you up to?

Stay in touch!