Monday, January 29, 2007

The Tropical Vegan gets crafty

I moved house two weeks ago. I went from a 7 bedroom shared house, with majorly sucky housemates (well, half of them were), and furniture to a 2 bedroom unfurnished unit. It's just Andy and I; we have nobody else to try and share space with. I must say, it is SO NICE to have our own space. It's a small unit, but it's big enough for the two of us. We've got a little private courtyard where we've already planted a bush, and we're going to plant some herbs and veggies when they get big enough. The only downside to moving out of our old place was that we didn't have any furniture. Seriously, we had a mattress (but no bed), one desk, 2 desk/dining chairs (snavelled from the old house), one comfy-ish chair, and nothing else. We also had some plates and bowls and stuff like that, but no pots and pans. Unfortunately, however, we are broke. My scholarship payments don't start for a few more weeks, and anyways, new furniture seems like a waste. First of all, most of them are very yuppy-ish. Secondly, who needs a new couch? It's just going to get shit spilled on it anyways.

The first thing we got was a second-hand (but repaired and warrantied) fridge, and then a wok, frying pan, and two saucepans. Some used, some new, but all pretty good quality (we think). Then we spent a week going to what seemed like every single second-hand shop in the greater Townsville area. We looked at couches, tables, bookshelves, desks, chairs, and everything else they had around. After we'd made a day of looking around, we decided on a couch from the first shop we'd gone into. Of course, by the time we got back, it had been sold. Bugger.

We ended up buying most of our stuff from garage sales, and spent less than $100 on a couch, a dining table, a nice bookshelf, a beanbag, and a fishtank. Thanks to freecycle and stuff sitting on the side of the road, we got another desk and 3 more desk/dining chairs. Now our place is fully furnished and quite comfy. The only problem was that the couch and the desk chairs from the side of the road were quite scratchy. Since we're often in shorts, and Andy doesn't usually even have a shirt on, that was sort of a big deal. So we got some fabric, and a needle and thread, and I set to the task of making slip covers. I haven't sewed much since 9th grade "fashion design" class, and that was all on a machine, but I gave it a fair shot. Although the stitching isn't the straightest in some parts, the couch is much more comfy (and colorful!) than it was before.

This is the couch before. A little bit boring, and scratchy, although comfy. It lets you slouch, but it's a supported slouch, so your back doesn't hurt afterwards. Not a bad buy, for $15. But, since everything in the unit, from the floor to the ceiling, is white or beige, we needed some color.

This is the couch after I was done with it. I used some extra fabric to make sleeves for the arms, since they were a bit rusty, and then I made triangle pillows stuffed with the extra beanbag beans. In the background you can vaguely see the dining chair with the same slipcover over the back.

Now onto the next task of brightening up the walls!


Urban Vegan said...

I love that fabric you used for the couch cover. So cute and inviting. Good for you! Your new home will exude so much more positive energy thanks to your craftiness, frugality & creativity.

I'm almost twice as old as you, and I'm proud to say that half the stuff in my apartment has been "trashpicked" and refurbished--which subsequently allowed us to save $$ to spend on things we really care about.

bazu said...

I'm with Urban Vegan- a lot of our best furniture was trashpicked, hand-me-downs, or recycled, and then we refurbished them. So much more personality- just like your couch. Good luck with your new place- I thinkh having your own space is so worth it.

Theresa said...

Thank you twopla (That's PNG pidgin for "you two"). Used stuff is definitely the way to go. And bazu, I agree--having our own space is SO NICE!