I recently decided that after being in our apartment for about a year, it was time to spruce things up. We had a bunch of pictures hanging on the walls but other than that it still felt like we were in the process of moving in or were back living in a college dorm. The first thing I decided to tackle was our TV setup. We are not big TV watchers, but we do watch a lot of movies (a typical date consists of grabbing a Redbox and eating dinner on the couch). A friend had given us a TV a few months ago and since then it had been sitting on the floor, right where we left it when we brought it in. It seemed like an easy area to fix: get table, put TV on it.
After a quick in-and-out visit to a furniture store (who knew coffee tables were so expensive?), I turned to Craigslist. Since I was really just trying to get the TV off the ground, I didn’t want to spend a fortune. Turns out, people on Craigslist also want too much money for their coffee tables ($600 for a used coffee table?! Seriously?). I finally found one that was super cheap ($20), nearby (less than a mile), and not completely hideous (sturdy and made of wood). Less than 20 minutes later I was back with my very own coffee table. After realizing that my purpose was not only to get the TV off the ground but also to make the apartment cute, I decided a little paint was needed.
I picked up two colors of Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint: Sparrow (a light gray) and Ultra Bright White (a bright white), both in an eggshell finish. I decided to paint the top of the table gray and the legs and underside white. Despite the salesman’s assurances that it would only take one coat, I actually needed two (no big deal, I was expecting that).
I started with the underside of the table, making sure to get everything covered with paint. Even though I’m not planning on keeping the table forever, I knew it would drive me crazy if there was one spot I missed. (Note to self: no matter how motivated you are, don’t decide to paint on a sunny, over 100 degree day in AZ.)
Once I had painted two coats and let them dry, I flipped the table over and painted the top, making sure to do a nice, even job since that is the part people will see the most. (Second note to self: if Grandpa tells you he will paint something for you, let him. Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you really want to.)
So I popped into JoAnn and picked up some burlap with metallic silver polka dots (I needed 1/2 yard). I love metallic touches around the house, and I thought the rough texture of the burlap and the neutral color would be a nice fit for my new table.
The table looked much more finished with the burlap runner on it. I love the look of the metallic polka dots, burlap, and white and gray paint. I think the light paint colors on the coffee table really brighten the room, but everything is neutral enough that it doesn’t draw all of your attention.
Once the paint had dried enough, I added the runner and set the TV on the coffee table. Much better than being on the ground! The coffee table was also big enough to fit our DVD player, internet router, and old-school Nintendo (thanks Stacie) without looking too cluttered. I also picked up a tote from Target to store all of our DVDs (I got a bigger version of something like this). It fits nicely under the table and is a much better option than stacking all of them against the wall.
It is surprising what a big difference this one project has made in the apartment. Having everything off the floor and organized makes the whole area look less cluttered and more finished. Painting the coffee table such light colors really brightens the room and makes it look more open. Between buying the coffee table, paint, paint supplies, burlap, and the tote for storage (I splurged a little on that), I spent about $80 on this project and it was totally worth it. Now to decide what I should do next!