Now for the other side of the living room. Here and here you can find a recap of the rest of the room. The grey chair is actually lawn furniture that was brilliantly reupholstered by District here in my neighborhood. Follow them on instagram because it is like mid century modern furniture porn. I bought it in 2014 and it cost $325. I realized recently that it looks very similar to one in Victoria Smith's (SFGirlByBay) home. Initially I had a grey Eames fiberclass chair there, but the room needed something softer. The fiberglass chair then moved to the dining room.
The other chair is an original Eames molded plywood chair. I walked into a Victorian antique store on Ashland back in 2004 or so and there in a corner was 'the chair'. I was completely broke at the time and scrounged up some money and ran back to the store and bought it. I paid $200. It really did not belong in that store!
The National Cash Register is from the late 1800's. Back in the day my grandparent's owned a restaurant in Joliet called Pastori's. They found the cash register in the building when they bought it. When my grandfather passed away we had an auction and the cash register was in the auction and I was really struggling with letting it go. Then I heard my mom sigh and say "I remember playing with that when I was a kid". Yup, I had to bid on and buy the cash register. It ended up costing me about $200 and there was a furious bidding war. In the end it came home with me. Oh, and the darn thing is really super heavy. One day it will be on the counter of my store front.
Skipping the bathroom entry and moving over to the one place in this room where the television can go. Part of that is how the space is laid out and part of that is because this is where the cable is. I totally lucked out and found this Danish teak mid-century modern television stand at the Ravenswood Antique Mart in 2012. I paid $165, which is kind of a steal. The wall clock above it I bought at Brownstone Antiques in Andersonville for $20. Seeing these pictures makes me really want to clean up all the electrical wires.
Then there is the entrance to the kitchen and a little nook. The table is actually my vintage 1950's Necci sewing machine that I do still use. Currently it is my mini-bar. It is in desperate need to be painted. On top of the mini bar is a cocktail shaker from the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. I think I found it in the mid-1990's and I can't remember where. I did not have much money at the time so I had to have paid under $100 for it. When Ralph Lauren opened up his flagship store on Michigan Avenue he had the same shaker for way over $100! The glass pitcher was also purchased at the Ravenswood Antique Mart for $40 in 2013. The ice bucket was part of a set of decanters that I bought so long ago I can't remember how much it cost. The round tray was $20 and I got it in 2013.
Above the minibar is a shelf I made out of the broken top of a sewing machine. I was trying so hard to clear out the house and get rid of things and I picked it up to throw it away and then revamped it! The brackets are hand forged and cost $44 from Volcano Forge on Etsy. On the shelf is a set of glasses also from the Ravenswood Antique Mart (I really have to stop going there!) and I believe were also $40. On the top is a hedgehog dish which was a gift, a target frame holding some of my photographs $20 and a wee piece of art I bought at an art opening for $100 at LillStreet. I bought it purely on feeling because when I held the figure in my hand it spoke to me and it felt full of love.
I bought my coffee table in 2005 from Design Public for $400. At the time I was on the hunt for a coffee table with rounded edges. Partly because I liked the design aesthetic, but also because I run into things all the time! It's called the Knock-Down/Drag-Out Coffee Table and was designed to be flat packed. There was also a dining table and chairs so you could dismantle them and store them if you didn't have space. Here's a write up Apartment Therapy did about the design. Unfortunately they no longer make them.
The rug I bought in 2011 when I came home from Iraq from Yoruk Rug Gallery in Roscoe Village in Chicago. Having purchased rugs in the Middle East I came prepared to haggle, but Yoruk gave me the best possible and I didn't even have to ask. I highly recommend his rugs because they are gorgeous and buying from Yoruk is a joy. It is a Turkish rug from 1920's and I paid $900. The rug was not quite big enough to fit the room so I layered it over Fedora Flor tiles. I chose the Fedora tiles because they are made with up to 85% post consumer recycled content. $10 per tile for 8 tiles $80.
Total cost of my room is $5,181. Everything in this room is going to last another ten years. I was thinking that this may be a shocking price tag to some people and so I started doing some digging. Most living rooms cost $10,000-$20,000.
Here's a time lapse of my living room-
Initial investment of couch, chairs and coffee table. I did have another entertainment unit that I purchased from Room and Board as well that I will be selling because it does not fit in my current space.
Over the last three years I've updated some furniture, bought a Turkish rug and framed my art.
Except for the couch, coffee table, curtains, pillows and Flor tiles. Everything in the space is second hand.
Next week I'll be revealing my plan on how I am going to refresh this room and make it more inviting.
Originally published 7/14/14