Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

A Cozy, Thrifted Den


I haven’t touched on the state of our den very much on this blog because it was never very high on my list of favorite places.  In fact, it was pretty near the bottom.  For the past year it’s been such a dark, dumpy space packed with a ton of mismatched furniture — in fact,  you should probably be thanking me for omitting it.  But things have been happening in this room people!  So here, let me jog your memory…  Remember these shots?



In short, this room needed some help and, as I talked about in this post a couple months ago, I had started to come up with a game plan.  I sold off just about everything in this space using Craigslist … the rug ($75), the coffee table ($80), the end table ($50), the leather chair ($290*), and I even got a bid on the couch — and its matching chair and ottoman which are in the master bedroom — for $475, but I got cold feet at the last minute.  If we find the perfect vintage sofa to replace it with we might relist it, but for now I figure its lines are classic enough to work.  Besides, it’s in great shape and, despite its light color, it’s absolutely impervious to stains which is so important when you have kids!

So, with a little cash in my pocket, I got to shopping.  First, I picked up this rug at Home Goods.  It was a spurge, but this room needed a large, quality rug and those never come cheap.  I knew this rug would be nice and bright while adding some interest with the charcoal pattern details.   I love that pattern, by the way — I know it looks black in these pictures, but it’s really dark gray.


Next up I found this glass coffee table for $15 on Craigslist.  Fifteen dollars!! Kirk tried to dissuade me saying that a glass table and a 2 year old aren’t exactly a copacetic pairing, but I was in love.  It’s so glam I can’t even stand it.  If it doesn’t work out I will sell it, but come on … is amazing, right?


Below you will see another of my Goodwill finds.  That Ikea Poang chair was only $15  and I thought the navy cover was perfect (it’s since been discontinued).  Sad face.


The ottoman was another $8 and at first I left it behind because neither the wood tone nor the cushion cover was an exact match.  Once I got it home though, it was obvious that the chair needed a footstool to pull it into the room — without it the chair seemed really disconnected with the rest of the space.  And for $8?  Well, you can see how that panned out.  I’m now on the look out for a navy Poang ottoman cover on Craigslist, though I’m not holding my breath.  I looked into replacing both covers, but I’m not a big fan of their line right now.  I’m crossing my fingers that next season’s Poang covers are more in tune with my style (Ikea! Bring back the Navy Blue!!).

Oh! I also picked up that little end table at Goodwill for $20.  It’s not in the greatest shape (has some peeling veneer), but the shape is cute, no?   I know the lamp is ridiculous — more on that in a moment.

Ok, so what is this space looking like now?  Well, with the new lighter rug, the breezy coffee table, the smaller profile chair and the new ottoman it’s coming along really well!



See my new brass desk lamp? $4 and it looks adorable there!

The main wall still needs some larger, more balanced art work.  And we need to seriously consider window treatments  (just say no to vertical blinds!).  We also need to paint this room, but we’ve been talking about taking the plunge and outsourcing the painting of the entire house’s interior early next year.  Details on that to come.

I think this space is also screaming for an arc floor lamp (like this) which I think will really pull that back corner into the forefront of the room and help incorporate it into the space better.  That little blue lamp was just sad, I’ve actually already tried replacing it with a table top arc lamp that I was hoping would fit the bill, but sadly, I think it failed.


The chair needs a floor lamp to anchor it from behind — without one the Poang still looks like it’s chilling there in no man’s land.  I love this lamp, but it’s probably going back to the store if I don’t find another place for it (guest room??).

Oh, and as for the other walls?  Kirk’s got the paneled wall decked out in sports memorabilia.  It works … for now.  ;)



And the door leading to the hall is actually a huge pocket door (one of three in our home — the other two are in the bathrooms).  I’d love to do some sort of paint treatment on it one of these days.   Something with a little wow factor! Here’s Logan showing you how it works.



That life-sized banner of Cal Ripken is just draped over the front of a closet door.  Every time Logan sees it he says. “Hi, Caaaal!!!”  It’s cute, so Cal stays for now. :)

So, the total cost breakdown for this room refresh?  I made $495 selling off items from this room that I no longer loved and spent $367 to replace them with treasures I really connected with.  All told, I profited $128 by restyling this room thus far.  We’ve still got a ways to go, but overall I’m thrilled with how it’s coming along!

Have you been inspired to check out your own local Craigslist listings and thrift stores??


* The sale of the chair is actually still pending, but someone is scheduled to pick it up this week it will be off my hands soon enough.


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

6 thoughts on “A Cozy, Thrifted Den

  1. Wow! What a transformation. You are killing it with the thrift finds. I really must find more time to look! Good luck finding a cover –I’m guessing you have a better chance either waiting for new ones. Or maybe making them wouldn’t cost too much? I love that coffee table…though Karen wouldn’t stand for it in our home! Oh (as a Sox fan!) I’d lose the poster! By the way, that table-top arc lamp is SO cool. I agree you need the floor version in here, but you need to find a home for that little beauty. I can help you find a home for it, if you like ;)

    • Haha! Thanks! I think my husband might disown me if I touched Cal just yet though. He’s already on the fence with this whole “beautification” process. When we moved in I promised him he could use this room as a man cave, but the fact that it’s essentially the first room you see when you walk in the front door soon had me singing another tune. He may never forgive me. ;)

      • Well, if you promised, you need to let him keep at least something man cave appropriate in there! And you can always close it off when you have visitors. That pocket door is cool, by the way.

  2. Pingback: We Got an Arc Lamp! | Mid-Century Modern(ization)

  3. Pingback: How Do You Measure, Measure a Year? | Mid-Century Modern(ization)

  4. Pingback: 2014 House Resolutions — Pass or Fail? | Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s