A Budget-Friendly Way to Refurbish a Sofabed

In the tiny living room of the small apartment we used to rent laid this sunny orange 2-seater sofabed which served as a couch and at the same time, a bed for the kids’ afternoon nap. Our apartment had very little ventilation especially our room at the second floor so we just let the kids take their nap at the living room to save on air-con use that we were reserving only at night. And since we had a very limited space, everything that we needed to put inside our little house had to be functional and space-saving.

sofabed1

The sofabed in it’s once glorious state in the past. 🙂

We got this sofabed at Nemie Furniture, a shop that sells furniture at a much cheaper price than the malls, along Aurora Boulevard for P11,500. A good steal compared to the others we canvassed from the malls. 🙂 The foam was not made of heavy-duty foam like Uratex but this suited our needs and budget at that time so we went for it.

After more than 3 years with 2 toddlers-now-pre-school-age kids sleeping, eating, playing, climbing and jumping on our sofabed, it now looks like a world map! 😀 Just imagine the picture above filled with spots resembling a map of the world caused by a combination of water spillage and some pee plus dirt from the kids’ grubby feet (they walk barefoot at home)! Yikes! 😀 Sigh, kids. 😀 I didn’t take a picture of its icky state anymore, it’s such an eyesore, I swear! 😀 Lesson learned: Get a leather instead of a suede sofabed when there are toddlers at home. 🙂

Anyhow, we endured the horrible look of our sofabed for quite sometime while contemplating on the following options is best to take for the restoration of our sofabed:

  1. Get a new couch. A chesterfield or German leather tufted sofa in teal! 🙂 Like this! 🙂 (Image from zakzons.com)Tufted-leather-sofaHowever, my daydream was not feasible because we had to manage our expenses given the monthly ammortization of our acquired home. So we scratched that idea.
  2. Have the sofabed re-upholstered. This seemed to be the most logical and workable option because we thought we would just be spending half the price to refurbish our sofabed. So I asked for a quotation online from an upholstery shop for the following services: replacement of existing fabric with leather, changing of foam to Uratex and affixing the foam to the frame such that it will be a couch and not a sofabed anymore. The supplier replied quickly and my jaw dropped upon seeing the cost. A whooping P12,800! With this price, we might as well buy a new one!

Because the 2 options above would cost us way beyond our budget, I used my research skills to look for a way to freshen up the look of our poor sofabed without spending too much. I also saw on the internet about the sofa shampooing services but I doubt if the world map can still be removed! Hahaha! Kidding aside, I don’t know but I just didn’t feel giving it a try and I have become too lazy to inquire about this service. Very valid reasons. Hahaha! 😀 So while browsing the Mandaue Foam website, I saw this couch and eureka moment popped!

mandauesofa

Aha! I already knew what to do! 🙂 I just needed a fabric and some sewing skills but since I have none of the latter, SOS to my mother-in-law! (Thank God for loving and supportive MILs like mine!) 🙂

Giddy and excited with this bright idea, Divisoria is the perfect place I had in mind to choose the best fabric at a reasonable price for this project as well as the other home projects I was planning to execute. But we were not able to go fabric shopping in Divisoria for some reason I already forgot. I just went to a fabric store called Cotton Touch at the mall and luckily spotted this fabric on sale for P90 per yard.

sofabedfabric

I don’t know what the material is called but the sales lady confirmed that it’s used for upholstering sofas. It has the mix of colors that match our orange couch and exudes the fun, colorful, homey vibe I would like to fill in our house. 🙂

Here’s the finished product of my sofabed-restoration project which will not be complete without the crafty hands of my MIL. She really did an excellent job in sewing the “cover”. 🙂

sofabed3

Never mind the curtains, please. I was just excited to take a photo of our “new couch” forgetting that the curtains look awful. Haha! 😀

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MIL took the dimension of the seat and sewed the fabric such that it will “wrap” the seat and stay secured and not slide away or displace. If we wish to use the sofabed as a bed, we will have to remove the cover but it’s not a big deal since we no longer use it as a bed.

The total amount I spent for this project: P450 

  • Fabric — P450 (P90/yard x 5 yards). According to my MIL, there was around 1.5 yards in excess which I she turned into a pillow case and a printer cover.
  • Sewing fee — free c/o MIL 🙂

Not only were we able to cover the dirty spots on our couch, we were also able to give it a new look at a budget-friendly way. 🙂

More home projects to come! 🙂

Sweet Cottage and Rustic Dreams

When hubby and I got married, we rented a small 2-bedroom, up-and-down apartment where we nestled for 3 years. I always wanted to decorate our house then but like what hubby would always say, it’s not practical to invest so much on pieces of furniture and other things on a place that we consider as temporary. So for 3 years, we endured the disorganized (no, chaotic is the better term) look of our house until we moved to our own place over a year ago.

It took us a combination of guts and a leap of faith to finally acquire our own home because we didn’t have a huge amount of money to begin with and a concrete timetable on when we would be getting a house. Too much had happened at that time — we getting married, moving to our rented place, the arrival of the Big Boy and the never-ending expenses thereafter. But we just realized that in a span of 3 years, we have been “throwing away” 14k every month for the rent which already amounts to half a million! A huge waste of money. And as what my MIL puts it, “para kaming naghuhulog sa butas na alkansya”. Valid point.

Via Better Homes & Garden

A dream home — a porch, lawn, plants, trees. 🙂 Via Better Homes & Gardens

So we began to actively look for a place we can call our own. There were a lot of considerations — proximity to our workplace, hospital and grocery, accessibility, susceptibility to flood, space for the kids to run around, floor area of the house, the neighborhood and of course, the most important of all, budget. I personally prefer a townhouse or a single-detached house over a condominium, particularly high-rise condos, primarily because I don’t like the idea of settling in a tall building literally. It doesn’t feel like living in a house! It feels like living in an office. With beds.

Also, having stayed in a condo in the past, its floor area tends to be very limited as if designed to accommodate Hobbits if not Snow White’s seven dwarves. And you are allowed to cramp all of your belongings only within the square meters that you purchase/rent. Also with a house, you own a physical land whose value appreciates quickly while in the case of condos, ownership is limited to the “airspace” and its value does not go up as fast as detached houses or townhouses.

Via Countryfarm Lifetyles

Lovely flowering plants by the porch. How I wish we could have this in our current home. 😀 Via Countryfarm Lifetyles

Our search for our new home that’s ours led us to this residential development I was hesitant to consider until I personally saw the place. The moment we entered the gates, I fell in love with it. Hubby did too, the first time he visited the area. I imagined the Big Boy and the Little Princess running while squealing with joy around the playground. It was quiet and peaceful as if you were not living in a city. It may not be a piece of land as I wished but it perfectly suited our needs and budget.

Via Home Bunch
Via Home Bunch

A few months after, we moved in to this new abode. With our bank accounts almost depleted from the purchase of the house, we settled for the available items and furniture pieces that we have to “decorate” even if they looked awful inside our now more appealing house interiors (Imagine dining on poor old scathed monoblock tables resting against a newly painted wall 😀 ). We also needed to prioritize what we would acquire to fit in our little home given our limited funds. And much as we would like to have our home decorated by a professional designer, our budget does not permit as of now. So instead of waiting for our place to magically turn into a space like those that can be seen on the pages of Real Living or Apartment Therapy, we, especially I, awakened my hidden interest on interior design and started working little by little over time on improving our place.

Via Better Homes & Gardens

A pleasant, cheery yard is love. 🙂 Via Better Homes & Gardens

Ours is not yet fully transformed as there are still a looooot of areas that we need to “prettify”– the kitchen (oh the kitchen!), the shoe rack/cabinet (where did I put the design I drafted, btw?), the family command center (my DIYs!), the photo gallery wall in our living room (apparently, it still displays the paper frame patterns I stuck last year 😀 ), the repainting job, our room, the kids’ room, etc, etc…panic attack!  But it looks way better now than when we first moved in. I can say, it looks a bit like a house now. 😉 However, I’m not going to post before and after photos of our house because I didn’t even bother to take photos of our house in its gruesome state. What I’d like to share is how I’d like our home to look like. 🙂 At least, I’d have something inspiring to look at (and motivate me to start drafting our home improvement plan! :D).

I grew up in the province so I would like to come home after a tiring day’s work to a place that would give me a cozy, home-y, away-from-the-city feeling. Something cottage, farmhouse or rustic. I don’t like the modern design with warm, hotel-like beaming lights and shiny floor and furniture because it makes me feel like I’m coming to an office rather than a home.

I’m drooling over those pallet woods! We MUST have that in our home! 🙂

And since hubby and I consider ourselves as happy people, our home needs to be vibrant and colorful giving a cheery vibe!

cottage6

Not as colorful as this but you get the point 🙂 Via Forgie Home Staging

I particularly like the turquoise and orange color combination with a touch of yellow, green and gray.

I want a Chesterfield sofa, in leather ideally, because we have a toddler and a pre-schooler who can easily turn a white linen into brown. 😀

cottage living

The tufting is so pretty! 🙂 Via HGTV

The pieces of furniture need to have distressed look to intensify the cottage-homey feel.

Traditional Entry by Crowley Media & Bloggers The Virginia House

When it comes to the kitchen, wood pallets must also be present – as backsplash! Oh, lovely! 🙂

Via Better Homes & Gardens

Via Cromly

And a wooden kitchen island! 🙂

kitchen

A distressed one at that! Pretty! Via Pinterest

Though our space is a bit small, I’d like to have a small kitchen bar counter also made of wood.

barcounter

Via Etsy

My brother DIY-ed a bar counter out of wood scraps from my parents’ renovated home and I’m resisting all the urge to steal it and put in our home! 😀

For our dining area, I want our table to be made of natural wood with colorful, mismatched chairs!

cottage dining

White table like this is also pretty! Look at the drawer! I like given our limited space. Via Atticmag

How I wish we can have a porch or balcony like this with lots of plants…

And I’ll fill our home with loootttsss of DIYs!

*Swoon* 🙂

I’ve actually kept more photos of and inspirations for my cottage dream home on my Pinterest page. 🙂 You may want to take a peek here!

I think better stop dreaming and start preparing our home improvement plan this weekend. 🙂

How to Spend a Productive 5-Day Special Holidays

The Pope would visit your beloved country and the government announced that the Papal visit was going to be special holiday. No, with an S. HolidayS. Yes, five long days of no work and school in Metro Manila, just 2 weeks after your long Christmas break. High five while jumping up and down! 😀

Since you’re not a Catholic and your husband is a non-practicing and a non-devotee Catholic, both of you think of ways to spend this 5-day break. An out-of-town beach outing with the kids? Sounds good but not part of the budget. A day-trip to Tagaytay to feel it’s cold, fresh air? Heard that Tagaytay traffic is worse during this cold January season. Stay home? Check! The best and least expensive way to spend an unexpected long holiday.

And stay home and get all domesticated was what we did and we enjoyed and felt productive without spending! Well, spending something that is not budgeted 😉 How to do it? 🙂

1. Play with your kids.

This is one of the reasons why a parent always looks forward to a holiday, right? 🙂 So I built a makeshift play tent out of a straw string and a blanket, laid down some rubber mats, set up the tiny cups and plates and played tea party with the Little Princess and her Elsa and Anna dolls. 😉 My adorable daughter enjoyed “clinking our cups” and making Elsa and Anna “drink and eat” at the tea party and the joy on her face is priceless! 🙂 We also did a little dress up with some necklaces and bracelets gifted to her by her Ninangs last Christmas. Next time, we’ll be doing not just pretend play but real “kikay” stuff like going to nail salon 😉 ).

teaparty

Enjoying the Tea Party

While we, girls, were having fun playing dress up and tea party, the boys — Daddy J and the Big Boy — were busy building a Lego toy together. I wasn’t able to snap a photo though but the Big Boy was equally elated that he finally could play with his Lego. 🙂

On another day, the Little Princess and I went out for some exploring around our place by running on the grass and picking some flowers while the Big Boy and his Daddy went biking. These are moments hubby and I are so thankful we are able to spend with our kids.

2. Organize your kids’ cloth diapers.

Yup, I’m a cloth diapering momma. 🙂 I only have one cloth diaper-ed baby now as the Big Boy has been completely potty trained since he started schooling but imagine the pile of cloth diaper (CD) laundry we have when both of the kids were on diapers! I’m very thankful and I appreciate our househelp who never gave up on washing the kids’ CDs and have never ever complained (probably not to me directly? 😀 ) for the additional laundry every 3 days.

I love cloth diapers that I didn’t realize it has turned into an addiction. Haha! I didn’t have the total count of our CDs until I sorted them all last Saturday but I am aware that we have built a huge stash especially for the Little Princess. Admittedly, I still purchase some pieces because I couldn’t resist the cute prints! 😀 Well, I have stopped since God made me realize I’m not being a good steward of His money when I buy more than what we need and I’m already running out of reasons to explain to hubby the packages that arrive at our doorstep. I can hear his words ringing in my head now. “Doesn’t A have enough cloth diapers? I thought we want to make savings from buying disposable diapers that’s why we cloth diaper her?” He has a point, a valid one. My rebuttal, “That’s why I will destash those that we are not using anymore.” 😀 (Yes dear, please dispose them asap 😀

So, before my husband asks me again about this issue I’m trying to avoid (haha!), I finally pushed myself to gather together all of the 2 kids’ cloth diapers and sorted them to know which one goes back to the storage and which ones to let go.

clothdiaperstash

Presenting our collection of cloth diapers 🙂

I put order in this chaos by grouping them into:

  1. The Big Boy’s old nappies — I’m torn if I should keep them or destash them because my thought bubble says, “What if God blesses us with another curious boy? We can just re-use the CDs.” So I dropped them on the storage basket. I can destash them anytime anyway in case my mind changes. 😉
  2. The Little Princess’ nappies which I further grouped into morning/early evening diapers, naptime diapers, nighttime diapers and going-out diapers
  3. For destash — The good thing about cloth diapers is that you can resell them. I’m a member of an online group of cloth diaper-ing parents, the Modern Cloth Nappying Pinays (MCNP) which encourages buy, sell and trade of CDs as a way to also promote cloth diapers especially to those who would like to try or prefer cheaper options. The CDs that I’m destashing will go here. 🙂

I also made a census of our CDs and figure shows we have a total of 113 unsoiled/un-peed nappies. 🙂

clothdiaperstash2

All accounted for (except the ones in the diaper pail and laundry) 😉

3. Organize your kids’ play area.

We squeezed in a small play corner for the kids, about 2.5 x 1.25 meters in our tiny house so that books, toys and stuff are not scattered all over the house. This area is a reading nook, play area and study area all in one. So I think I shall call this an All-in-One Kid’s Corner. Haha! Anyhow, as I always tell my husband, I have a vision for this spot in terms of design but it’s part of our home improvement project in the near future so for the meantime, I just organized everything in this area following the blue, green and orange color palette and using all the available resources we have. I also took this opportunity to spring clean the kids’ stuff.

Tada! Looks more pleasing to the eyes now. 🙂

4. Organize an unruly corner of your house.

This spot in our home was an eyesore! See evidence below. We use this space as storage for books, office supplies and other stuff using stacked filing storage but it turned into Daddy J’s mud area/bag storage. Since this spot is very visible from our living area and it’s quite embarassing for visitors to see its ugliness, I promised myself to make it look like a part of our house rather than a stock area.

before1

Using the storage and shelf we have at home, I replaced the 2 filing storage with a side table and displayed the books instead and used a small drawer as storage for office supplies. Here’s how it looks now. 🙂

after1

 I was worried the kids might bump unto the sharp corner of side table so my quick child proofing solution: cover the table with an unused but nice-looking rug thick enough to serve as a cushion. Voila! No more dangerous corners! The rug also added color and texture in this spot.

sidetable

This rug which has been lying around the house now serves another purpose. 🙂

The side table became a bookshelf and it’s a little boring if all the books will be displayed horizontally and the rug’s pattern is also horizontal stripes. The other books on top of the shelf had to go vertical. This way, Daddy J can also effortlessly grab the book he would like to read. So I used our coin cans as decorative yet functional bookends slash coin storage where we can easily scoop some coins for quickly buying stuff at the convenience store or as shuttle, tricycle or jeepney fare. 😉

bookends

It’s just half-filled now. 😀

5. Attend church service then spend some more quality time with your family while buying stuff needed for your house afterwards. 

A weekend is not complete without a Sunday worship and thank God we were able to go to church after missing the past 2 weeks’ service and settling for the online streaming instead. After the church service, we went to a nearby Wilcon Depot with the 2 kids without a yaya to buy the needed things at home. You know how much of a struggle it is to go shopping with 2 kids but Daddy J and I made it! 😉 With the Big Boy sleepily sitting in the push cart and the Little Princess snugly sleeping and nursing on Mommy, we were able to get a ceiling fan for our room, some pretty knobs for my DIY hook project, Daddy J’s gardening stuff, a nice decorative wall clock and some other home stuff. We also wanted to get a pull-out dish organizer but we weren’t sure of our cupboard’s dimensions so we just set it aside for the meantime.

atwilcon

Babywearing saves the day! 🙂 My 20-month old little girl nicely tucked in our Saya baby carrier.

I forgot to mention that Daddy J was also specifically looking for a vacuum cleaner in a budget which we were able to buy after going to 3 stores. 😀 We no longer tagged the kids along so they could rest and for us to easily move around. My dear hubby was also in the mood to shop for some items so I took the chance to persuade to him to get us an area rug for our living area and yay, we went home with one! 🙂 I’ll share a photo sometime in the future when our living room is a bit more organized. 😉

6. Cook for your family.

My husband knows when he married me that I have very limited cooking skills (I was upfront with him about it. 😀 ). So aside from fried and boiled dishes, the other food I can prepare are sinigang na baboy and sinampalukang manok which I was forced to learn back in college, tinolang manok and to some extent adobo which I voluntarily learned when we got married. I’m absolutely sure my family wouldn’t want to eat 4 dishes in rotation everyday. Again, big thanks to our house helpers who cook our food or else, we will all get hungry at home. 🙂 However, the wife and mommy in me want desire to expand my cooking skills so once in a while, I take charge of the kitchen and last Monday was a perfect chance. 😉

I prepared a tomato and chicken pasta (well, that’s what I call it 😀 ) based on the recipe and tips that my friend Raissa taught me. Much as I’d love to share my recipe, I can’t recall how I did it step-by-step. 😀 And the ingredients were measured based on my instinct slash gutfeel slash estimation. 😀 But I don’t want to be selfish (as if I’m a very good cook! haha!) so I’ll share some of the things I did which I learned from Raissa:

  • Use fresh tomatoes to make the sauce taste more fresh and natural by stewing them and peeling the skin. Make sure to squeeze the juice upon putting in the cooking pan.
  • Use cheese in lieu of salt to make the taste more flavorful rather than just salty.
  • Use ground chicken instead of beef to avoid having an oily/sebo and beefy taste/mouthfeel.

I’ll explore other dishes next time and maybe practice cooking at least once every week? 🙂

There goes our wisely spent 5-day break! 🙂