I needed a bench. Not just any bench, pray tell. But an impression leaving, cushy to the tushy, eclectic yet simple, and oh yeah, cheap bench. You know your girl likes style for the low low. I looked far and wide for my bench. I perused my most trusted websites, scoured my most beloved furniture stores. I saw upholstered benches with lovely shantung silks and priceless linens, wooden benches made of the most exquisite species of tree, modern metal benches, buttery leather benches. I loved many of them but alas, their price tags detested me. Where oh where was my bench? See, this bench was going in the most important of places. It was going in the (insert dramatic pause here) living room. I finally had a house where I could have my very own living room, or zen den, as I lovingly like to call it. We were fortunate enough in our previous house to have a house at all, let alone a separate room I could put all my “good” stuff. Now, don’t get me wrong. My kids and the dog pretty much have run of the house. I wanted just one smidgen of square footage just for me…and my uber cool grown up guests. It was where I would hang art and sip Riesling…talk about the affairs of the world and spiritual growth.  And finally, I had one. But what I didn’t have was a bench. It was the last thing I needed- well, at the time it was. Now, I realize I need a larger area rug (thinking jute or seagrass) to pull things together. And some dark hardood floors which I have always found oh so elegant. And maybe some more lighting to really make the art pop. And those popcorn ceilings definitely have to go. I digress. The bench.

As I mentioned, I found a few benches I would’ve loved to have. However, my personal economics didn’t agree. I begged and begged my wallet but no dice. It wasn’t happening. I will post some of the benches that I adored. So I did what I always do. I pouted for a minute or two and then I grabbed my stingy wallet and headed to the flea market and thrift stores. I ended up scoring at the NC State flea market which was my first stop. I had found some awesome modern chairs there a few months back that were now gracing my living room. The coffee table caught one of my four eyes as I was leaving, off to hit up a few thrift stores. There he was. Looking all lonely and bereft because all his other furniture friends had left. I saw him and knew that he could possibly be my bench. Actually, that is a lie. I actually saw the table in front of him and knew that HE could be my bench. He had clean lines, enviable grain. And an ugly price that the owner was not willing to negotiate much. But my eventual bench, hiding behind my first choice, peeked his head out and TADA! Our eyes met and I knew he was the one for me. He wasn’t that good looking…chipped white and blue paint mottled his frame. But he was strong. And he was $25. SOLD.

I brought him home and promptly put him the garage and forgot about him. There he languished while I went on with the whole business of living and doing important things. I eventually had someone hang my new white wood blinds in the living room and that’s when it dawned on me that I needed a bench. And not just any bench, I tell ya. Just as I was getting revved up to deliver my bench soliloquy, I remembered my table -supposed-to-be-bench-by now in the garage. OH YEAH!!! I pulled him out, my faithful ugly bench, and went about the business of finding him his pretty. Now his pretty needed to be less than $100 bucks and since I already spent $25 on him, that left me with $75 smackeroos. I remembered that I had some leftover blue velvet faburc from my last rescue, a vintage couch that someone actually gave me because they were going to throw it away. I had my upholsterer make a tufted cushion that fit the dimensions of my bench.  I literally went into the upholsterer and asked how much cushion could I get for $75 – for those of you who saw Chris Rock in CB4, you will understand. I repainted the legs and all the parts that were going to show with a fresh coat of white that I found in my garage and was thus free and voila! A bench is born. I knew my bench had it in him all the time. Ahem. Bench breakdown:

Coffee table bench – $25

Fabric for cushion – FREE (leftover from previous project)

White paint – FREE (Leftover from…wait, whose paint was that???)

Cushion Reupholstery – $75

                   Grand total = $100

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