DIY: 5 Easy Ways to Prettify an Ugly Couch with a Cheap Doormat


posted by Stef dela Cruz on ,

No comments

You love your couch – it’s comfy and you can’t let it go. You see the thinning fabric and the sagging cushion, but you don’t have the heart (or the budget) to have it upholstered right now. I’ll let you in on a secret: There are 5 easy ways a cheap doormat can prettify an old or ugly couch!

DIY doormat on couch

I know, a doormat, of all things! But you’ll be surprised how it actually works.

Accident by design and design by accident

I discovered this by accident. I went to visit a mall near my new apartment a couple of days ago and I decided to do a little shopping. I really couldn’t afford expensive furniture and décor, which was why I decorated my living room on a budget in the first place (Spoiler: I actually saved PhP40,000 while furnishing my living room).

That was why I was so happy when I saw a few doormats with fresh, interesting colors. I also loved how the material used was much softer than those used in many other doormats I’ve seen in the past. Here’s the clincher: They cost less than PhP140 (about $3) each!

cheap doormatThis doormat is worth under PhP150 (less than $3). I just love its texture!

I purchased a couple of those doormats. I remember reading somewhere that when you find something you really like but you’ve got no place for it at home, buy it anyway. If you really love it, you’ll find a place for it soon enough.

To be honest, I didn’t know exactly where to put them at first. They didn’t have anti-slip backing – with my cat always running around the apartment, I couldn’t risk placing the doormats on the floor.

I remember reading somewhere that when you find something you really like but you’ve got no place for it at home, buy it anyway. If you really love it, you’ll find a place for it soon enough.

The epiphany came when I got home. I’ve actually been trying to find a sturdy material – a scarf, a small blanket, anything - to put over my couch because its fabric is starting to thin out. I could almost see the cushion through the fabric, thanks to my cat who always makes it a point to sharpen his claws on the couch.

You can tell what happened next. Let me show you the five ways you can use a cheap doormat to add texture, color, and protection to an ugly or old couch which you can’t part ways with just yet!

The Night a Burglar Knocked on My Door


posted by Stef dela Cruz on ,

No comments

I saw the sharp spikes of the forged iron that crowned the eight-foot gates. I saw the barbed wire, strung in three parallel lines atop the high cement walls of the apartment building, then wound around in a horizontal spiral for good measure.

The apartment I wanted to rent felt like Fort Knox. I loved it.

I found the beautiful two-bedroom apartment with stone floors and a ceiling arch when I went house-hunting online. I remember crossing my fingers when I saw the ad, hoping the property provided enough security if I ever decided to rent it.

So, when I saw the almost-excessive way the property was protected against anybody who thought it was a good idea to jump over the walls, I knew it was “the one”. I signed the lease the very same day I went there for an ocular inspection.

burglarLast night, a stranger banged on my door. I found out he was a burglar.

But four months later, a stranger banged loudly on my door, looking for a fictitious woman. (Is Jade here?) Based on the events that took place that night, it was easy for me to figure out one scary truth: The stranger who knocked on my door was scouting my new home for a potential home invasion.

“Knock-Knock Burglars”: The new modus operandi for akyat-bahay gangs

I was mad that the stranger even made it to my door in the first place. “This is the Fort Knox of apartments!” I thought. How did he manage to get inside the gates? (Answer: He rang the doorbell of the upstairs apartment and a clueless household helper opened the gate.)

Decorating My Living Room on a Budget


posted by Stef dela Cruz on

No comments

You’ve made it this far – good for you! It’s the last of the three-part series on living room savings and you’re about to see what my living room looks like now. (Check out the first and second parts of the series.) Excited?

Before I show you my living room, here are three more tips on how to save on living room furniture. Three more and you’ll see my living room!

Tip #6: If you can’t commit to an expensive couch (yet), settle for a less expensive settee.

A settee makes for a makeshift couch! It won’t cost as much as a sofa because it isn’t as long. But if you are determined to neither spend a lot on a quality couch nor settle for a substandard one that might droop after just a couple of months, a quality settee is a classy and affordable alternative!

The brand-new chaise longue I purchased cost me PhP12,500 – steep, given that it seats about two to three people. However, it’s made of quality foam and I expect it to last many years, not just a couple of months.

flower vase on floor[2]_thumb
I expect this settee to stay with me for a long, long time. It’s better than a pricier yet more disposable sofa!

For me, buying it was better than spending the same amount of money on a cheap couch you usually see in the department store. Those aren’t made of quality foam, so they get deformed much faster. Prepare to bid your money farewell after just a few months of sitting on those cheap babies!

Tip #7: Substitute a single sofa with a cheap armchair.

A single sofa costs a whole lot more than an armchair. Although an armchair might not be as cushy, it’s not going to eat up your savings. It’s the perfect solution for the budget decorator!

phone corner[2]_thumb
This armchair was waiting for me under the sun, hoping I would notice it. I did! It now enjoys its second life as one of my favorite chairs, right beside my living room settee.

Just make sure the height of the armchair you’re eyeing is about the same height as your couch. Otherwise, it will feel out of place.

Tip #8: Can’t afford real windows? Fake them!

Not only could I not afford to have real windows installed, but I actually wasn’t allowed to because I was renting!

I needed the feel of windows. The solution: fake windows.

cheap mirrors[2]_thumb
I bought these 13” x 38” mirrors for just PhP300 each!

I looked for cheap mirrors to install as fake windows and I found several at a hardware store for just PhP300 each. I painted their frames white and hung them on the wall. Voila, fake windows!

The space opened up because of the mirrors. It seemed brighter, too, what with the mirrors allowing the light to bounce around.

My Living Room: PhP29,000 Later

Finally, my living room is ready! Take a look at my living room and remember that everything you see cost me just PhP29,000. That’s less than half of what I thought I would be spending (PhP72,000)!

Get email updates - don't miss out!