Hacking the Lack

**If  you found your way here by way of IkeaHackers, Welcome!!! Check out some more of my favorite projects on my projects page!


When I moved into my first apartment it was literally less than a mile from IKEA. Since I was a single college grad on a budget, I purchased almost everything I didn’t inherit from there.  You just can’t beat the clean design and did I mention how cheap it was? On that list was a Lack Coffee Table and a couple of Lack side tables.  Seriously a side table for 9.99? Fast forward a few years and I’m slowly but surely replacing some of the cheaper options with a little sturdier stuff, especially since Lexie had turned my coffee table legs into her chew toy when she was a puppy.  (That was actually part of my logic in getting a dog when I did.  I didn’t want her tearing up my nice new furniture, I’d get the dog, then start replacing furniture when she was older… i.e. quit using furniture as teeth sharpeners).

I had my eye on a few tufted ottomans, specifically this one from West Elm:

 Essex Upholstered Ottoman

But coming in around $330 before tax seemed pretty steep for a coffee table.  Especially since the one I was replacing was coming in at $40 bucks. So I googled around and found a few blog tutorials on how to tuft your own ottoman. I sort of merged all the ideas together.  I knew I wanted mine to be thick, so I waited until the 5″ foam batting was on sale at JoAnns. If I remember correctly it was about 75 dollars a yard, and I needed two yards.  I got it for 50% off, so for my two yards it was about 75 dollars.  I already had the upholstery fabric on hand, so I just needed to pick up a little quilt batting, an upholstery needle, upholstery thread, and some buttons I could cover with the fabric. I’d say all together the materials cost me around $100 dollars.  (sorry for the awkward from above angle… but these are surprisingly hard to photograph!)  living-room-ottoman-from-to

Unfortunately I did all this before I started blogging, but its pretty simple and there are tons of tutorials online, I did similar steps to this tutorial from the DIY Showoff.  I added an extra layer of cotton batting on top of my super thick foam along with the already thicker top of the Lack table made my tufted ottoman have more bulk. I also added the ‘tufts’ after staple gunning my fabric and cotton batting, which I think makes it a little tighter of a fit.


Since this made my coffee table disproportionately taller than my couch I took the table legs out to the garage and cut about 4″ off the bottom so that it would rest closer to the ground.  But fortunately the shelf still sits about 1″ off the ground, so I can still store my beloved blankets for tv watching in the baskets below.


And voila, I had a beautiful tufted ottoman!


Where I spend most of my days…

Chillin out, maxin, relaxin… but not really shooting bball.  Anyway… enough old school Will Smith.  It’s just the song that came to mind this morning. The living room is truly where the husband, dog dog, and I spend most of our time.  I’m a pretty big TV junkie (at one point during my single days I had a season pass on my DVR for 18 hour long tv shows… even without commercials that’s a huge chunk of your week!).  Watching a few hours of tv a show is how my husband and I typically wind down our day, and mostly that happens in the living room.  Aside from the kitchen I think it is the most used room in the house. living-room-from-doorway

Part of the whole getting married thing was merging the husband’s stuff from his apartment into the house where I was already living. Fortunately our things seemed to mesh pretty well, and his biggest pieces of furniture were these super comfy (and seriously manly) brown leather couches.  I have never been a huge brown fan, but I love these couches.  They are so comfortable and perfectly sized for my husband and I’s less than giant frames (both of us come in under 5’5″).  It wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal, but there is nothing more irritating than feeling like a 4 year old who’s legs don’t reach the ground when you sit on a couch built for NBA players.  PS both my brothers and my dad are 6’+, so I’ve sat on a few giant sized couches in my life. Anyway… I’ve gotten sidetracked. The living room. living-room-from-corner1

Situated at the back of the house, our living room has a window to the backyard and a door to the side patio (the backyard wraps from the side of the house with a patio, to the back yard where our lawn is).  I kept most of my red/crimson colored things in the living room because I think they coordinate pretty well with the brown leather.  I know its not the ‘light and bright’ living rooms that are super popular right now, but it feels cozy and home-y to me, and we love relaxing here at the end of the day.


I’m going to post about the DIY Ottoman on Wednesday, but I love its pop of color in the middle of the room.  My grandmother and aunt sewed the curtains for me when I was in my last house, and I haven’t spent the time to make the the right length for this room, apparently they are taller ceilings… that’ll be done at some later date. (see how short the one on the right is? fortunately tables/the media cabinet hide it most of the time!)


The two director’s chairs and the circular ring lamps are from Pier 1.  I don’t think they sell those lamps anymore, but they have the best director’s chairs and always have fun fabric colors and designs if I ever want to move them to another location. (see picture #1). The tufted chair above was a Homegoods find that I had to stand and ward off other purchasers while my BFF and I figured out how to get it to the checkout counter.  For movienights, it folds out into a bed.  

And just to see where this room came from (the before is the previous people’s furniture):  living-room-before-and-afte