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Hello, Design Happens fans — Kate here again with another roundup of inspiring projects for the home in the continuing series on secondhand sprucing, and this time the focus is on main living spaces.  We all need a place to sit down, rest a book or drink, and visit with fellow residents or friends in a family room, and for most of us we need a place to relax while watching television. Naturally the furnishings we need include sofas, chairs, coffee and end tables, ottomans and storage units.

A secondhand sofa with a classic shape can be reupholstered in a modern fabric to give it a fresh look, or if the cushions are in decent shape, slip-covered for a casual and easy to clean option. Chairs are readily available on Craigslist and often you get lucky with a great set from your local Goodwill. One of the most clever ways to repurpose a coffee table is to cover it with foam and fabric and turn it into an ottoman!

Family Room Furnishings(Reupholstered sofa by Made by Girl; Bergere chairs by Design Manifest; Slipcovered hand-me-down sofa by Miss Mustard Seed; Thrift store ottoman coffee table by Five Days Five Ways)

More From Centsational Girl

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The Fatboy® chair is so fun! It looks like the perfect seat for your student to get comfortable in (and get his or her homework done).
Fat Boy Chair 1
Fatboy Chair 2
Let’s get nostalgic for a quick second. Remember how popular the bean bag chair once was? I loved studying in that thing. Ah. Memories.

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Here at HGTV, we spend a lot, I mean a lot, of time thinking, talking, and reading about design. Because of this, it takes something pretty special to capture our attention. So when I happened across the website for O’verlays and gasped at my desk, I knew I had stumbled upon something that I had to show you.


O’verlays are thin, lightweight pieces of fretwork that can be used to dress up plain Jane dressers, cabinets, even headboards. They are made to be painted and customized and come in a wide variety of patterns and sizes. The project gallery on the O’verlays website is chock full of ideas and inspiration and left me thinking of half a dozen different ways I could use this product in my own home. What do you think? Would you jazz up a piece of furniture with an O’verlay?

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I loved reading all your guesses (especially Edwin’s toilet answer). Dianne and Beth A. are both right with their storage and chair answers. The HGTV editors ran across this exceptional piece by Al-Hamad Design at ICFF this year. The Little Oyster functions as a side table, chair and storage unit. Lifting the tabletop reveals a chair, while lifting the seat cushion opens up to a lighted storage unit — making it a perfect piece for you city dwellers.

 Little Oyster Furniture Piece

Check back next Wednesday to guess a new mystery item.

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Did you know the top, flat surface of a skateboard is called a “deck?” Makes sense, but who knew? If you’re a skater, forgive my ignorance (I can hear the “Dude, come on!” as I type).

As I’ve learned today, broken skateboard decks are still useful (there is life after the wheels fall off). The people behind are busy building furniture out of the broken parts — and do you know what I call that?

Totally radical.

Recycled Skateboard Bench


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Thousands of die-hard comic book fans will spend the next four days flooding the San Diego Convention Center for the 43rd annual Comic-Con International. They’ll do everything from attending movie screenings to waiting in long lines to snag autographs from their favorite artists, authors and actors.

I was inspired by Comic-Con and put together a shopping list of sorts that will help add a little comic book flair to your home. These pieces will give your space that perfect pow! bam! wham!

Oscar Nunez Comic Shelf

Comic Shelf by Oscar Nunez

Even if comic books aren’t your thing, you can’t resist this sleek but playful shelf by Oscar Nunez. The shelves are available in two sizes and come in either a beautiful walnut or clean white.

Urbankind Comic Pop Art Table Ben Allen

Lady Table by Ben Allen from Urbankind

Roy Lichtenstein would be proud of this colorful Pop Art coffee table by Ben Allen. What started as a simple Danish coffee table was brought to life with a vibrant comic book design.

Comic strip decoupage chair Bombus

Comic decoupage chair by Bombus

We haven’t forgotten you, superhero fans! This decoupage chair has been adorned with classic comic strips. Amelia over at Bombus will create a custom chair with your favorite characters.

Which comic-book inspired piece has you ready to leap a tall building in a single bound?

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Donald Duck has been an American icon for generations, and today is his official birthday. He is one of my favorite Disney characters because of his mischievous ways, and I even adopted his phrase, “What’s the Big Idea?!,” as a kid. I thought I’d pay tribute to his 78th birthday with this cabinet by Judson Beaumont.

Donald Duck Cabinet

The cabinet captures his personality perfectly, with its signature Donald Duck outfit and whimsical shape. This would work well in a kid’s playroom (or in my cubicle at the office).

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