stupid settee – I need help

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You know when you visualize a project being absolutely amazing in your head, and then you start in on it and you realize  “umm yeah… this sucks”?  That’s totally where I’m at with this settee.  Which, right now, doesn’t deserve to have a fancy name like “settee” so I’ll call it stupid sofa thingy.
I decided to go the chalk paint route since I was worried sanding it down to show the natural wood color would ruin the caned portions.  I made my own chalk paint (you can see how to make it here) with a super light gray paint and slapped in on.
Wasn’t feeling it.  Although looking back at the photos I now feel like it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Anywho, I tried sanding some of the paint off to see what that would look like.
HATED it.  I dry brushed on some dark gray I had laying around, and tossed on a white sheet and black scarf to see what my original thought process of adding a black stripe down the center would look like.
And promptly hung my head in shame because it was TOTALLY not as cool as I had imagined in my head.  Grrrrr.  Stupid sofa thingy!!!
Without the stripe.
Meh.  And I want to give up.
Do I:
a) Stick with it – everything will look better when you’re not staring at a crumpled sheet and scarf
b) Keep it simple – leave the base the gray it is now and do simple white fabric
c) White Out – go back to that solid white base and do white fabric
d) Sulk – continue to hang my head in shame and revisit it after we’ve moved
I completely open to any suggestions you guys have.  Lay ’em on me!


  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper Avatar

    i personally love the black stripe! and i think it would look great in white maybe with some golding on it, too? or painted gold all over it would be awesome though not sure that is what you are going for. i honestly really like the grey, too- maybe it's not what you imagined but it's still awesome. so don't pout. chin up, buttercup!

  2. Ragnhild Avatar

    If you want to go with the white and black theme – reverse it ? Or paint it white again? Or change the white fabric for a grey?

  3. Ragnhild Avatar

    Or you can keep the grey colour, but change the black strip for grey ? That would be very nice, I think.

  4. Ragnhild Avatar

    Or you could go for white cushions with a black border and letters like the pillows you have on the bed.
    (I'm going to stop suggesting new things to try out now I think. Best of luck!)

  5. merern Avatar

    Go back to your inspiration pics! You can make this work!

  6. pam {simple details} Avatar

    I LOVE the black stripe, in my book it's the perfect mix of antique and modern! Cassie's idea of the gold sounds so awesome! My advice, go for some retail therapy and come back to it! 🙂

  7. Alaina Avatar

    I think either the gray or the white paint is fine. The problem to me is the fabric scheme. You've got a stark color palette and a stark pattern. When you add this to the starkness of the room as a whole, I think it's a little overwhelming. I would suggest going for either less contrast in the stripes (maybe gray and white or black and gray)or a softer pattern, either smaller/more stripes or a non-stripe pattern altogether. I wouldn't go with just white fabric because not only is it tough to clean, but I think it's too stark overall. You might even consider adding a little pop of color either in the fabric or in a pillow. Maybe one that picks up colors from the paintings on the wall or the flowers on your nightstand.

  8. Tanny S. Avatar

    The original idea is still really great. Keep the white with black stripe! but… maybe go white or dark grey with the frame OR even an awesome accent color like bright green (not lime) or royal blue or red or eggplant, idk. Right now, the grey frame compared to the white cover makes the frame look dirty or dingy. Maybe that is just the lighting though. Keep at it, it'll come to you.

  9. LindaDiane Avatar

    I would have to sulk for awhile then I'd probably just stick with it. Gah! I know how you feel.

  10. Mindy Avatar

    You're so funny. I don't think the grey looks bad. With all white. Or go back to a white base with the stripe. I think either one would look good, but whatdoIknow. 🙂

  11. Aja Avatar

    Oh girl. I SO know how you feel. It's so frustrating when a project doesn't turn out how you pictured in your head! But I totally think this is still salvageable! I like the grey paint, but think you could stick with it or go back to white and it would look good. I'm still firmly on Team Racing Stripe. It will look so different once you have firm, proper upholstery rather than a crumpled sheet. Throw a fun pillow on that sucker and it's perfection! Since it looks like it's pretty easy assembly, I would take a break from the paint and upholster the cushions in the black and white. Then set them on the piece to see how you like (or don't like) it with the grey. If you want to repaint after that, go for it! But I think you'll still love the racing stripe! Good luck!

    I also recommend wine. Lots of wine. 😉

  12. Christina Jones Avatar

    What about painting the settee black or a dark grey to blend in with your headboard and the cushion white with a simple grain sack double stripe (not sure the technical name HA!) in grey or black going down the front. I think black would pop off the white of your bedding but not take away from it. Whatever you do will be amazing as always though!!! Can't wait to see what you do with it 🙂

  13. Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door Avatar

    I vote for going back to the white for the base and then sticking with the white fabric with the black stripe. I really do think its going to look cool. YOu can do it!

  14. Wendi Avatar

    Paint it black and then go with the b/w stripe. But to be brutally honest…I think the settee is too tall for the foot of your bed. Would it fit somewhere else in the room?

  15. Camille Avatar

    Keep the Grey or go back to white, do the fabric in white with black piping. Then throw on a wide black and white stripe pillow and you have the best of both worlds. Good luck! Love your blog!

  16. LaTonya Johnson Avatar

    I like option b. The darker gray is a really nice contrast to the white duvet cover, and I like the simplicity of the white fabric. Use pillows to add pattern and/or color.

  17. illyavelaine Avatar

    Hang in there 🙂 Every brilliant project has a 'want-to-throw-it-to-the-curb' moment. I wouldn't fret about the gray, I do think it looks nice especially with the coloring of the rug. I do understand some references in comments above to the white being too 'stark'. Now I am a bit of a white bedroom freak myself, so it surprises me to say this, but I think the gray frame with even a darker gray (think along the color palette of the headboard) cushion would suit the room. The visual interest in the fabric could be a play on texture – a soft linen or luxurious velvet – depending on the overall feel you are going for. My main reason for a darker color may seem counter intuitive, but it is so it plays down the settee a bit, especially since the height of this one reaches just above the bed. The bed being the focal point of coziness, relaxation, and rest, gets lost behind a large, bright or detailed settee. Just thoughts. You'll come up with something great that suits YOU!

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Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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