A New Old Beach Cottage Beachy Sofa

Mon 23rd, Jul, 2012

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Well G’day lovelies, it’s a happy day in Beach Cottage Land, the Winter sun is shining after and in and out weekend, and we have a beachy sofa in the house, gotta love a bit of seagrass / sisal for some beach decor, coastal style, right?


So I have been looking out for a sofa for the deck for quite a while now, I wanted it white and beachy for some coastal decor…I actually wanted it not for here where it is in the picture but over the other side of the deck, looking out towards the Summer House, it’s a kinda dead space on the deck that we have really never got right and under-utilized because of it – this didn’t work either, just too big…

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I wanted a coastal decor style sofa out here that wasn’t precious, although the deck is covered, in this climate, with the humidity we have noticed that any soft furnishings don’t last more than a few seasons, which is fine, once you have accepted that…if you want soft and cosy and not that ‘all weather’ stuff, the chances are that the humidity will get it sooner or later…

So I was looking for a pre-loved one that wouldn’t cost us too much…so it could stay outside, get gear dumped on it when we got back from the beach covered in sand and generally just was too easy to worry about…

Nothing fit the bill though I can tell you, and then I saw this pre-loved little beauty, showing some signs of love for sure (here it is before the covers were given a Beach Cottage white treatment) and some of the covering is slightly loose in places…but for an extra sofa on the deck to go with the Adirondacks, a place to sit for a late evening drinkie, well I thought just great…

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One of the first things about this sofa was it’s weight – this baby is heavy – my Beach Cottage Assistants, aka Mr BC and Mr TBC struggled with this one, which surprised me because firstly they are more than used to moving furniture around by now and secondly Mr BC may be a short-ass but he is one of those people who is strong…nothing much phases him & Mr TBC in the furniture removal department…but this one made its way into this cottage with some huffing and puffing….

So it came down the side of the house, into the back garden and onto the deck, right here, I had moved over the Adirondacks to have a look at it and see what I thought…

And I liked it right there where it was and so did everyone else…it’s comfy, easy and nice …and so I foofed it quickly with a few of our bits and it stayed here for a while…

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But now it’s moved itself, as if my magic into the Summer House…it’s a tad too big in there (remember the dimensions are tricky), but once we had had it a week or so and I had taken all the cushions off and cleaned it up, we realised that actually this was pretty good and would be nice in the summer House and if we left it on the deck, before long it would get some Sydney mould appearing…


Not perfect for sure but I am really pleased with it – oh and talking of perfect we had a little blog troll in Beach Cottage Land the other week, luckily I don’t get many but she said that I was an amateur with my painting skills, haha, showing my imperfections on this blog (it was directed at the new love of my life the farmhouse-soon-to-be-coastal-table and the fact that it had paint runs)…

…something was familiar about the way that comment was written and so I looked up the ISP and it was from someone in Bali, I mean holiday isle Bali – you know you’ve made it in Blogland when you get a troll from Bali, or a troll who is on holiday in Bali hahahah

….I promptly deleted it and you know what thought, yes sirree Mr President, this blog is all about imperfections, about old decks that need a spruce up, about making the best of what you’ve got, about saving a table and painting it, with paint drips or not…bring it on…

I love, in my little imperfect, paint dripped world that you can have a home that you love on a budget, that you can find a pre-loved sofa for $150 and make it very nice part of your life…

I hope that instead of seeing imperfection when you come here like the ugly fat troll did, you see that you can pretty up your home, make it loved, that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and that you can have a nice home, whatever your style or circumstances…

And now I will get off my white-washed soapbox and get back to going for a walk with Barls by the sea…

I hope you like my new old pre-loved imperfect sofa, for ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY BUCKS, baby…gotta say I am pretty stoked…



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95 Responses to “A New Old Beach Cottage Beachy Sofa”

  1. The Editor says:

    You have ‘The Eye’ my dear…

  2. zoe says:

    Love your blog ~ read it every day ~ part of the appeal are the imperfections! x Zoe

  3. Cheryl Pieper says:


  4. Liz says:

    I feel sorry for trolls, must be awful to not have anything better to do in your day than be nasty and horrible to lovely people. Love the couch and your blog! :) x

  5. Cherrie says:

    How very sad a life they must have not to appreciate the beauty of paint runs. lol. My most favouritist bits at home where picked up of the curb already splattered with paint runs by some heartless home painter. That’s why I love them so. Cherrie

    • sarah says:

      I thought the same Cherrie, (hope you are well by the way)….in fact I LOOK out for splats and runs and peeling lol x

  6. Shelley says:

    That’s what I love about your blog the most… that it’s relaxed, pretty, accessible and inspiring. Perfection would not be any of those things for me. i say yay for paint runs.

  7. Can I just ask Sarah- if you were in Bali, lapping up sunshine and amazing food- would you hunt through blogs with a nasty edge- No…exactly!
    Some people are NEVER happy!!

    Loving your $150 beach sofa- beats winging on holidays some where else any day!!

    Melissa x

    • sarah says:

      I know exactly my thoughts!

      but worse would you notice someone’s paint runs!!! haha x

  8. SCORE!!! Perfect outside piece of furniture, still cosy but on the practical side. Would love one or four or six for our deck. I didn’t see the troll but sounds a bit petty? My goodness, you should see some (all?) my paint jobs but who really cares as long as it’s a makeover and white I’m happy!! You keep up the amateur painting Sarah, the rest of us seem to enjoy it!!! xx

    • sarah says:

      I know, I was well pleased with this score, especially as I don’t have to worry about it because it was such a score heehee x

  9. Jenn says:

    Posts of peonies make me sad.

    My one peony plant – with it’s one flower – got drowned this year. When the flower was about the size of a quails egg – just as the pinkish white petals were peeking through – it shriveled and browned into a nothing.


  10. bridgette says:

    UGH Troll be gone ! what a nasty piece of work, she must have been really checking out your work to see paint runs Gee wizz that is a sad life if you need to check real hard for paint runs… jealous i’d say ! Love your blog, visit every day ….. I for sure don’t look out for imperfections i see white with colours and beach and a pretty house with a pretty owner who has a pretty good aussie life :)

    • sarah says:

      well thanks very much, it’s quite a nice life here in this new country that I have adopted…

      I know, what a loser to check out someone else’s painting skills…on a DIY blog, duh :-) x

  11. Molly says:

    love the sofa! I, too, have recently moved to the beach and am working on furnishing my home in a casual, coastal style. I adore the seagrass and white slipcovered look and find great inspiration from your blog. Keep it coming!

  12. Mummaducka says:

    How sad for them that the troll can’t share your joy. They must be incredibly superior beings!
    I for one am so excited for you when you get a good score. I have got heaps of good scores in my time too! Many from clearing sales and second hand shops. I too have painted and shabbied them up. Perfection has no place in my family room or on my verandah with my dogs! My 9 month old German shepherd dog is currently systematically chewing every piece of furniture out there! I will happily slap a ton of white paint on it soon enough, or find some new lounge, chairs to paint and replace these crappy ones that don’t quite fit the bill.
    I am a bit desperate to know what you have finished the shabby farmhouse tabletop with. I spent a fair bit of time yesterday trying to dissolve the soft varnish on the top of mine before I sand it back. I went with steel wool and metho, but I think I will need to go with a stripper. It was that citrus kitchen spray that softened it up. The hardware people have told me to refinish it with floor stuff, what do you think of that?

    • sarah says:

      Hi Jodie

      Well I will be posting about the table in the next few days, because it has not turned out quite as I thought….more to come soon…it’s looking fab though, even with the drips, roflmao…I am SO pleased with it…xx

  13. Molly says:

    oh, and I love your peonies. I am thinking about adding them to my garden, do you have a problem with ants on your peonies? I remember the one’s in my mother’s garden being covered in them and don’t really want to invite ants over by planting one, but they are lovely….

    • sarah says:

      No I haven’t had any problems really…though I have to say there are a lot of ants here anyway! x

  14. Neen says:

    I visit every day for the white painted furniture!!!! LUUUUUUUUURVE the outdoor pre-loved sofa, excellent styling. Sun is shinning here finally, so outside to foof garden and deck for me YAY!!! :)

  15. Selby says:

    Love your sofa it shouts “beach holiday”!! & all the great things that means:)

  16. Alice says:

    hahahaha your white washed soap box is looking pretty good to me… I may have to borrow it every once in a while hee…heee… Loving the sofa and loving it even more that you managed to get it into your summer house (I hope you will show pics later on down the track). 150 bucks most surely a good price to pay. Cheering! Bloody mould! I had to throw away my curtains and roman blinds because of it! I couldn’t get any of it off! Not even that mould resistant paint seems to do much to resist the damn mould invasion!

    I find it hilarious that the troll could even see any drip marks. I didn’t see anything lol! I think the troll has missed the memo on what this blog is all about…Poor thing…God bless every single one of it’s warts and help it find that memo…
    Bugger! Here comes the rain again…. Sigh… Spring how I long for you (I will endure the hay fever if it means I can feel my toes and bend my fingers again)…

    • sarah says:

      oh you have rain, poor thing, the sun is shining on me right this minute :-)

      yeah the mould is a new thing to me, I couldn’t believe it when we first moved here! A friend of mine rented a very expensive house a few years ago and what they failed to tell her about in all it’s loveliness and with it’s billion dollar views was the mould… unfortunately their whole wardrobe and contents, all their clothes were growing it daily…! we are ok inside but anything fabric on the deck only has a few years in it..

  17. Melinda says:

    Love your sofa – looks the perfect spot for a cup of tea and a book
    Love those beautiful peonies and also the pink + aqua combination – lots of prettiness

    Good on you for taking on your troll – In my observations people are only mean when they’re unhappy in themselves – Happy people just want to share the joy ( imperfections and all)
    Sun shining down here today – its WONDERFUL xx

  18. Kat says:

    Fabulous find and nicely handled re the troll.
    I like your realness and take on life Sarah, which is why so many of us non trolls keep coming back!;) So keep up the good work.

  19. Mary says:

    All the way from my imperfect place to yours……….I LOVE your blog and your beach cottage! Trolls I don’t like! Keep up the imperfect ways and your true imperfect friends will follow!

  20. Jen ( SE Qld) says:

    Hey Sarah, You know, I was looking around our little place yesterday with it’s hand me down furniture, rubbed back recycled pieces that I have made turning baby change tables into chicken wired white cupboards for old platters and bits and pieces that my daughter helped me paint so there are runs but who cares, the imperfect floors and walls and all the things that need doing here and thinking about people we know who have the latest leather sofas, the newest perfectly huge dining suite and the latest of just about everything and insist on telling you all about it too lol. I started to feel a little hard done by, how we work so hard and yet we can’t afford all the latest furniture and gadgets they have when it hit me. We have a home full of love and memories, it’s not perfect and its not about the furniture inside it really, but it suits us and our lifestyle to the tee and its me, us, our family… Keep up the gorgeous imperfections Sarah, we love it and Blog Trolls go and do something useful with your time like stick your head where the sun doesn’t shine or something.

  21. Manda says:

    You rock it Sarah! Don’t listen to the trolls, they obviously have too much hate twirling around their heads to have a smile on their faces.

    Love your work.
    xx manda

  22. Karen says:

    The sofa looks great! Good thrifting! x

  23. mellie lang says:

    Bargain $150, wow I would have jumped at that, and yes its a fact of life that imperfections and love make a home not perfection. I’m pretty jealous of that huge table you’ve been doing up too, you’re a great furniture hunter!

  24. bec says:

    pftt…troll… who let them out from under their bridge?
    awesome sofa I have two arm chairs similar and adore them.
    looks ideal on the deck there…nice job!
    Bec x

  25. Janet says:

    Perfection equals lack of imagination in my book. I’d say 90%of people who come in my house don’t get me or the things I like but hey ho, do I give a monkey’s? No. I laugh at their conventionality. (is that a real word?) Take no notice of keyboard warriors and just carry on doing what you do and loving it, mrs. Great sofa and I love the cushion. I’m eyeing up that jug of peonies and knowing that in my house that would last about four minutes before a teenager kicked it over. It makes me nervous.
    Happy Monday! (Or is it Tuesday there already?)

    • sarah says:

      haha my teenagers are well trained in the flower department…

      yes I think the same with the conventionality thing…I got over that about 15 yrs ago when I couldn’t stand another pine and terracottage wall xo

  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m so jealous !!!..I love your bargin looks fantastic but I would never write nasty things …this sad person must have a miserable life to say such things !!!…love ur style and ur blog it always makes me smile :)

  27. Jan says:

    Trolls can be mischievious….oh boy this one maybe didnt get how much Beach Cottage and Sarah love ‘there is in this world!…be reminded we love paint runs and life imperfections that make things perfect….love the rattan and so waiting for the table and summer house finales

    • sarah says:

      they are on the way Jan, and thanks for your lovely comment! …the table is looking amazing, blogging it this week xxoox

  28. Michelle W says:

    Great sofa! Sarah, I didn’t notice the paint runs. I’m just thrilled that you are making your house look so elegant, relaxed, beautiful, and comfy in a way that feels accessible to ME. One day, I may tidy my home into a gorgeous showcase of (realistic) style like yours. :-) Some people can’t bear to see other people happy, don’t listen to the nasty trolls.

  29. Candice says:

    Top score on the sofa Sarah . That will be a comfort seat in summer . A few of my friends award the crown to the shopping queen for the month when they score a great /bargin beauty of some kind . Well you win the crown this week . Well done .

  30. Angela Smith says:

    Paint runs? Good grief! I’m pretty sure everything I’ve ever painted has a paint run.
    Freakin’ haters…
    Have a great week!

  31. Amy says:

    Love your sofa find Sarah! I too upcyle, repaint, repeat. I too have many paint runs. After repainting my bed on the weekend, I came back to find quite a few paint runs. And I decided that this is what makes it mine. My heart, my soul, my hard work. Also my financial win – old has become new(ish). I love all your upcycles, find you so very inspiring. Away with you troll – hide amongst your Bali bought furniture.

    Amy x
    ps. I spoke/messaged you last week about using Zinnser to prime my bed before painting. Thank you thank you for your advice. It worked a treat (although in retrospect I could have applied a much thicker coat – but this is how we learn)! Also I bought 1L for only $30 – and after completing my bed I still have 3/4 tin left! Good value I say. xx

    • sarah says:

      glad to hear you liked the Zinsser Amy, it has helped me a lot!

      yes I hear you about the runs making it yours…I did the same with a chair recently, it had a lot of runs because i was not concentrating while doing it…hey ho x

  32. Tiff says:

    Glad you didn’t let the troll run away with your rose-coloured glasses ;) And glad to see so many helping you keeping the trolls at bay. Anytime you need the troops just shout out Sarah :)

  33. Sharon Forward says:

    don’t worry Sarah Have they nothiing better to do than critisize a lady who gives the rest of us lots of inspiration……hey I’d like a bit of your “imoperfection” in my home and by the way summer has started now in Kent ….. rescued an ol galvanized bath for plants by the back door…. thought how imperfect it looks and I love itx

    • sarah says:

      I heard you have sunshine all week on the way…enjoy it! xxx

      I like the sound of your bath, I am gonna do the same, I miss those English plants by the back door x

  34. Lark says:

    I love your new / old sofa! What a comfy space you have out there, imperfect and all! The only place I would hope for perfection is an operating room! Keep all those imperfections coming…that’s why I keep coming back for more! ;)

    • sarah says:

      hmmm yes Lark you are very correct, I would want perfection in the operating room lol! I bet surgeons know different though :-) x

  35. Kim Buca says:

    good thing there are so many of us here that love little imperfections life is full of them and we just happen to schlup them home and give them love!!! the couch is fab! i love it! i bet it looks great in that summer house!!! have a g’day sarah!

  36. Cally says:

    Sarah, I love your blog! The fact that you show your imperfections-paint runs and what nots, just shows that you too are a normal person, someone I can relate to.
    The sofa looks great!! Keep up the great work :)

    • sarah says:

      thanks Cally that is what I try to do on here, I think that troll just knocked my confidence a bit lol x

  37. Love your posts no matter if trolls come to visit or not! he! he! I AM loving that couch what a neat find! just remember if you paint it make sure the paint runs! he! he! Some people are so…cruel.

  38. Janet says:

    How sad is it that the troll has nothing better to do than be negitive instead of celebrating someone else.We bought our “almost”(7 miles to the beach) beach cottage in April. It was filthy, dirty and in dire need of love and white paint. We have worked our buns off since then. I showed picture of the before and after to a friend and she told me she liked the before we did any work better.! . I guess I should have asked her first and we could have saved a lot of time and money! I love your style and actually am using some of your ideas. I hope you don’t mind! Immitation is the best form of flattery! SO THERE YOU MEAN OLE TROLL!

    • sarah says:

      well that is interesting that someone would have preferred the before!!!!

      good luck with your house, that’s near enough to the beach for me xoxo

  39. Hope your whitewashed broomstick didn’t have any runs on it, Sarah! hehehe! Boggles your mind, doesn’t it, that someone out there – living in such a beautiful place – can be so demeaning and cynical? I just want to tell her to “get a life!”.

    Anyway…LOVE your new sofa! It’s beachy, coastal, and oh so BC!!!!! ♥

    xoxo laurie

  40. Diana says:

    LOVE your new sofa – everything about it –
    thank you for all that you inspire us with ~~ nothing is perfect and that’s
    the way it is – wonderful

  41. Donna Barker says:

    I love your sofa and all your thrifty ideas. I never understand anyone who would spend their time reading something the comment in a negative way. Who has that kind of time. If you dont like it move on to ikea or something. Perfect looking finish, with particle board bones. Dont get me wrong, it has its place, but I, too, would rather have a redone wood table than a new one that is crap! My home is full of thrift store finds that I absolutely love. I worked for 15 years as an interior designer in a high end furniture store. And when I was shopping for furniture for my own home, my friends would laugh and say, “what difference does the color make, you are going to paint it anyway!” and that was the new stuff. And they were right. If I liked to bones of a piece, and the price, then I knew I could paint it and love it. Some people are just jealous of your talent for seeing what a piece can be!
    Anyway, keep up the god work. I love your ideas and Im just jealous that u have a beach house, and I have my coastal home designed look, but in Northern Ky. So, yes Im jealous too! But appreciate your talent!
    Its all wonderful!!!Thank you for the inspiration!!

  42. Motherofluvlies says:

    well Sara I didn’t see that comment(probably too busy drooling over all your lovely projects)you are an inspiration and as I said before,that it was reading YOUR blog that gave me the.confidence to try a new style.Gues what?Guess what? Sara the sun is shining here in England.I said THE SUN IS SHINING :) :) it’s the first day in almost 5 weeks.you just keep it all coming..I wait every day to see what you,re doing.I think it,s because you are so humble and not showy off that I love to read.

    • sarah says:

      oh yes girlfriend I know all about your sunshine, I was on the phone to England last night for an hour and a half and I know the excitement of your sunshine after weeks of rain :-)

      thanks for the blog love xoxoox

  43. I love that sofa – good one, Sarah! – and I also love that the beach cottage isn’t perfect! Who needs it? I would much rather se you making things nice around you on a real girl budget. You are showing us how to do it, with style!

  44. Hilary says:

    Quick question – am a massive spider phobe and have always been worried about outside furniture with cushions being a house for creepy crawlies. Does this happen? (please say no…)

    • sarah says:

      hmmm well I can’t totally say now, but not on sofas we have had outside funnily enough but definitely on furniture like wooden loungers with slats and places for them to build webs :-(

  45. Sandra says:

    Ah, Gorgeous Sarah…welcome to my world. The Hubby and I have learnt to live with real-life trolls who criticise and ridicule our way of life because, like you, we love to recycle and fill our home with preloved stuff that tells a story. Although up here in the Mountains we are among like minded friends…funny enough, we get the most criticism from family. Go figure. LOVE your style.xo

  46. Norell says:

    RE: The troll – As we say in the South (USA), Well Bless Her Little Heart, which translates to things I can’t put in to words here. As far as I’m concerned, if it doesn’t have paint drips, chips and other imperfections, I don’t want it. Ms. Troll needs to shop for high end new things and keep her nose and comments out of this wonderful blog which is my favorite. No one does it like you do!!!

  47. HRH Sarah says:

    Hahaha, I wasn’t aware that you had ever set yourself up as a PROFESSIONAL painter! So funny!
    I’m totally drooling over that sofa, Sarah! Seriously, I’ve been lusting after a pair of chairs like that forever. But a sofa??? I would paint any number of tables (with or without paint drips) to score a find like that! Nice work!
    And I agree with Norell- “bless her heart”

  48. alison says:

    I don’t get trolls. Why waste time bagging out a blog when you can move onto one you love?


  49. That person must be one stressed out mess trying to live up to or find perfection.

    Love the sofa! Love the blog! And love you for being real and being yourself sarah.

    God bless! Hugs!

  50. Another nice find, Sarah! Lucky you. x

  51. shelley roseboro says:

    Love the couch. Love this site, always inspiring!
    Be well.

  52. katerina says:

    Hi Sarah, i spy an enamel jug……is it from the Emerald Isle !!!!!!????

    • sarah says:

      hi Katerina

      Actually I believe it is Hungarian…I bought it from a fleamarket it in Sydney though! x

  53. Scribbler says:

    Great find, and I am jealous! I had to pass on one at an estate sale a few weeks ago, and I am still kicking myself. (I don’t have anywhere to put it yet.)

    BTW, I have tried to subscribe to your blog, but it doesn’t seem to work — is it because I am in the US?

    Don’t let the trolls get you down — they are not worth the angst.

    • sarah says:

      no I am not sure why you cannot, I will try to find out

      the blog trolls don’t get me down but I do find it funny about the drips haha x