I bought my house in Aruba in 2003 and at it was built in 2000.  I bought the house furnished from the original owner.   In doing that math, this sofa was 11 years old and needed replacing.

It looked “fine” because I had a slipcover over it, but the slipcover was a constant wrinkly mess and a sand trap.

It was like sitting on a loofah sponge, i.e. tons of sand.  No matter how careful we were, sand was constantly getting into the wrinkly folds of the slipcover.

And underneath the slipcover was a sun-bleached and stained shade of red.  Pretty.

Plus it was of those sofas that once you sat down, you couldn’t get up easily.  Think pregnant lady, sitting down, and can’t get back up. Yep, that’s the sofa and it’s just wasn’t comfortable and so I decided to go furniture shopping.

For $355 US Dollars (that would be insanely cheap for a sofa), I am the proud new owner of this sofa + room makeover!  Purchased and delivered on the same day which is an amazing feat anywhere, especially in Aruba.

I put my bargaining skills to work and it was supposed to be about $500 but after asking for a better price, twice, got the saleslady down to $355 including delivery.  Score.

The back adjusts and can lay flat so it can be easily turned into a bed.   For those times when Scott’s snoring is unbearable, you know where he’ll be.

I was able to use my existing pillows, too.

I also purchased a new lamp.

The gold one is new, the silver I had.  There is never two of anything on the island but for now, we were in desperate need of more lighting and the lamp suffices.

I also de-cluttered and de-junked by donating random things like flower pots with fake plants that were collecting dust and I swapped out a bright orange extension cord in place of white and tidied up cords and swept up dust bunnies and sand piles.

And this is the box that is my connection to the world, with neater cord arrangement now.

I shifted furniture around to make the fairly modest living space appear much larger than it is.

There I am waving in the mirror.

And I did it all for $355 bucks.  And lots of manual, or that would be feminine labor.

It was a very hot, sweaty, grimy, dirty day.  With gross hair to prove it. But well worth it!  I love the look and vibe of my new room!

As a few asides, since I may be asked:

Buying the house in Aruba was an extreme stretch at the time, but no different I surmise than being an early 20something trying to buy my first house in the U.S.  It just happened to be I bought in Aruba because I loved it here.  I rent in San Diego, own in Aruba.  Go figure.

No, I don’t rent it out because the few times I have, it has been mistreated.  A property management company and a diligent, wonderful neighbor look after it for me when I’m not here.

I show my appreciation for my neighbor with Chocolate Covered Oreo Balls over the holidays.

One day I would love to spend about a third of the year here.

From my last post, Open For Bids, thanks to anyone who’s reading this who bid on my high Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls on Tina’s blog for her bake sale.  It was a very short bake sale and I’m sorry to anyone who read about it after the fact and wanted to bid.

The winner paid $125 for my dough balls!!

And as promised, I will include some other goodies besides the dough balls.  I still don’t know who the winner is yet, but thank you!

And it was fun to hear who’s a bidder, better, or gambler.  Most of us food, fitness, and health blog readers aren’t exactly the gambling types, it sounds like.  We’d rather spend our money on Vita-Mixes and new yoga pants than on the craps tables.  Not too surprising.

And tons of comments still coming in on my Eating When Traveling post and how far you deviate, or don’t, from your normal eating routine and how adventurous you are with trying local fare.  Thanks for all the great perspectives.

And, thanks to all new readers for finding me, reading, and commenting.  I appreciate it!  I’ve had lots of “new” people in the comments the past few days and that’s exciting!


1. What’s the last piece of furniture you bought?  Do you still love it?

The last thing I bought prior to the sofa and lamp was my $20 “photography” table that I purchased from Craigslist.

And yes, I still love it!  I take most of my food and recipe shots on the table.  Many times I add a dishtowel or cloth, but sometimes I just keep it bare.

That’s the table underneath my Chocolate Coconut Kale Chips

2. Do you like to makeover your spaces?

I do!  I especially love donating and decluttering.  I am constantly donating things I don’t want, don’t like anymore, or just don’t use anymore.  If it’s not doing me any good, and it’s taking up precious space, then give it away to someone who can benefit from it or who will use it is my approach.

It’s amazing how just shifting a few pieces of furniture around, removing furniture you don’t like anymore, placing household “accessories” and “knick-knacks” in new spots around the room can totally transform your space.

And trust me, I am no interior designer, but I have moved at least 25 times in my adult life (since college) and am the queen of trying to quickly, easily, and cheaply make over whatever place I am living in at the moment.

For now, I love the place I live in San Diego and I am satisfied with how things are looking in Aruba.

But it’s a woman’s prerogative to make over her spaces, right?

3. Do you have any design tips, tricks, money saving ideas, or places you find inspiration for your rooms/home decor?

Have a great day!  Next post, I hope, will be full of beachy pictures!


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