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Elegant TV Stand with Storage for under $100

Jan 29, 2014

I have long travailed under the misapprehension that I do not have enough money to get what I want so I must make do with what I have or can get from Ikea. So, for the past 6+ years, I have used an antique armoire to hold my TV.

It made sense when I first moved here, as I was living in Virginia where I had more space and a much more open apartment layout, and most of my furniture was antique fixer-uppers. It made less sense when I moved into DC Proper where space is limited and your living/dining areas are really just one, big (I use that word loosely), shared area. It made even less sense when I decided to live alone and downsized yet again to 600 square feet -- admittedly large for these parts, but certainly too small for a giant, antique armoire that, after upgrading my dining set and reupholstering my sofa, didn't fit in at all, spatially or aesthetically.

I tried to make it work -- painted it a bright violet, thinking, If it's gonna stand out, I'm gonna make it really stand out!

And this is how I spent the next six months: Staring at it from my sofa, never really finishing it because the paint wasn't going on right and the color wasn't as vibrant as I thought it would be. The whole thing was such a disaster I just watched TV instead of dealing with it.

In November my mom came for a visit and realized what a mess I'd gotten myself into. While I was at work one day, she chalk painted it gray and told me to sell it and get something I actually liked. I spent another month watching TV considering my options.

Here's what I decided I needed:

  • Something that could work for both a dining room and living room
  • Something with storage
  • dark wood to match my bookshelves, coffee table, side tables and dining room table, not to mention piano
  • Preferably something that didn't have legs so I have one less thing to sweep under ugh
  • Under $100, obviously -- just because Mama gave me instructions/permission to get something I love doesn't mean I don't still have my father's thrifty sensibilities (read: never turning on the heat unless temps reach below 60 indoors)
I scoured Craigslist for weeks and then one happy day found the perfect piece! A lady in Northeast DC (not the most desirable part of town) was selling her grandmother's buffet, and I was able to talk her down from $75 to $55! (Just because it was already under $100 doesn't mean you don't ask. Always ask, people.)

The only problem was I needed transport and muscles to get it back to my place, neither of which I have. I asked a few friends with SUVs for help, but no one was available, so I took it to Facebook. It didn't take long before the same eligible bachelor from my online dating series, @djsheeno, offered up his moving services.

Long story short (actually it's a short story that I dragged out -- just be glad I didn't corner you at a happy hour to tell you my gripping tale): 

We got it, it was a shady endeavor, and on the way back to my place we got stuck in traffic because someone shot a cop and therefore every cop in DC drove over to apprehend the shooter. (Or maybe that's just cop protocol to show support or something? I don't really know because I haven't had great interactions with cops in the past.)

AHH! Don't you lurv it?! It's a little dinged up, but at some point I will touch it up with some furniture touch-up magical stuff.

I briefly considered painting it, but the wood is rich and the hardware is a soft gold with pretty details (I love how the middle part looks kind of like a pineapple, the symbol for hospitality). No need to mess with this.

The storage is just what I needed for all my nice serving dishes. I entertain and cook a lot, so I need easy access to these, and they're just too bulky to try to fit in my kitchen cabinets. This buffet has two cabinets, two small drawers and four large drawers, which hold my ridiculously excessive candle collection, napkins and trivets, greeting cards and some games, and most of my crafting supplies.

These drawer dividers are built in and meant to hold silverware and serving utensils, but I'm using them to hold power cords and connectors that I may need at some point but aren't sure what to do with in the meantime.

Staging the buffet was so much fun. This lamp used to sit on my piano, but I recently put something else there and needed a spot for this one. It's pretty but understated enough to not be too busy around the television. The purple tassle connects it to the color scheme of my space, and it lets me know exactly where the light knob is, as the knob tends to scoot around sometimes.

I love the colors in these peacock feathers, and they're the colors that originally inspired my living room a few years ago! I've had these feathers for a while, stuck in a corner on a side table because I didn't know where else to put them. Now they sit in a large vase and frame the TV, as well as filling up some of the white space above it. (I thought about hanging my Paris painting above the TV, but in this case, simplicity is definitely better.)

This little guy is so cute, and I got him on sale at Michael's for $2! He also used to sit on my piano, but now I come home and light a votive, and it sets a calming ambiance when I want to unwind after my work day. 

Oh heeey Chris Distefano. (Who, BTW, was stuck in that horrifying Atlanta traffic last night.)

I got to show off my new space when I hosted my dinner club this past Monday, and the funniest thing happened: No one noticed the new piece of furniture, but everyone commented on how much larger my apartment looked! I was fascinated to learn no one was particularly bothered by the giant, unfinished armoire (which I moved into my bedroom...that is another project for another month), and the new piece fit in my space so well that it simply opened up my living room. I'm really happy I don't have a bulky statement piece but rather a functional, elegant spot for the actual focal point.

To all my ATLiens...hope you can do some unwinding of your own tonight!

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