Design

The Magazine Rack that Could

January 16, 2014  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Is it completely weird that I have been looking for a magazine rack for over a year? It isn’t that magazine racks are difficult to come by, but a good-looking one for a reasonable price, is. Which, sadly, is exactly why I have been storing all my magazines in a basket in the living room. Now, baskets and magazine racks are not created equal (this post is getting weird). Baskets can tip over easily when you place a stack of your favorite glossys in upright (for easy sifting, naturally) and then the basket eventually gets a little pushed out on one side. Ugh. Speaking from a year of experience here. There’s a reason the magazine rack was created.

I recently stopped in our thrift store, which is always miss–99% never a hit, and zeroed in on this number in the lawn section on top of a beat up air hockey game.

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I liked. A quick flip, revealed this baby was mid-century (1950s), solid wood and $2. I loved. Sold!

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It was in rough condition. Scratches and a few minor dents, but for $2, I knew I could put a little elbow grease into it and give it some life again.

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I brought it home and gave it a good washing with some white vinegar and warm water and then used Liquid Gold on it (the same stuff I used to renew Greta’s bed–can’t get enough of that almond scent). It’s not perfect, but it looks so fresh and shiny now.

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And no more tipping or bending my baskets! I saw this exact rack on ebay for $25-$45, so this post is definitely not one of those “be jealous of me and my amazing thrift store find I scored for $15 when it’s worth $900.” More like, if you are hunting for a magazine rack (weirdos unite!), I really like this one and $25 is completely reasonable for a mid-century, beautiful wood one.

And while we’re in this little corner of the living room, it also recently got a mini revamp as a result of a few larger revamps.

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Most recently, the living room looked like this (it’s pretty dark, but you can almost see my pathetic magazine basket next to the chair):

The pharmacy lamp that was next to the chair went to live in the reading room and when we moved the piano in this week, the arc lamp felt a little crowded on that side of the couch. So we scooted things around and came up with this arrangement:

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Eventually, there will be a large window on this wall and things might even change before that, but for now we’re liking the new arrangement. It could have something to do with being able to see the television from that chair, or the added blanket storage the leather ottoman brought. Or the fact, we finally have an actual magazine rack. Or maybe, rearranging is just therapeutic, because isn’t it!?

What do you think?

  1. Mindy says:

    Where is that arc lamp from?

  2. Ashley P. says:

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. I found it through a google search for the lounge sofa. Seeing this sofa in a real home helped put it at the top of our wish list. Now that you have lived with it for a couple of years, what’s your opinion? I’ve read some reviews with customers having trouble with the fabric pilling (eek!). In theory, I believe this couch will fit our family’s lifestyle (4 yr old + 1 yr old). Is yours the micro suede? How kid/goldfish/leaky sippy cup friendly have you found it to be? If you’ve done this type of review post in the past, my apologies. I’m just itching to get the real life details before pulling the trigger for ourselves. Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      So glad you asked. We would (and do!) recommend this couch to anyone that is looking for a comfortable and good-looking couch. Charly is not allowed on the furniture, but the Lounge has seen plenty of messes from Greta (and otherwise). During our Halloween party someone’s sprayed hair rubbed off all over the couch. Many food spills and cheetos fingers. Everything has wiped off ridiculously easy with upholstery cleaner from the store. Nothing special. It still looks great! As for the piling, we went with the gray micro suede upholstery so haven’t experienced that. I can’t speak for their other upholstery options though. We give it 5 stars. Truly.

  3. Lisa says:

    My family had that exact magazine rack when I was little. Looks great in your room and thanks for a happy memory!

  4. Liz says:

    Your blog posts aren’t showing up in Feedly anymore! :( Is there anyway to fix it? Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      Oh no! I know at the beginning of the week, when we switched over to our new site, it was down. But as of yesterday morning, we had Feedly personally override the old feed in their system so it would show up. I now see our most recent posts in Feedly. Can you try clearing your cache and see if that works?

  5. Nerissa says:

    I have been looking for just the right arc lamp, and really like yours. Where did you get it?

  6. cd says:

    It’s really pretty – I like it!

    (The font and some elements of that label, however, probably put it in the 70s-80s. So does the general styling. Nothing about it looks 1950s, but I could be wrong. Still nice, though!)

    • Julia says:

      Oh! Maybe so. I just looked it up on Ebay, and this one a few of the sellers were saying were from the 50s, but you’re right. Could be a “newer” model. Hahaha. I’m not attached to the date. Just the rack.

  7. Brandilyn says:

    CURSES! I was so excited to read this post because I’m on the hunt for a nice looking magazine rack for our new place…and you found an amazing one for a complete steal. AT THE MOST UNLIKELY DI IN THE UNIVERSE. Anyways, seriously, that rack is dope. It looks perfect in there. Nice work!

    • Julia says:

      Ugh. So sorry. I am always reluctant to share thrift finds for that exact reason. They are so unattainable for everyone else! And yes, the Rexburg DI is terrribblleee.

      • Brandilyn says:

        The Idaho Falls one is even more expensive (USED, DONATED SWEATERS SHOULD NOT BE $7), but occasionally has a better selection. There are a couple in IF that I’ve had better luck with, although one of them doubles as a cat shelter and you know how I adore a cat, but that place reeks like a littler box. No thanks.

  8. Debby says:

    Omg! I totally understand! I’ve been looking for a good napkin holder for 2 years! I finally found one that I like from PB on sale for $11, but it broke and they didn’t have anymore. Since then I have not found one that I like. I totally understand looking for a magazine rack for a year!

  9. I could rearrange everyday. I feel the urge to move our bedroom furniture around everyday. I can’t seem to find the BEST vibe in there and have things look like they are there for a purpose. Seriously. And one day, we will get new bedroom furniture and I’ll feel better about it all working together!

  10. Nice find! We’ve been thrifting lately too – no luck in the furniture department, but we did score something for our toddler:
    http://www.rathersquare.com/2014/01/donate-say-cheese/

    Do you have long-term storage for your magazines, or do you just keep them around until the next issue comes along? I’ve been looking for a way to keep some of mine permanently (magazine boxes on bookshelves), but I’m still looking for a better solution.

    • Julia says:

      For the most part, I have no problem throwing them out after a few months to a year. Unless it is a special issue or something. I might tear out a sheet that inspires me occasionally, but for the most part–they get me through a workout session or a few quiet minutes or a flight.

  11. Sarah says:

    Oh I love moving furniture around! No matter how I do it, it makes the room look so much bigger! I rearrange so often, my living room should feel like it’s the size of a basketball court….

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