I like to bring old finds back to life

I have talked about this before; in fact, here is a recent quote:

I fully advocate taking an antique or just older piece of furniture and giving it a new life, just make sure you are starting with a well-built item. Upcycling is a great way to keep cost down while still getting something semi-custom and the bonus is you are being environmentally friendly!

I will rework or upcycle furniture, lamps, chandeliers, curtains – you name it! – all in the name of being environmentally conscious. Now, my confession is that I really just enjoy it. I like the history of older pieces. I like things that have a story. Sometimes I leave a piece “as is” because it would devalue it to try and fix it. Other times I use a piece to test out an idea I have because I either can’t find what is in my head or I just got a thunderbolt of inspiration. Then there are times when I just can’t pass up a bargain and I figure the inspiration will come later. It really doesn’t matter why I do it, the process is invigorating and the end product is rewarding.

Here is an example of one of those bargain finds. This rocker was purchased at a Knights of Columbus semi-annual sale. Now, I am not a huge fan of rockers but at $7.50 I couldn’t say no. As usual, I did not take a before picture because when the inspiration hit me I just took off running (this happens more than I care to admit), but imagine an old wood rocker, nothing wrong with it but some chipped wood and chewed legs.

Here is the after:

Just a little repair with wood paste, coat of paint, and some twine.

Here is another “I can’t pass up a deal” piece that was $10. I found it at the ReStore and it was just a little mess of curling veneer and chipped legs. After a couple coats of paint it is ready to go into my daughter’s room.

And here is a coffee table purchased for a client. It was pricy at $125 but it was an Ethan Allen piece, well built and well maintained. It looked good enough just the way it was but I decided to take it up a notch with some cream paint on the frame and new hardware. Now it matches my clients decor perfectly and you will probably see it in the next post when I finish their living room.



My point, as usual, is to be eco-friendly if you can. There are a lot of good furniture pieces out there just waiting for their new life, so be on the lookout whenever you shop. Frequent resale shops, flea markets, and charity stores like the Restore and Goodwill, and I guarantee you will find an inspiration piece. And don’t be afraid to experiment. Tap into your inner artist!

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.