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 de-value 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 look-out 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!