Whenever I am updating a room; giving it a new design, naturally furniture is the first thing I think about. Whether I want to use existing pieces, or go on the hunt for new(ish). I’m certainly no different than anyone else, as far as that goes. What’s a room without furniture?!
And with that, there’s furniture categories. 1) Furniture that is made and constructed well, beautiful lines, great quality, and is crazy expensive. 2) Furniture that is made pretty well, it’ll do, and is pretty affordable, 3) Furniture that is kind of what you had in mind, but your patience is wearing thin so just buy it already. 4) Whatever piece of furniture your collage aged child no longer wants, suddenly seems “perfect” for that lonely corner.”
I fall into category 1), but go by the way of 4) for budget. **small disclaimer here – my children are 9 and 11, but I did score a small end table from Mac’s (age 11) room and I put it on Sean’s side of the bed, for now.
Because I seek beautiful furniture that’s made well, yadda, yadda, yadda, I need to shop for the old stuff and bring each piece back to life whether I stain the piece or paint it. Thrift stores, Goodwill, tag sales, and well, yes, I have been known to pick up furniture left on the street. You may remember when I shared with you that my neighbors left this chair out on the side of the street and I scooped it up. I have big plans for this chair, and they have to do with getting reupholstered in a beautiful heavy linen fabric; a task I plan to take on myself.
Maybe it’s because I’m always up for a challenge, but when I shop for whatever piece of furniture I have in mind, I go out with every intention of not spending much money at all. I put a price in my head; a price of no rhyme or reason, and I stick to it. And usually, my pinpoint price is less than $50.
My first rule of thumb is to keep the price low, and the vision high. Furniture that you can find at these thrifty places is usually made really well, and has good bones. You really CAN find some gems. You must look further than the wear and tear.
My second rule of thumb is to always respect your own taste, your own style. I say this because it’s your’s. It’s genuine. It’s you. Certainly others influence your style and process. For me, I love Sarah Richardson, Bunny Williams and Eddie Ross. I do admire their style and try to incorporate some of theirs into mine. But by and large, I jive to my own drum.
And my third rule of thumb, never feel you’re cheating yourself by being thrifty. Because, that is so far from the truth. These old and tired looking pieces of furniture are begging for a new life, and they’re begging for your touch.
Of all the pieces I have shown you here, my most “expensive” piece was the buffet, where I paid $25. And true, Uncle John did give me a good price, but also true, had it been a random vendor, I wouldn’t have paid more than that for a buffet that was missing part of a leg and all three drawers.
So follow my rules of thumb the next time you set out to buy furniture, and keep following me to see how you can give new life to the tired piece you just bought.
For my floral office chairs story, click here.
Click here to see who’s the fairest of my wall.
To see how a dresser that got Va-Va-Voomed, click here.
The bamboo bar cart I bought at an estate sale for $10. With a good cleaning and a couple coats of apple green, this bar cart is now shining in our dining room.
And for my latest rags to riches story, click here.