“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is all the buzz these days, especially for homeowners keeping a tight budget and wanting to make the move to a cleaner, greener lifestyle.
Redecorating or making small changes in your home doesn’t require you to scrap all your existing pieces.
In fact, with a little ingenuity, some creativity and lots of inspiration, it is possible to update your old furniture without spending wads of cash.
1. Paint them new.
Color is an inexpensive way to add new life to old pieces, not only restoring them to their former glory but also allowing them to keep up with the times.
Got a couple of ornately carved chairs you inherited from your lola? A coat of deep, dark black paint to intricate baroque carvings, or a fresh swathe of eggshell paint can easily update them and make them seem brand new.
2. Bring out the magic with fabric.
Brighten old sofas by reupholstering them in bold nautical stripes. Make your dining chairs more comfortable by replacing old padding with fun, chevron patterns. Cover an old armchair in soft, casual denim or simple, white canvas.
Go beyond the usual furniture fabric stores and explore options in shops that specialize in clothing and not furniture.
Who says you can’t break the rules when redecorating? Even the most antiquated pieces can get an instant modern makeover with the right fabric.
3. Update old furniture by turning them ‘older.’
Instead of making your old pieces look brand new, you can go the other way and highlight their age.
Shabby chic pieces are quaint, worn down and charming—the perfect look for comfortable furniture that has been long lived in.
Wooden louvers used as shutters or doors can be disassembled to form movable screens to help separate areas in a single room. Painted white and sanded and distressed, these conjure a calm, seaside mood that is both country and chic.
Old wooden headboards in dark wood can also be given a fresh coat of paint and then distressed to create the impression of wornness and airiness in a bedroom.
4. Play with contrasts.
Even if your interiors are decked in modern materials like concrete and steel, introducing old, recycled pieces can create a sense of eclecticism in your home—providing depth as well as many talking points in every room.
Bare, polished concrete floors can be brightened up by even the most faded Persian rugs, while your grandmother’s old collection of blue and white ceramics can give unexpected character to a streamlined credenza.
When redoing your home the clean and green way, learn to think out of the box and be open to mixing and matching different eras and palettes for a highly personal, storied look.
For more DIY recycling ideas for your home, visit Design Sponge.
Have more home and organizing questions for the author? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chinggay Labrador is a freelance writer and stylist, contributing articles on beauty, lifestyle and design to local magazines. Her background in architecture has her profiling trends and homes throughout the region. A travel junkie who likes to frequent Japan and Korea, Chinggay is the former editor-in-chief of Sparkling, a quarterly K-Pop publication and is also the author of “Popped and Popped, Too,” books based on the fun, frivolity and friendship centered on Korean Pop music.
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