How to revamp your living room using old furniture

Contributed by Joel Cortez

When redecorating your living room, the desire to buy brand new furniture for a new look can be enticing.

However, you can obtain a fresh appearance with old furniture that someone else has already enjoyed. It’s not only less expensive, but good environmental stewardship.

Start your project by studying home improvement magazines. You’ll find great ideas that will help you figure out how to do some really cool things with your living room.

Once you know what you want to do, decide which pieces of furniture you need to achieve the look you want. Then start looking for it. Thrift shops and garage sales will have the lowest prices. Antique shops may offer better quality and a more distinctive look.

Inspect whatever you select carefully. Be sure it’s durable and in good condition. You don’t want to notice that a piece is broken or missing pieces only after you get it home. Look out for bugs. too. Termites and woodworms can make their homes in old furniture, so be sure to check for them.

Used upholstered furniture may have bedbugs, and the owner might have no idea. Even professional inspectors can miss bed bugs. It can be difficult and expensive to get rid of them, so decide how much risk you’re willing to take.

You can, of course, also find furniture on eBay or Craig’s List. Buying sight unseen presents additional risks. Be sure to understand the return policy before making final decisions on buying anything in case your purchase arrives in poor condition.

Take pictures of the living room and know the approximate dimensions of the existing pieces. That way you can make sure that all the pieces you consider buying will fit where you want to put them.

Scratches and scuff marks should not be a reason to reject a piece you otherwise like. You can always refinish it. Sand and varnish it to give it a fresh look if you’re not satisfied with its appearance. Or you can paint it whatever color fits your scheme.

Don’t try move furniture by yourself. Living room furniture especially can be extremely heavy, so have a friend or family member help. That way you can rearrange the room without injury to yourself or damage to your furnishings.

In these ways, it is very easy and frugal to create a fresh, new look with old furniture. Used furniture doesn’t require virgin materials like new furniture does. And it’s also a greener alternative to letting it go to the landfill.

Did you know you can look into different stores online to find coupons for home improvement? Some even offer deals for new and used furniture.

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