When we got married and set up our home…
We had a lovely puffy white leather 80’s style sofa that Bill had bought as a bachelor (it looked something like this). Um, ew. Not any better, I brought an old futon to the table, the one I’d used with girlfriends in my grad school rental. We also had an awesome-tastic brass & fake-wood veneer dinette set.
But how do you get from college & bachelor furniture and old, worn-out 70’s flashback hand-me-downs to a nicely furnished home? I mean, without racking up credit card debt on showroom pieces.
There actually is a way to furnish a home with nice pieces with very, very, VERY little money. As I look around our casa and tot up our furniture, I see a few tips that might be of use to you. Here’s how we got twenty pieces of furniture on a next-to-nothing budget:
1. Consider Hand-Me-Downs
This chair was in our home office when we were first married, but for the last almost-nine years, it’s been in one of our kids’ rooms. It has seen many middle-of-the-night feedings, lots of cuddle & rock sessions, and countless bedtime stories. Okay, so this rocker-recliner isn’t the prettiest thing on the planet, but it is comfortable and well-made. I have to say the color worked best aesthetically when it was in our second son’s nursery (baseball art and other brown, chambray blue, and navy accents). It is crying for me to try my hand at slip-covering, and I will get there… someday! But for now, it continues to serve as a wonderful, functional nursery rocker.
Speaking of Li’l Bro’s baseball room, he has this fantastic bookshelf that a friend gave us about a decade ago when she cleaned out office furniture. The shelves are adjustable and it is lovely and deep. Its depth makes is PERFECT for parking toys! And a new coat of paint make it an excellent display piece for him to see, access, and easily clean up his books and toys. Score!
The bedside table and tall dresser in Li’l Bro’s room, as well as the wide dresser in Big Bro’s room are my husband’s childhood pieces. They are sturdy and strong and have been able to withstand years of wear-and-tear from my boys. I sprayed all three pieces navy blue, and sprayed the hardware silver, so their 60’s finish was updated. I love incorporating pieces with sentimental value!
My husband scored this incredible desk from our gym, of all places. They were redecorating the office, so Bill asked if they were selling the desk, and they gave it to him!! For FREE! [Everybody say “free”; we like free; free is good.] It was a very traditional desk in brown, but it’s brightened up a lot after a couple of coats of paint from my handy-dandy sprayer! [The hardware was sprayed silver.]
This little chair was my husband’s when he was a boy… And before that, it was his mother’s when she was a little girl. some people would cringe and scold me for painting this piece, but if a piece is not working in your home, it’s hard to fully enjoy it despite what sentimental value it has. While I might catch some heat for this, I say refinishing an heirloom piece is okay. The family member whose memory it evokes would probably be very happy to know it is bringing joy to your family all these years later!
So what have we learned? 1) Not all hand-me-downs & freebies are junk. 2) A coat of paint can make any mismatched pieces a “matching set.” 3) It’s okay to refinish an heirloom or family piece!
Okay, the tally for the day is NOTHING! And with $200 to spare, we have seven pieces down; thirteen to go! Join us tomorrow for part two and scoring some thrifty finds! Wheeee!
So, any heirloom or has-been hand-me-downs in your house? Do tell!
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