The love-hate relationship with your furniture (and what to do about it)

Congratulations! You've made it through winter.   It's time to say good-bye to hibernation, and hello to milder days.  Are you ready?  

If you've found yourself doing any one, or a combination of the following, then you are preparing for Spring.....otherwise known as "spring-ize-ing" your home.....

Tell tale signs of "spring-ize-ing: 

1.  De-cluttering the house

2.  Re-arranging rooms

3.  Browsing stores or Pinterest for fresh decorating ideas

4.  Purchasing a thing or two for the home

5.  Donating items  

6.  Thinking about getting new furniture, or purchasing new furniture

I have partaken in all of the above, with the exception of #6.  And #6 is today's focus.  Having had a yellow lab for many years, kids, and a puppy on the way, new furniture isn't in our near future.  I'm OK with that for several reasons.  

1.     I am beyond grateful for our three boys and looking forward to welcoming another furry friend into our family......and so the old furniture remains.

2.    I've discovered the wonder of slip covers.  If you're not happy with your upholstery on your couch or chairs, slip covers are a cost effective solution.  They can instantly change the way a room looks.  And they are washable.

3.  I happen to paint furniture.  When it's time for a change, or a spring refresh inside,  I grab a paintbrush.  We have some basic furniture pieces that we've "inherited" and it's great to hold onto these gems, while having the flexibility to change their appearance from time to time. In fact, I just painted our used to be teal. Now it's gray.  

So, getting back to #6 on the list above.......

For a variety of reasons that differ for us all, we hold onto our furniture (or not!) A common reality for many of us, is that our styles have evolved over the years, and we find that those furnishings we once liked, or even loved, have run their course. 

The all too common scenarios:

  • You have a special piece that was passed down in your family, and although you cherish it with all your heart, it doesn't fit in with the rest of your home.   Before you know it, it's in storage; where it sits "Out of sight; out of mind."  
  • You have a bedroom set that is solid as a rock, (which is why you still have it) but it's outdated, or as you've labeled it, just plain "ugly". 
  • You want to update your home interior, but brand new furniture isn't in the cards anytime soon
  • You've applied fresh paint to the walls, and now your furniture doesn't look so great
  • Your furniture is dark, or bares a wood/finish you dislike.  Every. Last. Piece.

Maybe you can relate? 

The result

Our furniture can become the biggest challenge in our quest to refresh our bedroom, living room, or any room for that matter.  We can re-arrange the room all day long, but at the end of the day, that outdated hutch, buffet, or side table is still there.  

I have good news!  Solutions abound. 

There are solutions to every one of these common furniture scenarios., as well as pros and cons to each. Take a read and see which solutions align with you, and your lifestyle.  What solutions are most reasonable? What solutions are you most likely to try?

The Solutions

1.  Replace all the hardware on your furniture

This may "mask" the unsightly features of that dresser or nightstand.  And sometimes a simple update like this can make a difference.  Sometimes. 

Pro:  It's fast and easy.  

Con:  Your're still dealing with the "ugly-ness" or outdated factor.  

2.  Re-arrange furniture throughout the house

Using your old furniture in new and different ways can re-create a space and provide a fresh new look.   You'll discover new ways to accessorize these pieces when they are used in different rooms of the house, or in different ways.  That's always fun. 

Pro: Relatively easy, cost-free  

Con: You risk injury (bend your legs, not your back!), and you're still dealing with the ugly-ness factor, even if you've put your awesome new decor on those piece of furniture. 

3.  Donate all your furniture  

Pro:  Instant update by eliminating the "ugly-ness" factor. And, extremely successful on achieving that minimalist look you've been reading about or seeing.  

Con: You now have no furniture

4.  Paint your furniture

Pro: This updates a piece instantly, as well as the room it sits in.  You can create a "set" of furniture by painting your mismatched furniture pieces the same way. Sweet. You'll save yourself a good chunk of change.   No you can incorporate your favorite color into your home, since you've decided to try it out on that cedar chest! 

Con: You'll spend hours researching how to do this, what products to buy and where, colors to consider for your particular piece of furniture, and how to tackle the job.   You'll also spend quite a bit of money purchasing the supplies needed. Consider the fact that you may only use those supplies once, maybe twice.  

Fact of the day:  Did you know a quart (29-32 oz.) of paint can cost between $20 and $30? And that's just for acrylic/latex paint.  A quality chalk paint is $40.  A synthetic brush will set you back about $12-15.  Primer (if you need it) ranges from $15-$35 depending on project size. And then there is the paint brush cleaner (if you're using oil based paint) $10-12, wood filler (for filling chips and dents) $5, sealant (to apply over your paint for protection): $15-30, and a sealant brush $12-15.  

Without sales, that is a grand total range of $142-152.  If you are considering painting several pieces of furniture, then you would require more than a quart of paint, thereby increasing the grand total.  Something to think about. 

Aside form the costs involved in painting your furniture, don't forget about the time invested in the job.  Hours.  Days. Weeks.   Do you have the time? 

5. Hire a professional to paint your furniture

Pro: Involves very little of your time.  (maybe 30 minutes, max).  Results in a "new" piece of furniture in the style you hoped for, or wanted.  Involves zero research.  Involves zero shopping trips to Home Depot.  Eliminates the mess in your home that this type of project creates.   It is a cost effective way to instantly refresh your furniture, and your home.  You are supporting the creative arts and a skilled service.  Woop! 

Con:  Considering the information and points in items #4 and #5 above, I find it difficult to identify cons in this fifth option.  How about you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to respond at the end of this post.  

Seriously I'd love to talk about your outdated furniture.  We all own a piece of furniture that we don't love. There is hope!  Think outside the box with that piece. Is there potential?  The link below will help you decide whether your furniture is a good candidate for a furniture make-over:  

4 signs of furniture make-over worthiness

Even as an experienced furniture painter, I still research my plan of attack for each and every project. However, the fundamental knowledge and skills I have acquired help me to produce a meticulously painted piece of furniture that customers love.   Additionally, my stockpile of supplies that I use over and over again, allows me to work efficiently, so customer wait time is minimal.  

I am honored when customers ask me to paint a piece that is meaningful to them, or to help them re-create furniture that is consistent with their current style.  The challenge of re-imagining and painting a piece according to a customer's home aesthetic and style is one I love to take on.  If you see yourself in any of the common scenarios listed in today's post, it is my hope that you'll give Novo Decor a thought before hiding that old furniture in a closet!  I am here to help you view your furniture differently, and to transform it into something you'll love for years to come.   

Have a great day.