Colefax and Fowler
Furniture ages just like everything else…and like with most other things, you don’t notice the small changes that happen to your furniture until one day, a few years (or maybe even a decade or more) down the line, you stop and say, “When did my furniture develop this natural patina?”
Obviously you love your furniture — you wouldn’t have kept it for so long if you didn’t — but loving your furniture doesn’t mean you can’t update it or dress it up a little. What’s more, you can make your updates and do your dressing up for very little cost (which should be a relief since it’s doubtful you’ve got a Steve Wynn-sized bank account to fund these projects).
Here are a few cost-effective ways to do just that.
1. Put on New Hardware
Consider adding a little bit of bling to that old chest that you want to fall back in love with. Putting on new hardware is a great way to dress up old cabinetry and furniture. For example, maybe instead of having handles on the dresser drawers, you can put pulls on instead. New hardware can completely change (and update) the look of a piece and costs way less than buying a whole new item.
2. Refinish It
That chest sitting in the back of the garage may look nice in it’s all natural elements. Consider sanding off the old layers of varnish and finish. Maybe this time you can choose a different paint color, or maybe you’ll leave it all-natural.
Refinishing vintage furniture helps get rid of layers of gunk and grime. It can also remove dings and scratches that might have dampened the appearance of the piece. While it won’t often make the piece look brand new, it can help it look re-energized.
As someone who is undoubtedly into the purity of his or her furniture, the idea of painting over the current finish, stain, or varnish probably turns your stomach. Before you hurl, though, know that light paint colors are very “in” right now (and has been for a while). You don’t have to paint the furniture a garish color if you don’t want to. In fact, one of the best things you can do is paint it white. A coat of white paint helps it keep its integrity while also updating its look.
4. Reupholster It
The simple fact of the matter is that over time, fabric (in spite of your good intentions and good care) starts to rot. Cushions (even with minimal pressure) lose their strength. Reupholstering the seat, sofa, or stool helps maintain its beauty and structural integrity. You can even find antique-looking fabrics fairly cheaply online. Even better — upholstery is something you can easily do yourself, which saves you even more money!
Whatever you choose to do, know this: Updating is not the same as replacing. You can keep the same furniture for decades if you treat it well and give it a facelift now and then!
Erin Steiner is a full-time freelance writer and web content creator.
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