Unless you have your house exactly how you want it, I think you have some furniture to update. There are 4 ways to update your furniture, and only one of them involves buying new furniture. You can re-arrange what you have, re-finish a current piece, sell furniture that isn’t working and buy used, or buy a new piece with lots of research.
RE-ARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE
I’ve been doing this since I was in grade school. I love re-arranging furniture. Without even telling my parents my plans or asking for help, I would drag, push, and sometimes shove my heavy furniture all around my room. My mom would walk in surprised, but never angry. It was just a thing I did in the many houses we lived in my many different bedrooms over the years, and she accepted it. I’m very glad, because I truly believe I was practicing and learning about furniture placement from a young age.
Re-arranging furniture is magical! Without spending a dime, a space can be transformed to feel entirely new! There is a trick to it, though, and it is crucial. First, you have to be willing to think that a new way might be better. The trick may sound obvious, but it has stopped so many people.
When I help people organize, sometimes I’ll recommend furniture changes. Some clients are so hesitant about this. They hold tight to whatever reasons that made them place their furniture a certain way in the first place, and have stopped to consider there could be reasons to arrange furniture differently. If you have a room that feels “off” to you, you need to be willing to think through it from a fresh perspective!
3 Basic furniture moves that can transform a room –
1 – Remove things from in front of windows. Light is everything in home design. Try to never block natural light! Heavy furniture pieces need to be anchored against walls or in open areas, parallel to a wall.
2 – Leave the area around doorways free of heavy furniture or anything really. The room will feel so much bigger if the area around a door is clear!
3 – Don’t break up big open floor areas of mid-to-small size rooms. Keep furniture that sticks out (like couches and beds) to the edges of the space to maintain a large open area in the middle of the room.
RE-FINISH FURNITURE YOU ALREADY HAVE
If you’re going for a new look, but your budget is tight, update a piece of furniture you already own. Add new knobs, paint it, or re-stain.
Add New Knobs
I’ve told you about the millions of new knobs I’ve installed, because it is such a simple way to make a big difference.
Paint or Stain
Take a piece of furniture you have, and give it a new life with paint or re-staining. This little beauty is one of my very favorite pieces of furniture I’ve updated with chalk paint. This was a very inexpensive put-together-yourself cabinet and the new paint gave it an entirely new life!
SELL WHAT YOU HAVE, BUY USED
Whenever I’m getting ready to buy new furniture, it is a habit of mine to sell off old furniture first. It is so much more fun to bring new furniture in when there is space for it, but I also like to know how much money I’ve made from selling to contribute to my furniture shopping.
My new living room furniture arrangement happened with a variety of update styles. We re-arranged furniture we already had: the navy blue chairs came out of my bedroom. I sold the sectional that was here before. I used the money toward the new couch, which we did buy new. I bought the end tables at a great price from a local antique/re-sell shop.
This picture below is from Pier 1. I love everything about this picture, and am happy to say, two of the featured Chas style chair in Indigo Blue Floral are now in my bedroom where the navy chairs were before. I had chairs missing for about a month or more. The navy chairs were also Chas style chairs from Pier 1. What can I say, I loved the blue velvet ones so much, I couldn’t help myself! I would love to have even more of these chairs in other places in my house, like a reading chair in my girls room. They are sooooo comfortable! (I definitely did not pay full price. These go on sale once in a while, or they’ll have a store/site-wide sale pretty regularly.)
Before moving on, can we take a collective moment to appreciate the beautiful floral wall art?!?! I’ve stared at that a million times and it never stops looking magical to me. I’d love to copy that look somewhere.
BUY NEW (RESEARCH EXTENSIVELY FIRST)
Quality matters for pieces you want to keep around for a while, but value is probably more important. You want the best quality to make the most of the money you spend! I read reviews extensively. I don’t just look at a rating number, but I read the reasons they gave the score. Sometimes I’ll buy a low-rated item if the negative reviews are about things un-important to me.
All three of my girls have IKEA dressers and desks. When I was buying three of each at a time, I didn’t have the budget to go to a nice furniture store and buy heirloom quality solid wood furniture pieces. We bought pieces that would hopefully last about ten years (about the time my girls will be leaving for college). But when we purchased the master bedroom furniture (a billion years ago), I wanted to picture my furniture lasting 50 years if we wanted, so we shopped accordingly for solid wood furniture. When you’re shopping for new pieces, create a budget that makes sense for what you’re doing.
When you’re buying furniture, wait for holiday sales weekends or sale prices if possible. One of the best ways to find out good time to buy is to actually ask the furniture store employees. Most are willing to tell you when to get the best price, though if you feel like you are being misled for a commission, ask more than one person!
Research best prices and compare designer products to competitors. This table in our kitchen was an amazingly good price, but it wasn’t the first table of it’s kind that I saw. I had seen a table that was similar at a very high-end shop and it was 5 times the price. When I came across this beautiful set at a furniture store, it was so much like the high-end table. I knew what a good price I was getting! And seriously, the reclaimed/ imperfect wood look is great for kids. Their marks only add more character.
This week, I hope you will feel inspired to update a piece of furniture. Maybe re-arrange it with other furniture, or give it a fresh coat of paint. Your home is already thanking you for the facelift!
If you haven’t yet, download the Printable Guide here.
Use the Printable to help guide you in planning and preparing. If you want an overview of each week, check out this blog post with all the details.
- LOVE YOUR HOME – INTRO
- LOVE YOUR HOME WEEK 1 – PLAN & PREPARE
- LOVE YOUR HOME WEEK 2 – BEAUTY + FUNCTION
- LOVE YOUR HOME WEEK 3 – FRESHEN UP DECOR
From my home to yours,
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