On "The Early Show" Thursday, interior designer Anitra Mecadon, host of the DIY Network's Mega Dens, shared tips with co-anchor Chris Wragge on rescuing your old furniture, and pointed to other things you can do on the cheap to give your rooms a whole new look. That even includes finding hidden treasures in garage sales!
"Sustainable" is a hot word in the design industry right now, and there is a huge demand for repurposing old, unused items to create functional and beautiful home furnishings. And when you're updating a room, you don't have to go out and buy all new furniture - you can work with what you've got! We're not just talking about making do. We're talking about a whole new look that will make your friends and neighbors jealous when they come to visit! As I said, it's a big trend in the interior design industry right now. Why pay an interior designer to do something you can do yourself?
Updating furniture: a nightstand
There are a few key words we need to keep in mind when restoring old furniture. The first is rummage. And this is a great example of this. When you get the itch to buy something new, start by rummaging through your own stuff. Almost everyone has a few treasures hidden away in their attics or garages. So let's start with this old nightstand. It's a good, solid piece of furniture, but it looks pretty outdated, a little beat up. Now that doesn't necessarily mean you have to throw it away and replace it with a brand new nightstand set.
So, we put a fresh coat of paint on it. Anyone can do this. It's easy to find old, outdated nightstands at your local flea market and yard sales. And you don't have to be married to the original style. For example, you can remove a drawer and create a shelf. A quick coat of paint and new hardware does wonders.
If you're skittish about painting old furniture yourself - bring it to an - auto body shop!
It will cost a bit more, but they will paint your furniture with the same high quality paint they use on cars!
Another key word: refurbish!
There really is no excuse to have a brass chandelier hanging in your home. It's totally outdated and just begging for some refurbishing. So all you need is tape and paint to give the chandelier a total transformation. You want to tape off the part where the light screws in, and I recommend you spray it in a mist. It's amazing what a simple coat of high gloss paint can do, and it's so EASY! Pick a fun color, like tomato red, teal, or mustard yellow.
As for bulbs, round ones are a great alternative to the standard candelabra. They come in white and clear. Updating your lighting makes you feel like you're updating your whole room. And don't just stop at your chandelier: You can apply this same process to your foyer light, bathroom lights, etc.
Refinishing a coffee table
Again - we started with a nice, solid piece of furniture, but it was completely out-of-date. But there's no reason to put it out for the garbage collectors. Here's where the process of refinishing comes into play. And refinishing is easier than people think.
One of my favorite methods is antiquing. You can antique almost anything. There's a little bit more work required here: The process involves sanding down the old finish, painting, sanding again, and then adding a stain. In this case, I took an old, ugly coffee table and turned it into something beautiful. The distressed look is in style right now. You can mix it with modern furniture/decor and create a cool, eclectic look.
Obviously, you want to give a little life to the coffee table, and a good way to do that is with little things. Just go around the house, round up any toys or little knick-knacks, paint them a bright vibrant color (white, yellow, etc) in high-gloss paint, and they make great, modern accessories. All this cost just a few bucks for supplies. It's a very inexpensive way to update old furniture.
Use your imagination: Turn roof turbines into lamps
You know those little turbines you see on roofs? We got a couple of those and turned them into lamps. It's a great example of making use of items at a scrap yard or garage sale. You can always find a way to breathe new life into the most random items.
Chairs out of wine barrels
We got a couple wine barrels and made them into a set of chairs! This requires a little bit of work, but how cool are they?
One-of-a-kind entertainment center
We created an entertainment center using old lockers! We found them on Craigslist for 40 bucks. They were from a local elementary school in Atlanta. They make a great TV stand and provide lots of storage space. Definitely a funky way to spice up any home.