How to Make Your Old Furniture Work in a New Space

Most people don’t start from scratch with every new home they occupy; our furniture follows us from place to place, and (for the most part), we have to make it work where we end up. But accepting that fact (and even embracing it, because hey, we love our furniture, right?) doesn’t make it any less annoying to find that your old dining set looks ridiculously dated in your new kitchen, or that your left-hand sectional sofa is constantly blocking the flow in your new living room.

Family Room

Luckily, there are a few basic things you can keep in mind to help your old things work in a new space, and they don’t involve setting a match to the whole thing and starting over.

1. Alter It.
Furniture that looks and feels wrong in a space can often be made to look and feel right, or at least a lot closer to it.

Painting and re-upholstery are just the tip of the iceberg here; consider carpentry and creative solutions to change the actual size, structure and use of your pieces.

A too-small dining table can have a new, lower base added and become a grand coffee table. The top of an old table can be put on new legs or vice versa. Bookcases can have doors added or doors removed, or be placed on their side to become sideboards. Even upholstered items can be changed; consider removing the back of a too-structured sofa to create a chaise, or removing the arms of a chair so that it will fit in a smaller space.

2. Mix It Up.
Often we see our furniture in room sets, simply because that’s how we’ve always used it. The sofa belongs in the living room, that armoire in the bedroom, those chairs in the hallway.

Removing your blinders and mixing it up can go a long way to making your things look at home, but in a fresh way.

So maybe your chest of drawers doesn’t fit in the new bedroom — could it work in the dining room to store plates and accessories? How about the old TV cabinet — maybe it could be a linen closet in the upstairs hall. Use some still-beautiful-but-superfluous dining chairs as bedside tables in the spare bedroom, or mount the old full-length mirror horizontally in the front hall.

3. Upgrade the Important Stuff.
Sure, you might be attached to your old furniture, but those sore-thumb pieces are always going to bother you, especially if they’re big, conspcious items.

Sometimes it’s best to say goodbye to a few key pieces and replace as necessary.

If you upgrade where it counts — say, a new sofa or dining table, some lighting — you’ll probably find that other items bother you less, and might even start to look at home next to their new neighbors. The key is to overhaul slowly, one piece at a time; that way you won’t go overboard and can monitor the evolution of your new home.


Source: Apartment Therapy

Coming Soon: Furniture That Charges Your Phone

Countertops, tables and home appliances with wireless charging capability mean less clutter — and zero effort powering your phone

Wireless charging has been around for a while, and it’s convenient for mobile phone users — you don’t have to actually plug in a phone to charge it.

The way it works is that a base station creates an electromagnetic field, which passes through the exterior of the phone and electrifies an internal charger, thus charging the phone. The feature is available as an option sold separately for most of the phone handsets that support it. It’s also possible to buy an external case for some phones, such as the iPhone, which gives it wireless charging capability.

Wireless charging for other devices has been around for a long time. If you have an electric toothbrush, for example, it probably charges wirelessly.

In the future you’ll never have to consciously charge your phone. Just setting it down on a kitchen table, bedside table, coffee table or desk will charge it, because a wireless charger will be built into every surface you might set your phone on.

Companies are making new progress toward that goal, and wireless charging tables are showing up in public places. A few Starbucks outlets in Silicon Valley have started integrating wireless charging stations into the tables. McDonald’s is also testing the use of wireless charging in Europe. General Motors, Toyota and Chrysler are planning to offer wireless charging to some 2014 model cars.

Multipurpose devices such as lamps and clock radios can do double duty as charging stations too. And a few baby steps toward commercially available home tables and countertops that charge gadgets are in the works. DuPont, for example, plans to embed wireless charging technology into its Corian synthetic granite countertops; gadgets can be charged by simply placing them on the surface.

This feature highlights the electromagnetic permeability of Corian, which actual granite doesn’t have. DuPont imagines a world in which kitchen counters, dining room tables, bathroom sink countertops, bedside tables and coffee tables come with an option for wireless charging.

Read more!



Mike Elgan
Houzz Contributor. I’m a Silicon Valley-based writer, columnist and blogger, covering technology and culture.


Tip Tuesday: Combination Pet Bed / End Table

DIY Network Tips

Octogon tables were all the rage 40 years ago; today you can find them at garage sales and flea markets for next to nothing. We updated this one by removing the door and giving the whole piece a fresh coat of paint. Then we made it pet friendly by lining the inside with fabric and a fluffy cushion. (read how to make your own)

source: Brian Patrick Flynn, Decor Demon


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