Problem #1: You’ve had the same furniture set for 10 years. Problem #2: You’re tired of looking at it. Problem #3: Getting a whole new furniture set when this one is still in tip-top shape just seems like a bad investment, especially with the holidays coming up. Interior designer and co-owner of BoConcept Niki Cheng has solutions. Cheng may be at the helm of five luxury furniture stores, but she’s a believer that you don’t need a lot of money to make a big impact. One of the most resourceful women in the business, we asked Cheng to highlight five of her favorite tips to refresh old furniture on a limited budget.
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Paint It Over
One of the most inexpensive ways to make something old look new is by painting over it. This won’t be possible with every item in your home, but Cheng suggests starting with any pieces that have wooden components like dressers, coffee tables and bookshelves. “For beginner DIY painters, I recommend picking a smaller piece like the frame of a mirror, something that’s not a family heirloom, and experimenting with that before moving onto bigger jobs. Baby steps,” she said.
Reupholstering chairs is one of the most affordable ways to give your dining or living room a much-needed facelift. “Switch up the fabric, experiment with a bold new print or add extra padding to give your seats a whole new feel,” Cheng said.
Walls and glass surfaces such as coffee tables can easily be spruced up with the aid of peel-and-stick decals. “Decals are not only super-easy to use, they’re also ideal for commitment phobes who can’t seem to decide on which paint color or wallpaper is ‘the one,’” said Cheng, who loves them as fun accents for a child’s bedroom or playroom. The best part? “They’re so cheap. Most decals won’t run you more than $50,” Cheng beamed.
Replace Your Hardware
Update the bling on your dressers and doors for some ooh-la-la flair. “Replace your drab, dated hardware with seasonal, edgy or colorful knobs in your favorite accent colors,” Cheng recommended. Added bonus for all you busy bees who just don’t understand the greatness of Pinterest: you don’t need much time or to be particularly crafty for this update to take your room design to the next level.
Clean It Up!
A little soap job brings neglected furniture back to life. Cheng loves the idea of sanding down wood furniture before wiping down the surfaces with a watervinegar mixture and then polishing it with olive oil spiked with lemon juice for a shiny clean. For leather surfaces, she advises mixing equal parts water and vinegar and then adding a few drops of olive oil. “A thorough cleaning is fast, free and it transforms the entire look and of your home,” she said.