Redesigning Old Furniture: 4 Steps for Any Project
Have you always wanted to redesign an old piece of furniture? Do you feel like you are finally ready to tackle the project but don't know where to start? Choosing a type of paint, finish, and even colors can be daunting. Every piece will be different and require different steps, but it's much easier to start with the perfect plan.
Step 1: Identify Your Style
What do you like? Seems like a simple question, but honestly it's not an easy answer most of the time. I have learned that not only does your style/taste change and evolve over time, but it's something that could take a while to identify.
When I first married my honey our style was what I call Motley Crue. Between his love for dark, oversized couches and electronics, and my love for a little bit of everything, combined with the enviable hand-me-down furniture, we found ourselves:
Not truly knowing what our style was, and
Not knowing how to pick the best of both, and join them together to come up with something we both lived and were proud to show off.
Here's a list of general decor/design styles. Of course there are so many the list could go on and on but these are some of the top trends:
Traditional - Classic styling incorporates elements from a variety of centuries. Mostly formal but with a comfortable feel.
Coastal - Just what is sounds like; "beach inspired" and known by it's use of soft aquatic colors and jute. Also referred to as Nautical or Cottage.
Farmhouse - A modern approach to a country style, rooted in French Provence. Known for its use of whites and neutrals, shiplap, raw woods, and exposed beams, this style is so popular for a casual look and easy in mixing with other styles such as modern, industrial, bohemian, Scandinavian.
French Country - European elegance meets rustic country and old-world character to achieve the graceful and inviting style of country French decorating.
Mid-Century Modern - Specific to the mid-20th century, this style is simple clean and sophisticated. It's known by its refined lines and minimalist design.
Industrial - A reflection of the turn of the century industrial era this style is known for its use of metal (steel and iron), natural distressed woods, and exposed brick.
Bohemian - Rich in color, patterns, and textures and know for it's Moroccan, Southwest, and tribal influence.
Modern - The new contemporary. Know by its minimal sleek design using a mix of polished metals and stone and known for clean lines.
Step 2: Find Examples of Furniture You Love
Look for pieces and rooms that fit your style. Of course it will be much easier if you know how to classify your style (above). They don’t have to be make-over examples, but should be examples of how you would love this piece to look after you are finished redesigning it.
Where to look:
And here is a great tip: most of your favorite store website will also have their catalog available online so you don’t have to worry if your husband “moved” yours to the recycle bin…maybe that’s just a struggle in my house! Lol.
Pinterest is probably the best way to collect all your idea in one place. You can easily create boards and pin ideas to the appropriate board. It will help you weed through ideas, narrow your true "likes," and see the project in the "big picture." I also personally love to make collages with Layout from Instagram by Instagram, Inc.
Note the Details you love:
Now you know your style and what you want your vintage piece to look like so the hard part it behind us.
Step 3: Consider Your Space
Your new piece will soon be integrated into your home. There are some things you will want to think about before making a final design decision.
Does the room match your style, or is this piece the first step in a whole-room makeover? If the room doesn't match the style, and you're not ready to redo the entire space, reevaluate the style of your makeover. Maybe look for inspiration with an eclectic style to start transitioning your "old" style to your new vision.
Is your piece the correct size for the space?
Does this piece function for the intended use? Will it need to be modified? i.e a dresser being used for a media console will likely need to be modified
What colors are already in the room? Does your new vision work with the current color palette or will you need to modify your design?
What is your design goal? Are you adding drama to a plain space? A dark jewel tone piece could be the perfect addition. Or are you wanting to create a light airy space? A light neutral design would be a good fit in this case.