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How to Give Old Furniture a Modern Makeover: 4 Steps to DIY

September 6, 2017


Everyone has at least one piece of furniture that’s old and has seen better days. And I am sure you have dreamt about replacing it. Maybe with a designer piece of your dreams, or a piece that has the functionality you desire without the bruises of a hard-lived life. 


And then, I can imagine, for some of your dreams turn into nightmares when you begin to think about the cost to do so — especially when we are talking about quality crafted, wood furniture. 


Undoubtedly, redesigning a piece — in most cases — is less expensive than replacing it. Plus, it’s way more fun! 


Of course, sources and websites like Pinterest are flooded with before and after’s, and the inspiration is endless — between the Internet and social media. But how do you actually do it?


Step 1: Decide What Needs to Change


Look at the elements of your piece and decide what’s dated. From time to time there are elements of a piece that show age, but not in a good way. Make a plan to change these elements and bring light to the more relevant design elements.                                                     

Here is a perfect example. The china cabinet has great lines, and it’s beautifully made from solid pine. But the wood rails and wine glass rack say DATED! 


Now with the the rails removed and the wine rack repaired, this piece is the perfect farmhouse piece.


If you’re not used to undressing furniture with your eyes, here are a few considerations to look out for:



Step 2: Decide What Modern Features to Include


Now that you have decided what about your old piece needs to go, it’s time to consider some new, modern elements to incorporate. Think about things like:

  • Small doses of bold colors - Jewel colors are a trend that just keeps getting hotter.

  • Wallpaper drawer liners are an unexpected way to add a bit of color and pattern

  • Modern color palettes - Lots of neutrals, or a blend of rich woods and jewel tones, are great on-trend palettes.

  • Natural wood elements - Showcase those gorgeous wood details. 

  • New hardware - Change out the ordinary to a showcase feature.

Other considerations:

  • Make sure the new style fits in the room. A modern trend is to mix pieces from different eras, which makes for a fun and easy design. In