Repurposing Ideas for Old Furniture

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Your old furniture can find new life in a different capacity, often with simple additions or alterations. You may also be able to refurnish your home at a reduced price by using old furniture found in antique or consignment stores and repurposed. While refinishing furniture can give it a new look, repurposing furniture can give your home a personalized decor that no one else will have.

Repurposing Ideas for Old Furniture
(Jeanne Studio/Demand Media)

Desks and small tables make excellent bathroom vanities with the addition of a bowl sink and modern plumbing. In particular, desks with drawers make great bathroom vanities because they offer storage for personal items. Larger desks and tables make excellent sideboards or kitchen storage carts. Consider raising up your old table on taller legs or added storage units, then adding a cooktop or sink to create a new kitchen island. Drop-leaf tables work particularly well for this purpose, creating a fold-down breakfast bar on your new island. Remove the legs entirely and replace them with cabinets, then attach the legs on the corners of the new island as decorative trim.

Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Straight-backed chairs can become the base for a new curio or set of bookshelves. If you have two matching wooden chairs, set them back to back a few feet apart. Then, add connecting shelves between the backs at floor, seat, mid-back and top height. The seats themselves can be used as shelves or kept as seating units. If you have plenty of shelving, consider changing your chair into a nightstand. Remove the back and use its pieces to add decorative accents to the base. Add a shelf near the bottom for extra storage, if desired. Two to three chairs placed side by side and connected together make an excellent entryway bench. Add coat hooks to the outside edges of the chairs and a shelf underneath for shoes and purses.

Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

Sofa construction varies widely, so your repurposing will depend on the type of sofa you have. Sofas with removable cushions work well as Japanese-style tea tables. Remove the seat cushions and cut off or remove the sofa back. If the back has removable cushions, save those with the seat cushions. Add a bamboo tabletop to the sofa base and line the cushions on either side of it for floor-level seating. Use the removed sofa back as a half-height room divider or cut into the basic structure and determine if shelves can be added for a bookcase.

Jeanne Studio/Demand Media

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