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1. A Splash of ColorI love the shape and the color of this dresser. Add some new hardware and you’re done. 2. Gorgeous AntiquesI can’t believe this piece was at the Salvation Army! The concave and convex glass panels were just begging to be touched.
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3. Detective Work The style of the locks, latches and hardware can help you figure out when a furniture piece was made. 4. Multi-useThink beyond entertainment center. This would make a great home office cabinet, and you can just close the doors on the clutter.
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5. All the Details I love the gorgeous hand-carving on this dresser. 6. Waiting for a Re-do These vintage chairs could easily be updated with a new look.
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7. Measures Up I always keep a measuring tape in my bag. Not only will this help you find the right piece of furniture for your house but measuring also helps you make sure it will fit in your car. 8. Start a CollectionI have three of these corner shelves now. I love painting them in fun colors.
If you're looking for unique furniture for your home, you should consider vintage, and better yet, you should think about updating the piece yourself. It may sound a little intimidating, but with a coat of paint, a piece of fabric and a staple gun, you can create a showstopper. And it really is true that you'll appreciate the piece more when you put in the elbow grease that it takes to transform it.
The most important thing to look for is a structurally sound piece. It's easy to fall in love with a chair, only to get it home and notice that there's a crack running throughout a leg. Small holes and scratches are easy to fill, but make sure all of the joints are tight, that there are no major cracks and that the piece doesn't wobble.
Before you buy, try to look past the paint finish and fabric — all that is changeable. Trying to imagine the whole thing white can really help you focus on the style and shape.
If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, start with yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets.
Yard sales are the best for deals but they're always hit-or-miss. If you don't see any great furniture pieces, keep your eye out for smaller home décor items to redo, like lamps and mirrors.
For the best shopping experience, make sure to do your homework and look at Craigslist the night before. Get there early, make sure to bring cash and don't be afraid to bargain, especially when buying more than one thing.
You can find great furniture at thrift stores, but you need to know the rules – and usually there are a lot of them. Most stores have a markdown policy based on how long the pieces have been for sale. Many of the stores won't hold anything once you buy it, so make sure you check first or come ready to haul furniture away.
A trip to the flea market can turn into a great adventure. You never know exactly what you will find, and you're pretty much guaranteed to meet some interesting characters. Get ready to bargain — it's expected, so don't be afraid to ask if a vendor can give you a better price.
If you're looking for a shopping experience that practically ensures that you'll find something that you'll like, consider furniture consignment shops, estate sales and auctions.
Furniture consignment shops are a little more expensive, but they've already done some of the work for you. You won't have to hunt so hard, and their pieces are usually very high quality.
Estate sales are kind of like fancy yard sales, and oftentimes you can see preview images online. These sales often start on a Friday and continue into the weekend. Make sure to ask for their best price, and remember that the longer the sale has been going on, the greater the discount. Some sales will even be half off on the second day.
If you're looking for excitement, try an auction. There's usually a preview before the sale, so you can get a close look at the pieces you're interested in buying. But be careful, you never know what you'll end up with in the heat of a bidding war!
Now go out there, have an adventure and find amazing treasures!
a. Take measurements ahead of time and bring your own measuring tape. b. Have an idea of what you are looking for before you go shopping so you don't get overwhelmed. c. Think about how you will get your piece home. Most stores will hold the piece for at least 24 hours, but some won't.
See Karen Guard's projects on her blog, Darling Octopus, at darlingoctopus.wordpress.com .