I recently put out a survey to find out what is driving you nuts about your home and its décor. Thank you to those of you who took part! The responses were fabulous, so I’m going to have a series of blogs addressing what came up.
If you haven’t taken my survey and would like to (yes please!), just click on the Feedback page or here...
To start this off, I’m going to talk about a question that really resonated with me because it’s something we all struggle with: “How do I use what I already have/what I’ve inherited?” I have this problem myself – my husband and I have received all sorts of hand me downs over the years, and, I’m a bit of a hoarder so here’s how I approach things…
Let's pick an example for illustration purposes. Let’s say you have a glass cabinet that was your grandmother's. Your mom gave it to you and you feel pressure to use it. You could apply this to any piece of furniture. Here’s how I would approach it.
I always start with function. What’s the best way to use the piece? Try to think outside the box here. Just because Grandma had it in her living room doesn’t mean you need to. What are your needs? Maybe you need more storage in your bedroom or bathroom. You could put in in your bathroom to hold towels and pretty toiletries. Or maybe in your bedroom to store your jewelry, shoes and handbags? Or maybe it could go in your dining room to serve as a bar?
Here's some inspiration!
Image Sources: Rilane.com, This is Glamorous, House Beautiful
Okay - it's going to work but I hate how it looks. Now what?
If you’ve established that Grandma's cabinet can work for you, but you’re not crazy about the look, then you can easily make it over. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint/stain can do. I’ve used Amy Howard paint and it’s super easy and doesn’t require any sanding. Think about how you could switch out the glass too – perhaps antiqued mirror? Or chicken wire? Or fabric?
Hardware is another element that you could easily change. If you want to keep the original hardware, you could spray paint it another color. Replacing is easy - just make sure you replace it with hardware that has the right dimensions (in terms of screw placement). Some sources for hardware are World Market, Anthropologie, Target, Restoration Hardware and, for my local peeps, Bullet Lock and Company in Long Branch.
Being an antique junkie, I would say there are some exceptions to painting/refinishing a piece. Generally, if a piece is over 100 years old and still has its original finish, you'll decrease the value tremendously. Majorly! I would call in an expert for their opinion first.
If Grandma's cabinet is not going to work in your home at this point in your life, that’s okay too. You have a few options. You could store it out of the way, like your garage or basement (as long as it’s not too damp) or in a storage facility. Maybe you could ask Mom to hold onto it for you. If it will NEVER work in your home or future homes (which is totally OK!), then you could give it away or sell it. I think what matters most is that it lives on in some capacity. Whatever you do, don’t put it in the trash!
So, here's my advice in four easy steps... 1. What are your needs? 2. Can your piece serve one or more of those needs? 3. If so, keep it as is or refresh it. 4. If not, store it, sell it or give it away.
I have top notch resources for paint, painters and re-upholsterers - drop me a line if you want a recommendation!
I'm all about sharing ideas in home design, gardening and living so we can love our homes. I'm joined by my dog, Boomer, who is always by my side.