Decorating Apartments with Hand-Me-Down FurnitureAugust 25th, 2010 by Staff Writer
Moving in to that first apartment can be very exciting but it can also be very costly. Besides the rent and deposits it will cost you to get in, you have to think about how to fill up that empty apartment. Decorating apartments with hand-me-down furniture is a great solution for those just moving out on their own. There are many ways to dress things up and make them your own style once you convince those family and friends to hand over their old furniture to help you out.
Convince the Family to Hand out Their Hand-Me-Downs
Many times hand-me-down furniture will be thrown at you willingly when the family hears you are moving out. Family and friends often look at this as an excuse to get rid of old items they have had for a long time and purchase new ones. If this does not dawn on your family on their own, give them a friendly hint here and there about how much you could use some free furniture to furnish the new apartment.
Also check out what family and friends have stored in garages and basements that is no longer in use and just ask for it. Chances are they are planning on giving it away anyways and would be happy for someone to take it for them. Make a list of what items you need and cross them off as you attain them, this way you don’t end up with three couches that you don’t have room for and have to pawn off on someone else yourself.
Give the Hand-Me-Downs Your Personal Style
Before making any changes to the furniture your family and friends have handed over, make sure it is something they are not just lending to you and will want back eventually. Consider if any items have a personal attachment to them as well. Family antiques may not be your style but making changes to something that has been in the family a long time may case more drama than it is worth. Check with the family member who gave it to you first in situations like this. Otherwise, now is the time to take all of the hand-me-downs that don’t match and make them a cohesive style that you will love.
Fixing Up the Hand-Me-Downs
Look over each piece of furniture you were given and check for any repairs that need to be made. Many times a couple of nails or wood glue can do wonders to fix up an old piece that may not look redeemable. Solid wood can easily be spruced up with a quick refinish. This is also a great way to make the furniture match. Choose a stain that you like and sand down each piece before applying the new stain. For furniture that has too many scratches or marks to save with a refinish, consider painting them all to match in the color palette of your choice. Wood laminates can be painted as well. You may receive an odd combination of coaches and chairs. Consider reupholstering in an updated fabric or buy matching slipcovers to make the look cohesive.