Decorating and getting great looks is often thought to be an expensive project. There are lots of ways to have great looks and save money at the same time. One really awesome option is to buy used furniture. Not only are you saving money, but you are also doing the environment a favor by taking furniture that isn't wanted anymore. Plus there are tons of great ways to take the used furniture and spruce it up for a new look. Mixing and matching pieces can also make for a great feel in a room and you can have fun while doing it as well.

Where to find used furniture.
There are a ton of different used furniture options. The easiest is often garage and yard sales. You can enjoy a Friday or Saturday cruising sales in your area and finding a lot of great deals. Of course, it doesn't have to end there! You can also get used furniture from estate sales, flea markets, friends and family members (put the word out that you are looking for something), the newspaper, or sites like Craigslist. All of these options allow you to find great items at an even better price. Then all you need to do is spruce it up according to your tastes.

Sprucing it up.
Because we all have unique styles, tastes, and decorated spaces it is often a good thing to have fun and spruce up your "new" furniture with one of the following techniques. There is a lot you can do to make used furniture fit your style, needs, and other decor. You can also use these techniques on furniture you already own for a new feel to your room or for a new use for the old.

  1. Clean it. This may sound simple enough, but it can mean a lot for some older pieces. Sometimes a piece is just dirty and looks to be in poor condition because of it. You can clean it for a whole new look. Start with just plain water. Use a tooth brush to get into the small cracks, crevices, and corners. If it is still looking really dirty then add a cup of lemon juice to your water. This can help bring up dirt without damaging the surface of the piece. If it is wood you can then polish it using a touch of olive oil and a soft rag. If the piece is upholstered then you will want to look into cleaning it as well. One great option is to use salt and vinegar. Mix 1/2 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar and apply it to any spots, stains, or dirty areas (you can cover the whole thing or sprinkle salt on the whole thing and spray down with vinegar) and then gently scrub with a soft bristled brush. This can clean up a lot of mess.
  2. Paint it. If cleaning just isn't enough or the piece doesn't match your decor then painting can be a great option. Some of us have a hard time painting over wood, but you can come up with some great looks and you can also match your decor (or create a whole new one). Neutral colors such as black, white, browns, tans, or even some shades of green will match almost anything and often let you make the furniture what you want it to be. Adding color as accent can also be great for a room. You can also consider bolder statements with lots of color. Paint is also a great way to use older furniture in a kids room with great flair. Use primary colors for young children, pastels for growing girls, or make it a theme that your child will enjoy. After all, when they out grow it you can repaint it!
  3. Refinish it. Wood can also be refinished. Often this process is a bit more complicated then simply throwing some paint on it, but the results can be stunning. Start with a good stripper and strip the wood free of any finishing products it has on it. Then you can pick stains, varnishes, and polyurethane to meet your needs. This works well for pieces of furniture that are all wood (some are part wood and part other types of boards) and can show you some stunning pieces. Sometimes the wood underneath is even better then you imagined! Plus with all the wood finishing options out there you can easily come up with a color and look that matches your needs.
  4. Reupholster it. Many pieces of furniture can be reupholster fairly easily. Others can be reupholster for a small fee (after all a "new" couch for a $100 or $200 is worth it if it is a good quality piece of furniture) by professionals. First figure out how the pieces is put together. If it is something like a dinning room chair you can take the chair apart, choose a new fabric, and staple the new fabric into place. If it is a bigger piece that requires a professional touch shop around for someone to do it. You can often find great deals with a little work. Then choose your fabric and they will put your new piece together for you. You can choose colors, textures, and patterns that match your tastes, decor, and desires.
  5. Slip Cover it. If you can't find someone to reupholster your furniture, don't want to make permanent changes, or have a very limited budget then a slip cover may be fore you. You can purchase a slip cover and simply cover the piece. Slip covers these days are fitted, look good, and are available in a wide range of styles, colors, textures, and patterns. Have fun with it.
  6. Throws and throw pillows. Sometimes tired furniture doesn't really need a huge change. Simply adding a throw to the back or the end of the bed can add color, texture, and visual interest. You can also place a number of throw pillows to add color. You don't have to work as hard for this option and it can make a huge difference to the piece and a room in general.
  7. Fabric. A piece of fabric can also make a great option. It can be inexpensive and super easy. You can drape them over end tables, chairs, couches, and even the ottoman or foot stool. To finish the edges use fabric glue or tape for a quick project that doesn't require you to sew.

Used furniture can be a great way to get a deal, help the earth, and update your home. Have fun transforming it into a treasure and a great look. Decorating and making an inviting home doesn't require a lot of money and a few good choices can make a huge difference to your space.