Make your old furniture at home in a new place

If replacing your existing pieces isn’t an option, there are things you can do to make them at home in a new place.

For many movers, the temptation when moving home may be to send much of our old furniture to the dump and to populate the new home with items that are brand spanking new. However, for most of us this is unpractical from a financial point of view. The vast majority of us will lug our furniture with us from the old to the new place. But how can we make that old dining table suit the new kitchen? Or get our bulky bedroom furniture fit into our smaller bedrooms?

First up, you should make sure your old furniture physically fits into and within your new home. If you are downsizing, you will have to get rid of some of your furniture but if you are moving to a new house of a similar size, you should make sure that items such as sofas, chairs and bookshelves will fit into the space you intend for them.

If you find that certain items don’t fit into a space, you can alter them. If you are good with carpentry, you could look to extending a too-small dining table or bookcase – or you could enlist the services of a carpenter to do it. Likewise, if they are too bulky for the new space, can they be minimised?

If the style of your sofa or dining chairs doesn’t suit the style of the new place, you could look to reupholstering. If you can’t afford to reupholster immediately, invest in large throws to for your chairs and sofas – to spruce them up.

Very often a move from a period house to a newly-built one can leave our furniture feeling dated. To tackle this, mix up your styles. Combine old pieces with contemporary pieces. Accessorise with modern items – such as new rugs, lighting or throws – and the old furniture will immediately look fresher.

Items that lend themselves to painting could be updated with a lick of paint. This can be especially helpful if you find that the colour scheme in the new house doesn’t match the colour scheme of your old furniture. You could transform that pine table into a modern, grey one, for example. Upcycling your old furniture can save you heaps of money in the long run.

Likewise, don’t be afraid to change how you used your old furniture. Forget how you used it in your old house and look at your new home with a whole new outlook. You may have bought your furniture in a set, but that doesn’t mean the various pieces have to stay in a set. The armchair that had the perfect place in your old sitting room could look perfect in your new bedroom. The chest of drawers that belonged to your bedroom could suit the dining area.

It’s all about blending the old with the new. So instead of ditching the old items, fall in love with them all over again.

This article was first published in The Sunday Times in partnership with Bank of Ireland. Publication of this article is not seen as an endorsement of the content by Bank of Ireland.


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