Tired or worn out furniture can bring down the look of your room. Even if your furniture is in quite a good condition, if it doesn't fit in with the style of the rest of your home or it is just a plain item with no colour or character, it can look out of place.
It's easier than you think to liven up furniture and add your personality to it, and this can instantly give your room a lift. Here are some tips for "upcycling" old furniture or simply giving a boring item a makeover.
· Painting is the most obvious way to give a piece of furniture a new lease of life. It's particularly easy with wooden furniture like oak. Get a better finish by sanding the wood to get rid of rough patches. You might need to prime it as well if the wood is bare and untreated – this will vary depending on the wood so do a quick bit of research. Use waterbased paint as this dries quite quickly and doesn't smell as bad as oil paints. If you're feeling creative you can paint patterns, or just paint certain parts, for example the fronts of drawers, or paint two clashing colours. If you want to create a "shabby chic" look simply rub a candle on corners and edges and then sand these parts when the paint's dry. You'll give it an instantly aged effect.
Decoupage might look tricky, but it is really just something that requires time rather than skill. Get a load of old magazines and cut out images or bits of colour. You'll need to use varnish to stick them onto the furniture with a paint brush, but you can be really creative and just stick as you feel like it, to create something really personalised and funky. You could use pictures with a theme, like cakes for a kitchen table, or just random pictures to create a new pattern.
If you want to do something really dramatic and stylish and feel that rustic furniture isn't really for you (and you don't mind potentially incurring 7 years bad luck) get a cheap mirror and smash it. Do this safely, on a controlled surface, and make sure you thoroughly clean the area afterwards to get rid of little pieces of broken glass. Using a strong adhesive to fix the broken pieces of mirror onto a flat surface like a wardrobe door will give a modern and eye catching design, which will play with the light in interesting ways.
If you are brave enough to re-upholster furniture, then you can use your own fabric. You could patchwork pieces together, or embroider some material to give the furniture your own style and make it unique.