I’ve been in a new home for just a matter of months now and have pretty much finished playing “musical furniture” – the “where do I put it?” game where you wander from room to room and wonder where to hang the mirror, or how to squeeze in a chair that no longer works in the room where it used to look great, or where you can showcase a favorite vase.
This Spot Needs Something!
With my furniture settled in the new house, I still found myself with a blank bit of wall that cried out for something. Located in the dining room and adjacent and visible to the living room, the space certainly didn’t work well for a table or a chair, I was fresh out of framed art, my dining hutch didn’t fit well on that wall (and it already looked good where it was placed), and a mirror wasn’t ideal as it just reflected part of another wall and and and edge of kitchen cabinets (tip: when hanging a mirror always consider what it’s reflecting). And, with all the expenses of a new home and a move, a new piece of furniture wasn’t in the plans.
Make Something Old New Again
Time to reinvent, refurbish, and reuse a piece of furniture a friend made for us over 30 years ago. The oak and glass etagere shown below was, until a couple of days ago, holding miscellaneous items and small boxes in a corner of the garage. At our last home it was relegated to the laundry room where it held a big container of liquid laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, a box of batteries and a bin of cleaning cloths. In better years the etagere served us well in a family room, an office , a bedroom and several other spots.
The old piece had good “bones.” It was a suitable height and width for the wall, made of quality materials and still sturdy. The only problem was it just didn’t quite go with the surrounding darker wood (hardwood floor, dining table, ceiling beams) and it was rather straight-lined and modern for the older, more organic and almost Tuscan look of the house.
My solution? Clean the etagere (laundry detergent drips had soaked into the wood in one spot), prep it with a light sanding, use a rag to apply two coats of Minwax stain in Red Mahogany 225 color, and decorate it by adding iron brackets Home Depot sells as shelf supports. The brackets soften the lines of the angular piece and also tie in with the curving iron chandelier hanging over the table, just a few feet from the etagere’s new home.
With the revamped etagere in place on the wall, I visually tied it to the rest of the room by shopping my kitchen. I filled a basket tray with colorful cloth napkins, stacked Italian style pottery dishes in a metal holder, and added vinegar bottles filled with colorful vegetables. A few other touches to the shelves and the wall now appears welcoming instead of blank.
What About You?
Take a look around and you might find you’ve got the perfect piece to reinvent, refurbish and reuse! So share your inspiration. Let us see your before and after photos or how you put something to use in a new way. As always, we’re anxious to hear from you.