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Repurposed Furniture Ideas

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Need new furniture, but don’t have the budget to buy new? Look around your home to see if any existing piece you already own can be altered or paired with another to give you a new piece of furniture in an instant. One of these repurposed furniture ideas doesn’t even require any DIY skills or tools!

I love looking at all the beautiful rooms and pages in decorating magazines as much as anybody, but I know for me that making decorative changes is more about giving my home a soul, then finding the next new thing, trend, or color. 

Decorating is about experimenting to see what works and in the end will give my home a comfortable personality that is perfect for the way my family lives– not the way my neighbors do, a showroom, or a family in a perfectly decorated magazine spread.

Over the next two weeks, I am going to concentrate on finishing two projects in my studioffice. I am super excited about completing them.  One has been literally pushed to the side over the past few months.  It is a storage unit that I am creating by using two un-matched pieces of hand-me-down furniture.

repurposed furniture ideas using existing furniture like this old wood library drawer cabinet.

This is how they have been in my studioffice since I rearranged the room.  I am not kidding.  They are away from the wall because for whatever reason, the builder of my house chose to put the HVAC ducts between windows – not in front of them where it would not have mattered for furniture placement.

I bought four wood furniture feet to raise the pieces up, so that I can then push the whole thing against the wall when it is complete.

On the bottom is a vintage wood file cabinet that was the base of the partners desk I made for the room. I took that desk apart when I found a new desk out on the curb and rearranged the room last January.

The wood veneer sides of the file cabinet were covered with another piece of wood that was part of the initial desk – that is why they are not painted.  

The top is a bookshelf that I painted not long ago.  I needed both in the room for storage reasons, but didn’t have the floor space for both, so by stacking one on top of the other -I have created a perfect custom piece of furniture for the space and my needs.


I don’t have the budget to buy something new – and this is A-OK with me as I prefer to create my own furniture – not from scratch like Ana White, but by taking what I already own and using it in new and different ways and combinations that will not only be unique, but perfect for what we need.

I have always enjoyed doing this, even when I did have the money to buy something from a furniture showroom.    I only have a few pieces of furniture in my house that I actually ordered and bought at a furniture store.  Most of the furniture in my house – 85% of it are hand-me downs, thrift store finds, or items I have picked up curb side.

Happy people quote
image:  heymissawesome.tumblr

How To Create a New Piece of Furniture With No Tools or DIY

In my kitchen is the perfect example of how I paired two pieces of mis-matched furniture together to create a custom piece for the space. I needed something tall to create visual balance between my kitchen and family room.


The top glass fronted cabinet was a hand me down from my in-laws. (It was part of one of the bottom cabinets I used to make my worktable in my studioffice.)  The painted sideboard was my grandmothers. It used to have a mirrored shelf along the back, but it got lost in one of the many moves Ed and I made when we were first married.

I have always wanted to hang it on the wall right up to the ceiling so that it would leave wall space underneath to hang a blackboard or memo board creating a nice desk area, but never got around to it.

Furniture Making Ideas

I use the sideboard as a kitchen desk.  The top drawers hold desk-y stuff.  The rest holds cooking stuff.

UPDATE: Since writing this post, I have moved to a new home. These two pieces of furniture are no longer paired, but have new purpose. Check out how I made the sideboard into a sink vanity and the cabinet into a sideboard by adding wood feet.

Another Way to Create Furniture


The storage unit for my studioffice will be made taller and more in proportion than it is now when the four wood feet that will raise it from the floor are attached.  I found them at Home Depot.


I am going to sand the file cabinet to the bare wood to see how it looks, if it comes out OK, I may stain it. It is veneer so that plan may not work. If that is the case – then I will paint it.  Not sure yet, but the possibilities are endless for me to do just about anything I want to make it my own.

Want to see how the file drawers turned out?  Hop over to the post: DIY Chalk Painted Wood File Cabinet

There is so much furniture pairing possibility out there for you to discover. With a new attitude, fresh eyes, and some focus – whatever piece of furniture you need, it can become reality with a little experimenting with existing pieces you already own.

Repurposed Furniture Drawer Organizing Idea

Organizing Ideas for drawers

Collect square and rectangular baskets from thrift stores and yard sales to organize drawer items.


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    1. Hi Diane – thanks. So sorry to hear your news about having to once again live in limbo. It has been so long for us – that it has become a way of life. Ugh is right! Ugh, Ugh Ugh!!! We just try to keep a positive attitude and forge ahead seeking out every opportunity. I hope it doesn’t last too long for you. Keep smiling XO

  1. Oh wow, another fabulous idea. I added this to my very long list I have from reading all your wonderful do over’s.

    I still can’t believe it is 2013 ‘already’.

  2. Hi Diane!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. I took a little blogging break for awhile there, so I have lots of your old posts to go through. I love this post and I love the quote. I totally agree that happy people make the best of everything they have! You always do a fabulous job of showing us how to use and re-use what we have.
    I have missed your blog and am happy to be back!