Hand-me-down furniture is a wonderful thing. Who doesn’t love free, sentimentally valuable furniture? Well... a lot of people, actually. Passing down furniture is very kind and generous, but we don’t always share the same taste as our parents or grandparents so it can also be a little uncomfortable.
Today we’re exploring several solutions for the inherited furniture dilemma. We cover a few ways to decorate with inherited furniture and share a drastic measure for when you really can’t make it work.
Refinish or Reupholster
If you’ve inherited furniture that’s a little worn out, you can have it reupholstered or refinished. This is also a good option if the piece doesn’t fit with your current furniture and decor. Choosing a fabric or finish that you love will make the piece much more bearable, even if there are other aspects you still don’t like (like the shape or size).
A professional will help you turn your ideas into reality; they will also advise on what kind of finish will suit the piece. If a professional is way out of your budget, you may be able to DIY it – but we recommend avoiding this if the item is extremely valuable or very delicate.
Cover it Up
This is a quick and easy fix. Hide or disguise inherited furniture by covering them with beautiful soft furnishings. Sofas, chairs, room dividers and headboards all look great draped in fabric. Choose fabric that suits the rest of the room and play around with the way you drape the material. Fabric can pinned at the back to hold it in place.
Sofas and armchairs can be covered in striking cushions. Choose a pattern or colour scheme that draws the eye so you’re looking at the cushion instead of the furniture.
Do Something Unexpected
One of the biggest problems with inherited furniture is not having the space for it. Don’t feel you have to get rid of something you love to make room for the inherited piece. Think outside the box instead, and use your inherited furniture in untraditional ways.
A glitzy chandelier may feel over the top in the living room but is the right side of kitschy in the bathroom. An old dining chair makes a great night stand, while a drop-leaf dining table can be turned into a console table in the entry way. If you do something unexpected with the furniture, you elevate it from ‘awkward inherited item’ to ‘striking statement piece’.
Mix and Match Materials
If you’re here, you’re probably struggling to make the inherited furniture match with your existing pieces. The trick is to stop trying to make them match; embrace the eclectic look by deliberately mixing up your materials.
If you’ve inherited a dark wood table, buy some clear Lucite chairs to go with it. Then add a metallic pendant lamp overhead, and a colourful rug underneath. Mismatching furniture takes the pressure off and helps you find a way to love your inherited piece.
OK, so you’ve considered all of the above and you’re still not sold on the inherited piece. In that case, it might be time to consider more drastic action: selling it.
If you’ve inherited high-value designer furniture, sell it on LOT. LOT offers a carefully curated selection of designer furniture to discerning buyers seeking unique, one-off pieces just like yours. A site like LOT allows you to sell your inherited furniture to someone who will genuinely love it. Then you can use the proceeds to buy something you love, in honour of the person who gave you the furniture.
Don’t let inherited furniture be the thorn in your side; do something about it today!