Furnishing Your Home with Refurbished, Vintage Finds

Furnishing Your Home with Refurbished, Vintage Finds

A Paradigm Shift

 “An important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or
doing something is replaced by a new and different way
Thomas Kuhn, physicist, philosopher and historian of science

Paradigm Shift

With COVID-19, we have all had to adjust the way we see the world and how we interact with those around us….. including the way we do business and our spending habits.

COVID-19 has definitely had an effect on our store shelves. Those items that were once plentiful and perhaps taken for granted, are now in short supply or are simply no longer available. Supply chains have been stalled or are now non-existent.

For example, if you visit any big box home furnishings store and enquire about a delivery, (be it a sofa, coffee table, bookshelf, etc), you are likely given an eta of several months down the road, with no promise that it will arrive on that date.

This is all due to supply chain shortages caused by a lack of raw materials, thus causing backlogs in production and delays in shipping and deliveries. Many factories in countries around the world have been shut down due to spikes in COVID cases.

All of this has created more demand for locally made and sourced items. This is a GOOD thing!!

We have such an amazing assortment of craftspeople right here in our own beautiful city (and Canada, for that matter) that we really need not go anywhere else.

From sofas, tables, beds, mattresses, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, draperies, bedding, etc., you name it, you can have it made right here.

Secondhand or vintage is another great way to go. There are so many treasures out there, just waiting to be picked up, brushed off and repurposed.

If something is broken or needs an update, consider having it restored, repaired or reupholstered. More often than not, the furniture that was passed down through the family, or a piece that you found in a second-hand shop is of superior quality than something you can buy from a big box store.

I recently had the opportunity to assist a couple in furnishing and accessorizing a house in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. The house is referred to as ‘the Treehouse’ because of the style and the way it was constructed. The couple purchased the property with the intention of offering it as an Air B&B, so we wanted to keep costs to a minimum.

This was the PERFECT opportunity to inject some vintage finds, restore and repurpose items in new and unusual ways to tie in with the unique qualities of this ‘home in the trees’.

I am a good painter but not well versed in carpentry, so I asked Dave (the carpenter, worth his weight in gold!!) to lend me a hand. The pieces we created are truly one of a kind and unique, fitting in perfectly with the style and décor of the home.

I hope you find some inspiration in these photos!!

Art Box Side Table

repurposed recliner


antique Craftsman recliner before


vintage artbox before

The ‘artbox’ (found at a salvage shop) was pretty beat up but was the perfect size to be made into an end table to sit beside the chair.

Transformation Technique:

I removed the layer of damaged wood veneer from the top of the box, cleaned all the surfaces well, and then applied furniture oil to restore the wood.

Dave cut a piece of ¼” MDF to fit on top of the box, glued it in place, and attached hairpin legs to the underside of the box.  I then gave the new top several coats of Benjamin Moore ‘Notre Dame’ CSP-570 in Satin.

The antique Craftsman recliner was tucked away in a back corner at a consignment furniture store.  The wood was in excellent condition with the seat and back cushions in great shape as well.

We just needed to reupholster to fit in with the décor.

Dresser Drawers To Nightstands

bedroom refurbished nightstands


nightstand refurbish

We turned these solid walnut dresser drawers into nightstands for the master bedroom.

They were the perfect size (16”x22”) and the detail of the carved handles was very unique.

Transformation Technique:

I gave the drawers a good clean then applied furniture oil to revive the wood. Dave cut a piece of  ¼” MDF to fit into the space on the underside of the drawer and then I painted each MDF piece Benjamin Moore  CSP-570 ‘Notre Dame’ in Satin.

When the paint was dry, Dave glued the MDF in place to make new tops for the nightstands. Once the glue had dried, he turned the drawers over and attached hairpin legs.

Re-Imagined Nightstands

guest bedroom nightstands


sewing machine refurbished

These vintage sewing machines were the perfect size to serve as nightstands in the guest bedroom.

They had an ‘old world charm’ that looked like they belonged in a setting where second-hand furniture would be the norm.

Transformation Technique:

I sanded, cleaned and primed both pieces before painting with Benjamin Moore CSP-570 ‘Notre Dame’ in Satin.

Dave cut 2 pieces of good-one-side birch plywood and glued them to the tops of each nightstand. He also cut the legs down by 2” so they were the right height for the bed.

I then stained the new tops with a walnut stain.

Floating Drawer Shelf

A cast-off desk drawer turned into a floating shelf for the entry.

floating shelf for the entry

There was very little space for a table in the entry to this home. We needed something quite small, preferably without legs that we could mount to the wall, as a place to drop keys, etc. so we turned a cast-off desk drawer into a floating shelf.

Transformation Technique:

Dave made a new ‘top’ for the shelf by trimming out a piece of plywood and gluing it to the bottom of the drawer. Then I gave the whole thing a light sanding, wiped it clean and applied furniture oil to revive the wood.

We turned it over so the bottom was now the top and fastened it to the wall with screws inside the opening of the drawer (now on the underside).

The little stool and the artwork were all thrift store finds as well.

If you live in the North Vancouver area and want to learn ideas for remodelling or redecorating we invite you to contact us for a design consultation.

First rate! Barb listens carefully, reaches wide to find exactly the items that will make the finish special.

She’s patient, has a great eye for colour and fabrics and has exceptional attention to de… Read more

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