January 23rd, 2009 Jamie
Ah, the internet: your ticket to fabulous furniture freebies. You can find all kinds of great stuff in your area, from used pianos to desks, couches, lamps, and more. Keep a sharp eye out, and you could probably furnish your entire place for free (but you might want to plan on making some renovations to the freebies you find). A little DIY sure beats paying the price tag for customized furniture (like the cubbie cabinet above, from A Colorful Place).
I hear these sites are a great place to search for the freebies of your dreams:
- Craigslist.org (Choose your area + click “free” under the for sale category. Keep in mind you can often find super cheap furniture in their other categories if you’re willing to spend a few bucks.)
- The Freecycle Network
AND, if you live in an apartment complex, don’t forget to scour each floor at the end of the month (when people typically move out) for discarded goods! People leave behind good stuff! (Case in point, we left behind a TV cabinet and a huge TV because we couldn’t sell them and didn’t want them in our new place!)
Also, don’t forget to let family & friends know that you are available to take their hand-me-downs.
Trash into Treasure
Once you’ve got your freebies, all you have to do is schedule in some weekend DIY time. For lots of furniture, a simple paint job or even just updating the hardware (like drawer pulls, for example) can completely change the look of a piece.
Ready to roll up your sleeves? Check out these awesome tutorials if you need a little help…
- How to Create a Quick, Cheap Rug @ Apartment Therapy (this would work with placemats or table runners, too!)
- How to Slipcover a Reading Chair @ Apartment Therapy
- How to Recover a Lampshade @ Apartment Therapy (can you tell I LOVE this site?)
- How to Paint Wooden Furniture @ Bella Online
- Funky Fabric Decoupaged Furniture @ JCaroline
- How to Paint a Wall Mural (without a projector!) @ Instructables
- How to Customize Ikea Furniture @ Ikea Hacker (this whole site is Ikea hacks!)
- How to Make Curtains @ Threadbanger
Oh! And remember, even if you find a practically-mint piece, remember to spend some time on a basic cleaning job just to be safe–and to make your mom feel better about you picking up used furniture.