When John and I bought our home we really wanted an updated space, but we were adamant about not bringing anything new into our home that we didn’t absolutely love. It was important to us that whatever we put into our home could stand the test of time. So, not surprisingly, a lot of the pieces in our new home are very, very old. Ironically, though, it all came together to create a fresh, updated look.
Keep Quality in Mind
For the entire life of our marriage, I’ve fought to keep an old set of tables: 2 end tables and coffee table. My parents had them when I was born, and on the bottom of the coffee table, my name is scribbled in green crayon. They hold a lot of sentimental value to me… but they’re also very nice, solid oak, tables. I couldn’t see the point in getting rid of them, so I stored them until we bought our house and vowed to find space for them.
One thing John inherited from his family was an antique pie chest. It was his great-grandmother’s and it’s over 120 years old – a true antique. It might be my favorite piece in our entire home because it’s so unique. Sometime over the years, glass replaced the original mesh inserts and I believe that made this piece much more usable for our purposes.
Although originally it was designed to cool pies in a place pests couldn’t reach, we use it as a liquor cabinet. We placed it in an area where the light reflects off of the bottles and glasses, bringing a new luster to an old piece.
Repaint Outdated Furniture
When I got my first real job after college, my mom gave me an old dresser. I loved the curves of it, but the original wood wasn’t to my liking, so I simply painted it white. Sometimes, a little paint can take a piece from “never” to “forever” and that’s just what happened in this case.
Display Unique Items
Years ago I acquired a quilt that my great-grandmother made. I never got to meet her, but apparently she quilted a lot and this one was never really used. It had lived its entire existence in a trash bag, carefully folded. My dad begged me to take good care of it, and I promised I would.
For years I was too afraid to remove it from the bag, but when we moved into our home I realized what a waste it was to keep it sealed up forever. Now it lives on the end of our guest bed – in plain site – and it brings a ton of cheer to the space. We joke that it’s our “lookin’ at blanket” because we don’t actually allow anyone to use it for it’s original purpose. It really just a strategically placed piece of art.
In addition to the quilt, we’ve also displayed our antique coffee grinder and Bill’s old Aggie Band record. The coffee grinder belonged to John’s paternal great-grandparents. These pieces added a unique touch to our updated space and provide us with sentimental value, too. Old pieces are really cool and we feel so lucky to have a space for them.
Although we’ve chosen to keep many old items, our house feels fresh and updated. Nothing about it feels stale or old, even with the addition of these very old pieces. It is totally possible to create an updated space while incorporating old (or even antique) furniture by repurposing, repainting, and displaying those items strategically.
Do you have any old items in your home? How did you choose to utilize them?