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Old Furniture, New House—What to Do

Old Furniture, New House—What to Do

Moving into a new home with furniture you already have can take on MANY different shapes and sizes. And I mean that literally—the size and layout of your new home will have EVERY impact on what you’re able to do with existing furniture in the new space.

For many homeowners, trying to fit old furniture into a new house is like trying to put on clothes from 10 years ago. Maybe you still LOVE that overstuffed couch, but does it fit like it did before? Or how about your grandmother’s oak dining table…will that really “fit” in a sleek and new home you just bought?

What do to with old furniture in a new house will depend whether you’re upsizing, downsizing, or moving from a home with one “look” to another with a different one.

If you’re willing to get a little creative, you can try these tips and take some insider hints to keep the furniture you want and know WHERE in the home to upgrade to something new!


When you’re downsizing

When you’re moving into a “right-size” home, some of your furniture will look GIGANTIC, and other pieces simply won’t have a place to go! First, you have to decide what to keep and what not to keep.

Expert tip: be sure to consider repurposing before you tag something as a sale or donation item. Repurposing can mean anything from turning a desk into a dual desk-and-night-table for the bedroom to using an old mattress as a daybed. Get creative! There will probably be a worthy space for every one of those “must-keep” pieces if you think outside the box…

Of course, what worked at your old house won’t always work at the new one. For starters, if you had a living room that faced the sunrise in your old house and the dining room facing the sunrise in the new one, consider how that will affect the staging, colors and other selections you want in the space.

Another thing to bear in mind is the overall style or “look” of the new house itself. If you’ve moved from a more traditional or “old-world” house to one that was just built, some furniture that was central in your old home might be a “NO-WAY” selection now.

Here’s an example of how to get creative: if you have a sectional you LOVE, that’s good news for a downsize! You can either stage the sections differently in your new space, or use them in totally different rooms of the new house.

And how’s this for crafty: if you have a table you REALLY don’t want to give up, but that just doesn’t fit in a space, try changing the legs! By getting professional help to remove the old legs and build on new ones, you can either update the look of the table OR the height, getting it to fit perfectly in your new design. It could even turn into a totally different kind of table! From vanity to coffee, or from coffee to kitchen table…have fun with it!!


When you’re upsizing

If you’ve moved into a bigger house, on the other hand, that’s a whole different story…

Depending on the degree of your size “upgrade,” you’ll still want to start with an assessment of what to keep and what to part with. Even if your new home is huge and you need furniture to fill it, if your current pieces have a totally different “look” or style, you might HATE them if you try working them into your new floorplan.

To get more pieces out on the floor when you need them, one handy trick is to acquire a few stylish ottomans—and for more than just putting your feet up. Ottomans are actually SUPER multifunctional and can be used as chairs, coffee tables and just about anything else you want.

And speaking of coffee tables, picking out a new coffee table can be an easy way to add a beautiful new focal piece to a space.

Now, lighting is another thing altogether. If you have lots of extra floor space, you can be VERY strategic about where to place what kind of lighting to ensure the space looks and functions like you really want it to…

About the dining room table…if you have too few chairs to fit the new grandeur of your dining space, you can actually acquire two new chairs in a different (but aesthetically complementary) style to use as the header chairs, making the “mismatch” into a pleasing contrast.


When you just want a CHANGE

Now, what do you do when your house is roughly the same size, and your old furniture probably could fit just fine…but you REALLY just want a change?!

That is totally understandable! If you’re moving, it’s for a reason, and your new home should meet every return on enjoyment you’re after.

Here are some inexpensive updates you can make to use what you do keep from existing furniture while “upgrading” your look to what you’re really after:

1: Buy slip covers for couches and overstuffed chairs for an easy way to change color or look. This is also great for anyone with kids or pets for the sake of easier cleaning!

2: Any sofa (with or without lots of pillows already) can be adorned with a new set of pillows! Give away or toss the ones you’re totally “done” with.

3: New bedding is actually really affordable in the big picture of “things-design,” too, so consider updating yours for a fresh look in the bedroom. The same goes for towels in bathrooms!!

If you do choose to ditch old pieces for something more up your alley, you have the options of selling or donating furniture you don’t want to move into the new place. Right? Well, yes…but there’s a third option, too! Think about swapping pieces with friends or family who also want to switch something up! Never worry about who’s getting the best “value,” just feel good that you can each get something out of it (including acquiring a piece that has even more meaning than any new buy).


Now, having said ALL that…I’ll throw another idea in the mix. Many people look at remodeling their current homes only through the filter of “return on investment.” Some families even MOVE because the idea of putting money into a home that they won’t get back penny-to-penny is just “too much.” But what this way of thinking misses is the return on enjoyment. This is where a remodel might be worth it instead of moving. Of course, that will all depend on your family, your situation, and what you’re ultimately after!

To get a handle on all this and more, reach out to us to chat!! And if you are already moving, download our Remodeling Planner—you can use these worksheets to walk room-by-room and takes notes on “keepers,” donations and “MUST-get” furniture for your big move!

To read more, check this article out.

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