Beauties of Skid Row

Do you have furniture in your own home that has seen better days? Maybe it doesn't work with your current decor. Have you been furniture surfing on Facebook Marketplace and just not finding what you're needing? Maybe the fabric is wrong, or the paint is chipped. Maybe you realize that much of today's furniture is not the same quality it used to be. Or maybe you feel a sense of stewardship and would rather re-envision, but need a little creative nudge.

One of my favorite things to do in my own home is to source furnishings cast off by others

and make them over into something totally new. For me, I love the creative energy it requires and the fact that I have a totally unique, one-of-a-kind piece!

Being a great parent, I made sure to embarrass my kids. "Shopping" curbside on trash day in the better neighborhoods was like a treasure hunt! But now, we have so many other resources, such as Facebook Marketplace,, and Craigslist.

The chaise in the first photo was found in an Appleton, Wisconsin, antique store about 8 years ago. I paid more than I hoped, given it's condition, but I knew it had the potential to be a stand out piece. It had been a DIY reupholster with a green and gold mock baroque fabric probably in the late 1970s or early 1980s. It was poorly upholstered and the cushions had not been refreshed. $200 was plenty to pay for it. A few years passed, we moved into a different home in a different city, and I finally had a place to property place the chaise - but it HAD to be professionally reupholstered. The fun, new coral leopard print fabric came from Lots-O-Fabric in Waynesville, Ohio, and the professional reupholstery work was done by A to Z Upholstery, who also added new and additional padding. Now, it has a place of honor, in our living room in Perrysburg, Ohio, still sporting the coral leopard.

And see that orange chair? There is a pair of them,

one on each side of that lamp, that were purchased about 4 years ago for $45 from a small consignment shop in Clintonville, Ohio. While the original burgundy fabric was in good condition, it was pretty outdated. No problem! Back to Lots-0-Fabric and A to Z Upholstery! I specified less buttons and no skirt, then picked this fun faux bois hot pink and orange polka dot fabric - totally fresh!

Sometimes though, the piece needs a different type of makeover - and a smaller budget. For this master bath makeover in a historic home in Dayton, Ohio, we were able to save a significant amount of money by reworking the existing vanity to replicate a $7,000 vanity found at Restoration Hardware. After being removed from the room, legs were added to raise it to a more desirable 36" inches, decorative trim was added, doors were removed, drawers were added, and it was painted in a distressed finish with Annie Sloan paint. To finish, new hardware was selected to complete the vintage feel, and a modern touch was added with a beautiful granite top and nickel faucets. Additional storage and drama was brought to the small space with a custom hutch between the sinks. What do you think of this budget makeover?

My dining room has only ONE new piece of furniture - the Thomasville dining table. I scored big time with the bamboo and cane dining chairs, winning with a bid of $35 for ALL FOUR on EBTH. I knew when I purchased them I would repaint and reupholster them, it just took me a while to decide what color fabric! The captain's chairs at each end of the table came from a second hand store in Shawnee Hills, Ohio, called Experienced Possessions, a favorite spot of mine for more than 20 years. Sale price for the pair? $75. I had the cushions made by Al's Upholstery in Toledo at the same time I had the seats reupholstered for the bamboo chairs.