Fun Furniture Upcycling Ideas to Take Your Home From Drab to Fab

Some people seem content to live with the same, boring décor for years, long after it has gone out of style. They seem to think that they decorated their house once and that was good enough. But most people are constantly in a state of flux where their décor is concerned. This doesn’t necessarily mean buying a new living room set every year. But what about adding a vase here or a picture frame there? What about holiday decorations, floral arrangements, and so forth? When you think about it, it’s pretty easy to get bored with your décor. And while we all like the familiarity of home, the truth is that we also thrive on variety. Over time, even your furnishings can start to look less appealing than they once did, not only from wear and tear that makes them shabby, but also from familiarity (which you may have heard breeds contempt). Of course, you simply might not have the budget to replace pricy items like furniture. So here are just a few upcycling ideas that will give you the new décor you crave with less cost and a healthy dose of fun thrown in.

By far the easiest place to start is with couches and chairs. I know what you’re thinking: these are the most expensive furnishings! How can I replace them at minimal cost? The beauty of upcycling is that you’re not really replacing anything; you’re just reusing it in a way that gives it a higher value than it currently holds. And value comes in many forms that have nothing to do with money. Now, the reason that your seating tends to be the easiest to upcycle is that as long as it is structurally sound, all you have to do is throw on a slipcover to enact an instant transformation.

You can purchase these items ready-made, but if you really want to save, as well as get the exact color, pattern, and texture you want, you can head to the fabric store or go online to pick the perfect textiles, and then get crafty with the sewing machine. If you have a little more money to spend you could go for actual reupholstering. But slipcovers are relatively inexpensive and you could change the look of your living or dining room weekly if you so choose, with no onus to stick to one fabric.

As for other items in the home, there are so many ways to upcycle furnishings that have begun to look a little drab. Bureaus, armoires, and other wooden furnishings can be updated easily enough with a rough sanding and a new coat of paint or stain. Of course, this won’t work with laminates. But if you want a custom look here you could order stick-on wall panels from a decal site like, cut them to size, and adhere them to drawer fronts. Or you could replace the hardware with something more modern. And as for cabinet doors, think about knocking out thin center panels and replacing them with frosted glass or a mirror.

And don’t forget that another great, free way to upcycle is to find better uses for the items you already have. For example, that old bench that’s been wasting away in the garage can be placed by the front door for people to sit on while they remove their shoes. Or you could move the outdoor furniture into the basement so your teens have their own kitschy hangout (think Tiki bar, sans the bar). The point is that you may see all kinds of potential in the furnishings you already have if you just give them a second look. So save yourself some dough and upcycle to get the gorgeous furniture makeover you crave.

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