If you would like to remake your home into a more sophisticated, modern residence but are on a tight budget, one place you can affordably start is by renewing your existing collection of furniture. Renewal can take on several perspectives, and below is a quick guide to transforming your dated furniture into chic, contemporary arrangements for your home. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
One of the most important tenets of modern styling in the home is the creation of an airy, uncluttered look. Functionality is also of great importance, and if you own pieces that bring a heavy presence to your home without substantial purpose behind them, then you should consider removing them. Take time to consider not only the superficial appearance but also the practical value of every piece of furniture; if you are able to maintain an open mind and are willing to discard pieces that do not fit into the contemporary mold, then you will soon discover another important principle of modern design: purposefulness is directly correlated with aesthetic value.
If you find it too difficult to part ways with certain furniture items, don't despair. Instead, look at your pieces with the goal of transforming their purpose. For example, the hutch in your dining room can be transformed into a bookcase or even a place to store linens. Or, perhaps you can convert an old table into a contemporary desk to use in your office. When repurposing furniture, you should take a look at how you can "downsize" every piece to a role that is more in keeping with modern appearances. Remember that less is definitely more when it comes to contemporary styling.
Once you make a decision about which furniture pieces to keep or discard, then a good starting point to renewing them individually is to resurface them as needed. Texture is another salient design point, and modern furniture depends upon specific surface detail to make its presence known. From a practical standpoint, that means you might consider adding certain types of texture upgrades to your existing furniture. For example, one way to transform a dull, dated coffee table into a more exciting, contemporary piece is by layering the tabletop with a veneer of aluminum, stainless steel, laminate or even organic materials such as bamboo. Resurfacing doesn't need to be expensive or complex in many cases; in fact, transforming a surface can be accomplished as easily as gluing pre-cut pieces to furniture.
The lowest-cost means of renewing furniture is through the use of paint. Repainting furniture has become a popular, easy way to change the entire look of pieces. If you are interested in repainting old furniture, then you should understand the basic color approaches used by modern designers. Neutral colors, such as gray, white, brown and black, are important to the contemporary movement, as they provide a palette for individual accents to shine through. Or, if you wish, you can transform certain pieces into the accents themselves by painting them in bold, daring colors to contrast with neutral tones in the background environment. Keep in mind that accenting works best if you use color with purpose and in moderation, however, so be cautious with your decision-making in order to select the ideal combinations.
Another simple but dramatic change that can be implemented is by replacing dated hardware, such as pulls, knobs and hinges, with newer-styled elements. The number of hardware choices is nearly unlimited, so use your imagination and be willing to explore ideas by reading home magazines and by making visits to home decor shops and other outlets. Again, don't forget that simplicity is a hallmark of modern design, so focus on hardware pieces that have clean, sharp lines and angles and that are not overly ornate or complex in design.
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