Jutta Curatolo: In With the Old, Out with the New

Moving into your first apartment can be hectic, especially when it comes to decorating, but it’s a process that should bring you joy. You are free to use your imagination to turn your living space to into a home. It may take time and a lot of creative thought, but it should also be fun. With the right plan, materials, and determination, it’s easy to turn old and boring furniture into the central beauty of your home without breaking your budget.


Where to shop?

Furniture shopping should be anything but stressful, so why not try something new. If you’re looking to jazz up your home by adding your own touch, second-hand furniture stores are the place to start.


For example, Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping people have a decent place to live. They sell home products at discount prices to help the community. Your local antique stores could also be the key to your decorating success. Many places sell vintage and lightly pre-owned items that could help you choose a theme for your home.


How to shop?

Finding a one-of-a-kind piece for your home may take some time and you must think outside of the box. Don’t panic when you walk into a store a find a destroyed wooden table, or broken chair. It’s up to you to recreate the image. You may buy an old stool for one dollar but recreate it into a center-piece for your office, or you may find an old broken door and turn it into a coffee table.


If you’re decorating your home with a common theme, try to pick items that will be easy to pair together. For example, if you’re thinking a classic, vintage theme, try picking antique items or furniture that have a lot of pastels. Just remember that all the rooms in your home don’t have to match. You are limitless to ideas, without hurting your wallet. The goal is to walk into the second-hand store with an open mind and as you walk through creativity will naturally flow to you.


Now that you’ve found the right piece..

When you find the right furniture piece(s), it’s time to let your creativity flow. If you plan on painting with wood, enamel paints are the best to use. Metals should be painted with a primer or acrylic paint. Before working with wood, it’s best to prepare the surface by sanding it to smooth it out and help the paint stay longer.


If you’re still having trouble beginning your project, looking through home magazines may help you choose a theme for your room and help you get. If you’re optimist, let your paint brush flow on the wood without thinking too much about the end result.


This creative process will allow you to try new things and get away from the sense of “fear” you may feel. This is a time to explore and let out anything emotion or thoughts you may feel. You shouldn’t feel as though you have messed up in any form or way when refinishing your items. When you’re finished with your products, you may set them up in your home in anyway you’d think they fit. This may take some trial and error, but that’s how you learn.



You may find that you like the process of refinishing second-hand furniture. It’s a great hobby to have and it allows you to get creative and let out your artistic talents. The next time you’re relaxing in your newly decorated home, you’ll have a sense of peace knowing that you decorated with your own creative instincts.