Evolving Furniture: Pieces That Grow With You

Evolving Furniture: Pieces That Grow With You

Leah Moss
Aug 13, 2010

Earlier this week we talked about the benefits of letting your home evolve as a whole — but today let's discuss specifics: pieces of furniture that have grown and morphed and molded to suit the changing climate of our evolving homes. In my home, my favorite chameleon is a little bench that was saved from a thrift store dumpster.

I'm well aware of the sacrilege many consider painted wood to be, and before doing anything to this rescued little bench, it sat for quite awhile in its dark wood stain while I contemplated what to do with it (picture 1). Besides the fact that I'm impatient and wanted the quickest solution possible, the problem was that it was damaged in quite a few places, and the polished finish of the wood only highlighted the imperfections. Dinged raw wood is rustic and cool, but dinged polished dainty wood is sad and dingy.

So, enough of my excuses, I did it. I painted the wood. But before I did, I quickly sanded down the dinged areas to smooth out the imperfections, and then used some leftover flat off-white paint to lighten the mood. I also used leftover fabric and nail-heads to cover the ratty old upholstery (picture 3).

The sad news is that the new old little bench was never a great fit with our home. Just after finishing it, I remembered that I'm not really a paisley person. But it was useful, so it stayed. Sometimes it served as a traveling coffee table, sometimes as a foot rest, and other times as extra seating when we had a lot of guests. However, most of the time it held a stack of throw blankets, so I rarely saw the paisley fabric or the nail-heads which never looked quite right to me.

Eventually, it was time for a change. I had a piece of this lovely fabric leftover from another project, and it happened to be the perfect size for the little bench. I affixed the fabric with plain upholstery tacks, and left them exposed for a more casual look. The base got a new coat of creamier white paint and matte polyurethane. I think it will will quite a while in its current form, but you never know…

What pieces have transformed with you as your home has evolved?

Images: Leah Moss

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