Sometimes furniture is old – not “charmingly antique” old – but old, as in used, abused and begging to be thrown out. Well, before you give up on that rickety stool altogether, consider that it may be a candidate for repurposing. That is, just because you can’t sit on it without toppling to the ground doesn’t mean it won’t have other worthy uses in your home. Stools add height to a room and take up less space than a side table. Give it new life by painting the legs a vibrant color, and then put it in the corner of a breakfast nook as a perch for your favorite books or magazines to enjoy with your morning coffee. Or, if you have a small entryway that cannot accommodate furniture, perch a colorful bowl on the stool by the front door and you have a convenient and unobtrusive spot to drop your keys. The point is, if you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to get creative with your home decor, repurpose, repurpose, repurpose…


1. Take the drawers out of an old dresser and stack them as shelves. Or add wheels to old drawers as storage containers for kids toys or extra clothes. The handle from the drawer makes it easy to roll under the bed and out of the way.

drawers repurposed as shelves

2. Use the drawer knobs to make a coat rack by attaching them to a plank of wood (stained or painted in a color that fits your decor) and attaching the wood to the wall. It is easy to do and takes up a lot less space than a bulky coat stand.

3. A suitcase goes a long way, and not just when you take it your travels. A fun way to create stylish storage space is to take an old suitcase and attach wooden legs to it.

Suitcase side table

Or completely remove the top of the suitcase, fit the inside of the suitcase with a pillow and you have a raised bed for your beloved cat or dog.

Suitcase for the doggy

Or stack several suitcases one atop another for a side table.

Suitcases stacked as a side table

4. If too much visible clutter is making you consider switching out open bookshelves for a closed armoire, consider the much simpler alternative of hanging curtains with a tension rod to cover up the clutter.

5. Add casters to a heavier piece of furniture like a table so that it can be moved about for different purposes. For example, casters on a bedside table create a serving cart for the dining room, or a makeshift rolling table for holding drinks and snacks in the entertaining areas. When you want to sit on the couch and enjoy dinner while watching a movie, repurpose an old stool as a TV dinner stand by cutting the legs down and putting casters on so you can roll it to just the right spot. Or how about wheels on an old picnic basket which can double as a side table and extra storage.

Picnic basket side table

6. If you have mismatched furniture and feel like the look just won’t come together in a room, try painting the pieces a similar or the same color for a more unified appearance. Though it might seem to be a glib approach, giving your old furniture a fresh paint of coat really changes the entire decor of the room. While this is more refinishing than repurposing, it’s still a way to upgrade old furniture.

7. A large old wooden door can be repurposed into a stunning dining room table, whether it’s perfect and rustic as-is, or you need to strip, sand and stain it. You can use sawhorses as the legs of the table.

Repurposed dining room table

8. Choose a wallpaper design you like, or a combination of several different designs, and cover the top of an old table for a new look. Then varnish with shellac for a glossy finish.

9. Get creative in decorating your garden. Old cooking pots, unused punch bowls or wine crates can be repurposed as creative flower pots in the garden.

10. How about the old shutter doors on windows that need refurbishing? Repurpose the shutter doors by touching up the paint and then using them as the pantry doors to shelves. Instead of trying to squeeze all your food into kitchen cupboards where you can’t see what you have, a freestanding pantry makes all your goods much more accessible.

Shutter doors repurposed for a pantry Shutter doors as pantry doors











Try also repurposing an old shutter as a wall organizer/letter rack where you can stash invitations, bills, photos or a message pad.

Window Shutter storage

11. A old trunk chest can be repurposed in many ways. Add a glass top and you have a coffee table. Or add short legs or casters and a a long cushion and you have a bench/window seat. You could even create a mini home office by adding hanging file rails, organizing tray and vertical dividers. Or even more simply, fit the chest with two or three file boxes.

trunk as a file cabinet

12. With the advent of flat screen televisions, armoires are sometimes excessive for storing home entertainment. They can be repurposed in many ways. To name a few, they work as storage for kids toys in the play area, a linen cabinet in a guest bedroom or hallway, or a home office center to store the printer, fax and other office supplies.