Hand-Me-Down Living Room Makeover

Make over your hodgepodge of hand-me-downs into a room filled with fashionable furnishings.


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Secondhand Style

    With a simple slipcover, a few bargain-priced fabrics, and several shades of white paint, we transformed a stash of mismatched furniture and created a bright living space brimming with casual cottage style.

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Cover Up

    With slipcovers that look this good toting reasonable price tags, there's no need to settle for the worn plaid sofa you inherited. Cover the eyesore with a basic neutral hue, then splash on some perky pillows and a plush pompon throw for a flirty fix.

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You've Been Framed

    It was this frame's generous size that moved us to rescue it from a recent garage sale. With a floral wallpaper remnant to conceal the dated scene beneath and antique white paint on the frame, a new masterpiece is born. Pair the piece with an empty carved frame (another garage sale find!) for easy and inexpensive layered style.

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Mind Your Whites

    From creamy to bright, find delight in a range of whites. By painting this lamp base, table, and wainscoting, we gain more depth and visual interest for just a few bucks. And don't forget that little bit of whimsy -- our pelican does the trick here.

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Tone It Down

    White paint comes to the rescue once again, this time coating a lime-green bench. When topped with a new blue feather-filled cushion, the perch is too pretty to pass by.

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Trinkets to Your Taste

    Let your personality take flight with small decorative details such as this reproduction ceramic bird.

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Wicker Update

    Easy-sew linen cushions hide damaged weaves in the wicker chair; the spa-blue hue refreshes a traditional Baroque pattern.

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Easy Accents

    Seashells become attractive accents that fill a vintage dish and sit on ledges, providing touches of tactile texture.

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Cut and Paste

    Aunt Fran's new dining table upgrade left us with a coffee table -- we simply cut her old please-take-this-off-my-hands walnut veneer table down to size and painted it fresh white. With a vintage fabric remnant on top and a clearance shag rug underneath, the grouping only looks like we shelled out a pretty penny for it.

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Fresh and Simple

    For a no-fuss bouquet, arrange basic, accessible blooms, such as roses and tulips, in a low-slung vessel or tureen.

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Dorm Do-Over

    Though the style of boxy plywood entertainment cabinets from college days leaves much to be desired, their storage factor and sturdiness are qualities worth redeeming. Paint, a few wood moldings, and a linen curtain to hide the TV create a presentable piece, especially when accessorized with scavenged mirrors, pretty bins, and boxes.

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Make It Work

    Though meant for a dining room, this armchair met our seating needs in the living room. Since its shape and size differed drastically from its wide wicker counterpart, we simply used common paint and fabric to meld the mismatched pair.

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Cheap Little Things

    Bargain baubles with contrasting shape and color boost bland surfaces. Mix natural materials with metal, wood, and ceramics for a delightful display.

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