Before and After: Coffee Table Makeover
Before and After: Coffee Table Makeover
Before and After: Coffee Table Makeover

When it comes to furnishings, there are so many fabulous options available for your home!

As a designer, I have access to incredible showrooms. I struggled with the wholesale prices at market because I never worked in a setting where my clients had deep pockets. I dreamed of such a client, but I’ve never had one.

My big design project dream has been to work with a couple that gave me carte blanche, handed me their credit cards, told me “Lisa, I have complete faith in you,” and then headed off to Europe for 6 months.

That’s never happened.

Instead, I’ve worked with people on a budget and have loved every minute of it because it becomes a game for me to find ways to deliver people’s dreams in an affordable package…always with the style they love. Of course, concessions are made at times, but that is a natural fact of life.


A blessing and and curse


When I see things, my mind starts to percolate. For example, when I see a room,  I think of ways to enhance it, alter it, move things around.

When I see a piece of furniture, I think of ways to re-purpose it, refinish it, etc.

When I see a word or a phrase, I think of how I can turn it into art.

My mind doesn’t slow down in the creativity part.

My son is the same way. When Carson was little, he’d hold up his hand with his finger pointed up in the air and his thumb extended out making the letter “L” and say, “I an IDEA!”.

He still says it today without using his hand.

In our home, ideas flow easily.


I had an idea


used coffee table, facebook marketplace

Facebook Marketplace Find


I saw this table offered on a Facebook sale group for $125.

I loved the lines to it but had the inspiration to do something different with it.

My idea was to remove the bun feet and raise it to be an entry table, buffet or a sofa table.

I took the original image and modified it to show you the before and the potential “after”.

I also added some accessories to create a vignette and really help you catch my vision.


Sunburst mirror

Sunburst mirror


Modern Gold Table Lamp

Modern Gold Table Lamp

Coffee table with new legs

The after…


Repurposed coffee table, entry table

Repurposed coffee table

Shopping Facebook Marketplace

I enjoy shopping on Facebook. The marketplace is full of fabulous finds. Some need a bit of love and reworking, others are perfect as they are.

It’s like hitting a big flea market or garage sale online.

You can find excellent deals on solid wood furniture built with integrity.

Most of the furniture today isn’t built for quality unfortunately; it’s built for price.

My husband told me recently about friends of ours who bought a bunch of furniture from Wayfair for their office. When it arrived, some assembly was required. As they put it together, they were saddened by the quality of it and felt they wasted their money.


You do get what you pay for


When you find an older piece of furniture, what some will call “vintage”, you can tell the quality of the piece by looking at the joints and feeling the weight of it.

Furniture that is handcrafted, made in the U.S.A or Europe, tends to be of higher quality that what comes out of China.


Dovetail joint

Dovetail joint

Take time to find pieces that speak to you and or provide you with the function you need, i.e. storage, seating, surface area, etc.

When you find a piece that’s well made, you can have it refinished to your liking and end up with a much more unique find for a great price compared to buying cheap quality and it not lasting.

Become a smart shopper


As you furnish your home, think about what you need and or want, then decide on a budget. Understand the difference between the cheaper priced furniture that you find in retail stores and online compared to higher quality.

Ask questions and learn how things are made.

When shopping online from sites like Amazon, Wayfair or Overstock, you won’t be able to ask questions. If the price seems cheap, the quality of craftsmanship and materials will be too.

Look on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, flea markets, garage or estate sales for great deals on older pieces. Look also to retailers that sell American or European made furniture; the quality is much better.

Here are 12 Tips for Buying High-Quality, Low-Priced Furniture

What pieces have you inherited or found that you’d like to re-purpose?

If you have a piece you’ve found and aren’t sure what to do next, ask around for ideas or post your comments below.

We’re happy to help brainstorm!


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