As a military family, we move around a lot, but one thing that makes our (sometimes crappy) rental houses feel like home is the furniture that we take with us wherever we go.
Marrying young, we had almost nothing when we moved into our first apartment. (We had a bed, that’s it.) So, we had to get everything else and we had to do it CHEAP.
My family gave us a few hand-me-down pieces, we financed a bedroom set and couch (to help us build credit), and the rest of the furniture in our house was dug out of thrift stores, flea markets, and old barns.
We’re still using the majority of that second-hand furniture 12 years later. And I’m shocked at the number of people that compliment me on our home and ask where this piece or that came from.
So, here’s a look at my favorite furniture flips that have made each house feel like home.
Furniture Flips Before and After
The Farmhouse Buffet
We bought this old dresser at a flea market in North Carolina when we were stationed at Fort Bragg.
Initially, I wanted it as a buffet/sideboard in our living room to use as a charging station and also as a place to set out picture frames and decor. However, at our house here in Texas, it is used as our tv stand (and it’s still a charging station for our tablets & Fitbits).
It is one of the main pieces that people comment on when they come over and I get asked all the time where we bought it.
(Check out this post to see exactly how we transformed it.)
Signature Design by Ashley Valebeck Farmhouse -Dining Room Server or Buffet, White & BrownVASAGLE Buffet Cabinet, Sideboard, Credenza, Kitchen Storage Cabinet, with Adjustable Shelves, for Living Room, Entryway, Rustic Walnut ULSC381T41
The Penny Coffee Table
Our coffee table is one of the first things that people notice when they come into our home. It’s also the item of furniture that the movers talk about when we’re PCS-ing!
And it’s always a source of questions.
- Yes, we did it ourselves.
- No, we don’t know how many pennies are in it.
- Yes, it is a little heavy, but not unbearably so!
I bought this table as a set with 2 end tables from a thrift shop in my hometown for $60. That’s $20 a table. And we have used them for more than 12 years!
This table has actually been through several iterations throughout the years. (You can see how we achieved this unique furniture flip in this post.)
Nathan James Asher Mid-Century Rectangle Coffee Table Glass Top and Rustic Oak Storage Shelf with Sleek Brass Metal Legs, GoldPowell Hammered Gold Drum with Natural Wood Lift Top for Storage Janice Table
The Vintage Hardware Cabinet
My favorite furniture flip OF ALL-TIME is this vintage hardware cabinet.
Not only do I have a sentimental attachment to it since it belonged to my great-grandparents, but it’s honestly just a beautiful piece of furniture.
Apothecary cabinets and library catalogs have been trending over the last couple of years in home decor and that is reflected in their price. If you buy one from an antique dealer, they cost thousands of dollars. The new ones don’t have the same quality or charm (and they are still pricey).
So, when my dad told me that I could have this one, I JUMPED at the chance! We pulled it out of an old barn, teeming with bugs, mice, and years of dust.
It was the most difficult project we have done. It required some new tools and learning new techniques, but it was worth every frustrating minute.
Not only do guests compliment me on it, but I had a realtor walk through my house and offer me $1,000 on the spot for it. (Not a chance, lady!)
You can see how we refurbished it in this post.
Leslie Dame Solid Oak Library Card File Media Cabinet, 24 Drawers, WalnutGoooodGift Apothecary Cabinet with Drawers 20 Wooden Drawers Organizer Storage Library Card Catalog Cabinet Tea Organizer for Cabinet Chinese Apothecary Drawers Vintage Apothecary Supplies (Brown)
The Grungy Dresser
This was one of the quickest and easiest furniture flips we’ve done yet.
I found it on Facebook Marketplace and bought it just weeks before we PCS-ed from Fort Bragg to Fort Hood. It was a race to get it refurbished in time before we moved. (I didn’t want anyone to think that I had furniture that dirty in my house, not even the movers!)
All it needed was a good cleaning and new paint. It’s one of my favorites because it’s so cheerful and is perfect for my daughter’s room. (We even let her pick the color and the knobs.) Her favorite color is yellow and we found the perfect shade!
ACME Dresden Dresser/Server – – Gold Patina & BoneHomsee 9 Drawer Double Dresser with Stylish Legs & Metal Handles, Modern Wood Dresser Chest of Drawers with Large Storage Space for Bedroom, White (63”W x 15.7”D x 31.5”H)
The Cowboy Bed
If the vintage hardware cabinet is my favorite piece of furniture, then our cowboy bed is my second favorite!
Our bed was broken and being held together by a couple of wood screws and prayers. We decided to chunk it before our PCS from Fort Bragg. I found a replacement on Facebook Marketplace before we even found a house at Fort Hood.
My husband was irritated, but $50 later, I was the proud owner of another disgusting, used piece of furniture. It was only our second foray into upholstery, which isn’t exactly difficult, but can be extremely frustrating.
Although it was a really bad time to find and re-furbish this piece, it turned out SO GOOD! I’ve had 2 offers to buy it and my niece has already claimed it when we’re ‘done with it’. So, I must not be the only one who thinks that this one of those furniture flips that turned trash into treasure!
(You can see the tutorial for this refurbishment here.)
BONSOIR Queen Size Bed Frame Upholstered Low Profile Traditional Platform with Tufted and Nail Headboard/No Box Spring Needed/No Bed Skirt Needed/Linen Fabric Upholstery/Color of SandAMERLIFE Queen Size Platform Bed Frame, Velvet Upholstered Bed with Deep Button Tufted & Nailhead Trim Wingback Headboard/No Box Spring Needed/Grey
The 100-Year-Old Rocking Chair
One of the most nerve-wracking furniture flips that we have done is our rocking chair.
This chair once belonged to my dad’s great-grandpa and it is easily over a hundred years old. My dad passed it down to me, but it definitely needed some work if we wanted to be able to use it.
After a little refurbishing, the rocking chair now sits in the corner of our living room and we use it all the time! (You can see how we did this project here.)
I love that we have this little piece of family history with us wherever we go! It definitely helps to make our house feel more like home.
Christopher Knight Home Selma Acacia Rocking Chair with Cushion, Teak FinishGiantex Set of 2 Porch Rocking Chair Outdoor and Indoor Use, Solid Eucalyptus Wood Rocker with Natural Finish, Front Porch Chairs for Patio Deck Garden, Wooden Rocking Adirondack Chair Set
The Vintage Lawn Chairs
I couldn’t list all of my favorite furniture flips without mentioning the vintage metal lawn chairs!
These are relatively new and I am loving them out on our back deck. We have been through several sets of outdoor furniture over the last 12 years, but none of it has really held up.
I’m hoping since these chairs have been around since the 1950s that they’ll last us at least 10 years!
Plus, now, they are super cute and colorful! You can see how we transformed these once rusty contraptions in this post.
There are several more furniture flips hiding around my house and a few waiting for their turn to get a make-over. These are just my absolute favorites.
Moving every 3-ish years can be hard, but being able to put together a pretty house, even when it doesn’t really belong to you, helps you feel more at home. And investing in your furniture is a great way to do that. Even if you invest more time and work than money.