I hate buying new furniture. Often, new furniture is not made well unless you spend a terrible fortune. The one time I can say I bought something new and it was worth the money is my entertainment armoire. It was originally around $3000. I bought if for just under $800. It is a good solid piece of furniture and it adds to my home. Otherwise, the new stuff has started to fall apart, looks worn or is just plain boring. Most of all, I hate buying something new because I am just adding one more thing to a landfill eventually. I hate it. I prefer to buy used furniture. I have since I was in college. It's fun, practical and better for the environment.
I prefer to find old furniture at yard sales, thrift stores and estate sales. It's one of my favorite past-times. I have also been able to fill my home with some interesting secondhand pieces. Therefore, I am always on the look out for great websites that tell you how to redo a piece for very little money. I am normally disappointed because I have only been able to find shabby chic style websites. Some have great ideas, but they don't normally fit my style (whatever that is). I am very eclectic. I prefer darker woods mixed with some brighter accents. I paint (not terribly well, but I paint) acrylic abstracts on canvas that I have hung around my home. These make my house a little more colorful. Shabby Chic just doesn't cut it.
Recently, I wrote about www.threadbanger.com. This site has a Decor It Yourself section. The ideas listed here are a little more contemporary. They are fun and super cheap. I find that their ideas are best for the under 30 crowd, but anyone can find some inspiration here. From Threadbanger I learned about www.DesignSpongeonline.com. Now we are talking. I have spent my entire morning gushing over some of the cool makeovers listed on this site. Who would have thought to use contact paper to decorate the outside of a bureau? I certainly wouldn't have, but I am now.
One of my students found me a piano bench and two end tables. I have struggled to come up with something new for these tables. I have been really bad about painting everything black. These website encourage using some color. I think that I can find a really cool color to use. When I get them done, I will post them. The point here is to rethink used furniture. Think outside the box and buy a piece you wouldn't normally grab. You don't have to paint it white or black and do nothing else to it. There are lots of ways to transform a really inexpensive piece. Try to have a little fun with it and redecorate your home for pennies on the dollar!! Good luck.