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Decorating with Thrifted & Upcycled Pieces: Our Living Room Coffee Table

I love a good thrift store find. A garage sale treasure. An upcycled project.

And I’ve added these types of items throughout our entire home. I love decorating with thrifted & upcycled pieces.

Some of them I have already shared with you, but several of them I have never really talked about. And with this month’s DIY Challenge topic: Thrifted & Upcycled Projects, I figured the time was ripe to focus in on these custom and unique pieces.

Like our living room coffee table.

I have never, ever shared the makeover of this piece. Probably because I actually purchased it (through Kijiji) and refinished it just before I started this blog… which means: no pictures.

I searched and searched to find a somewhat similar before image and this is what I came up with…

80s hexagon coffee table makeover a similar before

To refinish my table, I bought a pint of an oil based paint in the colour Aegean Teal, by Benjamin Moore. This is actually the same can of paint that I used to paint our front door (maybe you noticed that colour when I shared my Fall Front Porch the other day?). Aegean Teal is on the same paint chip as Colorado Gray (which is the colour of our hallway) as well as Whispering Spring (colour of our kitchen/dining room/living room).

I love how it totally transformed this table. Cute, right?!?

My thrifted coffee table makeover at thehappyhousie.com

I like the way that the oil paint has sort of gradually worn off the ridges and edges and chipped a little bit here and there. It’s all part of that slightly distressed look that the furniture in our house seems to take on (either because I have distressed it or because we have accidentally “distressed” it by living with it!).

And speaking of other furniture, our whole living room is full of upcycled and thrifted pieces…

5 Great Reasons to Include Thrifted and Upcycled Things in Your Home Decor at thehappyhousie.com

The long oar was a garage sale find, while the small broken oar actually came with our boat. It was supposed to be our emergency oar but it split the first time we used it. So I hung it on the wall instead. The little yellow table was a thrift store find that I redid with some DIY chalk paint and the white lamp on top of it was another easy thrift store makeover. The blue milk jug was a thrift store find that I spraypainted, and the log end table was literally just a piece of firewood that I let dry out then brought inside. I’d called that upcycled; you?!

5 Great Reasons to Include Thrifted and Upcycled Things in Your Home Decor at thehappyhousie.com 3

The Media Console was made from an old dresser picked up at a thrift store; and the little side table between my two white side chairs is actually a vintage cheese drum (garage sale find). The large DIY Sign above the TV Cabinet was made from some old reclaimed wood that our neighbour was getting rid of. The faux mantel cabinet was created from an old hutch that I picked up at the Sally Ann; and the weathered oar hanging on the wall literally washed up on our beach. The waterski hanging up high on the wall above the dining room was found at another garage sale.

5 Great Reasons to Include Thrifted and Upcycled Things in Your Home Decor at thehappyhousie.com 4

In the dining room, the pew was gifted to use but is a vintage piece that my friends purchased when a church was being sold. All of the oil paintings above the board and batten were found at garage sales or thrift stores and then unified by painting out the frames in white. The white Windsor style chairs at our dining table were bought second-hand and then given a new lease on life with some homemade white chalk paint.

So you don’t have to buy new to add a lot of interest to your space!

In fact there are huge advantages to adding some upcycled and thrifted finds to your décor:

  1. To Save Money!
    You can find and “make” what you want or need at a fraction of the cost of always buying everything new.
  2. To Reinforce Your Colour Scheme:
    I chose to paint my furniture pieces according to the colour scheme of our living space which means that the whole room flows much better then if I lived with pieces that were purchased new in a non-custom colour.
  3. To Create a Unique Style:
    You will find pieces that no-one else will likely have. Your home will be unique, original, and eclectic. And it will have a collected look instead of that I-ordered-it-all-from-a-catalog-last-Saturday feel.
  4. For Pride in the DIY:
    There is something special about giving a piece new life that you can’t totally understand until you experience it. There is a real sense of accomplishment in taking something old that has been cast away and finding a new use for it or making it fresh and beautiful again through your labours.
  5. To Help the Earth:
    Upcycling old pieces instead of always buying new ones means that less things end up in the landfill, which is always a bonus for our children and our children’s children.

This is awesome! Pin it to remember it!

5 fantastic reasons that you should decorate with upcycled and thrifted finds at thehappyhousie.com

A little more inspiration


Upcycled Kitchen Sideboard at Just a Girl and Her Blog

Upcycled Living Room Coffee Table at The Happy Housie (you are here!)

Recycled Pallet Wood Jewelry Holder at The Hankful House

Upcycled Kitchen Tea Towel Halloween Pillows Confessions of a Serial DIY-er

Upcycled Vintage Door House by Hoff

Don’t forget: this Sunday at 7pm EST is our DIY Challenge Monthly Party. Get those upcycled projects ready! We can’t wait to see what you have to share with us!

DIY Challenge October

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I may link up at some of these fabulous places below, for more info check out housie partiesMonday Funday Inspiration MondayNifty Thrifty Tuesday, Project Inspire{d} , Inspire Me Tuesday, The Scoop, Hit Me With Your Best Shot,  Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday From Dream to Reality, The Inspiration Exchange, Wow Us Wednesday, Live Laugh Rowe Live Laugh Linky, Thursdays Are Your Days, Inspire Me Please, Catch as Catch CanFabulously Creative Friday, Party Junk,  Pinworthy Projects , Link Party Palooza,, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Spotlight SaturdaySuburbs Mama , That DIY Party


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  1. Love the look you have created & totally agree with your upcycling philosophy!! I’ve used white chalkpaint to totally change my living room space & also one of the bedrooms; makes everything look so fresh & different &, like you, I add color accents with accesories. By the way, did you upcycle the collection of A letters on the wall or were they bought items?

    1. Hi Kim! I love how clean and fresh white paint makes everything look… and the way it allows all those colours to pop! The collection of A’s were – unfortunately – not thrifted finds. They were bought at a home decor store… but I did collect them over time. I would find different ones every time I visited. Our last name starts with “A” so that’s why I went with that letter!

    1. Aw, thanks Abby. There is quite the story behind each, and I have never really taken the time to “tell” their story:) Thanks for popping by!

    1. Thanks Christy- it’s a fun topic. I love upcycling old furniture but have pretty much run out of places to put it. I guess I should start to sell some:-)

  2. Krista,
    I love the fact that you are upcycling and saving old things – what a way to make this world a greener place for all of us. I love the painted coffee table and adore that tray you have on top of it! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you Barbara! It’s just so satisfying to transform old pieces:) And I love eclectic feel they can create!

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