Thrift Store Furniture for a Small Space


Last week I shared with you my plans for making my Mom’s “Bowling Alley” living room work better for her. Today I wanted to share what I  have planned so far. The first and most important step, lots and lots of shopping. For those on a budget, secondhand shopping is definitely the way to go. For this room in particular vintage furniture is perfect because it tends to be smaller. In today’s market the furniture is often super sized and way too large for our narrow space.

For under $500 we were able to score two french arm chairs with feather cushions (these are seriously comfy for their size which was also a must for the space,) a slim china cabinet with storage cabinets below, and a 26″ round upholstered ottoman. These will all get a make over but at secondhand prices we have a little money to spare for updates.


The first update project I tackled was the china cabinet. The color of the wood is very close to that of the flooring which is not Mom’s favorite feature so we decide on white paint. If you haven’t already noticed Mom loves white (I’m not sure she is actually my mother.)


For furniture with small parts and details my favorite way to paint is spray paint. After removing all the glass and doors and giving everything a quick sanding I can have a piece sprayed and drying in a matter of hours. Getting good this takes some practice but in my opinion it is sometimes the only way to go.

To save space, even if only a few inches, I decide to install the cabinet as if it were a built-in. I cut away the chair molding and notched the base board so that the cabinet would fit snugly against the wall.


Another feature I added is LED lighting to the interior and exterior top of the cabinet. This will help bring light into this corner at night which was one of our problem areas.


With a fresh coat of paint and some shelf styling our old china cabinet looks as good as new and is a perfect slim addition to our small place.


Fortunate for me Mom collects lots of odd bits and object that make shelf styling easy, have a close look at her collection.

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