When I was growing up, my mother scoured secondhand stores for imperfect treasures that she could turn into unique pieces of furniture. To a stunning inlaid wood tabletop, she added wrought iron legs. She turned an antique display case into a coffee table for holding family photos. With a good eye for design and functionality, my mother created furniture you could not find in any store.
In today’s world, we call what my mother did furniture hacking: transforming existing furniture into customized and repurposed pieces. With furniture hacks you can exercise your creativity, get the exact piece of furniture you want, and save money. Let’s look at some great furniture hacks for your home.
Murphy Bed Hack with Sliding Doors and Storage
A Murphy bed, or wall bed, is an ideal solution for a multi-purpose extra bedroom. When you have company you pull the bed down from its vertical storage position against the wall. The rest of the time the bed is hidden behind cabinet facades or sliding doors. Murphy beds can be expensive, however, especially if you want a custom fit with extra storage space. One clever furniture hacker, named newfangled (you can find him on Instructables) installed two wardrobes at either end of the wall and assembled the wall bed (from a kit) between the wardrobes. Sliding doors and lighting rounded out the project. Results: a custom bed, storage space, and lighting unit at half the cost of retail.
Dining Table Hack
If you’ve ever looked at your dining room table and thought, “I am so tired of this table, but I can’t get replace it because it’s in perfectly good shape,” this hack is for you. One do-it-yourselfer, Gina, who runs the Acute Designs blog, turned a traditional looking table into a contemporary design in just a few steps. She removed the legs, trimmed the wood around the top, and replaced the wooden legs with metal hairpin legs. She then sanded and stained the tabletop. But beware: you will probably want to replace the chairs, because the old ones won’t go with your sleek “new” table.
Bathroom Sink Hack
You can create the bathroom you want with a bathroom sink hack just like Jenna from the Suburban Urbanist did. The first step is to find the sink and faucet you want. There are lots of great designs out there, so don’t settle for what you find in local stores if it’s not exactly what you want. The next step is to make a vanity to fit the sink and faucet. This project starts with an inexpensive accent table. A few coats of paint and polyurethane and well-placed holes turn the accent table into a vanity. Then follow the installation instructions that come with the sink, and you’re done.
Hack your Television
Early television sets were more than screens; they were important pieces of furniture, the focal point of the living room. You can still find an occasional wooden television console in second-hand stores—or better yet discarded on the street. The television won’t do you much good, but that solid console—with its fine decorative touches—just screams for a hack. All you need to do is remove the television (with its huge tube), add a couple of vertical dividers or horizontal shelves, and give it a good paint job. Now you have a terrific hutch for your living room—unique, repurposed, and beautiful just like the one we saw on Home Hinges.
The good thing about hacking is you can adapt your project to the skills and time you have. There’s no right or wrong hack. And, as one hacker put it, “It makes the furniture originally yours!”