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November 08, 2016

Curb Appeal

I am sincerely amazed that I have yet to cause a car accident from my habit of suddenly braking when I see a piece of furniture someone has put to the curb. 

Sure, my friends judge me, until they see how a bohemian aesthetic and a little elbow grease can rehab even the most questionable of castoffs.

You see, I believe in what I call Furniture Karma. Do you desperately want a cane-back rocking chair? Well just put that thought out into the universe and keep your eyes peeled. One will find you. Maybe on the side of the road. Maybe at Goodwill. But Furniture Karma always provides.

My upcoming reupholstery project, ladies and gentlemen!

My upcoming reupholstery project, ladies and gentlemen!

I’m amazed at what I’ve managed to fit into my small car. End tables, a small arm chair and a set of wicker chairs have all recently (barely) been squeezed into the my back seat (even when this put me in a driving position that would challenge most yoga masters).

But here the path to hoarding lies. 

I am definitely not a hoarder. I feel it’s important for you to know that. My house is neat and tidy, and if you opened a closet door, there’s a 90% chance you wouldn’t be buried under any sort of avalanche.

Before I bring anything new (to me) home, I ask myself the following questions to avoid crossing the line into Interventionville:

Do I have space for this?

Thanks to whoever left these wicker chairs by the side of the road!

Picture your home. Do you actually have room for whatever this object is? Can you honestly imagine it being placed in a location that seems appropriate for it? We all want a fabulous vintage console stereo, but if you have to crawl over it to get to your living room sofa, this isn’t your time. Don’t worry. Furniture Karma will take care of you later.

Am I really going to rehab this?

It took a little work, but was well worth it!

It took a little work, but was well worth it!

More often than not, if you find something for cheap or free, it’s going to require some degree of work for it to look nice in your home. Are you willing to put in the time it will take to sand, prime, paint or repair this? Do you have access to the tools and skills you’ll need to make this not look like something you found on the side of the road? Will it be cost prohibitive to do so?

Do I actually like this?

I do, but you might not. And that's okay!

I do, but you might not. And that’s okay!

It doesn’t matter how well-made it is. It doesn’t matter if 9 out of 10 people think it’s the most amazing piece of furniture ever. Do you like it? Life is too short to fill your home with a bunch of stuff you don’t even enjoy looking at. Leave it for the next person who will.

How do you choose what will come home with you and what will stay?




  1. I have edited away many items out of my home to the curb (I’m downsizing) or, got the word out that I no longer want something. People who know me know that, when I say something is going out, they better have their truck at my curb before I can finish my statement. You see, when I want something out, that means NOW! Just ask my brother n law.
    I have acquired quite the wardrobe now through my thrifting. I describe myself as “savvy thrifty”. Now, when I find something I really love, and, bring it home, something must leave my closet and go to the clothing closet at church. These days, it’s getting harder and harder, so, I really need to think about my potential purchase. A lot do return to the rack and, hopefully, grace another closet.

  2. You need to drive by my house. I’m about to put a beautiful dresser on the curb. I hate to but I literally only have like one inch to go around it to get in to my closet. And it’s filled with board games that I don’t play anymore as my kids are grown. I may just leave the games in it as a bonus!

  3. I try to keep what I bring home and how many projects I have completed on an even keel. It doesn’t always happen, but since I sell what I refurb it is ok. We just call it inventory instead of hoarding 🙂