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To give your home a new look will take a little time and effort, but it shouldn't throw your budget out of whack.

Tired of staring at that some old ugly pattern on your couch, love seat or recliners? Want something new? Don't we all. Instead of buying brand new furniture, why not recover the furniture you already have? It's not a simple project, it will take time, but it can be done. First, make sure the framework of your furniture is still sound and good to go for a few more years. Go to your local library and check out How-To books on this subject. Or, search the internet. Then, search fabric stores for material, comparing prices and buying items on sell for best results. (Note: No matter how much the material is on sale for, if you don't like it and can't stand looking at it, DON'T buy it!) Next, procure the necessary tools. If you don't have them, borrow them. The next step is to recover that furniture. To make it a little less stressful for yourself, why not invite friends, kids, grandkids over to help out and make it a fun project?

A little harder to deal with are the end tables that your great-aunt on your father's side twice removed gave you for your wedding...fifty years ago. Can't bear to throw them away? Well, don't. (Again, first make sure framework is sound before continuing.) Sand these down, removing all paint or finish. Then repaint or stain for a different look. One look that is REALLY in now is the 'old' look. To give your tables this look, simply paint white, blue, green, whatever color, then lightly sand in various spots (Mostly edges and legs) to give it an aged look. This works just as well with dining tables, china cabinets, chairs and so forth.

If you feel that your efforts would only be in vain if you tried the above, don't worry. You can still find great furniture cheap. The best place to look is a moving sale. People are ready to get out of that house and most people get rid of GREAT furniture dirt cheap. I recently received an oak bedroom suit that included bureau, dresser, end table, and bed frame from my mother-in-law. She bought it at a moving sale for $100! That is a wonderful deal. If you bought it new (which this was) you would pay around $2,000 or more. Also, check out going-out-of-business sales. These also give you great prices on wonderful furniture. Another great place to check is a wholesale wharehouse. They're prices may tend to run a little more than moving sales or going-out-of-business sales, but they are also dealers costs, so you're not having to pay a big mark-up.

So, get out there and make your home something you can stand looking at again!