My aunt in Italy still uses some of the furniture her mother (ma nonna) owned when she was a newlywed. She loves Nonna’s sturdy all-wood bedroom set and keeps it in good condition. Likewise, Mom’s friend Louise had an old chair from her father that she kept in memory of him. Of course, she used it too; she reupholstered it and enjoyed this old chair for years.
When my mother passed away, I kept some of her furniture, including a bedside table, ottomans, a lamp and a beautiful room divider. These items remind me of mom, I use them every day, and they didn’t cost me a dime.
I appreciate the craftsmanship and quality of the furniture that has been built to last for generations. Old and quality parts can always be updated with a finish or upholstery. Sometimes even furniture collected in the garbage can be cleaned and refurbished, or even reused.
Over the years, I have recovered old furniture left on the street. I once found two cute little pieces of wicker – a laundry basket and a small set of shelves – which were perfect for my small bathroom. I washed them with mild soap and let them dry in the sun. The basket was fine after a wash, but the shelves needed some paint to freshen them up. I also got a wooden stool that I cleaned and painted the same color as my wicker shelves. I use these parts every day; they were great finds for me!
Although these pieces don’t hold memories like Mom’s old furniture, I’m glad I found them. They match my needs and are attractive and helpful. And I’m happy to use these pieces and keep them out of the landfill.