Since I’m passionate—some say obsessed—about redesign, I’ve always dreamed of the ultimate redesign project: flipping houses. That’s challenging though, especially in Southern California where housing is so flipping expensive! Pun intended. To satisfy my redesign itch, I decided to put flipping houses on hold and pursue a much easier, affordable alternative: flipping furniture. What I could not have imagined is how much I would LOVE this new outlet, which has turned into the newest branch of my business, which I call The Redesign Habit Workshop. I hope that sharing my newfound love will inspire you to follow suit, so you too can find the joy in affordable flipping!
I started this process in the last month or so, and I have discovered two things quickly:
·There’s a LOT of great furniture in thrift stores and garage sales everywhere—solid wood pieces, the kind that if purchased new, many of us couldn’t afford
·There’s great demand for these pieces once they’ve been cleaned up and given a little love (and I love taking what’s old and making it “new” again)
Many of the pieces I find are flawed a little (or a lot), with dings and scratches, water marks or maybe a broken handle or hinge. While imperfections can be repaired, I find that leaving some scars gives the piece character. People have loved these furnishings. They may have shared family meals around that old table, laughed ‘til they cried during a rousing family game night, helped kids with homework, or maybe helped those same kids plan their future. These pieces have history. I love that! By restoring them, I feel like I’m connecting people across experiences and generations.
It also feels good to, in my own little way, curb some of our society’s wastefulness. We all seem to want things that are bright and shiny new. That can be nice, but shiny and new often means expensive. Rescuing pieces from the trash pile is satisfying to me for many reasons. I enjoy working with my hands and watching the pieces transform—they really do “reveal themselves” right before my eyes! Plus, I’m giving people the opportunity to own quality furniture who maybe couldn’t otherwise afford it, while I make a buck. A true win-win.
Every day I get up excited to work on that next piece. To solve the next mystery and reveal the next treasure! My excitement is stoked even more by the reactions of my customers—from the young, newly married couple who was elated to find a solid wood desk they could actually afford to the couple who moved into a new home and wanted to find unique pieces to give it character and charm!
I’ll share some furniture flipping tales with you along the way. I hope this inspires you to pick up that bookshelf someone left by the curb instead of just passing by. Take it home and see what kind of magic you can work with it. Your risk is minimal—a little time, energy, and a few bucks. Your reward may be immense.
Now, what will you do next to love where you live?