Add Wood! And Other Simple Upgrades for Cheap Furniture

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Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


  • Reply September 15, 2013


    Great article!

  • Reply September 16, 2013


    Superb! Primer has it goin on! Well done.

  • Reply September 16, 2013


    This is a cracking article, one of the best I’ve read on Primer. Simple, effective, great tips.

  • Reply September 16, 2013

    Phil Hamer

    These are great! I’ll keep these in mind for my annual Ikea trip. I love the lamp idea.

  • Reply September 16, 2013


    Awesome, awesome post. Primer is becoming my favorite blog.

  • Reply September 16, 2013


    Great ideas. Thanks!

  • Reply September 16, 2013


    Wow! This article is full of awesome ideas! Very well done!!

  • Reply September 16, 2013


    having a hard time finding those table tops, any homedepot online links by chance?

  • Reply September 17, 2013


    Lowe’s also has the wooden pine round(s) if you have a Lowe’s store in your area.

    • Reply September 20, 2013


      have you found any smaller than 15″ at lowes? i know its only 3 more inches, but when looking at the rounds in store i thought it would be an awfully big seat. i will probably use it though.

      • Reply September 20, 2013


        I thought the exact same thing but it’s the perfect size when on.

  • Reply September 17, 2013


    Just moved into my first postgrad apartment last week and still trying to furnish. Awesome, awesome article. More like this please.

  • Reply September 22, 2013


    Awesome article. Really cool have bunch of these tips on furniture from IKEA, for us living in europe, most of the tips about homedepo etc. arent very relevant, but ikea is everyone. Cheers!

  • Reply September 22, 2013


    Do you have a specific model for the lamp? That’s a brilliant idea that looks sick, but having trouble finding the lamp (or a similar lamp) that would work.

  • Reply October 6, 2013


    That trick with the leather drawer pulls is pretty slick. The second i saw it, though, I instantly thought of sticking a wooden rod through. You know what I mean? That way, instead of trying to fumble with trying stick your finger in a little leather fold so you can actually get some leverage on it, you have a nice, manly bar to grip. Especially in circumstances like in the picture, with the two pulls. And you could even rig some sort of anchor on the ends of the wooden rod, so it doesn’t just fall out. The anchor could be something as simple as a cotter pin through a hole you drilled sideways in the rod, for the industrial look.

    Hey, Andrew, just wanted to let you know I love the site, I have been a subscriber for a couple years now. I still live at home, until I can actually support myself and move out, so I can’t really put a lot of your tips to use. but I’m definitely filing them away for the future!

  • You have shared really amazing pictures and I really like that. I want to some pictures share with my friends. Hope they like them.

  • Reply November 20, 2013


    Do you come up with these ideas yourself or do you get inspired by other sources? Used the silver paint and also redid a piece of furniture in a manner inspired by the dresser idea. Good work!

  • Reply January 17, 2014

    Adam Kappel

    Hey Andrew, I’m in the process of building the Old Army Stool. It’s looking awesome so far. My question is; how do you secure the footrest? I’m considering just drilling straight through, and securing it with a new bolt, but I feel like there must be an easier way. Thanks in advance!

  • […] Stołek barowy DALFRED w wersji złotej, drewnianej i z siodełkiem […]

  • Reply July 15, 2014

    Rharbaje Badr

    These are great! I’ll keep these in mind for my annual Ikea trip. I love the lamp idea.
    Bedroom Furniture Stores

  • […] done quite a number of DIY projects by this point that involve wood and I can shamefully say that this is the first one I’ve actually […]

  • Reply August 12, 2015

    Cynthia Anastasiou

    This is all so great. What stain color did you use for the stools?


    • Reply August 14, 2015


      It was a cherry if I remember correctly.

  • Reply August 29, 2015


    How are the rounds affixed to the stool? Do you screw them onto the black seat from the bottom, or do you replace the black seat?

    • Reply August 29, 2015


      Yep, they’re screwed on to the black seat.

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