CH and I refurbish old furniture. We have guidelines and standards that we use to judge a piece before we take a piece (from the side of the road) or buy a piece. When I saw this post, "Ten Commandments of Used Furniture", on Apartment Therapy it hit every point that we use. The writer gives great examples and explanations of each commandment with a humorous twist.
One thing, however, that was not addressed was "critters". By "critters" I mean any kind of nasty bug that could be hidden in the piece of furniture. We have found fleas, ants, roaches and termites in some pieces. Those pieces do not come home with us. Or, if we don't see them at the time of purchase, to be on the safe side we leave the piece outside until we can examine it and get rid of the nasty things or throw out the piece.
I will give a short list of commandments here and then just click here for the full post at Apartment Therapy.
1. Thou Shalt Look for Tags
2. Honor Thy Lines
3. Thou Shalt Not Worship False Furniture
4. Thou Shalt Sit On It
5. Thou Shalt Examine Any Cushions
Keeping these commandments in mind when you next come upon a questionable piece of furniture could save you money and time. However, do not hesitate to use your imagination if the piece measures up structurally but not aesthetically.
Meanwhile .... keep it simple and make it real.