Difference Wiki

Refurbish vs. Refurnish: What's the Difference?

By Harlon Moss & Aimie Carlson || Updated on May 22, 2024
Refurbish means to renovate or restore something to good condition, while refurnish means to equip a space with new or additional furniture.

Key Differences

Refurbish involves repairing or renovating an object or space to make it look new again. This term often applies to buildings, appliances, or equipment, indicating an improvement in appearance and functionality. For example, you might refurbish a vintage car or a dilapidated house. Refurnish, on the other hand, specifically refers to providing new or additional furniture to a space. It does not involve repairs or renovations but focuses on changing or updating the furniture within a room or building. For instance, you might refurnish a living room with a new sofa set and coffee table.
Refurbish can include a broad range of activities such as painting, replacing parts, or updating fixtures. It is a comprehensive term that addresses various forms of restoration to enhance value and usability. For instance, an old laptop might be refurbished by upgrading its hardware and software. Refurnish is limited to the context of furniture. It means replacing old furniture or adding new pieces to improve the comfort or aesthetic of a room. This term is narrower in scope and does not imply any structural changes or repairs to the building itself. For example, refurnishing an office would involve getting new desks and chairs, not fixing the walls or floors.
Refurbishing is often considered more intensive and potentially costly due to the extent of work involved. It aims to bring an item back to a nearly new state. Conversely, refurnishing can be less intensive and more about updating style rather than functionality, focusing on the arrangement and type of furniture used.

Comparison Chart


Renovate or restore to good condition
Equip with new or additional furniture


Broad, including repairs and updates
Narrow, focused on furniture


Buildings, appliances, equipment
Rooms, offices, homes

Activities Involved

Painting, replacing parts, updating
Adding or replacing furniture

Cost and Intensity

Often more intensive and costly
Generally less intensive and costly

Refurbish and Refurnish Definitions


To renovate a space to improve its appearance.
They decided to refurbish the old library.


To furnish a space with new furniture.
They decided to refurnish the entire office.


To repair and update an item to a better condition.
The company will refurbish the used laptops before resale.


To provide new furnishings for an existing space.
The hotel will refurnish all its suites this summer.


To restore a structure or object to a good state.
We plan to refurbish the community center this year.


To equip a place with additional furnishings.
After the renovation, they refurnished the guest rooms.


To enhance the functionality and aesthetics of something.
He refurbished the vintage car for the show.


To replace old furniture with new items.
We need to refurnish the living room with a modern set.


To carry out improvements and updates.
The hotel was refurbished to attract more guests.


To update the furniture in a specific area.
She plans to refurnish her bedroom with vintage pieces.


To make clean, bright, or fresh again; renovate.


(transitive) To furnish again; to get new furniture for.
I'm planning to refurnish my flat.


(transitive) To rebuild or replenish with all new material; to restore to original (or better) working order and appearance.
We're having the sitting room refurbished, after a leak damaged a large part of the room.


(transitive) To supply or provide anew.
The soldiers were refurnished with provisions.


To furbish anew.


To furnish again.


Make brighter and prettier;
We refurbished the guest wing
My wife wants us to renovate


Furnish with new or different furniture;
We refurnished the living room


What does refurbish mean?

Refurbish means to renovate or restore something to good condition.

Does refurbish involve structural changes?

It can involve structural changes if necessary for restoration.

Can refurbish apply to furniture?

Yes, refurbish can apply to furniture if it involves restoring or updating it.

Is refurnish used for appliances?

No, refurnish specifically refers to providing or replacing furniture, not appliances.

Is refurbishing only for old items?

Mostly, but new items can also be refurbished if they require improvements.

Is refurnishing a room expensive?

It can be, depending on the type and quantity of furniture added or replaced.

Does refurbish improve functionality?

Yes, refurbishing often improves both appearance and functionality.

What does refurnish mean?

Refurnish means to equip a space with new or additional furniture.

Can a house be refurnished?

Yes, a house can be refurnished by adding or replacing its furniture.

Can refurnish mean adding decorations?

Typically, refurnish refers to furniture, not decorations.

Can refurnish involve minor repairs?

No, refurnish focuses on furniture replacement or addition.

What is an example of refurnishing?

Buying new sofas for the living room is refurnishing.

Is refurnishing done frequently?

It can be done as often as desired, depending on style changes or needs.

Can refurbish and refurnish be used interchangeably?

No, they refer to different processes and cannot be used interchangeably.

Is refurbishing labor-intensive?

It can be, depending on the extent of the restoration needed.

Does refurbishing take longer than refurnishing?

Usually, refurbishing takes longer due to the scope of work involved.

Does refurnish include painting walls?

No, painting walls is part of refurbishing, not refurnishing.

What is an example of refurbishing?

Upgrading and repainting an old building is refurbishing.

Do you need professionals to refurnish a room?

Not necessarily, but professional help can ensure better results.

Can you refurbish electronic devices?

Yes, electronic devices can be refurbished by updating hardware and software.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Co-written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons