There are some interesting furniture makeover ideas on this HGTV website, but distressing furniture is merely silly. There are two cat furniture suggestions--using a bedside chest to hide the litter pan (remove the drawer but keep its face and put a hole in the side; kitty doesn't need a curtain, however) and removing desk drawers to give your cat(s) cubbyholes with cushions. That could be fun for you and kitty.
There's a link to an article by Matt Fox about recycling furniture; he and Shari changed a dining room buffet into a mail center in the foyer. A lovely and useful makeover. There are also articles on low-profile furniture (it makes the room look larger and the ceiling higher), arranging furniture, and slathering paint on furniture so that years later some poor devil will be gnashing her teeth and snarling as she strips that paint off. Been there, done that. Red, white, and blue stripes?!
Link: Furniture: Get Tips on Decorating, Arranging, and Painting Furniture : HGTV