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Home Decorating: (Re)Use what you have?

Posted on: January 17, 2013


Wouldn’t you like to jazz up your interior decorations with something you already have around the house? Laura Gaskill of HOUZZ has come up with a list of fifteen NO-COST ways to “Invigorate Your Space”. Let’s look at them together.

Laura comments, “Sometimes all it takes is a bit of inspiration to see your space with fresh eyes.”

framed prints

1. Frame illustrations from a book or magazine. (The “no-cost” assumes you’ve some black frames lying around…, as well as all those glossy magazines.)

I love these simple floral prints. They remind me of Regency-era Artwork, when women drew and painted botanical specimens.

2. Repurpose fabric remnants as art. Similar to #1, use fabric – as a wall hanging, or as a framed print.

As Laura suggests, you can even use an embroidery hoop and display it that way; but why not add some embroidery touches, in that case?

3. Use vases to display jewelry. The accompanying photo shows a necklace looped a couple of times around the neck of a simple ceramic vase. Another, next to it, has a myriad of gold bracelets tossed down its long thin neck.

My passion is pins, more than necklaces (and certainly more than bracelets: hard to type with a clanking bracelet!). I hung a padded board and stick my brooches all over the surface. Makes it easy to choose which to wear, and keeps them in fine condition.

4. Use “throws” in a fresh way. The text talks about those little blankets that sometimes live at the foot of your bed, as well as throw pillows – which they’ve even piled up under a small table.

My suggestion here might seem old-fashioned, but years ago I haunted an antique lace, doily, and tablecloth booth. Beautiful needlework, and they look great over the back of an overstuffed chair.

5. Swap out accent furniture from room to room.

I did this! Had a small painted table in a back room, that made a perfect bedside table; add lamp and a few books … voila!

6. Revamp old jars as fun storage. Q-tips? pencils? Here’s where they go!

They can be Mason jars, squat jars once filled with nuts, cylindrical peanut butter jars. Be creative with the sizes and shapes. HOUZZ’s photo shows hot PINK covers on all the jars, which unifies the collection.

7. Color code your book shelves. The photo of a white room with blue accents features a wall of books – red bindings huddled together in one area; blue bindings in another; yellow bindings elsewhere; and creams are up there too.

As a book collector, I am loath to DO anything to a book that ‘injures’ it; I keep dust jackets on, for instance. Oh! how that would have helped a 1930s volume from being so sun-faded that the fabric hinges cracked. I do like their bonus, however: “It will give you an excuse to peruse all of your favorite old books!”

8. Turn a crate on its side to hold books.

Rustic… Reused… neatly stacked even. Who could argue with this decor suggestion. Add to that: CDs, DVDs – anything that cries out for a little storage spot to call home. Line the box, if you’d like an addition use for those remnants of fabric!

9. Hang artwork on your shelves.

Personally, I’d prefer the artwork within the shelf‘s little cubby, but the photo show a light at the top of the built-in bookcase, and a little framed picture a few shelves down. As they say, “A small painting allows you to still access the books around it.”

10. Style your open shelving. Glass-fronted or even “commando” (no doors) kitchen cabinets? Take the time to organize and style what you must always view

A non-brainer: Hide the clutter!

11. Put the silver on display. Do you have grandma’s “good silverware”? Show it off, especially if it’s never in use.

The HOUZZ photo has a MARVELOUS Dundee Marmalade stoneware jar – or you could use one of those Mason Jars from #6, above.

12. Reuse glass jars for flowers.

I.e., plant some posies around the rooms you frequent most. You’ll welcome the vibrant colors.

13. Paper a wall in old maps.

This one’s so neat, that I just have to include their photo:

map your bath

Nautical Charts are FABULOUS for a bath, don’t you think? Must confess, I wish it was one giant map, no jogs in the shoreline at all. (Picky, picky…) HOUZZ suggests papering with maps of places you have been – why not toss in a discrete photo too. A nice Top Down Bottom Up cellular window shade – in Vienna Wood (brown=blend in) or Largo (blue=pop!) would complete this picture, giving much needed privacy.

14. Fill an unused frame with fabric-wrapped cork.

This same idea could be fabric on a frame (see my “pin board,” #3 above) or even a foam-core board. Decorate with photos, notes, or maybe postcards from those places that you’ve got maps for!

15. Remove a door and create a hideaway office.

The HOUZZ photo is so cute – a drawn-to-one-side white “linen” curtain, a green-painted wooden (swivel!) office chair, storage bins on a shelf, even three “time zone” clocks. Who can tell me what time it is in LONDON when it’s 11 am in NEW YORK?

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1 Response to "Home Decorating: (Re)Use what you have?"

Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after going through some of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

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