Home & Decor,  The Green Life

Rethink, Reuse & Redecorate


Some of us are frugal, some of us are trying to do our part for the environment, some of us want to use things in unique ways, and some of us are ALL OF THE ABOVE.  Whichever you are (or aren’t), you can certainly learn a lot by just trying something new in your home decor that you might not normally do.  You just might find that you have a secret obsession, distinct style, or even a hidden talent for thinking outside the box.

Rethink & reuse what you already own to redecorate.

1. Use an outdoor rug indoors.  But don’t use an indoor rug outdoors, unless the space is covered; that would be just inviting trouble to move in.

2.  Instead of a full sized old school china cabinet, use a dresser, console table, or TV stand for dining room storage.  The drawers, doors, and/or shelves are perfect for storage and the top can be used as a buffet or display table when entertaining.  It’s a sure way to open up your space.  AND your room will no longer look like a department store display (or granny’s house) – unless, of course, that’s the look you’re going for.  Just be sure to keep it nice and clean, inside and out.

3.  If some of your furniture has seen better days, before you throw it out try giving it an update.

4.  If you happen to have extra fabric from previous projects:

  • Make pillow covers.
  • Craft a quilt.  This could even be a great gift or donation to the homeless or a shelter.
  • Frame it for unique and textural art.

5.  Armoires are not just for clothes and TVs.  If your wardrobe or big screen has outgrown your armoire, consider:

  • Moving it to the dining room to store dinner party essentials
  • Moving it to the entryway to use for incoming coats and shoes
  • If you have a large closet, move it there.  Add some hooks and dowels to the inner door for jewelry, do the same in the larger open area and add a few baskets for accessories (scarves, hats, handbags, etc.), and use the drawers for any overflow.  Use construction adhesive to attach a standard mirror (please lay the piece on it’s back and allow to dry fully) and a (small) bench and you’ve just turned your walk in closet into a full fledged dressing room!  We should all be so lucky!
  • If you have a functional basement, move it there or into the family room or game room for added storage.  It’s a chic way to store games, toys, extra floor pillows, blankets, etc.
  • Speaking of pillows and blankets, use it in a guest room (if you’re lucky enough to have one).  Your guests will feel like they are staying at a boutique hotel AND everything they need can be right at their fingertips. (Don’t make it too nice though; your guests might never leave!)

6.  Have you recently remodeled a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room?  Why not reuse some of those cabinets you just ripped out?  Be a little more deliberate when removing them and they can be used to:

  • Organize and store anything in the garage or workshop (BTW, why not consider treating your garage as well as you would any room INside the house? More on this in another post.)
  • Start a workshop!
  • **OmG…. the sink!  If it’s not integrated, use it in the garden!  Bury it half in, half out of the soil (like you may have seen done with a ceramic pot) and place a flowering plant so that it appears to be growing out of the sink.  OHHHH….. hey, take it to the next level…. keep the faucet on it and attach a hose to the pipe underneath.  Barely bury the hose under the soil and turn on the attached spigot when the plant needs watering.  It’ll look like the plant is being watered by the faucet in the sink!!!  (That’s actually a really cute idea – my husband just might kill me for trying it!)  

** Perhaps you should only try this in the backyard – the HOA police might cite you if it’s in the front.  And it’s probably only safe if you already have a garden out back;  otherwise you risk of hitting the inevitable cable, line, or tree root. **

  • No (enclosed) storage in your laundry room?  Reuse a cabinet from the kitchen or bathroom.  Just make sure to mount it in studs high enough to provide ample space for your machines (if you have a top loader).  While you’re at it, go all out and decorate the laundry room.

7.  Build things.  Trust me it’s fun, even if you’ve never done it before.  Scour Pinterest for loads of ideas; here’s just a few to start with.

  • Use leftover wood to make all sorts of basic or custom furniture pieces.
  • Window panes are still popular, especially in farmhouse style.  Use them as is for decorative wall accents or as a collage picture frame.
  • Turn doors into desks, console tables, or bench seats.

8.  If all else fails, DONATE, DONATE, DONATE!  Anything that’s in good working condition will be accepted at most donation centers.  What you think is trash could be a decorating goldmine for someone else.

I could go on and on…. there’s countless uses for items like cabinet hardware, drawer pulls, curtain rods, decorative tie backs, solid surface remnants, (glass) storage containers, apothecary jars, curtains and towels and sheets (or any textiles), teapots, tea cups, wire hangers (NO WIRE HANNNNGERSSSSS!!!), old t-shirts, etc, etc.

Perhaps each of these items deserves a moment in its very own spotlight.  Stay tuned for that possibility!

Until then, care to share your ideas or ways you have repurposed items in your own home?

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