Six tips for Repurposing

Posted on Jan 1, 2012 in Displays, Home Page Feature

Repurposing Accessories

Creative Uses of Everyday Items for Home Storage and Organization

Decorating on a Budget

Ringing in the new year means so many different things. Resolutions for diet, exercise, decluttering, organizing, cleaning…the lists go on and on. As a list maker,
I just can’t help myself.

One of the things I enjoy most about taking down the Christmas tree is rearranging and repurposing things that I have. This is a list of some of my favorite things to repurpose during the New Year.

Decorating accessories: when I bring out my Christmas decorations I put some of my existing things away to make room. This begins a whole collection of items to repurpose when I then put Christmas decorations away. I will also gather any accessories from other areas of the houses that I’m tired of and bring it all to the dining table. This might be pillows, candles, frames, artwork and or even an antique gumball machine. Then I will use those same items in new places and with different things creating a whole new look. When you are regrouping things don’t get stressed out by it. Be creative, play around with it and see what comes out. For me, things usually work together best in odd numbers, similar colors or items, symmetrically or with a theme in mind. If nothing else it’s a place to start.

Baskets and bins: sometimes it seems like the baskets and bins in our house are on rotation. They have held toys one season, linens for the dining room the next, and now they are in the office. Play space to dining space to work space. The key to using baskets is to have a specific purpose for them wherever they go. Don’t allow them to become a catch all and on the other hand don’t let them look accidental with too few or random items in them. When using open baskets find creative ways to arrange, stack, fold and contain.

Baskets and Bins for Home Storage and Organization

Example of Baskets and Bins used for Home Storage and Organization

Chairs: we love to entertain in our home. It can be planned or last minute, a big gathering or small. No matter what it looks like, I love to have plenty of seating. In my mind having plenty of seating helps guests to feel comfortable. I think this comes from my mom who is also a chair collector and loves to entertain as well. At least once a year I’ll rotate, recover or even paint some of my chairs. I might move them to new places or just keep them where they are, but with a new identity. They are typically easy to move around and make a big impact. I love them! To me, chairs communicate a sense of acceptance and comfort to those who enter a room.

Curtains: fabric can also do amazing things to a space. It can soften, give warmth, or change an entire color scheme in a moment. I like switching out my curtains. In some rooms, like the boys, I can rotate them bringing out a different look each time. In other rooms I simply put curtains away for a while because I’m just tired of seeing that pattern in that space, but I love it when I bring it back. I also like to make small changes from what is there now; ribbon, trim, paint, or a ruffle. Taking a panel and making it into a cornice or valance. Every great once in a while I will find a great deal on a fabric that I love and make a brand new set, but this does not happen very often.

Furniture: oh furniture oh furniture (sung to the tune of oh Christmas tree)! I’m still holding onto the Christmas tunes for a little longer. Most of the pieces of furniture that I have are very versatile and have several coats of paint on them. Dressers and tables are especially good for trading between rooms. They are simple to change with new hardware, fabric or paint. Since most of the projects that I do are for my home I like for them to be flexible. I use craft paint, house paint, whatever I have on hand. Like each of these other tips, this could be a post on its own.

Lamps: might be the quickest and simplest of all the ways to repurpose. Not only can you use them in different rooms, but changing out a lampshade, recovering a lampshade or even painting a lamp base is so quick and easy. These are also one of the easiest finds at yard sales and resale shops. They are inexpensive and have endless options. This is where I get creative with leftover paint, remnant fabric and trims, and will be one of my first projects of 2012.

Lampshade covered in burlap

Inspiration for 2012 Lampshade DIY Project

Each of these tips for repurposing are simple. They do require a little patience and creativity, especially in the beginning. It’s so satisfying to realize that you can use what you have in your home and still create a whole new look. What have you repurposed? I’d love for you to share.

Post Photos via Pottery Barn