Work with what you have to create a beautiful atmosphere in the home

April 30, 2009

By Contributor

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Whether your motive is to save money or save the earth, recycling, reusing and refurbishing what you already own are all affordable and creative ways to beautify your home and feel good doing it.

“The concept behind ‘FreeStyle’ was all about having style for free and leaving what you have in your house,” said Taniya Nayak, a designer for the HGTV show “Designed to Sell.”“One thing that happens a lot is that people have an excess of furniture in other parts of the house that can be moved around,” she said. “A bench from the bedroom, for example, can be transformed to a table for another room.”

She suggested a couple of tricks for discovering items that can be refurbished or used in other ways to update your home.

“Opening your eyes and revisiting your spaces or taking digital photographs of spaces and items in your home is a good way to get started,” she said. 

By seeing items individually in a photograph or looking at furniture with the intent to repurpose it for something else, you can take that piece out of the context you’re accustomed or get a clearer idea on how to change it in the space it’s in.

Jennae Petersen, chief blogger for Green Your Decor recommends enlisting the help of friends. It can expand your vision and maybe even bring some “new items” into your space.

“Friends can offer a new perspective to what you already own, or they can bring things they own over and you can trade items, if need be,” Petersen said. “It’s cheaper and better for the environment to make use of what’s already there than to go out and buy something new.”

The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to update your decor is to move furniture from one room to another or to change the use of an item from one purpose to another. A lamp that may go unnoticed in the living room may actually be a perfect accent piece for a bedroom. That area rug in the bedroom could be a way to add texture or color to a living room. 

Repurpose an old closet door into a headboard for the bed, a multipurpose project table or a huge desktop. Closet doors turned on their side and mounted to a wall make a unique headboard for a king size bed. An unbeveled door can be made into a desktop or project table by placing two bookshelves beneath it, and can be painted or stained for added flair.

Area rugs, ceramic plates and even placemats or ceramic tiles can be made into intricate and unique wall hangings with some double-sided tape, iron-on seams and a little ingenuity. 

Twenty-inch carpet tiles arranged and mounted with a light adhesive backing are another alternative to buying a headboard for the bed.

Refurbish a coffee table with contact paper — usually used to line shelves — to add texture and color to a living room. Or, turn a coffee table into an eco-friendly bench with soy-based foam cut to size; wrap fabric over the top and staple underneath.

Many liners come in metallic colors now and can be used to transform a plain white refrigerator into a stainless steel vision. 

Pillowcases can be used to refurbish dining room chairs — place over the seat back and tie a ribbon at the base to polish the look.  

Copyright 2009 Creators News Service

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