By Laura Gaskill
Got the itch to make some changes around the house? Before you head out shopping or hit the online stores, why not first see what can be done with what you have? Sometimes all it takes is a bit of inspiration to see your space with fresh eyes. Let these 15 ideas spark your imagination and motivate you to see your own space anew.
1. Frame illustrations from a book or magazine. Art magazines and vintage books are great sources of frameworthy illustrations — just cut pages out neatly and pop them into any blank frame you have lying around. Once I framed a whole series of ’70s surfing photos from a feature in The Surfer’s Journal (a particularly artsy surfing mag) for a cool retro take on the beach theme. Look through your stacks with a fresh eye; you never know what you may find.
2. Repurpose fabric remnants as art. If you do any sewing or crafting, I am willing to bet you have some pretty fabric pieces in your stash, just waiting for the right home. Stretch a larger piece over a blank canvas, cut a piece to fit in an embroidery hoop or place a small swatch in a frame.3. Use vases to display jewelry. Instead of hiding extra vases in a cupboard (which is probably overcrowded as it is), put them to work displaying your favorite necklaces and bracelets atop your
dresser. So easy!
4. Use your throws in a fresh way. Instead of always folding them at the foot of the bed or over the arm of a chair, try using your throws to change the look of your furniture with a bit of strategic folding and tucking. Try wrapping the loose cushion of your sofa with a throw, or lay a throw folded in thirds across the back and seat of an armchair, as shown here.
5. Swap out accent furniture from room to room. Small furniture (side tables, stools, slipper chairs) is easy to move, and a simple swap can completely change the feel of a room. Try a side table from the living room in the entryway and a narrow entry table behind the sofa. Place an upholstered chair in the mudroom, where it will feel extra luxurious, and bring an outdoor café chair into the dining room for a flea market–chic vibe.
eclectic kids by Caitlin Wilson
eclectic kids by Caitlin Wilson
6. Revamp old jars as fun storage. Have a tiny bit of paint left over from another project? You’ll need only a dab to bring color to an assortment of jar lids. Use open-top jam jars to hold pens or paintbrushes, and larger jars for storing anything from buttons to laundry soap. Gluing small plastic animals to the lids is the perfect finishing touch if you will be using them in a child’s room. (Just remember to keep jars on a high shelf until your child is old enough to handle glass.)
7. Color code your bookshelves. Bookshelves looking a bit boring? Spend a winter afternoon rearranging your tomes by the color of their spines rather than the contents for a change. Bonus: It will give you an excuse to peruse all of your favorite old books!
8. Turn a crate on its side to hold books. An old wooden crate is perfect for keeping books neat and tidy. Crates look fabulously rustic on their own, but if you want to spice one up, try lining the back in a pretty patterned gift wrap.
9. Hang artwork on your shelves. A favorite of decorators, this simple trick can make a room feel more sophisticated in an instant. A small paintingallows you to still access the books around it.
10. Style your open shelving. If you have glass-front cupboards or open shelving in the kitchen, consider it a styling opportunity not to be squandered. Take a look at your shelves as they are now, putting function aside for just a moment. Can you spy any clashing colors or patterns? Remove those first, then step back and look again.Do you see a theme emerging among what’s left? White and silver, for instance, or blue and white would work well. Search your other cupboards and storage areas for objects you use that fit the color scheme, and work them in.
11. Put the silver on display. Whether or not you have silver, most of us have something we consider “too good” for everyday use. I say use what you have and enjoy it. If you are worried about breakage (small kids in the house?), at least consider putting some of your favorite pieces on display where you can enjoy looking at them daily. Float a flower in a teacup by the sink or gather fruit on a pretty cake plate on the counter.
12. Reuse glass jars for flowers. Embellish small glass jars with colorful washi tape to make an instant collection of bud vases. Line up three, five or more down the middle of your dining table for an easy, casual centerpiece.
13. Paper a wall in old maps. Make your own wallpaper by decoupaging maps directly onto a freshly cleaned wall. Use maps of your area or nautical maps, or mix and match maps from places you have traveled to.
14. Fill an unused frame with fabric-wrapped cork.Cobble together a pinboard with whatever supplies you have lying around: A roll of burlap, fabric scraps or even an old tablecloth can be used to cover your board. No cork at hand? It may not last as long, but in a pinch you can even use foam-core board (like the kind used to display science projects).
15. Remove a door and create a hideaway office.Even a tiny closet can be transformed into a workspace. Replacing the door with a curtain will help the nook feel more inviting and give you a bit more space — and you’ll still be able to close off the room.
The Gina Koerner Team www.StLouisHomesByGina.com 636-229-8746 “Changing Lives… One Home at a Time”