Decorating with Collections
Home Decorating on a Budget
Top 10 Home Decorating Buys Under $10
No doubt you consider the attic a black void in which to relegate those odd hand-me-downs. But easily one-third of a homeowner's hidden goods can become stunning décor throughout your house, says Judy Nixon, interior designer and owner of Pulling It All Together. Nixon and other experts carry just one secret to their rose-colored glasses view: think outside the box.
"People get hung up because an item is out of date, and that's not the point," says Rosemary Parson, an interior decorating hobbyist. "Look at your old item's color, structure and texture, then put it in those rooms that reflect those qualities." With this philosophy, an ugly plate with staid fruit painted in the middle is evaluated on its deep blue tones, which blend excellently as a plant stand in the sunroom.
Nixon also suggests you begin by cleaning up the item (particularly wood furniture pieces such as old rockers and chests) with a bit of Formby's Facelift. "You'd be surprised how much of a drab appearance is merely dirt," she notes.
Take any item to a framer, and she likely can turn it into a work of art. That's precisely what one retired gentleman did when he brought his stash of old eyeglasses he'd saved over the years to Karen Drake Puskarich, owner of Masterpiece Gallery & Framing. As a tribute to the success of his refractive eye surgery, they combined the framed eyewear with an eye chart, a cartoon, and a poor vision joke, which provided the perfect light-hearted mood for a game or bar area.
Among the items she's seen residents use include a doorplate and iron keys, teacups and bowls, sports jerseys, golf score cards, old handbags, sheets of music and business cards. Don't overlook items you want to use, either. One homeowner designed a custom hanging jewelry box so she could display the family jewels and still wear them to special occasions.
Sentimental quilts, when not used as bedspreads for the guest room or master suite, represent the most popular heirloom-to-artwork transformation, according to Nixon. But before you clip it to a decorative rod, however, hold the quilt up to light. If it's translucent, the fibers have likely broken down until the fabric is too thin to hold its weight as a wall hanging. In that case, consider preserving it behind glass.
Parson's twist involves draping floor rugs around her home, including a 40-year-old Indian covering she picked up at a garage sale. The rug is but a fraction of out-of-the-box thinking Parson and Nixon use to turn houses into cozy spaces and conversation showplaces. Take a page from these examples:
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