I’ve gotten a lot of emails recently asking me how to decorate with things you already have. This is such a great question! I have smart and savvy ideas and tips today so you can use what you have to decorate your home. Let’s dig right in…
Use what you have decorating is easy and very economical and smart! The biggest thing holding us back is our mindset. We sometimes need to think out of the box a little and be willing to take a chance or learn something new.
The image below is a good example of using what I have. When it came time to decorate m office I used what I already had. There is not one new piece of furnishing in this room. Everything except the built-in cabinets was used in other parts of our home!
SHOP YOUR HOUSE
First of all, it is most important to shop your house! It’s the best way to find items that would look nice in other areas of your home!
Make a list of what you have and where you might want to put it! It may sound like a bit of extra work but it will pay off big time!
Knowing which things in your home will look great used in new and fresh ways and which items won’t is decorating gold. Decorating on a budget and using what you have is all about the thrill of the decorating hunt, my friend!
CHOOSING WHAT TO USE
An outdated or worn out sofa might not be able to be used again if you want a fresh look. It is much harder to “disguise”.
Yes, adding great pillows and throws will help but a sofa is a big piece of furniture. And if it upholstered in a patterned or bold colored fabric it might be very hard to use as is. Sorta like trying to put lipstick on a pig. Better to reupholster or get a new piggy!
A side table or an accent chair you already have is a much better and easier choice to use to use again!
Be savvy and choose “use what you have” items carefully! Some can look better and are easier to incorporate into a room than others.
Here’s a rule of thumb, the larger the item and the more of a focal point it is the harder it is to use if it is outdated or worn out.
BE WILLING TO GIVE DECOR A NEW LOOK
I love, love, love to use decor I already have in new and fresh ways. And I almost always tweak them in some way.
Use what you have decorating will give you an opportunity to rescue and restore your furnishings!
Paint is magical and my “magic” of choice when it comes to updating
My paint of choice is A Maker’s Studio ONE STEP Paint. No sanding, no stripping, no grit! And the colors are perfect for today’s homes!
Learn how to paint furniture. Start small, like a frame or a chair. YouTube has tons and tons of great videos to show you how to use paint. My favorite channel is AMY HOWARD’S.
Second to painting, slipcovering and reupholstering works to change the look and livability of what we have. I’ve let fabric work it’s magic on accent chairs, sofas, benches, dining room chairs and more!
PLAY MUSICAL CHAIRS
How about taking a piece of furniture or an accent from one room to another? I do this a lot! Especially with accent chairs. Because the color palette and style of each room here at StoneGable is pretty similar I can easily change out furniture.
Believe me doing this one thing can make a big change! I just recently put lucite bedside tables from my master into a guest room and what a difference it made!
And I put one of the chairs from my living room in an upstairs bedroom and it made the whole room look fresh!
DIVIDE AND CONQUER DECORATING
If you are still living with any sets of matching furniture in your home I have the BEST tip for you! Break them up! Divide and conquer your look.
Matchy-matchy is a hard style to update if you are not willing to break up the matched set.
I know many of you, like me, have purchased a dining room set. And you probably spent a fortune decades ago, right? If you love your set and the look of things that match you can skip over this part.
But if you are aching for a new look I have the answer for you! You don’t have to replace all the furniture!
HOW TO RESCUE MATCHY-MATCHY FURNITURE
Think about keeping a piece or two, maybe the bigger most expensive piece, and replacing some or the rest of the set.
Here are some examples…
- In the dining room, keep the table, buy second-hand chairs in different styles and paint them all the same color or paint the chairs you have all the same color and reupholster them (I did this)
- Use the bottom part of your china cabinet and get rid of the top. Now you have a buffet. If you are not using the displayed dishes think about letting them go too. Maybe paint the buffet.
- If you only have a matching buffet, paint it (I did this too)
- Let go of your head chairs and buy updated upholstered ones (I did this). Or use those chairs in another room.
- In the living room, keep the sofa or the loveseat of a matching set. Maybe reupholster the one you keep. And buy two new chairs (or borrow them from another room in your home) to replace the piece you get rid of.
- If you have matching end tables you might think about using one in another room in your home and replacing it with an updated floor lamp.
- In the bedroom, use end tables from the living room or family room and repaint them to work with your bedroom
- Use a long coffee table from your living room as a bench at the bottom of your bed. Make a padded cushion for the top of it to coordinate with what you have.
BRING THE OUTDOORS IN
Outdoor items can look amazing inside! I often bring my small indoor/outdoor rugs from my porch indoors and use them as accent rugs. So pretty!
And they are a punch of color in my neutral home.
I’m such a fan of using my outdoor pillows indoors,
A pair of side tables and a bar cart, all outdoor furniture, are permanent fixtures inside my home!
Especially if you live in a
CHANGE UP ACCENTS
We’ve been talking a lot about larger pieces of furniture. But accent pieces in your home are perfect items to switch around.
And you can make little changes with things like vignettes, lamps, mirrors, pillows, throws, etc right now!
At StoneGable things like urns, vases, baskets, pillows, and trendy items fly from one room to another and to the basement and back almost daily! Changing out small decor items in our homes is the easiest way to give a room a new look. Think about using items from one room to give them new life in another. This is such smart use what you have decorating!
Just like giving furniture new life by painting it or reupholstering it you can do the same for accent pieces too!
I am obsessed with covering books! My fabric of choice right now is burlap. They go with my style and have such a nice uniform, unbusy look! I’ve also painted books too! And I can still use them! Win/win! You can see how I cover books HERE and paint books HERE.
Think about giving things you love like books, baskets, urns, pottery, etc a new look with a coat of paint to work with your decor. Again, this is use what you have decorating gold!
A FINAL THOUGHT
Our homes are our sanctuary! A safe place away from the noise and clutter of the outside world! A place of comfort! It’s so important to create a space that is uniquely yours. It really does not matter what is on trend or in style or the best. Not at all! What matters is YOU and your family.
It matters that you create a space that works for YOU! Be happy and content! Change what you can and be grateful for the rest!
And keep those comment, questions and suggestions coming! I use them to write about what you care about!
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