Homemaking: Re”purpose”ing Things

This post is all about ruts. Home decor ruts.

I like to mix things up from time to time, you know, rearrange the furniture…walk through the rooms of my house thinking creatively about what items might be better placed or used elsewhere.

Take for instance the dresser to the far left in my header. It’s a gorgeous antique, much too pretty to be hidden away in my bedroom for practical use. I brought it to the living room a couple years ago and it now holds videos/dvds (top two drawers), blankets (middle drawer), and toddler’s toys (bottom drawer). I have a similar dresser on my back porch and we use its drawers for winter mittens/gloves/hats, outdoor toys, and hubby’s coveralls and work gear.

I’ve had a lovely barnwood wall shelf in our bedroom for a while now, and recently I decided to use it to fill a lonely spot on one of our living room walls. Once hung, it needed something to make it say “country” even more, so I took my vanilla bean heart-shaped wreath down from the bathroom wall and hung it across the shelf’s two pegs…ta-da, I love it there!

Of course, then I had to think twice about what to hang in the wreath’s spot…and I remembered a beautiful wooden shelf with candle that my dh’s grandfather made for us one Christmas years ago. It fit the spot perfectly.

Here are some more ideas:

  • Do a rug switch…perhaps you have one in the laundry room that would be fun in front of the stove or kitchen sink?
  • Bring a favorite vase out from storage and use it as a focal point atop one of your bookshelves or a mantel.
  • Rearrange the books on your bookcase. Leave one of the shelves free for folded quilts, and stack the extra books under an end table.
  • Don’t have enough “pretty dressers” to go around? Do what I did, turn an unused changing table into a dresser by putting linen-lined baskets on each shelf for your clothing. Hang everything that won’t fit in your closet…
  • In the winter, turn your picnic basket into a place to store rolled up bath towels near the tub.
  • Move a desk. Have an extra wide hallway? Or a spot beneath a kitchen window? How about in the living room behind the couch, much like a library table behind a freestanding sofa.
  • I love wooden crates, I have two. One is about 2.5 feet high with a divider and it has a “Georgia Peach” label on one end. It makes the best bedside table, with the divider as a shelf. The other crate is shorter and I use it for a mini-bookshelf. In summer it sits on the hearth in the living room.
  • Besides crates for creative end tables, you could use those sturdy antique milk cans and add a wooden topper. Or stack antique-ish briefcases or luggage pieces, or large hatboxes, or make your own end table with large cement bricks and lumber (this works for bookshelves too).
  • Take two 2-drawer metal filing cabinets, spaced apart, and top them with a cut-to-fit piece of particle board (check it out at the lumber store, they have some beautiful pieces) and you have a pretty decent and versatile desk…you could use 3 filing cabinets and make it L-shaped…

Anyway, I love to brainstorm these types of things. And I’m always looking for new trips out of the rut, any fresh ideas anyone?