When it comes to home accessories you want them to say something about you and who you are. Whether you are a chintz and floral fan or a white-walled minimalist, your taste in home decor is something that is personal to you.
But finding that statement piece of furniture or artwork can be both time-consuming as well as costly. Weekends spent searching through craft markets or trawling the web for a one-off piece can end up being frustrating and fruitless.
Making a statement
Well, there could be a very simple and deeply satisfying answer – make your own. Quite often something that is sitting unused in your home, your garden or your garage could be transformed very easily into a piece of homeware that is at once original, interesting and cheap.
The idea came to me when I went into one of those little boutique shops that pop up in any village or town that has a ‘quaint’ quality. This particular shop was selling planters that were suitable for either indoor or patio plants. In effect they were old milk churns and metal buckets that had been painted a tasteful National Trust pastel colour.
Money for junk
While those particular planters were selling in the shop for £45 a piece, a local farmer was happy to sell me two old metal tubs for £10/pair. He looked at me as if I was mad as I drove away with what was essentially his old junk.
My aunt had left me a very ordinary writing bureau. It wasn’t antique, it wasn’t beautiful, it didn’t fit my modern style of furnishing. But painted a coastal blue colour and with some shells and glass ornaments on its shelves, it became a statement piece in its own right.
I also had an old wire rack, which had a little rust on it. This cleaned up beautifully and is now a spice rack in my kitchen. I looked at a specialist home ware website and a similar piece would have set me back £95.
A little imagination
Whether it is an old wooden crate that is transformed into a wine-rack, a suitcase that becomes a blanket box or a set of old-fashioned milk bottles that turn into stylish flower vases, with a little imagination your junk can become your treasure.
Here are 5 everyday items that can take on a new lease of life:
- Stepladder – if you are lucky enough to have an old wooden step-ladder this can make a very useful and stylish bookcase.
- A bicycle – an old cycle will lean against the wall with an insouciance and style that will be unbearably cool. Paint in retro colours to enhance the effect.
- Old tools – scythes, axes, pitch-forks – these working instruments of days gone by can add a touch of character to a wall, particularly if it is a bare brick wall, or you live in an old cottage.
- Fabrics – this takes a little more effort, but making cushion covers or door stops from the cut-offs from your curtains can add an effortless synchronicity to a room.
- Pallets – the wooden pallets that building materials arrive on can make a lovely table top, be it for outside furniture or a statement-making coffee table. Again, a little bit of craftsmanship is necessary but the result is fabulous and cost-effective.