Love the things you have. Interesting title for a DIY post but hear me out. We all love new things. I sure do. Nothing like a “new car smell” (new clothes, new furniture, etc).
However, In a time when things are so expensive and the earth is going through some harsh environmental changes: forest fires, floods, you name it, we need to focus on retaining resources so our kids will have a tree to look at and a house to live in. I know it sounds depressing but there is a point to this and it’s not that bad.
Often, we hear about recycle, reuse all over the place and often wonder how we can integrate the new with the old. Should I settle for the things I have, or should I buy new?
Our tendency is to naturally buy something new as soon as things look a little old. But some of these things are still in good shape but look tired, dated or scratched or you simply “fell out of love” with those things.
Home Shopping-Love the savings
However, these things are already yours and they are good and they are paid for. While I understand and love the idea of buying thrifty and I see great posts and ideas on how to shop at thrift stores and ideas on how to “improve” those things you just bought, I love even more the idea of “shopping” in my own home. It’s free! It’s already paid for a long time ago and over the years the item paid itself with the normal wear and tear of life.
So why not, instead of thrift store shopping, you take a look around the house? That old table, the night stands that are all banged up and kicked. How about that oak furniture that screams the 90’s or the chunky side tables from the 80’s? Or grandma’s old chairs or vanity? We look for those things at thrift stores and antique places all the time but what if you already have those things at home?
Yes, sometimes you can feel bad about painting over something like that but it’s all beat up, chipped (dang, laminates!!) and you still feel funny about it. But dreading the look of that piece is not healthy for you. So, why not bring it to life? Patch it, spackle it, paint it. Why not love the things you already have and bring that “new car smell” to these things?
Just a little paint, primer, sand paper, deglosser or any other technique you see around Pinterest or the “Internets” can accomplish that. Anyone walking into your house will see that something is different. They will ask you if you redecorated and you can proudly say “SUUURE” (wink, wink).
Weekend Project-Love the old
Bear in mind that it doesn’t apply to furniture only. Old brass knick knacks, vases, left over glasses from an old collection, porcelain (hang grandma’s plates on the wall!). Check the wood pile in the backyard for some new signs (some can cost over 100 bucks!! (See here how I made a sign with transfer printed from my house printer and paint!).
How about that drab looking patio table and chairs rusting in your backyard? Clean them out, spray paint: voilà!! (it screams weekend project).
Everything comes together with paint.
Look at the before and after pics of my laundry room redo: The cabinets were great, the marble top was great but it lacked “oomph”. PAINT!!!!!. I just love how just some little paint brought the room together.
Vanity Facelift-Love what’s already in the home
Take a look at my bathroom vanity: This thing is from 1964!!!! It was OLD! and it looked old but when I saw that vanity I saw an opportunity. I also had a good reason not to get a new vanity because of some issues with a door that would not open if not for the shape of the vanity. Since getting a new one would create a gap unless it was custom-made I opted to keep it.
Also, the wood frame was sturdy and good quality. The base had some mold issues but I took it out and put some legs on it and it was perfect for the space. People pay top dollar to get a nice antique vanity to put in their bathrooms. I had an original right here!!
I just slapped some wood trims to modernize the doors and give it a shaker style to them (just add plain wood strips and liquid nails) and then of course some paint and then new hardware. However, the top of course had to be new so I opted for butcher block but that’s for another post. I love the fact that I was able to keep an original “vintage” item and was able to make it new and special.
The point is: reusing, repurposing does not have to look like your kids spiral noodle project (did I say that out loud?!). Your old stuff can look expensive and fabulous and right out of a magazine and you will get to enjoy those pieces for years to come and with the pride that comes along with having done it yourself. You can and you will fall in love with them again.