Using What You Have to Refresh Your Home {31 Days: Day 26}

This 31 Days series on using and loving what I have has been super fun and stretched me to be more creative with the ways I think about and approach our the decor and function of items in our home. Most of the projects I've done have been very specific to things that I have on hand, but today I want to generalize the principles about using what you have and give you some ideas on how you can refresh or transform what you have so that your home can be a place you love even more!

First, switching out pillow covers is one of the easiest, low commitment things you can do. If you're like me, you probably have a yard or two of extra fabric laying around that you could make a simple envelope pillow from, or you may just have extra pillow covers buried deep in a closet somewhere. If you want to learn how to sew, an envelope pillow cover is a great place to start. There are tutorials all over the web for that, but the dog bed I made for Jackson is actually an envelope pillow cover, so if you want some simple instructions (albeit, for something much larger than a throw pillow!), take a look at that post.

If you don't have fabric to make a pillow cover or you don't have any extras buried in a closet, the other option is to steal pillows from another room in your house. I recently stole a ruffly pillow off our bed and used it on our living room couch and I love it there!

Second, shifting furniture around can have a huge impact on a space. It can be as simple as switching out an end table or as complicated as changing the whole arrangement of your living room. Maybe you've always been frustrated with how a room "flows" - if that's the case, move things around! One suggestion? Sketch out what you have in mind with rough measurements first before you break a sweat trying to move a huge piece of furniture.

Try it out, and if you don't like it, good news - you can always change it back!

Third, break out that paint! Raise your hand if you have a half-empty can or two of paint in a closet or garage somewhere? Oh good, me too. Don't you dare step foot into a paint store until you've assessed the colors and amount of paint you already have on hand. Do you need to paint a room or a piece of furniture? If it's something small, I'll bet you've got plenty of paint to work with on hand. If it's a room, make SURE you have enough of that color or you'll find yourself in the sometimes painful situation of trying to have the guy at Home Depot match the paint you bought there five years ago (bad idea).

Paint is also a low-commitment change (though more permanent than switching out a throw pillow) that can completely change the look of an area of your home. It's usually totally worth the couple of hours you have to put in!

Fourth, another very low commitment way to refresh your home is to change up the accesories you have around the house. Most of us have a tendency to leave things in their places once we put them there (broad generalization, but I think it's mostly true), but how boring is that? Rearrange your bookcases, style that console table with things from the living room, pull a decorative bowl or two from the kitchen and fill it with pinecones. Be creative! Change things up seasonally or whenever you feel like it. Try something new!

Fifth, mix up the contents of your picture frames. Gallery walls are PERFECT for this. Have a favorite card you want to show off? How 'bout a piece of art? One of the millions of free printables out there? Grab a frame off the wall that has that ten year old picture in it and change things up. You can always put its original contents back in it later.

Another idea is to move frames around the house. Move your wedding photo from the entryway to your bedroom, or move that big piece of art from the dining room to over the sofa in the living room. Again, the theme of this post is to try something new! Refresh things without spending a cent!

And here's a Pinterest-ready graphic in case you want to pin these tips for future reference!

Happy weekend!

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  1. Hi Chaney, I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! Love your blog title and I really love your 31 days series. I am all about using what you have, repurposing, and making it work. I will definitely be following along. Come visit me at www.lovelyetc.com sometime. I think we could be great bloggy friends.

  2. Great post! I recently started a whole house redo and have used mostly my own stuff so far in the rooms. To make a long story short, I had my house up for sale, most everything went to storage, house wasn't selling, took it off the market and brought everything out of storage home and shoved it all in the basement. So I've been slowly working on redecorating each room in my house and pull things from the basement hoard to decorate! It feels like the stuff is brand new and I'm always surprised when I try something in a completely different room than it was originally in and it looks beautiful!


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