Refashion and repurpose is the credo of any treasure hunter. The brocade sofa in the living room was a $30 garage sale find. To dial back its formal look, the homeowner added a new ticking-covered cushion, which also upped its comfort quotient. For the coffee table, she topped an industrial trolley with a tray.
Vintage trays are a versatile flea market find. In this living room, the tray creates the top surface of the coffee table. Vintage trays are also a good way to display items around the house.
Window and Wall Drama
Introduce instant old-world romance by draping windows with flowing curtains. The panels frame the corona-style slipcovered sofa in the dining room. Hanging the draperies high above the window moldings makes the room appear taller. Add drama with interesting displays. Here, the knotted ribbon used to hang the small portrait makes the whole arrangement pop.
An old hutch is an attractive focal point in the living room. The blue paint stands out against the white walls and furnishings, but the antique finish brings all the room's elements together. Smaller garage sale treasures are displayed on the shelves.
All-white walls and woodwork can easily veer into stark territory, but the homeowners avoided that pitfall with the help of fabric. In the dining room, a balloon valance tops the door. The room's other entrance is draped with lace-trimmed curtains, and scraps of silk wrap around the chandelier's chain. To add even more color to the room, the homeowners reupholstered the chairs' cushions.
Budget Tip: It's easy to re-cover dated or stained dining chair cushions. First, find a stain-proof fabric you like. Next, remove the seat cushion and wrap the new fabric around it. Lastly, use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the seat.
DIY Ceiling Medallion
Create a ceiling medallion by painting an old frame white. Next, layer pages of sheet music and glue to the frame back. Cut a hole in the frame back for the wires and chandelier chain to pass through. Secure the frame to the ceiling with a strong glue.
Use multiple vases to add interest to tablescapes. Apothecary jars found at garage sales and flea markets are perfect for holding flowers.
A new table employed as a kitchen island solved a countertop space crunch. Staining the base moss green and painting the top to look like an old marble slab added the patina of age.
Following the French's lead of turning everyday objects into works of art, the homeowners used chalkboard paint to turn the refrigerator doors into a mini-gallery. Now they are able to write captions to the ever-changing photographs. An old locker serves a new purpose as the kitchen pantry. The cubbies hold everything from bread to coffee.
A scrap of paneling and chalkboard paint were all it took to make an artsy menu board for the kitchen. Then to create an eye-catching tableau, they placed a concrete garden urn and flea market glass apothecary jars and bottles in front.
DIY Tip: For best chalkboard results, apply at least three coats of paint. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
In the bathroom the homeowners transformed multiple items to create one vintage chic look. An old gun rack, sans hooks, makes a great above-sink bathroom shelf. The broken base of a birdbath, brought inside and upended, becomes a drop-off spot for jewelry in the bath. The tall floor-standing mirror is a $2 garage sale bargain that's perfect for getting dressed or putting on makeup.
An antique easel is a great way to display photographs or other artwork. Set the easel in a corner for a no-fuss display. It's easy to change images and saves money on frames.
On the back porch, yards of inexpensive burlap line the walls and conceal the siding. Matched with painted furniture, a sisal rug, and an ornate frame, the wall treatment gives the outdoor space a cozy roomlike feel. For an earthy touch, wrap the arms of a chandelier with thin rope.
Editor's Tip: Inside or out, pairing chairs with a bench is a great way to squeeze in extra guests.
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