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Home Decorating Ideas from the Trash Bin

By: Michael Grefe, Associate Professor, Interior Design Filed under: Interior & Product Design

September 14, 2017

Home Decorating Ideas from Trash Bin
Everyone understands the importance of recycling and the adage "Waste not, want not" and you may have items around the home that you don’t want to get rid of or throw out but are not sure what to do with. Many of these items can be recycled, repurposed and used for redecorating projects that will be environmentally friendly, help your home look better, and save you money in the process as well.

If you have an old sofa or upholstered chair you are considering donating to Goodwill it may just need freshening up and you can create your own furniture throw, slipcovers using old remnants of fabrics around the house similar to patchwork quilt slipcovers. Another idea is to give you sofa a new look through paint with many non-toxic and sustainable paints such as Annie Sloan's "Chalk Paint" which can be used both on upholstered or wood furniture. 

Old tires can be repainted and used as flower pots in the garden or turn them into a playground for your children. You can build a small greenhouse from old used plastic CD covers or build a bird house out of wine corks on a free afternoon. An old shipping pallet can be turned into a coffee table or turned into benches for the home or garden and an old piece of luggage, say a piece of Samonite luggage from the 1960’s can be turned into an interesting looking foot stool. You can cut off the top of a dresser and nail wood paneling on the front to cover the drawer openings and turn it into a planter. Metal coffee cans be painted in decorative colors and used as pencil containers and another idea is cutting up old pieces of a quilt into place mats, coasters and table runners but just remember to sew the edges.

Create an interesting wall treatment in your home by creating a memory wall. Trim and cut photos of family members, pets, friends etc. into interesting groupings with a complementary color scheme painted on the wall and you have a focal point for the room. You can use old pieces of decorative papers, gift wrap, and old wallpaper as borders, frames around each picture. You can attach it directly to the wall or attach 4' x 8' Masonite panels to the wall and then paint the panels with your favorite color and then attach the photos and papers with spray glue and then use clear acrylic matte medium over the pictures to protect them and provide a clear coat finish.

There is a multitude of objects in your home just waiting to be put to a new use. American’s produce more garbage than any other modern society on this planet and there is not enough land for landfills or garbage disposal areas anymore unless we want to use some of our recreation areas and parks as landfills.

Being good stewards of our environment not only makes us feel better about ourselves but also helps our planet and can make our homes attractive as well as save money too.

By: Michael Grefe, Associate Professor, Interior Design Filed under: Interior & Product Design

September 14, 2017

interior design