How to Repurpose & Reuse What you Already Have When Decorating your Home

Have you read the book by Annie LeonardcalledThe Story of Stuff?

In it she describes our consumer society as "a system in crisis" and gives some frightening facts about how our materialistic values are now threatening our very being, stating that “1% of the stuff we buy is still in use 6 months later."

How to decorate your home by reusing and repurposing what you already own

Wow, 99% of the stuff wethinkwe need ends up getting tossed?

That's a wake-up call.

Another disturbing fact: manufacturers are either intentionally making products that don't last, or they are creating perceptions that the products are outdated and useless, so that we must buy new all over again. Ever noticed that refrigerators don't last as long as they did when we were kids? And think about how many times we've upgraded our phones, computers and TV's in the last few years? Did we really need to?

It's definitely something to take pause over.

I have been trying to be increasingly conscious of not buying things for my home just because they’re a good deal. Yes, that cool vintage clock may be a steal for $10 but I really don't need another clock, even if it is second-hand. That sale on pillows is amazing, but I don't have room for any pillows. Yes, it would be great to upgrade my phone for the newest model, but I really want to stop using my phone so much anyway, so why would I need an even better one?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against living more comfortably and stylishly. I believe that if we’re fortunate enough in our circumstances to make our homes comforting and beautiful - we should be proud of being able to do that.

But the big question is... are we filling our homes and lives with stuff that's truly representative of who we are?

Or are we simply filling our lives with meaningless stuff that wethinkwill make us feel better, only to end up drowning in it?

More and more, many people are finding that their consumerist tendencies have led them down the path of overwhelm which shackles them to homes full of things to take care of, clean and store. They have less time, freedom and money for the things that really matter in life.

So, how do you start living and consuming more purposefully?

By simplifying, reusing and repurposing.

Living simply, with only the things that areessentialto your needs and comfort, allows you to create a home and life that's calm, peaceful, and more meaningful. Instead of buying new things for your home, you make a conscious effort to reduce spending by mending and making do with what you already own, or by trading with friends or finding used items that’ll work.

Sounds good right? Here’s how to actually do it.

8 Practical Ways to Decorate on a Budget by Reusing & Repurposing

how to decorate your home by repurposing what you already own

1. Decide what you need and what your style is.

Figure out the style is most 'you' and what your essentials are for living comfortably and functionally in your house.Do a declutter and donate things that don't fit those essentials. Then, look at what’s left around you - you’ll likely see what style comes through and be able to pull more of those things that you already own front and centre to display proudly.

how to shop your own home when redecorating

2. Shop your own home.

通常我们有好事情要提供和12月orate our homes but just aren't using them strategically. Need things for your walls? Look at your baskets, quilts and even interesting place mats to create unique wall art. Need more storage? Turn an under-used dining hutch into a linen closet. Don't have a nightstand for the guest room? An old dining chair or stool painted a fun colour will work well.

3. Mend your stuff.

Learn how to do some basic sewing to fix up your own curtains and pillows and bedding that needs hemming or fixing. Mend drawers that come apart with glue and nails, and have perfectly good appliances repaired when possible instead of buying the newest, latest model.

4. Look for vintage and antique solid wood pieces.

Think about how our grandparents used to live and the fantastic furniture they had. Many of those pieces are hanging around today and are still the best quality pieces in our homes. Hang onto and cherish them. Look for tables, chairs, end tables, stools, dressers, bed frames and benches at yard and estate sales, antique markets or in your parents' attic.

repurposing to decorate your home on a budget

5. Find thrift store or garage sale pieces and fix them up.

6. Choose pieces that can do double-duty.

reusing and repurposing to decorate on a budget

We don't have to buy as much if the things we do invest in can serve multiple purposes.

  • A low dresser could also be used as a nightstand.

  • A trunk for storage could serve as your coffee table.

  • A dresser that's at arm height when standing can serve as astanding deskwith a monitor on top.

  • Wooden cutting boards can be both useful and decorative leaning against the backsplash.

  • A mirror in the entry could also have hooks on it for hanging hats.

7. Decorate with nature.

using nature to decorate your home

Look for natural outdoor beauty to decorate sustainably and organically.

  • Birch branches in a corner are lovely.

  • 树墩上凳子由一棵倒在马嘶声borhood won't cost a cent as a new side table.

  • Interesting rocks make for great conversation starters on your coffee table.

  • Shells and sea glass collected and displayed in jars tell a story of where you've been.

  • Driftwood can be used as as a coat or kitchen hooks.

  • And of course, green plants feel luscious and inviting.

How to repurpose and reuse to decorate your home

8. Get creative.

When you want a change in your home decor, get creative and crafty instead of buying new décor.


Let's take the time to sort out what we already have and try not to buy new when we don't have to. When we do our part for the planet we also simplify our own homes for happier living.

Are you with me?

Here are some more ideas (with tutorials!) for repurposing what you might already have lying around your home.

Repurposed coffee can pendant lamp (click for tutorial)

Repurposed coffee can pendant lamp (click for tutorial)

DIY wood plant hanger (click for tutorial)

DIY wood plant hanger (click for tutorial)

Salvaged retro nightstand (click for tutorial)

Salvaged retro nightstand (click for tutorial)

Upcycled glam bedside table (click for tutorial)

Upcycled glam bedside table (click for tutorial)

DIY stick and yarn art (click for tutorial)

DIY stick and yarn art (click for tutorial)

Rope floor lamp (click for tutorial)

Rope floor lamp (click for tutorial)

Salvaged lamp & recovered shade (click for tutorial)

Salvaged lamp & recovered shade (click for tutorial)

DIY recovered headboard using duvet cover  & a staple gun (click for tutorial)

DIY recovered headboard using duvet cover & a staple gun (click for tutorial)