Over the past year I have come to the realization that many people I know have an uncanny knack for something, not that unlike a superpower.? Dan and Alicia have this amazing ability to find anything.? It is almost as if God has sent angels for the sole purpose of bestowing them with free gifts.? Like last Fall, walking our neighborhood they found and gathered enough apples to make gallons and gallons of apple cider.? Meanwhile, Kendall and I couldn’t even find a single apple tree on our walks.? Similarly, Jared is the king of getting steals-of-a-deal when it comes to buying anything from train tickets to office furniture.? Then there is my sister, Kathryn, who can sell anybody anything (usually on craigslist) while never budging on her price.? When moving from Chicago to Houston last summer with only room for what would fit in her Civic, she had to sell many of her possessions and after doing so found that she made a profit in the process.
Well, today, I am happy that we are being joined by one of my superheroes.? Kathryn has been kind enough to agree to share another one of her gifts.? With her cross country moves (Dallas to Chicago to Houston) Kathryn has gotten unbelievably good at sustainably furnishing empty apartments on a small budget.? She has gathered a few of her tricks and ideas and written them out for us below.? Please give her a warm welcome!? Enjoy.
Oh and I think the key to all of their superpowers may be vision and balls.? I am not sure which one I am missing.
?We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors….we borrow it from our children.?
-Native American Proverb
This quote inspired me to share with you some ideas that can not only ?cuten? up your home, but make you feel good about doing it!
One of the greatest issues facing our environment is the severe amount of waste that we produce. We can all do our part to reduce the number of disposable items we use, but we can also help by reusing what we already have. Have you ever had a table that just didn?t work with your room anymore? Or a lampshade you suddenly found dull? Before you toss it, here are some ideas to spruce it up and essentially create a new table, without the waste and without the buck.
An easy way to add a little pop to your room is to recover your table with a cute fabric or paper. Start with the top and move to the legs if you are up for a bit of a challenge. Arrange your paper/fabric (you can combine several different styles to create a fun design) onto the top of the table. Make sure the papers/fabrics are cut to fit the exact size. Place your design aside and paint the table with a water-based polycrylic protective finish. Now lay your design back on top of the glue and set it in place. Use the same protective finish to paint a seal on top of the design. Repeat this process on the legs if you desire.
A more complicated, yet rewarding, approach to recovering your table is to mosaic it. You can always find cheap plates at any second hand store. Just break them up and adhere them in a fun pattern with craft glue. Add some grout and you will have a brand new look.? Here are a couple tutorials I found.
If you like painting, you can always paint (using zero-VOC paint) a solid color on the table and then paint a fun design or pattern on the top or sides. I?m a big fan of silhouettes, so I constantly find myself painting something black and then painting a leaf or floral silhouette on top. You will end up creating a completely unique piece that can?t be found at the closest Pier 1.
Even if you don?t have an older piece of your own to play with, Craigslist and garage sales are the perfect places to find a fixer upper. For $5-$10 you can find solid pieces that simply need a makeover. This way you save money buying used, you cut down on the amount of waste the table could potentially cause, and you find yourself with hours of entertainment creating your own masterpiece.
A fun idea I had came about when I was shopping at the Canton Marketplace. I found an old window for $7 in the garage sale section. I also had an Eiffel Tower poster displayed at home in a regular frame and I wasn?t crazy about the look. So, I took the window home, cleaned it up with a rag and then placed the poster behind the window, transforming a regular poster into a really unique addition to the living room. Even better is that it only cost about $15 total for the window and poster.
Just remember….don?t limit yourself and don?t worry about messing up! Almost anything can be sanded down for a clean start. These techniques can be used on picture frames or mirrors as well. Basically treat any item as though it is your canvas for creation! Check back in soon to find a fun and easy way to liven up your lampshade and much more!