Whether you’re decorating your first apartment, a dorm room, or trying to fill up your first home; patience, paint and a few bits of hardware can be used to create a beautiful decor. By curb shopping or haunting online recycle sites, you can find discards well worth having. Personalizing them to fit your own style is the fun part. Use your imagination with paint, tiles, cute hardware, or fabric to make them your own. You can easily turn discarded and battered pieces into something that reflects your personality.
Where to Find Free Furniture and Decorations
Every community has a bulk trash pickup day. Some may only provide it once a month, and some once a week. Drive around the night before and determine the neighborhoods that have the best finds. In one city, mine was a strip of duplexes where people seemed to always be moving out. Huge piles of furniture were usually available for the taking close to the first of every month. In the college town where I lived for a short while, the best time was at the end of each semester, especially the end of July. Dumpsters at apartment complexes abounded with everything you could possibly need to decorate your own apartment. Each town is different, so you have to do a little research.
Don’t forget recycling websites either. I have gotten some wonderful things just by being there at the right time and giving the poster a great reason why I needed their item more than anyone else.
Don’t Overlook the Small Things
Salvaging the hardware from an otherwise useless piece of furniture is a great way to have what you need handy when you are re-doing a free find. Don’t pass by something just because it’s ratty looking. Make sure there isn’t something on it you can make use of later. For example, you can salvage the scrollwork from a badly damaged headboard, the frame from a broken mirror or picture, and doorknobs and hardware from old doors. Don’t pass by scraps of wood, either, as they can be combined with some of that hardware to create nice artwork or useful items. My son created a beautiful coat rack from a piece of wood and some old mismatched dresser knobs.
Think About Alternate Uses
Repurposing is the key to creative decor. An old window can become a huge picture frame. A box of broken tiles can be made into coasters or even cover and old, abused tabletop. The remaining drawers from an old dresser with a missing or broken drawer can become wall shelves or be stacked to become a table. Don’t look at things as what they are, but as what they can become. I once created an outdoor art piece with old weathered frame and pieces of scrap wood painted different colors and made into a design.
Sandpaper and Paint Can Save the Day
Don’t worry about the style of your free furniture. Tie it all together by painting it n the same color scheme. Cottage decor, my personal favorite, is the best example of this. An eclectic blend of furniture is painted white and the color scheme is determined by the fabric or accessories. Whichever colors fit your personality, creative painting is a way to unite an assortment of different styles onto a cohesive look.
One of my favorite pastimes is checking out trash-to-treasure sites online for ideas to repurpose everything from bowling balls to windows. Besides the money I’ve saved, I love being able to brag to friends that I made it myself.
Trash to Treasure Decorating
Miss Jacquelyn’s Trash to Treasure