How to Repurpose Treasured Vintage Décor
As a practical home designer, one of the biggest challenges is finding new uses for old home items. Whether the piece you want to repurpose is a family heirloom, a long-forgotten object from the attic or garage, or even a vintage find you came across at a flea market, the wonderful thing about repurposing is that you can preserve the piece's sentimental value while finding the perfect place for it in your home.
In a recent trip to my mom's new house, I discovered some vintage items lying around that could use some sprucing up. They have all definitely seen their fair share of wear and tear over the years, but with some retouching, I'm positive they will be good as new. Here are some of my ideas on how to find new uses for them:
From Vintage Fireplace Grate to Country-inspired Wall Art
If you're short on wall décor, a vintage fireplace grate can be your next wall accent piece. Simply mount the grate on your wall to add a rustic highlight to your home. You can hang the grate on your living room wall to create an interesting focal point, or above your headboard in the bedroom for a more dramatic look.
Rustic Wooden Chest Turned Stylish and Functional Coffee Table
For some reason, I always find myself with limited storage space in my home. This is why items, such as this classic wooden chest, can be considered a godsend due to its potential as a functional and stylish accent piece. With its wide, flat surface, you can turn this wooden chest into an ideal coffee table for your living room or outdoor spaces, while its interior can still be used for storing your kids' toys or books and magazines. You can varnish it, repaint and distress it, or leave it as is for a shabby chic look.
You can also place it at the foot of your bed with a cushion on top, and use it as extra seating in the bedroom plus storage for your blankets and other bed linens.
Antique Storage Trunk to Console Table
For avid collectors of vintage décor, a storage trunk is a definite favorite. With its rusty metal frame and aged wooden exterior, it exudes an antiquated charm like no other.
A great way to use this classic piece in your home is to turn it into a functional console table to display cherished keepsakes or family photos. Just like wooden chests, you can also still use it for storage.
From Vintage Chair to Coat Rack
Chairs are often one of the trickiest pieces of furniture to find new uses for because their frames are specifically made for, well, sitting on. But you don't really need to repurpose the entire thing. You can just focus on using one part of the chair.
I found this project on Facelift Furniture, where they transformed a chair back into a coat rack. Just remove the seat of the chair, and then attach hooks to the base of the back of the chair or to any part of its wooden frame to make it into a coat rack. With this newly repurposed item, you have not only a rack for displaying coats or pots and pans, but also an interesting piece of wall décor.
Old Windows Frame New Art
Create a portal to another world by transforming this detached window into a rustic wall accent. I love this particular item because it preserves a piece of family history and adds visual interest, character, and a bit of texture to the wall.
The large glass panes allow you to display treasured family pictures or pieces of art while the faded wooden frame adds to its vintage aesthetics.
Vintage pieces are always a delight to find. What they lack in novelty, they make up for in elegance. And while thinking up of new uses for them may pose a challenge at first, the chance at preserving a piece of family history makes it all worth it.
Jennifer Lutz blogs about Home Décor and related subjects for www.christmastreemarket.com. She produces the Home Décor 101 series on their blog. The latest article in the series can be found at http://blog.christmastreemarket.com/2013/09/furniture-arrangement/.