How to Redecorate on a Budget: 8 Great Repurposing Ideas

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In these less-than-stellar economic times, redecorating your house probably ranks as high on your priority list as sewing your head to the carpet. Yet, you still want a fresh look and a new vibe around the homestead. So how can one decorate while on the tightest of budgets? Repurposing, of course.

Repurposing is simply using items you already have in new ways. You can snag these items from other rooms, the basement, the attic or even the room you’re looking to redecorate. Items can include furniture, knickknacks, artwork, photographs, rugs, pillows, window treatments and more. Want to get started? Here are some tips:

  1. Gather old photographs, recent photographs or your children’s artwork and have them matted and framed. Group them together in a collage style or display them individually. If you do group some pictures together, vary the sizes, shapes and colors to add interest.
  2. Add fringe, cording, satin or ribbon to the edges of window treatments or pillows to add extra punch. Choose a complementary but unexpected color and texture.
  3. Use leftover wallpaper to cover lampshades and desk accessories, or to line a basket or shelf.
  4. And speaking of lamps, play “musical rooms” with them, swapping out bedroom lamps for living room lamps and so on. You can also do this with chandeliers and possibly even ceiling fans.
  5. Pull out all the vases and decanters you got as wedding gifts (and are now stored away), and group them together in varying heights, shapes and textures to create a visually enticing display. Add fresh flowers, seashell potpourri, grass, sand or citrus fruit for a splash of nature.
  6. Use a small dresser or armoire in the bathroom to hold towels, bath tissue, personal care items and more. A piece of furniture normally found in a bedroom is sure to add a little zing to your loo.
  7. Use assorted cookie cutters or mismatched forks and spoons to decorate an empty kitchen wall.
  8. Toss pillows, throw blankets and area rugs can all be shifted into other rooms. Think of how fun it will be to spot the pillows from your den resting happily on your bed instead.

These are just a handful of ideas to get you started on redecorating your home simply by repurposing. Remember to keep your eye out for hidden treasures in your garage, attic and basement as well as at the homes of friends and relatives. You never know what you might find.  Let your creativity and imagination take control.  Check out some innovative repurposed furniture here.

For added options, arrange a décor swap with your friends and neighbors. Their window panels for your area rug. Or your antique trunk for their coffee table. The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy the repurposing process, but keep in mind it can be a bit addictive. The upside is that you’ll always have a fresh look to your home, which will keep your guests talking.


Liberty Kontranowski is a freelance writer and blogger. She is the newest member of the AccessRX writing team, with hundreds of articles published online and in print, covering everything from beauty tips to purchasing prescriptions online to sexual health to parenting, fashion, entertainment and more.

2 Responses to “How to Redecorate on a Budget: 8 Great Repurposing Ideas”

  • Carol@inthetrenches September 29, 2010 @3:37PM Reply

    I like the idea of adding the unexpected color for a background or accent. Such an easy way to make a whole new look.

  • Heather Sokol September 29, 2010 @7:56PM Reply

    I really liked the idea of using cookie cutters. I have a cluttered drawer full of great ones that I was actually considering getting rid of, just to free up the space. I’m trying to find a way to use them in our kitchen now instead – two birds, one stone!

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