Sunday, June 24, 2012

rePURPOSING Things: Circular Saw Blades

Because of its location this gate was really difficult to photograph. But this will give you the idea. This gorgeous peacock is a a beautiful work of art...

 ...and a good break-in deterrent. Those blades are still sharp!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

rePURPOSING Things: Shoe Rack

An over-the-door canvas shoe rack never looked so good. This Chicago apartment's brick wall got quite a brightening up with the addition of this clever planter. The impact will be even bigger when the new plants grown over the sides. Easy and inexpensive

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Remote Access

With the purchase of a couple of small bins this....

. ..became this. 

The TV remote no longer gets buried under the coasters and cocktail napkins or tangled in the iPod cable.

Total time: under 10 minutes

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Yard Sale Inspiration

I stopped by a friend's house a few weeks ago and was met by this:

All these boxes, bags and baskets were destined for their yard sale.

After one Saturday morning the room was emptier...

...and their wallets were fuller.

It's great yard sale weather right now. What's stopping you?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

rePURPOSING Things: An Old Lamp Sheds New Light

This faded photo is the only one of a lamp beloved by the family matriarch. When she died no one wanted it. It was outdated and did not fit with the decor of any of the survivors' homes. But it was such a treasure to her, no one could bare to give it away .

Luckily there was an artist in the family who transformed it. Now it's a treasure in the home of the youngest generation.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Focus on a Life, not Acquisitions

Today's paper had a front page story about something I see all the time - people hanging on to more and more things as they age. Their houses get more and more crowded and they loose the serenity of their shelter.

If you are trying to help aging relatives keep their living space under control, try what  I learned: be a witness to their life. Ask them the story behind each item - where they got it, how they felt. Often after having someone else hear their story, they are ready to let it go.

Then gently ask them who they would want to have it and offer to deliver it for them. You can suggest a relative or close friend, their church, a charity or school. It could be anywhere. I have found that most times just knowing that their possession will have a home makes it easier to part with.

This can be good for both of you. They get a more serene and often safer environment and you get the gift of learning more of their history. You might be surprised!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Evaluate, Eliminate and Integrate: A Home Office

When the kids lived at home, this L-shaped desk area served its purpose. It was the perfect place for them to do homework and play computer games. But with them gone it became the catch-all corner. In this photo it is serving as a sorting area for an upcoming yard sale.

The yard sale prompted the owner to evaluate how the space was used. She eliminated the left desk and integrated the things she wanted to keep. With the desk removed - and when the neatly stacked items awaiting the yard sale are gone - this room will have a lot more floor space, perfect for when the adult kids come to visit.