At the recent design shows in Frankfurt and Paris, I witnessed a trend and want to share it with all of you. It consists of three Rs: Rediscover, recycle, and reuse.
Let’s start with rediscover. Have you heard of the saying, “Everything old is new again”? Your old stuff might look new, so go for a treasure hunt in your house or maybe a relative’s. Check your basement, closets, attic, and garage. Recently, my mother moved from Atlanta back to the Chicago area by me and needed some help getting settled. While I was unpacking boxes, I found some treasures that my mother had found from years ago. The pieces looked great in her new house.
Also, I rediscovered new looks for some of the existing window coverings. The previous owners had installed Country Woods® Genuine Woods blinds in the bedroom. With the cottage style of the home, we decided to soften the interior by hanging embroidered sheers over the blinds. I discovered the feminine look my mother wanted that also allowed for perfect control of light and privacy.
Second is the recycle. Of course, we all know recycling as sorting our garbage into the right bins, so it can be properly disposed. That said, recycling can also be using our trash and making it into new products. I have seen furniture, rugs, and even toy animals made out of old newspapers or magazines. I have a tote bag of soda pop tops made by this Italian company. They also create vests, belts, and purses out of pop tops.
Here’s another twist on recycling. Remember the other saying of “One man’s treasure is another man’s trash.” In this spirit, gather your friends together with all of their recycling goodies and have a recycle party. Think of furniture, accessories, floral arrangements, draperies, and artwork. Think of pieces that still have some legs, but you are just tired of them or transitioning to another look or set of colors. What about that green velvet chair you have? It might look magnifique in someone else’s house (I have been in Europe too long!). The party could be exchanges or small prices on specific items. Either way, it’s an excellent system for recycling your items and picking up “new to you” things. And the spring season certainly sets the mood for this kind of party.
Reuse is the third R. Have you ever gotten tired of your house? Do you feel like you’ve been dusting the same accessories on your coffee table for the past ten years? Are you tired of that old floral arrangement on your foyer chest? How about your living room furniture? Maybe your house feels stagnant, because everything is the same way it was 10 years ago.
Here’s what to do. Everyone has a close friend who has an eye for design. Enlist their help. Start by removing all of the accessories from a particular room. Next try moving the furniture and see if you can improve the visual conversation between the different pieces. Here’s another question: Do you have too much furniture or not enough? Try shopping the other rooms of your home for some pieces.
Next arrange the accessories (don’t forget to shop the other rooms for these items). The ginger jar that has been on your dresser since the Ming Dynasty might look smashing on a stack of three books in your family-room bookcase. That old floral arrangement might be just the ticket if you remove the silk flowers and bare stems, and placed green moss inside around the stems. How about situating the arrangement on your mantle? It is fun and inexpensive way to reuse.
The three R’s—rediscovering, recycling, and reusing—is all about working with what you have and making your home a better place to live.