Get a New Look for Your Home from Old Junk You’ve Collected from Travels and More

buying secondhand items

Having spent more time in your home in the last months, unable to travel beyond your local park, you probably finally noticed that your sofa throw is still the leopard print you got at a sale some two years ago. The fake flowers you placed in your china has gathered dust, and your house still sports the popcorn ceiling. OK, so maybe not the popcorn ceiling, but you get the feel—everything is outdated.

In the hustle and bustle of the last year, you didn’t care. But now you do. Every morning you see the same patterns, colors that may or may not match, the smallest details on your wallpaper. And it is normal if you are going crazy, especially as you are a person who has always been on the move, constantly seeing new places and scenery.

Some people have the money to buy new stuff to revamp their place. Others are good at building things, putting up a nice vertical garden over a sad wall. You might not be one of these people. But what you might be is someone who has an attic full of junk.

Thanks to the bohemians, hipsters, and other subcultures that put a lot of value on uniqueness, what has been your family junk for years could be a treasure trove for interior design. It doesn’t mean to say you will be following the aesthetics of these subcultures, but they do offer a lot of ideas in redecorating your space.

Here are a few tips in using those long-forgotten knickknacks.

Have only one or two talking pieces in a room

First of all, you do not want your house to look like a museum. Repurpose an old steamer trunk into a table or upcycle unique old saddle pads into stool covers.

Old telephones, radios, and television sets are still beautiful reminders of the past, even if their recent popularity has inspired companies to make new products with ‘vintage designs.’ The authentic old sets, of course, carry with them stories. You remember your late favorite uncle watching the television set and dozing off in the afternoons. You recall having to use the telephone to get in touch with your loved ones in another state, and lines could get cut off in a blizzard. The stories, more than the design, give them character and charm.

Old photos can compose a unique gallery wall

Gallery walls have become popular as they instantly bring personality to rooms large or small. Hang the portraits of your proud ancestors or maybe frame the photo of some family members frolicking on the beach in their high-waisted swimsuits of the 60s.

Understand, though, that it is not merely hanging a series of frames next to each other. There are certain aesthetics in hanging up photos. In fact, museums and galleries have artistic directors dedicated to planning out their walls. You get this opportunity of curating your own display.

Remember that small pieces could clutter to your room

Yes, turn of the century homes are gorgeous with their large antique vases and ornate carvings, but you would not get the same effect if you put on display your grandmother’s collection of snow globes together with your grandfather’s collection of hats.

It is possible to display these items if you want to showcase them. One way would be to put them up on a feature wall. As it would look like a gallery wall, you would need to have special racks made for them. Great if you are a DIY kind of person.

Plants are always welcome

Living room with orange theme

And for sure you will have a lot of old shoes in your storage boxes. First of all, give them to people who need shoes if they’re still decent-looking. Otherwise, they would make perfect pots for snake plants and peace lilies, popular plants for purifying the air in a room.

OK, so you don’t have a green thumb. But some plants do not need a lot of tender loving care. Succulents would thrive even if you leave them be for days. Having any plant would not only improve the room’s ambiance but would also be good for you, mentally and physically.

Updating your house does not mean having to get new things unless you need to replace broken appliances or change light bulbs. Giving your house a new look is simply a matter of being creative and having a vision of how you want your home to look like, to feel like. Think of going through your old stuff as something like treasure hunting except that the challenge is in finding the gem in the simple and ordinary.

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