Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's not's a canvas for our own talents, to remake it...

Rethink, reuse, re-purpose...that's what we hear all the time. It's ingrained in our brains through what we read, watch on television, hear on our radio shows and it's become a way of life for most of us. I'm not talking about household trash...I'm talking about what we find when we "shop" in our attics, basements, find in our parents and neighbors toss-aways and of course, our own neighborhood flea markets.

How cool is it that we can completely transform our homes, offices and weekend get-aways with things we find along the way? It doesn't take much money, doesn't tax our checkbooks. You don't have to be a designer to get a great look in your home, you just have to be able to see beyond the obvious. Simply put, you have to have an imagination. That, my friends, is free. You cultivated it when you were a child. Every time you made a "Barbie" house from cardboard boxes or a highway with the dirt in your backyard, you used your imagination.

Over the years, some of us have lost that talent and replaced it with the notion that what we need is somehow, for sale somewhere. The "do-it-yourself" in us has disappeared and we've left it to someone else to design and sell what we need to complete or homes and living spaces. We settle for less when everything is pre-made and available for us. Our vision isn't quite complete, and we change it because of what's available at the moment.

What would happen, if you envisioned a room and then, by yourself, made it happen? We see pictures of beautifully styled homes in magazines and on all of the how-to shows on television. HGTV has excellent shows that give us a step-by-step on how to turn a flea market or dumpster find into a wonderfully stylish piece that only you know where it comes from.

Auctions, garage sales, tag sales and flea markets are always on my list. A little paint or stain, adding a little something here and there or taking something off here and there and you have something unique! You can always find that special something at an antique store or antique show but some of the fun has already been taken out of the hunt. Yes, I do go to the shows and sales when I can, but I generally go to the tag and garage sales. Prices are better, it's a nice ride on a warm day and when you look at things not as they are, but as they could be, well then it's a good day all the way around.

Garage sales are the best way to find vintage items at reasonable prices. Usually, the items are in good used condition and being 'vintage' and not antique, it's more reasonable to re-make the item into something that is more useful or more in keeping to your lifestyle and needs. Tools are not always required. Old wood step stools stacked can be an awesome sofa or bedside table. Find a great table top and make it into a shelf or a 'new' table with salvaged legs found at another outing. An old farm style kitchen table can be shortened and made into a great coffee table. Wooden crates make interesting shelves or a hutch top on a desk.

My point is...nothing is simply trash. It is true that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Rely on your imagination and see things as they can be. It's an interesting way to live and nothing is as it seems... :-)

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