Mix Old and New to Create a Delightfully Eclectic Space
by Vicky Sanderson
A little imagination - and a lick of paint - goes a long way. Good tape is critical for getting sharp lines, so stick to a good name brand, like ScotchBlue
We’re glad to report that the old, restrictive rules of decorating, including such gems as “always stick to one style or era in a room to achieve a consistent look” have gone the way of the Dodo. Now, it’s all about layering an interesting mix of old and new and blending a variety of textures and finishes to create spaces that are highly personal and delightfully eclectic.
Happily, getting the look can be both economical and eco-friendly. Our suggestion? Individualize your décor by finding inexpensive, unassuming pieces on classified sites like Kijiji www.kijiji.ca. Then, with a lick of paint, and a little TLC, transform them into one-of-a-kind décor.
Recently, I created several home décor gems out of gently-used items easily found on Kijiji, which has recently added outdoor items, appliances and reno materials as distinct categories, making searching even easier. If you can’t immediately find what you’re looking for, sign up for an alert when an item that matches your search term comes online.
Here are a couple of projects that I hope inspire you to reduce, reuse and redecorate.
An old plate becomes a distinctive time piece
Individual plates make great wall clocks. All you need is a plate, along with clocks hands (they come in cute shapes, such as knives and forks, hammers and screwdrivers or fishing rods) and a movement, both of which are available for less than $10 from Lee Valley www.leevalley.com , which also carries adhesive-backed numbers and dots.
To make, slowly and carefully drill a small hole in the centre of the plate. Place a piece of tape over the drill spot to keep it from cracking and added a few drops of water as you go along to keep the drill bit cool and lubricated (mineral oil works for that, too.). Then attach the movement and hands.
Check out the fabric section, too, and don’t discount linen tablecloths just because it has a tear or stain. Use still-good stuff into pillow shams, napkins, or tea and guest towels.
All it tooks was ScotchBlue tape and a daub of paint to create a one of a kind pilow to match other decor pieces
Plain pillow shams can be dressed up with fabric paint. I tried two methods. One was to simply tape straight lines with Scotch Blue tape www.scotchblue.com along a pillow and paint it out in cheery colours. For another pillow, I made my own stencil by hanging a length of the tape from a doorway and, using hole-punchers with two different sizes of holes, randomly punching a pattern. You can also get special edger punches with various designs. Remember to wipe excess paint from a small brush and brush lightly on the fabric (better here to do a couple of light coats than one thick one.)The same technique works on a glass vase. For a subtle effect, Krylon’s frosted glass spray www.krylon.com.
A bit of paint, and some good tape - try ScotchBlue - and you have a one of a kind pilow to match your other decor pieces
Paint out the messy bits on old pieces - and leave the rest as is
And don’t forget that painting stripes or patterns on a wall is an easy way to pump up the look of an entire room.
Not all pieces need to be entirely made over. I had no interest in stripping or painting the ornate legs on another older end table, but the top of it was damaged. I cleaned and oiled the legs before sanding the top and smoothing out dents with wood filler. On went a coat of primer (don’t skip this step!) and then a layer of Jute from Pittsburgh Paints and a narrow trim with Farrow and Ball’s Blazer — a warm, orangey-red. (Ahem – the ScotchBlue tape came in handy here as well – because my hand is not that steady.) I’ve since discovered that mixing original finishes with freshly painted surfaces is a trend that’s turning up in décor mags and on hip design blogs. Which makes me, of course, one of the cool kids. Better late than never, I guess!