Re Purpose, Re Use, Recycle: Buzzwords In 2009

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By Jessica Ackerman

Re-purpose, re-use, recycle- these are the buzzwords in home decor these days. In a world that’s becoming more and more conscious of the deleterious effects on the environment of man’s compulsion to accumulate, the trend these days is to have less. This doesn’t mean to have only one sofa in the living room; what it means is to make use of what we already have, rather than buy a new one for your home decor. That way, no new trees need to be cut, and no more old furniture need make their appointment with the city dump. Green has become fashionable, and is expected to continue to be so. Here are a few tips on how to be green and fashionable in 2009, and to save, too, along the way.

Tip # 1 Re-purpose

To re-purpose is to take a discarded object, modify it, and use it in another way. You can throw away Dad’s Motorola Dyna Tec 800X, the first cell phone in the world, but you can clean it, mount it on a solid block of black stone, beam light on it, and use it to jazz up one lonely corner. Not only will you have an instant conversation piece, but the white cell phone on black mount provides a nice contrast.

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In the same way that some countries gather all discarded refrigerators for use as fish sanctuaries, any Do-It-Yourself (DIY) decorator can look around his grandma’s attic or grandpa’s garage for anything that could be salvaged and turned into an interesting objet d’art. All it takes is a little imagination. Who says your old lampshade wouldn’t make a quaint birdhouse? That old Harley-Davidson decal which once adorned Dad’s Harley, but which now’s gathering dust in his garage – couldn’t it perhaps be mounted on a matte stainless steel frame? Surely, it’d look good in your Modern bar, a nice contrast of old and new.

Tip # 2 Decoupage

Don’t discard that wooden box that has sat in one corner for as long as you can remember, decoupage it. Check the Internet for myriad ideas there on how you can transform your tired old wooden box to complement the chinoiserie in your Hollywood Regency home.

Tip # 3 Redo

With companies downsizing , scour the classifieds or office liquidators for office furniture sales – here might be gems waiting to be brought home. Of course, in the yard they wouldn’t look like gems, but look closely, one might have a great base. If it’s good, take it home, even if the top sucks. Rig the top up by layering paper, lightly paint stain it, then seal heavily. See if it won’t become your living room’s new prima donna. Sometimes all it needs for old furniture to acquire a new life is a little jazzing up. Sand, then paint stain with craft acrylic paint. You might put a pad in the seat using zebra stripes for an exciting contrast. All it takes is a little imagination and even less cash.

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