reduce, reuse, recycle

With the arrival of our new sofa last week (you know, the one that was half price cos it had a mark on it) we now have a completed living room. No more work needed in this room ever. Well, apart from hoovering and dusting obvs. Oh and one day we’d like to replace the windows and get shutters, so not including those we are done.

Choosing what pictures to put on the walls in this room was stressful to say the least, more so perhaps as we were marking the new smooth painted walls for the first time.  I’m not massively decisive at the best of times so this was tense. Yes, no, higher, lower.. a bit like play your cards right but with no jacuzzi or family sized car to win at the end.

Speaking of winning, which I wasn’t really but go with it, we are, as most ordinary people are, working to a budget.  We made a decision not so long ago that we would not buy anything for the house unless it was an essential item. We’ve sort of stuck to this plan if you don’t count the new half price sofa. In my defense it was half price so I don’t even think it counts as part of the rule.

My husband and I, gosh, I sound a bit like The Queen, have been thrifty by making the curtains ourselves and getting what we can from charity shops.  We are fortunate to live close to a local hospice furniture shop where we got our dining room table and chairs plus an old, and dare I say, gross looking television unit that we up-cycled with a coat of paint and new handle.

There’s something very satisfying about taking something that is no longer needed and giving it a new lease of life, or reusing something to create something else. We made some cushion covers from scarves, yes, scarves and buttons.  Ooh buttons. I love buttons, colourful and shiny. Some covered in fabric, some big, some teeny tiny. When I was a little girl, I used to bag up my grandma’s buttons into colours for fun, such is my love of buttons. I like the chocolate variety too.  Got a plain cushion at home? Then glam it up but sewing some buttons on the front like I did. I would have buttons on everything if I could.

scarf cushions!

In our bedroom we have some Ikea drawers we got from eBay but to jazz them up, we added some new handles that we got from TK Maxx. That place is amazeballs for home furnishings. At first I was a bit stand-offish to TK Maxx but now, now I adore it and yes, we are not buying anything that isn’t essential as we need our money to pay architects etc but I do enjoy a good ol’ browse in TK Maxx. If you haven’t been then go, now but maybe finish reading this first though.

replaced plain drawer handles to something more fun

Earlier on I mentioned pictures, and in our spare bedroom, we framed some old, or perhaps I should say, vintage to sound hip and happening, some vintage pictures of cars from old weetabix packets that Grandad-in-law had kept. It’s extra special to have things that have belonged to the older members of our family in our home. Along with the car picture we have some other little treasures that mean something to each of us and that’s one of the things I love about being able to rehouse and reuse older things along with the new as they each hold memories and have a story to tell.  Just imagine if furniture could talk like sparky the magic piano. Hmm, yeah ok, maybe not.

pictures from vintage cereal boxes in a frame

There were some great oldies-but-goodies left behind in our house, like the Victorian fire surround that was hidden behind plasterboard – bingo, yes please and also some other random but useful things that we’ve kept for the time being including a magnetic soap holder, pretty corner shelf unit and plastic fantastic weighing scales attached to the wall. Genius!

Kitch but useable shelves
It’s soap on a magnet!

One thought on “reduce, reuse, recycle

  1. The buttons that you soted are still in a tin, labelled with their colour by you- including ‘wight’ – well you had just been on a school trip tp the Isle of Wight . ()The one when you refused to go on the cable car at Alum Bay resulting in the teacher having to walk a VERY long way round with you!

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