It’s almost spring! Well, not really…but just the thought of all those yard sales, flea markets and shows like Vintage Market Days has me so excited about all the possibilities of finding some really great furniture or vintage items that can be repurposed or upcycled into beautiful “new” pieces for my home. Recently I shared a post on how you can breathe new life into old things by upcycling, repurposing or refinishing old furniture or vintage junkin’ finds. Today I will be sharing a little more about how easy upcycling is, and why you should try it if you haven’t already! *This post contains affiliate links.
Home Improvement and DIY
For many people, an ultimate life goal is owning a forever home. It’s that one special house or property that really feels like home. It might have some land, a swimming pool, historic charm and architecture, or it might just give you your own office and space to work or relax in. We all have a list of requirements, and the aim of buying, selling and moving properties often is to get to that end goal of acquiring a dream property. Once you find it however, is that truly it? I think we all know the answer to that! In addition to just decorating and cosmetic changes, our beloved dwellings require more thorough home maintenance and upkeep over the years to keep them attractive, safe and habitable. *This post contains affiliate links.
We all want to feel safe and secure in our homes, and we also want to ensure that we can protect our homes from all sorts of things that could potentially go wrong during ownership. There are going to be necessary home improvements over time, building work that should be done, landscaping that must be managed, and the list goes on and on. Therefore it is worthwhile to start looking into some of the ways that you can potentially protect your forever home. Not just from hardship and damage, but also from any financial loss you could experience. Today I am sharing some basic ways you can protect and care for your “home sweet home.”
Take on some of the chores you don’t enjoy doing.
There are plenty of chores and home maintenance jobs that we simply don’t enjoy doing. Sure, we may all have our own cleaning schedules that we adhere to so that we are able to keep the interior of our homes looking clean and tidy. But what about the exterior of our properties? There will always be yearly chores that we keep meaning to do but would much rather put off for another day. Clearing out the gutters, inspecting pipework, repairing cracks, taking care of the gardens and keeping a close eye on any large trees growing nearby are absolutely essential chores that must be done to protect our forever homes. Trees can cause damage to foundations and property grounds, so it is always worth ensuring you know where you stand with them.
No one enjoys doing labor intensive jobs like the gutters! But making sure these tasks are updated and checked regularly can protect your home and help you to avoid any issues with financial repairs in the future. Learning a few DIY skills and keeping basic tools on hand are necessary parts of home ownership that will ensure the safety and value of your home in the long run.
Think of the security of your home and what you can do to protect it.
We can all do more to protect our home, and with the advancements of technology, we can certainly be more proactive. What we can’t do, however, is predict what opportunists or thieves are going to do and when they might strike. You may go throughout your whole life and never be subject to the devastation that a house break in can cause. However, what is in your control is how you protect your home. You should certainly have fire alarms installed on all floors and be sure to check the batteries periodically. And it seems like a no-brainer, but always lock your home and car doors. I learned that the hard way a few years ago when I had my purse stolen right out of my car parked in the driveway, the day before Thanksgiving! I had to cancel all our credit cards and close our bank accounts the day before my favorite holiday, simply because I neglected to lock the door.
You could also consider upgrading your alarm system. These days you can have additional security options such as security cameras or surveillance on the exterior and interior of your home. There is even an alarm system you can purchase that will enable you to see who is lurking at your front door. Additional fences, gates and even having a dog can all be great security measures to put in place as well.
Could you benefit from any additional insurance or warranty policies?
Not all of us can predict if things are going to go wrong with our home, especially if things look great on the surface. We can also be subject to weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances that again can affect our homes. This is when additional policies that you could put in place could help you to cover any financial issues. Websites like https://housemethod.com/providers/home-warranty-reviews/ could mean that you get a decent warranty in place that could cover things in your home. Insurance policies for buildings and even the contents in your home can also be put in place to help protect yourself from adverse conditions and unforeseen situations.
Have you fully considered any plans you have for home improvements?
Finally, have you fully considered the plans you want to make in your home? Could you do anything that could make things better? Adding extensions and changing floor plans in your home to better suit your visions and family can be a great way to make the home more user-friendly. But you need to ensure that you consider and plan things out according to approval with local organizations. You may also want to really consider your budget and what you can do to protect yourself once the project begins to take shape.
Being a homeowner is can be a rewarding experience. By following these simple home maintenance and upkeep and safety suggestions you can be sure to protect your forever home— and your peace of mind.
There really is nothing quite like being able to solve a problem in your home all by yourself. It can save so much money and also allows you to achieve the home of your dreams. Whether it’s from home renovations shows like Fixer Upper on HGTV, Hometalk and DIY video tutorials that seem to show up on your Facebook feed all the time, or simply watching friends and family do it, the idea of being able to fix up your home by yourself is something that’s incredibly attractive for a lot of people.
Of course, there’s one important barrier for a lot of people being able to do just that: they have absolutely no idea where even to start and get overwhelmed. I talk to people all the time who might have the drive to do it themselves, but they have no idea what that would even entail. With that in mind, I decided to share Five Easy Steps To Becoming A DIY Expert. Here are some things that you need to do in order to turn yourself into the DIY pro that you’ve always dreamed of being. *This post contains affiliate links.
Hello to all! Have you ever noticed my blog slogan “Making Everyday Beautiful?” It means more than just buying pretty vintage decor and creating a beautiful home. I want to make the world more beautiful too. Whether by gardening, helping with community beautification efforts or recycling regularly, we all have a bigger responsibility as stewards of this planet.
I love the saying, “Save The World, Buy Vintage!” There’s a lot of truth there! Upcycling, restoring, and repurposing can breathe new life into old items and really make a significant impact on the reduction of waste on this planet, while making the world a more beautiful place for all who inhabit it.
Breathing New Life Into Old Items: A Strategies Guide
*This post contains affiliate links
There is a sad truth about modern society that we all have to accept sooner or later: we live in a throw-away society. We have reached this point for a variety of reasons, some of which are related to cost (it’s often cheaper to buy a new dress rather than ask a tailor to fix your old one), and some to convenience. However, living in a throw-away society can be hugely problematic. The biggest victim tends to be the environment; when items are disposed of, they end up in landfill. Given that waste management is a problem the world over, there’s no doubt that changing the way the world uses (and disposes of) products should be considered an important issue.
Buying vintage or restoring old items is a great way for individuals to make a difference. Seems like a no brainer right? But not everyone was born with the junkin’ gene, so they might need a little more convincing. Luckily popular T.V. shows like Fixer Upper and HGTV are helping to popularize upcyling and repurposing and making old junk seem more “glamorous.”
The Potential Of Old Items
While most of my friends and blog readers are vintage souls who love to go junkin, most people prefer to live with newer or “modern” items in their homes. Since fashions, styles, and design preferences change all the time, even vintage junkers like to update our furniture as often as we can afford. It’s nice to live in a house that constantly feels fresh and exciting, so the vast number of people buy new rather than trying to make the old last. Some people simply see old, broken, or out-of-style items as largely useless, and have no problem consigning them to landfill. Others just don’t care for vintage styles ( I shudder!!!!) and want their decor to be pretty and new, so the idea of returning an item to its former glory just doesn’t seem like a good use of time, nor can it be done to an “as new” standard… or so people think. But we vintage junkers know better!
Learning to breathe life back into old items is one of the most valuable skills you will ever learn. While new is nice, it’s definitely far from the only choice available to those wanting to create a glorious home. Below are some of the best strategies that can help you give an old item a few new tricks, so you can try it for yourself.
My $20 chalk painted table makeover
Upcycling (or Repurposing)
Upcycling is a term that has come into use over the past decade. It focuses on the idea of taking an item — whatever that may be — and transforming it. These transformations are usually total, so the item no longer resembles its former self. Upcycled items are frequently repurposed, redecorated, or amended to look like something entirely new, even though the base item might be approaching vintage status.
This past winter my mother purchased a large amount of old windows and doors on Craigslist very inexpensively. They were all headed to the landfill if someone did not buy them soon, and what a waste! She plans to repurpose the windows into an amazing greenhouse this spring like the one pictured below:
*A strong imagination. You have to be able to look at an item as it is now and see past that, imagining what it can be in the future. If you’re the kind of person who can see a TV cabinet becoming a fish tank, then upcycling might be for you.
*Upcycling tends to require a lot of patience. You have to be willing to work hard on an item, often for weeks at a time, to see results.
*While anyone can upcycle, it is helpful if you can learn a few extra skills, particularly when it comes to woodworking. This will help you make the most of your items and amend them to suit their new purpose in life. There’s a great video here to get you started:
You might also find this full introduction to upcycling furniture useful:
A few years ago my husband and I made a headboard out of an old chippy door we had found while out junkin’. It was one of my favorite upcycled projects to date.
*Furniture is by far the most common form of upcycling, but it’s not the only one; you could upcycle items to make jewelry, for example, or even electrical appliances if you’re safely able to do so.
Many people confuse upcycling and restoration, but they are actually very different strategies for breathing new life into old objects.
*Upcycling is transformative. It takes an item and turns it into something else, giving it a new purpose, or at the very least making the item look almost unrecognizable from what it formerly was.
*Restoration focuses instead on preserving the item as it is.
Here’s how this works in practice:
*If you were to upcycle a dress, then you would — perhaps — cut it into sections to create a top, cape, or even use the fabric for upholstery purposes. The dress would no longer be a dress; it would have been pressed into service for another purpose.
*If you were to restore a dress, then you would use a gentle laundry detergent such as those by Better Life to give it a thorough clean without damaging the fabric, darn holes, and trim loose threads. You might even dye it, but you’d be dyeing it to the same color as it originally was– the dye would only be to increase the vibrancy.
(Hopefully that distinction is a little clearer now.)
Restoration is a wonderful hobby that can be incredibly fulfilling, especially if you have a passionate for historic or vintage pieces. To make a success of restoration, you will need:
*Attention to detail; you have to be willing to go the extra mile to find the exact paint match for the table you’re restoring, or the exact replica antique button for the coat you’re working on.
*A steady hand; many restoration projects take hours of painstaking work, laboring over a relatively minor detail. If you’re working with delicate objects that are older than you are, you’ll need to ensure you can focus for long periods.
*It will also be helpful if you have a decent boredom tolerance! As wonderful as restoration is, you’re relying on your craftsmanship rather than your imagination, so you have to be willing to put the hours in and focus on attention to detail.
There’s a great example of a restoration below. Even though the object being restored isn’t the most exciting of items, it nevertheless details the process of restoration very well:
There’s also a fascinating insight into how the pros go about restoring artwork, which may be something you want to try (albeit with less expensive pieces!):
Or… do both!
Finally, it’s worth discussing the fact that you don’t necessarily have to choose between upcycling and restoring– it is possible to do both. This will probably suit you if:
*You want to turn projects around quickly and directly improve them. For example, you could spend time restoring an old watch, cleaning it and removing scratches from the surface dial. You could then upcycle it by adding a new, modern band to the dial.
*This kind of project appeals to people who have a respect for the old, but love the idea of introducing a new element to an item. You have the opportunity to retain many of the old-time characteristics that make an item so attractive, but also actually give the item a purpose that is relevant to the modern world.
*If you have a passion for fashion, then choosing to both restore and upcycle a garment might be your best choice. You can preserve the fabric and pattern, but change the cut so that it suits modern styles. To achieve this, it’s helpful to have a knowledge of basic sewing skills, and — as you might expect by this point! — here’s a video to give you a few starting points:
If you don’t want to invest in a sewing machine, then there’s a useful guide to effective hand sewing here:
In conclusion, whichever of the options above inspires you to try it, you’re engaging in a hobby that has genuine environmental benefits. By reusing, repurposing, or giving old items a new lease of life, you’re guaranteeing that you’re keeping them from landfill– and that’s nothing but a positive. It’s also worth considering that your home, your , and even your wardrobe will benefit from your new hobby too! When you master one of the above techniques, you can fill your life with a variety of objects and garments that are truly unique. Replacing a home full of mass-produced items with things that have repurposed, upcycled, or restored gives it character and charm!
Hopefully, the above has inspired you to try junkin’ (if you haven’t already) for objects you can breathe new life into. Save the world, buy vintage! Have fun”making every day beautiful,” one project at a time!