5 Home Decor Items that Inspire Creativity

Unconventional home decor is something that comes naturally to me and today I wanted to show you 5 items in my own home that might inspire creativity in your own!

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use an old trunk as a coffee table – doubles as storage & seating, too!

1: UNIQUE STORAGE SOLUTIONS:

When I moved out of my last place, my roomie gifted me the most amazing trunk to house my board games & fun stuff. And although you can find these treasured pieces at giants like Restoration Hardware, the best idea is to look for one at your local thrift store. Consider also the size of your space. My trunk is a bit smaller than this giant and the scale works for my space. You don’t want to use something that will dwarf the rest of your home. Also, don’t be afraid to paint your trunk a bright color and use it as a statement piece!

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sometimes the most beautiful lighting is built from something found!

2: THE FIRE PIT GRATE LAMP:

My ex-boyfriend Andrew made this beauty for me when I moved into the space and I still love using it for a nice glow above my bed when I am reading or drawing at night. To make this, you use a fire pit grate and flip it upside down. Filled with origami paper & christmas lights I had laying around in the house… it is definitely one of those found object projects that people are impressed by. You can find these things while dumpster diving OR also at your local “Urban Ore” type place.

3: UNIQUE CURTAINS:

My love for baking, being a little overly girly at times and cooking comes out in my kitchen when people see my collection of aprons. I didn’t want to go out and buy new curtains for my kitchen so I improved and use my vintage apron collection instead! Plus, having them hang as curtains meant I could show them off and not have to find a storage spot for them. If you’re going to do this, stick with aprons that are light in color and allow the sun to shine through.

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photo by astratakesphotos.com

4: DESIGN STUDIES & UNIQUE WALL ART:

Although my job is as a visual web designer, I don’t consider myself the type of designer who snubs their noses at “bad design” and boasts about what not to do…but I do like to conduct my own design studies. About 10 years ago I started collecting beer coasters to explore the differences between them. What I found interesting was that each coaster was so different and represented their brands well within basically the same amount of space. When I moved into my current apartment, I decided to finally do something with the 100s of coasters I had piled up. I used them to create wall art that mimics a wallpaper boarder. The artwork travels down the hallway of my apartment which also gives some extra depth to my space when you walk inside.

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Photo taken by AstraTakesPhotos.com

5: ADD IN HANDMADE PIECES:

I’m super SUPER lucky to be surrounded by creative people in pretty much all parts of my life. Custom artwork isn’t always more expensive. Don’t be afraid to ask your favorite maker/artist if they will make something for your space that matches your aesthetic & style. My friend Rebecca designs totally adorable huggable plush animals & awesomeness. Once, when I was feeling particularly sad in my life… I asked if she could make me a brontosaurus rex entangled with another. I think at first she thought I was silly for dreaming up the cuties but the result was something I just cherish so much. They sit happily on my bed for all to see & they bring so much joy and playfulness to my space.

photo by Vivian Chen Photography - pillows by Oodlebadoodle

photo by Vivian Chen Photography – pillows by Oodlebadoodle

OTHER TIPS FOR SMALL CITY SPACES:

LOOK FOR WAYS TO KEEP YOUR HOME MODULAR & VERSATILE:
You’ll notice that all of my items are small enough to move around on my own. When I have guests over, I pull chairs into the corners of the room and bust out my extra seating. I can even use my chest as seating (which already plays triple duty as a coffee table, focal point & storage).

KEEP BASKETS AROUND FOR HIDING EXTRA CHORDS AND WEIRDNESS:
For my wireless router, I placed a small basket over it to hide the wires, keep my cat away from playing with it and also creates a nice stand for another basket to go right above it. Keeping my space apparently “wireless” is a nice way to keep my space from being cluttered.

BE PLAYFUL, BE YOURSELF:
You have to live in this space. Make it a reflection of yourself. Do not let someone else buy your furniture for you without being totally clear as to what your personal style is. People say I’m the warmest person in the room – I wanted my home to also feel warm, inviting and be a true reflection of who I am. Soft, warm & filled with texture/interest. I’m a playful person – so behind every nook, you’ll find something that will make you smile. Consider how you want your home to make you feel when you’re inside it – relaxed? happy? silly? –> your decor should match that feeling.

KEEP ONE WALL FREE OF FRAMED ITEMS:
To keep your home feeling airy and light (not feeling claustrophobic) keep at least one wall free of any clutter. I have a small handmade bunting at the top of my southern wall which shows off the length of my main room, but doesn’t add extra clutter.

COLOR MATCHING:
It’s easy for me to say “match your color scheme” when I’m an artist, right? Well, actually… my home is about 7 different colors but they are all the same hue. Keeping the color family the same – in that most all the colors they are all muted or pastel – helps my space feel pulled together even when it’s a little messy.

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photo of my handmade towels – embroidered by my Grammie Bonnett – by Vivian Chen Photography

 

 

 

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