As the seasons change we see our “stuff” literally in a different light. But before we decide to part with something, it might be worth taking a moment before sending something to landfill to consider if it could be given a new lease of life. Even if an item no longer has pride of place in our own home, it might still be of use or value to someone else, either as a gift, or possibly in exchange for an unused object or collectable in their bottom drawer, or even to sell on. After years of “Highstreet-ality” and seeing the same old same old in every shop in every town, interest in the original and unusual is beginning to grow once more. It’s so refreshing to be different!
Recycling is a concept we are all now very familiar with. Giving something a makeover is not only recycling at its best it’s also satisfying.
We took one old vintage footstool that was in very tired shape and gave it the works. The legs were shortened to give it a more modern feel and then the base and legs were given a coat of paint in a soft shabby chic grey. French Grey is a very popular colour, but you can mix your own shade using a standard water based quick dry satin in white and adding a similar quality black in the amount of your choice to achieve the desired shade, which you might wish to vary according to the item you are painting. This gives you a lot of paint shade choices at minimal cost. Just be sure to mix enough to complete the project in hand as having to remix a new batch might result in colour variations.
The cover is made in a patchwork of a selection of florals, checks, stripes and plain in linen and cottons in complementary shades of Duck Egg Blue, Naturals and Offwhite by designer company ROMO. These top quality furnishing fabrics will give lasting pleasure across many seasons, not just one. As well as being perfect for putting up your feet after a long day, the footstool can also be used as a meditation stool, or as a small side table for a tray with your favourite cuppa and biscuits as you relax in front of the fire.
Personally, I have never been a fan of net curtains. I love to be able to look out of my window and see the trees, the sky, the birds, it gives me a sense of connection, a link to the outside world. However, depending on where you live, your window may be somewhat exposed to the eyes of passers by.
Here’s something I came up with which doesn’t completely do what a net curtain will do, but nevertheless breaks up the line of vision and usually absorbs people’s attention in its own right.
A decorative window curtain, or display.
The great thing about this is that it’s really fun to make. You can allow your creativity full reign and add things in different colours and textures, or you can use pieces that are all the same tone with just a few accents of colour here and there. You could choose a specific theme, the obvious one at the moment being Christmas decorations, with pretty fabric hearts in vibrant reds and greens, or later in the year change to a nautical theme usings blues, pieces of string with driftwood and shells for example. You could make a statement with unusual recycled or vintage artifacts. shabby chic style, or handpaint your own glass baubles or wooden hearts. It’s also a very affordable alternative to curtains as you do not have to have to spend a lot upfront, but can add bits as you go along. If you’re a collector, like me, you’ve probably got lots of bits of ribbon and buttons tucked away somewhere. Or create a 3D scrapbook of memorabilia. What’s great is you can just remove anything you are bored with, and change with the seasons. I have hung my bits and bobs over a simple curtain rod which can be bought very cheaply and has a spring mechanism which holds it in place in the window recess so no need for drills or anything high tech. Just measure your window before you buy the curtain rod to be sure you buy the correct size.
Of course this is quick and easy to apply if your windows are as small as my present home. In a larger window I had in my previous house I bought a beaded door curtain and hung this from two hooks in the centre of the bay window. I cut it to the length of the window sill, but of course check that the beads are fixed individually before doing this! You can personalise as you wish, adding beads or ribbon to suit your taste and the mood of the room, or leave plain if you prefer a simple look.