Deals Episodes

Repurpose Everyday Items

Tags: Deals

How many times have you gotten rid of something because you thought you didn't need it anymore? Well, next time you may just put it to a new use.

"I think that inspiration is everywhere and you kind of have to keep your eyes and ears open," says Rina Chandarana John. "It's a nice way to save money, it's good for the environment because you are not giving something up."

Rina Chandarana John, with the blog "Glam at Home" says anyone can turn everyday items into something amazing.

"I really think you need to look at the shape of the item you have and what other kind of uses it can bring into your life," said John.

"Think of creative ways to display flowers. For instance, I had picked up a Chinese jar at a thrift shop a long time ago. I didn't know what I was going to use it for, I just really liked it. Then recently I was going on to different blogs and I noticed a lot of bloggers were displaying pretty peonies and hydrangeas in these jars and I thought what a great idea. It just gives your flowers a completely different look," said John. "I also like the idea of mason jars. It's a neat way to just play individual flowers on your dining table, on your kitchen table, maybe you are having a party outside and it can be your centerpieces as well."

Vanity trays aren't just for makeup and cosmetics; you can use them around your home to keep things organized. "My husband is one of those techie guys who has a remote for every single different thing in this house," said John. "I don't like them laying around all over the place. What I like to do is keep a vanity tray on our coffee table, and I like to keep all those remotes together on that vanity tray. So it adds that little dash of glam and that vintage look into my home."

You can also keep things organized with glass candy bowls.

"I like to put it in different rooms around your house, to put items in it that you can kind of hide away but still they are going to look pretty in that container. So for instance, there's certain earrings and hairpins I wear on a frequent basis. So I like to keep those in a small candy dish in my bedroom, that way they are really easy for me to access. Another thing is, in the kitchen, we've all got elastic bands and batteries and twist ties and most likely you are just going to open a drawer and chuck them in there. Then they are hard to find when you really need them. So I like to keep those items in a larger glass candy bowl on my counter, that way when I need something it's easy to find," said John.

You can even make a stack of bills look presentable.

"If you are like me and you don't check your mail everyday and you open your mailbox and its like, 'Oh my gosh, there's so many bills and letters in there.' You have to go through, you don't want to just go home and put them on the counter," said John. "It's going to look kinda messy. So keep it all together in a napkin holder. It's easy for you to reach when you need to go to pay that bill."

In the bedroom, Rina uses items that were once in the kitchen.

"I do like cake stands and cupcake stands. I will never probably put any desserts in them but I like shells, I like to collect shells," said John. "I thought, 'Hey, this is a very unique way to display my collection.' So I like to rotate my shell collection in this cupcake stand that I have and I actually keep this in my bedroom. A place that you wouldn't expect to see something like that -- you would think to see it in the kitchen."

"If you are kind of girly like me, and you like collecting pretty earrings and brooches and pins this is a great way to keep everything together. The reason I like the cutlery stand is because the drawers are really narrow so it's a nice way to display the earrings, access them very easy and Ilike the fact that the inside of the cutlery stand is really kind of padded with a soft velvet, so I feel like that's keeping everything in nice condition as well," said John.

Have extra mouse pads lying around? Rina suggests keeping a few in the kitchen.

"You know a lot of people like to entertain, you've made a nice dinner and you've got lots of pots and pans with different food items," said John. "And you take it off the stove and you realize you don't have enough hot plates for everything. Well a perfect alternative is a mouse pad. They are sturdy, you can keep the hot water pan on the mouse pad, so I suggest not getting rid of it even if you just one desktop in your house, I would keep the extra mouse pads ready in a drawer in the kitchen."

And the best part, Rina says using "every day" items to decorate doesn't just add character to your home.

"Really in the long term that helps us save money because you are not having to go buy something new and you've got something completely unique in your home and a new use that someone comes and visits you may not have even thought of before," said John.

Other design tips from Rina:

1) Old lamps. I painted a lamp and changed its lampshade. Now it looks brand new.

2) Worn out knobs: I changed out the knobs on my dresser to glass vintage looking ones.

3) Dining chairs: Re-painted and reupholstered.

4) Chandelier. I picked up a $10 chandelier, painted it and added shimmery beads.

5) Art Niche: I use to walk right by this art niche, now it's a focal point in the room because of the Moroccan motif I painted.

6) Picture frames. Paint them to give them new life and get pictures out of the albums. Wallpaper, family mementos and fabric can all be framed to liven up any wall.

7) Nightstand. I painted an old nightstand and turned it into an entryway furniture piece that hides my many shoes!

Rina Chandarana John
Glam at Home

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