Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

How to REdecorate with pieces you already own

We sold or got rid of a LOT of furniture, rugs, decor pieces, etc. last fall before we sold the Stanley 90's Reno and moved our stuff to storage. Some of it was older and we were getting tired of it, some of it we just didn't like that much, some of it we weren't sure would work in the new place. As I shared here, our plans have unfortunately changed and we're not moving into our dream house before the baby comes, but it looks like we'll be moving into a charming historic apartment building with nice wood floors, a fireplace, and lots of windows.

That will be short-term, we expect, as we keep house-hunting--so who knows what my perfect living room rug or dining table and chairs will be for our next house!! I'm planning not to buy much at all when we move into the apartment, so the wheels are churning for how to decorate it without spending any money, re-using the pieces we already have (possibly a mix from multiple rooms).

I think I've figured out a few tips for decorating a new space or re-decorating with what you already own, here they are below!

How to Decorate (or Redecorate) With Pieces You Already Have

Step 0.  Only keep the pieces you really love or can't replace.

This step is before you even start to decorate a new space. I think a lot of us clean out before we move (it is the worst to pack something you don't use later) and this step is key for setting yourself up in the new place! When I look back at photos of our house to , I see FIVE categories of things

  1. X's on items we didn't love and got rid of
  2. Heart emojis on pieces we were dang sure to keep
  3. Question marks on the things I might buy again (Like these dining chairs--see photos below. Killer deal. I didn't want to pack them, so I sold them with the table, but might buy them again and barely lose any money at all.)
  4. Hearts PLUS question marks on pieces I like but am not sure how to use in a new space
  5. Down arrows on pieces I kept (for function or cause I felt bad getting rid of them) but don't really love.

Try to reduce those last two categories.

Step 1.  Collect your options.

Look back at your category 2 (heart emjoi) items. Put them all together. Like, ALL of them. Combined bedroom pieces with living room and entryway pieces, just in case.

It will probably NOT look great just yet. Of course you can do this in person, but all of my versions of these pieces are in storage so I have to do it digitally!

(All products linked when available except this black/white tree art, big black/white woven pillow, and coffee table. Our actual green sofa [and midcentury legs, not pictured] are from Comfort Works, see more here.)

Oh, and, why yes, we do have this vintage look rug in two colors! I loooove it because of the unique texture and great price.

Step 2.  Combine pieces differently.

I'm so used to how our green slipcovered sofa looks with the jute rug we had before, it's hard to get my head around what else would work with it. So for this step, recruit a friend with fresh eyes, step back, try things you think will look bad, just to see it a new way!

Maybe bring in a few of the questionable/down-arrow items--you might like them more in a new context. Accents like pillows and plants are KEY to making it look cohesive, even if on their own they're not your favorite.

The good thing is, as long as you've been the one purchasing most of the items in your home, you probably have a bit of a cohesive style already. For example, almost everything of mine in the collage below is black, white, natural wood, or green.

Again, I did this digitally.

Step 3.  Implement and Distribute.

(I can't do this part until we get into the new apartment--but you will definitely see updates on Instagram!)

Half of this step is obvious; place the items you planned in each room. I've focused on our living room above, for example.

The other part of this step involves the leftovers. We'll have the blue version of this rug, two of these lamps, our old night stands, more pillows and throws, and more art we could use in other rooms.

Ideally, decorating my perfect bedroom, I'd purchase some new items... but no!! We're not buying anything new until we get the next house, so I'll get creative with the leftover items and come up with a look I might not have otherwise. (That may mean no headboard... sigh...)

I think the critical thing, and the reason I blog about this stuff and get so passionate about design and DIY, is, the goal is to be happy wherever you live. I've been decorating small apartments and houses on a budget (and blogging about it) for 8.5 years now. I know you don't have to have an extra several thousand dollars for a new sofa or other big statement piece every time you move, but it is SO worth the time to arrange and collect pieces that make you happy. Even if you only live somewhere for 6 months--how many hours is that spent in your home? Maybe 45 hours/week awake? That's almost 1,200 hours. It might take you 2 hours to hang art (on Command strips so you don't make holes) or 10 mins to switch rugs around.

Hope this helps you re-arrange or move into a new space feeling good!!

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