Month: February 2016

How to Decorate with What You Own {Even If It Doesn’t Really Work}

I think it’s safe to say that we all have something in our homes that we love and cherish but it just doesn’t really work…I’m talking about decor items, people, not husbands!  {I kid}  But in all seriousness, it’s not realistic to think that everything we own is going to be right for our homes, but often, sentimental attachment or finances mean that we use it anyway, even if it isn’t perfect.  For example, family heirlooms that have been handed down, or items hand-crafted by a loved one, or even gifts we’ve received from someone special.  These are all examples of things that we use in our homes every day, even if they don’t work with our decorating style.  So how can you decorate with what you own and make it work, even if it really doesn’t?  Here’s how.




Too Small?  Make it Bigger

My husband bought this clock for me on my birthday shortly after we were married.  I L-O-V-E this clock.



I love using the clock above the fireplace in our family room because this is the clock we actually use for everything!  I look to see if it’s time for school or time to pick up, and the kids check it for their bedtime every night.  The problem is that the color blends in with the wall and it’s too small for the space.  It was perfect in our old house, but it never really worked in this house.

Over the years, I’ve tried all sort of things for decorating around it, but because the color blended with the wall, anything I put on the sides or even on top of the mantel detracted from it.  So last week, I decided to change the color and make it bigger!



Okay, as you can see, I didn’t actually change the clock itself but rather, make a larger backdrop for the clock to sit on, giving it the appearance of being bigger than it is.  It’s just plywood cut in a circle and painted black and dry brushed with vintage white.  I might change it again, but for now, I’m happy with this easy and inexpensive update!

To make a small item bigger or more impactful, you can also frame it…



Have a sofa that’s too small for your space?  Try adding matching side tables on either side to visually extend it and make it appear longer.  If you can’t actually make an item bigger, think about ways you can give the illusion that it’s bigger!


No Use for It?  Repurpose it

It’s not necessary to use items in the manner they were intended if you’ll get more use out of it as something else.  The goal is to incorporate our meaningful items into our home in a manner in which we’ll appreciate them…so it doesn’t really matter how you use them.

For example, how often do I need a silver champagne bucket in my daily life?  Never.  But as a utensil holder, I use it every day!

TIDBITS & TWINE - Champagne Bucket Utensil Holder v2 REV


This dresser?  It was love at first sight but I had no use for a dresser in my home.



I did, however, need a bathroom vanity.

A guest bathroom transformation: from builder-grade to beautiful! Beadboard ceiling, wallpaper, sconces, marble floors, and a vanity converted from a vintage dresser!


Wrong Color? Paint it

Yes, I know how controversial painting furniture is, especially if it’s high-quality wood, but my opinion is that you should love everything in your home and if you don’t love the current color, change it to something that you will love!  Sometimes, just a simple color change can make a dramatic difference and change something from okay to outstanding!


Guest Room Antique 8 Tidbits&Twine


This gorgeous piece was a Craigslist find but I didn’t want yellow and gold in my guest bedroom and I didn’t have any other furniture that would coordinate with this color.




A coat of black paint made this piece a much more dramatic statement and by painting the nearby headboards black as well, I was able to give the room a coordinating look!


Wrong Style? Embellish it

Swapping out decor every time we change our styles or preferences just isn’t financially feasible for most, so if painting it isn’t possible, try embellishing it! You can add ribbon or trim to pillows, curtains and other textiles to change the look.  You can also decorate backs of chairs, add textured fabric to pictures, change up knobs on furniture pieces, or even add a touch of crystal to a chandelier.




If something isn’t working in your home but you want to keep it, give some thought as to how you can change it or add to it to make it work better in your space.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing the location of the object, but if that alone isn’t enough, consider making it bigger, changing the color, repurposing it, or embellishing it.  All of these things will change the appearance but keep the sentimentality so that your home continues to be filled with things you love. There’s no need to get rid of things you love if with just a little tweak, you can make them work for you…even if they don’t. ;)


Tidbits&Twine - Signature





Working on So Much Yet Accomplishing So Little

You might have noticed that I’ve been a bit quieter than usual lately and that is because I have SO MANY PROJECTS all going on at once.  I really don’t recommend this approach because despite the fact that I’m working on so much, I’m accomplishing nothing.  Today is just a quick check-in to let you know what’s been going on around the house.

First, the biggest thing and the one that has impacted our family the most was the recent loss of our beloved cat, Kitty la Belle.  She was a stray kitten that adopted us almost 14 years ago and was my son’s lovey and companion.



It’s been almost a month since she passed away and the house felt so quiet without her, so last week, we adopted a new kitten we’ve named Isabella {Izzie for short}.  I would share a picture of her with you but she doesn’t hold still long enough to photograph!  There’s a reason we’ve nicknamed her Busy Izzie….  My goal for the last week has been trying to train her to leave the finches alone but it’s a work-in-progress, so mostly, I have to follow her around and keep and eye on her.  Plus, we’ve discovered that she loves to claw fabric.  She has good taste, though, as she really only has an affinity for Restoration Hardware linen, so as you can imagine, my living room looks like a playroom to her!  {BTW, I’ve managed to kill that amazing tree I had in the corner.  So sad!}



As for decorating projects, we’re preparing our home for flooring and baseboards.  You can see what I’ve chosen for flooring {HERE}.  I’ve also narrowed my baseboard choices down to these two options – a 6″ on the left and a 7.25″ on the right.  {Please excuse the dark iPhone picture.}

Baseboard Choices February


In preparation for the floors, we’ve had to clean and clear the entire garage to make space to store our furniture!  We’ve spent every hour of the last three weekends cleaning, donating, and selling things we no longer need or use.  We’re not done yet but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  In an effort to be more organized, we purchased some garage shelving off of Craigslist from a local business that is closing.  One of the sets of shelves will be for me to store my off-season decor and I am thrilled to have a space for it!  Who knew a garage rack could make me so happy?!

In addition to the shelves, we have a handyman coming this week to build us additional storage in our rafters, which Hubby is really excited about.  He’s also going to be putting in a cat door for us, working on a project in the laundry room and doing some shelving in my son’s room.  I think I can keep him busy for a very long time!

I’m also working on a project that involves this sad little dresser.


My parents bought this dresser over 40 years ago to use in my older brother’s nursery.  It was then in my room as a baby and painted a soft shade of yellow.  My mom gave it to me when I first got married and I quickly ruined it with a bad paint job and “updated” the hardware with raffia {that was back when I used raffia for anything and everything….in fact, I could probably do an entire post dedicated to 101 Uses for Raffia!}.

Well, this little dresser is getting quite the makeover that I’m excited to share with you in a couple of weeks.


And last but not least, I’m working on a project about making things work in decorating when they really don’t.  I’m sure we all have an item that we’re hanging onto and want to use in our decor but it just doesn’t “work” with our decor, or layout, or style.  This is an issue that I’ve been having for years and I’m finally tackling it!  Once it’s ready, I’ll share it with you and address other ideas for decorating with what you already own and making it “work” in the space you’ve got!

I’ll give you a hint, though…it involves this room.




And one more project that I know I need to tackle but haven’t yet started, is painting my dining room hutch.  I’ve never loved the color but it coordinated well with my ’80s floors so I left it as-is.  Now that my floors are being updated, though, the hutch will look very out of place!

TIDBITS&TWINE French Christmas Dining Room in Blue and White


What color do you think I should paint it?  Let me know in the Comments below!



So that’s it for now!  If you don’t hear from me for a little while, just know that I’m working on lots of makeovers and I can’t wait to share them with you!


Tidbits&Twine - Signature