20 Unconventional & Money-Saving Redecorating Tips

by Jamie Simmerman · 6 comments

Woman painting furniture

With the growing popularity of Pinterest and shabby-chic decorating, consumers are finding out that unconventional decorating is fun and money-saving. Pottery Barn is a big source of inspiration for recycling old worktables and mason jars into useful parts of your home. An old wine bottle collection can become your new chandelier, or an antique baby bed can serve as a desk for your toddler.

When it comes to unconventional decor, the best approach is to start with what you can find and use your creativity to craft something useful. Estate sales, flea markets, and yard sales are great sources of fodder for your redecorating project. And if you have the ability to sandblast or weld your treasures, you can also shop around at the local junkyard.

20 Ideas for Unconventional Redecorating

  1. Turn an old ladder (even with a few broken rungs) into a clothes rack.
  2. Use old doors as bookshelves and free-standing bookcases.
  3. Make LED Christmas rope lights into inexpensive task lighting.
  4. Use old factory windows as shower room walls.
  5. Frame an old mirror over a small bookcase front to make a medicine cabinet.
  6. Use repainted shelf brackets as window treatments.
  7. Use stair risers holding a tiered tub for an indoor growing area.
  8. Re-purpose hanging shoe organizers for small pantry items or spices.
  9. Use an old picket fence as a wall treatment or a headboard.
  10. Turn an industrial work table into a stainless kitchen countertop or freestanding island.
  11. Use church pews as diner-style seating or mud room benches.
  12. Remove drawers from an old dresser, repaint, and insert fabric bins for office supply storage.
  13. Mount wooden crates on the wall to create instant-open cupboards.
  14. Mount tractor seats on bar stool frames and paint the entire creation for innovative seating options.
  15. Nail a picture frame to the front of a wooden box to create book boxes for mounting on the wall.
  16. Recycle plumbing pipes and reclaimed lumber to make inexpensive storage racks and counters.
  17. Use old weathered shutters as rustic wall coverings.
  18. Make sliding doors out of barn wood to save space when traditional doors make walkways tight.
  19. Stain 12 x 12 plywood squares to use as flooring.
  20. Create an interior wall or room divider with old glass windows mounted together.

My next redecorating project involves making a barn-wood bookcase in between the exposed wall beams of my old farmhouse (complete with square nails!).

What are your favorite shabby-chic redecorating projects?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rohit @ The Money Mail February 21, 2013 at 5:26 am

I always tale a look at Houzz to see if I can find good inspiration before making any changes to the house. Just reorganizing the stuff you have in your house is the cheapest way to redecorate and it changes the look and feel tremendously

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Dona Collins February 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I’ve used a couple of these (like the shoe organizers for other household goods) and got a couple of other new ideas from this list (like creating the bathroom mirror/cabinet). Great for saving money and creating your own pieces. That’s frugal and something to be proud of!

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KM February 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I get rid of clutter so I don’t need more furniture to house it.

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Jim February 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

I’ve got a room that i’ve redecorated from scrap, it’s kind of followed on from an art project at school but making a curtain rail out of scrap is tough but the finished product is really awesome!

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JPeter February 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Wonderful redecorating ideas with scrap. I have broken ladder in my house and it was just like a clutter, now I can use it as clothes rack.

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@pfinMario March 8, 2013 at 8:08 am

This is great! Doing it yourself is truly the way to go. Not only is it less expensive, doing it yourself is more fun and you’re left with a great story to tell when people compliment you on your decorations.

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