Who knew a bed sheet could double as a tablecloth or a kitchen towel could become a statement piece of art? It's true! Take a fresh look at the everyday items in your house and discover wonderful new ways to up-cycle homewares and furniture to redesign your favorite spaces.
Bed to Table
Forget expensive tablecloths and napkins. Try hurling a pre-washed pure linen bedsheet over your table. You'll be amazed how good it can look, and you can wash and iron it yourself (no expensive dry-cleaning required).
Bed sheets make good napkins, too, although you (or a dressmaker) will have to take to them with a pair of scissors. They should measure at least 20 inches square, nothing less, and be folded simply. Always choose pure cotton or linen — no composites or polyesters, please; you don't want guests getting an electric shock when they dab their lips. Seek out colors that contrast or coordinate with your tablecloth.
Tablecloths to Curtains
An easy way to add freshness to a room is to replace old curtains with new ones. Before you start a frantic search online for fabric suppliers, scan the contents of your linen cupboard. Many of our most beautiful tablecloths rarely see the light of day, and these cotton and linen lovelies make fantastic curtains. It will be like putting your windows in pretty frocks. Oh, and there's no need to sew on a curtain-rod pocket: simply attach curtain rings with clips to the top of each panel for a professional look without any hassle.
Touch of Glass
Don't underestimate the power of simplicity: sometimes a single flower in a classic glass can say it all. Anything from a glass jar to a jug, mug, tumbler, carafe, pitcher, open bowl, goblet, or teapot makes a good vessel for flowers (now you know what to do with that pot with the dribbly spout). Try two or three arrangements in a small space and watch their style value double.
Flowers should be roughly one-and-a-half times the height of their vessel if the arrangement is tall and one-and-a-half times the width if it is low. Using an uneven number of blooms gives the best result: think a single stem or a few tendrils of greenery. Popped on a desk or side table, an arrangement of something natural, however humble, sends a message that you care about where you live.
A Classic Library
If your bookshelves are overflowing, an armoire makes an ideal library. Solve the book storage problem by stowing lanky volumes on their side, spines out and stacked attractively in the wide shelves. Cupboards of all descriptions invite books with their thick ledges. Use the different shelves to get your books in shape, by breaking them up with collections that relate to the volumes. A vase, decorative bust, or trailing indoor plant is the perfect finishing touch.
Framed linen tea towels are an inspired way to add personality to a blank wall. The best designs feature bold patterns or a single, eye-catching graphic image. For an on-trend touch, look for botanical and landscape themes featuring flowers, shells, butterflies, trees, blossoms, animals and birds. Iron them flat, stretch over a backing board and frame in pale or dark classic wooden mouldings. A single tea towel is usually large enough to hold its own, or group one together with smaller artworks to create an instant gallery.
Nothing anchors a bedroom like a bedhead — but you needn't invest in a custom-made design or new bed to get the benefit. Think outside the box and hang a large round rug on the wall instead. Choose one with texture, in a natural hue that will work in with your color scheme and bed linen. Unlike square or rectangular rugs, the curved shape here creates a feeling of space and air in the room.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.