Finally, we seem to be coming out of any apocalyptic summer season – from record temps, earthquakes, hurricanes and massive flooding to a Stinkbug infestation. I hope that all of you reading this blog survived safely, and that your interiors and exteriors were unscathed.

While cleaning up after one weather blast, and preparing for the next, I found myself taking a mental inventory (and picking stink bugs off) of our furnishings and surroundings. I felt a great appreciation for the quality, durability, and longevity of many of our belongings. We can’t control the weather or nature, but we can make educated choices for furniture, wall treatments-paint/paper, carpeting, hardwoods and fabrics that can withstand the wear and tear of real life.

I love the term “re-purpose” – taking something that has withstood the test of time and reviving it with new paint, fabric and TLC. Voila! A 25-year-old baby changing table turns into a bookcase, or a planter’s rack for outside gardening. Take a remnant of granite, marble or tile, and install on the top and see it transform into a swanky, urban wet bar.

That old fashioned, antique, metal milk can, after a little repurposing, makes a statement as an umbrella stand or a base for a table. I have created many wonderful items that came from one person’s junk and became another’s treasure.  With budget constraints, or weather destruction, the saying “necessity is the mother of invention“ really makes one appreciate articles that were originally created with quality workmanship and timeless designs.  They are gifts that keep on giving and liveup to it’s purpose of “Real Life Decorating.”

As you approach your next design/decorating project, keep in mind how important your fabric-couch-carpet-painting choice will be, and how to measure the quality of workmanship and durability with the value of its purpose.  It just might be the biggest and most lasting investment of your “real life decorating” scheme.

Post by Oakton Interior Decorator Jane Sams