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DECORATING WITH RECYCLED ITEMS

The renting of a brand-new (to you, at least) residence calls for celebration. The first thing many renters want to do after unpacking their suitcases and cardboard boxes is to decorate the new abode so that it reflects their own personal style. While decorating your surroundings can be both exciting and fulfilling at any point in your residential career, the process may afford extra benefits for those who are renting, rather than purchasing, their apartment, townhouse, duplex, mobile home, or house. By decorating, the renter comes to more fully possess his or her immediate space -- a space that has temporarily belonged to the others and will belong to others again in the future.

As oftentimes new residents have recently paid application fees, a security deposit, and other moving expenses, there may at first appear to be a budgetary stumbling block when it comes to home decoration. A tight budget does not necessarily translate into dreary or altogether lacking decoration, however. In fact, some of the greatest enjoyment to be had in customizing your dwelling can come from hunting down exceptional deals like reducing utility bills, making your own new decorations out of existing materials, and arranging secondhand items in a way that makes them seem new. As a renter, you learn to leave your own personal stamp on a residence so that it feels like home; as a decorator sticking to a budget, you learn to flex your creativity muscles and give old items a second life.

Second Life for Used Items

A thorough inspection of your own belongings may reveal that you have everything (or nearly everything) you need for innovative home decoration. Many objects that people tend to have lying around somewhere or another can be creatively recast as decorative ingredients. One good category to check for decorative possibilities comprises items that may still be stacked or scattered across your living room floor: moving supplies. If you moved some of your things in slatted wooden crates, you may be able to creatively stack these crates for an asymmetrical, rustic-looking bookcase. Some creative decorators go as far as constructing sizable pieces of furniture out of already owned objects. Take a sweeping look through your recent moving supplies, along with items usually relegated to storage, to see what can be converted into the mortar and bricks of new decorative constructions.

Once you have tapped already owned supplies, you could branch out into secondhand stores, thrift shops, and yard sales. These places are often treasure chests of decorative material. While many of the furniture items and decorative pieces you find secondhand show considerable wear and tear, sprucing them up can be simple and inexpensive. If you find a chair you like but the seat cushion is faded or stained, buying or making a slipcover can be an easy solution.

When you have determined to decorate with recycled items, finding full matching sets of anything can prove difficult. For this reason, you might find it useful to establish your theme for any room based on color and similar patterns. In this way, you can keep the rooms within your abode looking cohesive and pleasant, while still granting yourself the elbow room needed to incorporate various used items. After you determine that a certain room will be primarily blue and yellow, for instance, you can spend an entire day shopping around through thrift stores, garage sales, and other common venues of secondhand goods for the best items that fit the bill. By decorating with recycled items, you not only save monetarily, you also have fun and get to express your creative side.

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