in a while I get inspired for a new decorating idea or tip and I'd like to pass
them onto you. We all are inspired by something or someone and it's fun to share
with each other. I hope you enjoy some of these ideas as much as I did. This
will be a page that I add to over time. It's just a matter of taking the
A short while ago a friend of
mine in Florida gave me a brilliant idea for how to display treasures that might
otherwise be packed away in a drawer or someplace else. You take an old
suitcase, preferably a small one, or an old traveling hat box, and arrange
things inside of it, leaving the lid open, in order to display various things.
only took the making of my first 'suitcase display' in order to get those wheels
moving in my mind for other ideas. Here are some 'before' pictures of a
traveling hat box that I have had for years. I bought it at the Salvation Army
for $2.00...and it's in 'mint' condition. It's been sitting up on a shelf in my
bedroom for a long time, and now it's set up and displayed so it can be
you can see from the photos above, I used a variety of things to use as display.
I have some cards that came from my husband, wrapped in blue ribbon....some old
jewelry, a journal (with the Marilyn Monroe face), some slips and bras, make up,
special little cases, and just other little things that have special meaning to
This gave me the
idea to re-create a suitcase from my teen years. In 1972 I went to Europe.....to
Switzerland and areas of France, including Paris. So, I wanted to create a display case that
looked as though I had just returned from Europe. I still have my pictures and
passport and postcards, things of that nature.
didn't have an old camera, one like the one I took with me back then, so my
husband went to the Salvation Army and found a camera exactly like the one I
used to have ....and it only cost $1.00.
the idea, to me, isn't so much as having the original things that I had all
those years ago, but a 'representation' of those things. Just the sort of things
that will evoke memories.
I began to think of other 'suitcase displays'.....like one from our honeymoon,
or other important or fun times in my life.
I took it a step farther. I went to eBay in
search of an old Steamer Trunk. I've wanted one for as long as I can remember,
and I figured that I could get one and each drawer in it could contain the
contents of different times of my life.
found the perfect Steamer Trunk.....the auction ended with me as the highest
bidder.........I bought that trunk for only $46.00, plus the $29.00 to ship it.
That is an incredible bargain.
arrived in excellent condition...I couldn't have been happier. Since re-building
my website I've not had the time to fix the trunk up the way I want it to look,
but I'll do that eventually and then post the pictures here.
another idea I had was to set up a doll trunk with favorite toys of my
childhood. They won't be my own originals, but they will be 'representation' of
what I used to have......like Lincoln
Logs, Tinker Toys,
Barbie, Lisa Littlechap
dolls (which I've already found and purchased through eBay),
It's fun to go
back and see the toys that bring the fondest memories. I also want to do one of
the drawers in the Steamer Trunk on my teen years, like with old Teen Beat Magazines and
Partridge Family trading cards......old school papers and year books that I
still have.....letters, records, pictures, things of that nature.
This is a
really fun project to do. And if you're looking for a special gift to do for a
family member, this is a really nice idea.....even if you just remember some of
what someone had in their youth and you buy or find the 'representation', the memories it evokes is the
key. Just try shopping around on eBay, you'd
be surprised what you can find.
An idea my ex-husband and I had a few
years ago is to build our own deck stools and accent tables, using logs and
branches. The thing I like about it is that if they are outside and exposed to
the elements, which eventually leads to their demise, you can always make
variation to these stools, and one that will allow them to last much longer, is
to paint them. I took one of these stools and wrapped twine around the legs and
then painted the entire thing with white paint. I keep it in my bedroom as an
accent table and it looks great.
About 24 years ago I
found an old 2 x 4 built shelving unit in the garbage behind a liquor store in
Aberdeen, Maryland. It was being thrown away and I wanted it.
many years I used it as storage space for odds and ends, or canned foods. I have
used it in many different rooms and in many different ways.
years ago my ex-husband and I got the idea of making 'sides' to this unit, as
well as doors, and that's
exactly what we did. The basic structure of the shelving unit was very sound,
and putting the sides and doors on it made it look like a huge cabinet. I
painted it the shade of green I liked and then distressed it. Then I hand
painted flowers down the front of the doors.
the time we finished with this cabinet, it looked very old. It stands in my
bedroom and I keep photo albums and odds and ends inside of the cabinet. I'll
have to look through my photo albums one day and see if I have a good 'before'
picture to show you.
Many years ago, or
so, I decided that I didn't want my king-size waterbed anymore. I had slept on
it for ten years and it had been a great bed, but as I get older, I want more
support for my back.
I had a very nice bed. It was huge, and my ex-husband had made a canopy top for it. I
wanted to buy a full size bed, but I also wanted a canopy.
ordered a nice cherry wood canopy bed and tried to decide what to do with my
waterbed. You can't get any money for them and the newspaper want-ads are always
full of people trying to sell their waterbeds. Also, my waterbed had an 8 drawer
pedestal around the base, and all those drawers were being used. What was I
going to do?
Then it came to
me......we stacked the pedestal drawers on top of each other to make two rows of
drawers. Then we took the sides of the water bed and cut them down to make a
'top' for the pedestal. Next we lifted that huge head-board up and placed it on
top of the drawer section......and voila!!....we now had a huge dresser. So, I
was able to keep all that nice drawer space, plus, I had a nice dresser in which
to display some things.
idea that I had sometime last year was to take a large storage jar and fill it
with sample products....extra toothbrushes, soaps, shampoos, just any of those
small sample sized products. Not only is it attractive, but it's a good way to
keep all of those small things in one place. Plus, it's good to have on hand if
you have company and they need any of those things.
about six months ago I got the idea to get another storage jar, a large one, and
fill it with special soaps that I love to collect. Again, it's a nice way to
display your special soaps, without them becoming dusty.
jars were brought into the kitchen to photograph.
Decorating Tips And Ideas'
following are some ideas I've gotten from different places, like magazines and
TV shows. Also, I recently raised a page on lots of household tips and ideas
that I've collected for many years. Click here
to see that page. I also have a printer-friendly version, so you can print out a
copy of the ideas.
pictures of the slate-top countertop that my ex-husband installed, go to The
Catt House page. We also have pictures of a kitchen 'island' we built from
an old work bench on that same page.
Shaving cream can be used to clean
Use a 'walnut meat' to help cover up
scratches on furniture.
If the drawers to a dresser are
sticking or 'hanging up' on the slide sections, rub some candle wax on it
and it will slide much easier.
To help remove candle wax from
carpeting and other areas, place a generous piece of paper over the wax and
then place a warm iron on the paper. Applying the heat, carefully, will
re-melt the wax and make it adhere to the paper.
If the pictures on your wall keep
slipping out of place, place a drop of 'glue gun' glue on the bottom corners
of the back of the frames and allow to dry. It will help hold your pictures
Use wicker cases and old stacked
luggage for extra storage space.
Use an old weathered window pane as a
mirror by replacing the clear glass with mirror. Hang on the wall, or prop
against a wall, for an interesting look.
Attach a quilt to the wall by using
Old cloth dishcloths make wonderful
'Country' curtains in the Kitchen or on odd windows.
Use a small wicker basket in your
refrigerator for small items.
Hat boxes make great bathroom storage.
If you have odd pieces of 'silver
plated' items, you can use them in your bathroom for brushes and combs, or
sit them on your vanity, to use for make up brushes.
Not all furniture in a room has to
match...mix it up and spread it throughout your house in different rooms.
For a textured wall, take different
sizes of torn strips from brown paper bags, glue them on a wall, and then
'milk paint' it. Makes for a great 'accent wall'.
Remodel your kitchen in 1950's style.
If you are using throw pillows stacked
on beds and chairs, put the floral pillows behind the solid color pillows.
Always make the pillows in the back point 'up'.
Take your favorite vacation pictures
and have them enlarged....frame them, and group them together.
For a nice display of photographs, keep
all of the frames the same...which will make the viewer focus on the
pictures, and not the frames.
For your dining area, take menus from
your favorite restaurants and frame them. Keep this in mind when you are
traveling and going to different restaurants.
Hang and display your pots and pans
around your kitchen window, instead of curtains.
If you have an out-of-the-way nook in
your home, use maps from everywhere as wallpaper.
Dig out your family treasures and
display them...playbills, ticket stubs from favorite movies and moments. Old
report cards? Hair clippings? Younger pictures of yourself? Favorite moments
in your life?
will post more pictures and ideas on this page soon!