How to Re-style With What You Already Have
When old becomes new
During this time of social distancing, staying home, and re-evaluating life as we know it, everyone seems to be taking on new projects, moving their furniture around, and looking for ways to create more enjoyable living spaces. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen everything from knocking down walls to re-styling shelves, and we’re here for it all.
However, we’re of the mind that transformations don’t always need to be drastic. Sometimes all it takes is a plant here, a plant there, and a few re-arranged pillows to create a different feeling in a space.
When it comes to the details, our stylists are experts at creating something out of nothing.
If we get to a photo shoot location and realize the decor that was supposed to be there isn’t, they have to improvise. And often, those spontaneous moments of creativity make for the best result.
Lately, we’ve been thinking about ways to improvise in our own homes by re-purposing our things to bring in new elements as the shifts in our lives unfold.
Here are some of our stylist’s tips for re-styling what you already have:
Start from scratch
Whether we’re styling a built-in or a whole kitchen, the first thing we do is wipe the slate clean.
“It’s always easier to start over than it is to make little tweaks. Clearing everything out allows you to see the space in a new light.” – Kristine Metcalf, stylist
Take it one area at a time, or even one vignette at a time, allowing yourself to see each space as a blank canvas with endless possibility. You might be surprised by what you discover.
Re-purpose with intention
Once you’ve cleared the space, it’s much easier to see your things in a new light and layer them back in with intention.
If you’re re-styling a built-in or shelf, take time to notice the books you may have disregarded. Consider replacing them somewhere else where you can see them again, removing covers to see if what’s underneath or simply stacking them below an item that could use some more height.
When it comes to textiles, there are so many ways to re-style. Try removing all of the pillows in your home, bringing them together, and re-building combinations in new ways. Even just taking a throw that you’ve had in another room and styling it somewhere else allows you to see it differently.
“Recently, I tried making my bed in a new way, and the whole room feels refreshed. Working with the same materials, I just stripped everything off of it and started over to find a new way I ended up liking so much better.” – Kristine Metcalf, stylist
If you’re re-hanging art, try taking everything off of the walls and start finding new ways to place your favorite pieces to bring a different element to the space. Even re-styling a plant to give it more room to breathe can create a refreshed moment.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what comes of it. If all else fails, you can always work backward.
The best part of clearing or organizing your things is re-discovering treasures you may have forgotten about or tucked away. Maybe it’s a keepsake from a trip that you can re-purpose as an object on a bookshelf, or maybe it’s a pretty bowl you find in a kitchen cabinet that could be styled on a console table or dining table.
“I found this obscure little pot I made in a pottery class and styled it to bring in a new element. Even though it’s imperfect, it tells a story for me that makes it meaningful and beautiful. Sometimes the things we love are a little funny looking, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be displayed!” – Kristine Metcalf, stylist
Finding treasures doesn’t just happen in our homes, but in our backyards as well! Our team loves foraging for interesting branches to bring the outdoors in and create a new element.
“I’ve been walking outside with clippers to find budding spring branches, and having them in my home reminds me of the life outside and creates a refreshed feeling.” – Kristine Metcalf, stylist
As the weather warms and the seasons shift, getting outside can allow us to find inspiration in the layered, everchanging flow of nature. Much like our homes, the living, cyclical process of the earth resembles how we re-style, re-discover, and re-purpose our things to create more joy.
If there was an unspoken truth about styling, it might be that it isn’t really about what you have, but what you do with it. So get out there, take things down, hang things up, and always remember to step back and see each vignette and moment as a whole, juxtaposed expression of living.