Decorating ideas with a twist

Ingenuity at work.  Every day, people who have nothing bring beauty into their lives.

I just got back from spending almost a month in South Africa, the country of my birth.  A country that is filled with incredible beauty and so much poverty. Yet everywhere you look there are decorating ideas.

Many people have no jobs, no education and have a hard time earning a living. Most of them know how to use their hands to fashion bits of junk into art. Desirable treasures for those of us who cannot make things or don’t have the time. Talented people make beauty out of our discards and we buy it back.  Ironic but also wonderful.

Fascinating to think that people can translate anything, soda caps, plastic lids, tin can labels into home decorating ideas, like the door curtain below and functional objects that are in themselves works of art.

Using what you have takes on a new meaning with this "cap" door curtain

There is a lesson in this.

I believe that most people worry too much about not having enough of the right thing in their homes. Buying things that are functional and ugly.

Settling for good enough even though the items don’t meet your aesthetic needs.

Holding onto things because you don’t know how to decorate your homes to please yourself in your budget .

Waiting for someday until think you can afford it.

We get wrapped up in the name brand game, convinced that if its a name we have heard of, it has to be good. Somebody had given it a stamp of approval.

Sometimes our basics are ugly, and we cant change them. What we can change is our attitude, our room design and how we perceive the rooms we live in.  When it is all beige it may be safe, but it is so bland. So boring.

What adds character and personality is adding pieces that connect us to our history, our families, and our passions.

Find a little piece of what you love and bring it into the room.  Add some color, a fabulous rug or one of those magical pieces that some clever soul fashioned out of flotsam of life..

Soda bags and baseball cap and match box label bowls.

Embrace the what of who you are, today.  What do you think?  Is there something that needs shifting in your space, that will connect you to what you own and hold dear?  Would you like to feel really good about where you live right now?

Comment below and share how your space makes you feel, daily.

If you want help turning what you have into a space to joyfully come home to, call me, Jennifer Duchene I would love to help.

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About Jen

Jen Duchene Astro-Numerologist, Akashic Soul Reader, Speaker, Author. Facilitating Akashic Readings and Healing plus individual and business Astro-numerology, combining transformative wisdom with sacred soulfulness to guide clients back to their authentic self.


Decorating ideas with a twist — 17 Comments

  1. When I saw you had written another blog, I had to take the time to read it! I love the photos you share and your ideas about design and transforming our living spaces to be what we love. I am definitely going to share this with my daughter…you and she have kindred spirits when it comes to color and art and designing living spaces…I think she would make an awesome interior decorator; she says she would have a hard time doing it for other people unless they let her have free reign and do it as she wanted, which probably would not happen very often! Anyway, so good to have you back!

    • Dear Donna, you inspire me daily with your kindness. Thanks for sharing with your daughter. I love know I have a kindred spirit in her. One day I hope she does embrace what she has a passion for. I think if she owns her talent and knows how to connect and be who she is with her ideal clients, she will indeed be given free reign to do what she wants!

  2. I’m so happy you are back!! We’ve missed you.

    Love this post. We have treasures all around us, if we know how to use them. I love the ingenious use of bottle caps & other throw-away stuff in designing the toys — very cool.

    I do my best to be appreciative of what I have (or lack of what I have — doesn’t matter!)

    Someday I’d love to visit South Africa. Have been to the northern part of the continent, but never down there — someday 🙂

    Heidi & Atticus
    “commentary to give you paws…”

    • Dear Heidi & Atty, I am thrilled to be back. Thanks for the lovely welcome. Love your attitude. Sometimes having “a lack” is a wonderful thing. More space to breathe. Down there sounds funny but I think you would fall in love with the beauty of South Africa, just like I do, every time I go back.

  3. I love this post. My space makes me peaceful and happy. I surround myself with things that have meaning because I’ve collected them at different times in my life. I love things with history, especially things connected to my history, my family.

    Devoted to finding all things delicious.

  4. I love the brightness and beauty of the art made from our discards. It really gives me something to think about. I recently did some redecorating and actually eliminated some things that had no meaning and moved some things into a place where I can see it. As I look to my right I see two painting my mother purchased when she was first married on lay-away without my father’s knowledge or approval because she loved them so much. They always hung in her living room. I would never buy them myself but when I look at them, they make me smile and feel warm inside with the memory of that young woman (only 20) who wanted them so badly and loved them her entire life. I love them too and the memory they evoke. Across from me are three art objects on my wall I love. Everywhere I look in my office there is something I love or has meaning to me. It is my space through and through.

    Susan Berland
    A Picture’s Worth

  5. I love this. I hate my house (notice I don’t call it “home”). Yes, there are some architectural points that I can’t control, but after walking through several new models in our area, I realize that I could love it so much more if we turned it into our home. We have very few pictures hanging, we haven’t painted anything, and the only “real” furniture in the house are my daughter’s dressers, the beautiful coffee tables from my sis, and our new couch. Everything else is mismatched, random stuff from college or that MIL picked up at a garage sale, etc. Our living/dining room… every single piece of furniture is a different color wood… and most not dark wood 🙁 We’ve been waiting for hubby to graduate to re-decorate, since an income is usually a good idea. We did spring for the new couch, and it’s already made such a huge difference. I’m just so indecisive. We finally ran power and hung a fan/light in my daughter’s room. Now it’s up to me to pick the colors… and I still can’t. Love seeing all of your before/afters.

  6. You remind me of my grandson. He’s a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia and he was telling us how they make balls out a bunch of rubber bands or anything that they can shape into a ball and then cover them with rubber bands. I’d love to visit Africa. I’m starting to look at things in my home and wanting to start giving them away or selling them. I gave some beautiful things to my granddaughter when she got married that I wasn’t using. Time to clear some space.

    Julieanne Case
    Always from the heart!
    Reconnecting you to your essence, joy, vitality, youth.| Healing you from the Inside Out |Reconnective Healing | AgeLoc Skin Care | Pharmanex Supplements

  7. Great post Jen! Love the idea of using what you have, and hate that most people wait….and put off making a house a home…of which I was guilty of when I first got married…for reasons I won’t even go into here, lol! However, after kids, it all changed for me, with the help of a good friend who has interior design flair, and time on her hands…lol! It changed my house and my feelings about it so much….I love my home, wish I could move and take it with me…hehehe! However, seeing your post has put a bug in my ear to maybe make some changes, around the kids rooms, using what we have, what they’ve made, and the rest…I want my kids to enjoy their space too! I want it to be fun, invitiing, and to look nice…..a place you love to be:) Thanks for always finding new ways to inspire me…you rock!

    Rita Brennan Freay

  8. I love all those bright colors! My husband has a hard time understanding the bits of things I hold on to and must have in my decor – the old spinning wheel, the ceramics my grandma made, the popsicle stick lamp my great-grandma made – I feel at home when surrounded by these items that connect me to my past.

  9. Great post Jen! Well you know full well I like recycling, yard sale bargains and the quirky and yes, I actually do love where we live. I have never worried about ‘perfection’ in a home, everything too matchy, matchy.I love to bright colors of the things you saw in Africa – such fun!
    Louise Edington
    Breaking Through Online Frontiers

  10. Thanks Jennifer,
    I appreciate your inspiration to express myself through the way I choose decorate my home. I call my style “gypsy decorating technologies” because I like to make vision boards and hang different art projects around my home and studio. I love to create sacred spaces, altars etc for meditation, yoga or writing.
    I love the story about the creative expression coming through in recycled art from Africa, very inspiring!
    Blessings of health,
    chris arcucci
    Who says a woman can’t cultivate her super powers in a dress?!

  11. Hi Jen,
    What a wonderful post! Your thoughts are so liberating and refreshing. I’ve always loved creating things with my hands, and fitting out my home with those things that I’ve made. Of me. Applies to presents I give, as well. A lot like the beautiful hand-made articles you describe. There’s something precious about something crafted by hand.

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