Time to get creative!

bedroom in St Helena, California home

Thomas J. Story

Upgrading your home can sound a bit, well, spendy. But you don’t need to break the bank to create a new, on-trend look in any room. All you need to do is a little shopping—without leaving the house.

We turned to interior designer Julie Hovnanian of Hovie Interiors to discuss the concept of “shopping your home.” The idea is to freshen up your home without spending a lot on new furniture pieces or artwork. Instead, you can discover a lot of potential artwork and other decor that are already in your possession. 

Here are Hovnanian’s go-tos when it comes to “zhuzhing” up your home.

Blanket Over Headboard
A blanket over the headboard is a good layering trick.

Blake Bakkila

1. Use Existing Textiles in a New Way

More Videos From Sunset

You likely have quilts or throw blankets that you aren’t using—until now. “If you have a plain headboard, throw it over the back of it to add some interest in your bedroom,” says Hovnanian. This simple trick will bring a potential conversation-starter and extra dimension to your space.

2. Find a New Purpose for Antiques

The special pieces passed down from loved ones can serve as both functional and artistic items for your home. “Let’s say you have some silver pieces from your grandmother,” says Hovnanian. “Instead of using them for what they’re supposed to be for, put them in your bathroom and use them to put Q-tips or other bath accessories.” Hovnanian also adds that you can put other antiques or memorabilia—think your grandmother’s vintage swimsuit or your grandfather’s football jersey—in a plexiglass display that you hang up as an art piece in your home. You can also take old books, remove the dust covers, and place a few on a coffee table or up on a shelf.

Vintage Bathing Suit
A vintage swimsuit becomes art.

Blake Bakkila

3. Put Your Interests on Display

Record album covers, or even three-dimensional objects like guitars, can get mounted on the wall. “Instead of having it in a drawer somewhere, bring it out and use it as a decorating piece,” says Hovnanian. You can also do this by placing a special outfit in a shadow box.

4. Try a Little DIY

“I know a couple people who have button collections with all of these unique buttons, and they’re just in a bag some place or in a jar,” says Hovnanian. “Then they take them, mount them all on a board, and frame it.”

Silver Pieces and Flowers
An antique dish becomes a bathroom trinket, while flowers are brought in from the garden.

Blake Bakkila

5. Bring the Outside In

People with a green thumb don’t need to keep their plant babies in the garden. You can gather a few vases (“Everything is better in groupings!” says Hovnanian), place them on a tray, and fill them with your fresh blooms.

Suitcases as End Table
Vintage suitcases are used as a table.

Blake Bakkila

6. Move Your Favorite Decor Pieces from One Room to Another

“This is something I do in my home, because sometimes you’re tired of looking at the same thing,” says Hovnanian, explaining how moving objects around can make a significant impact. For instance, swapping the pillows you have in your bedroom with the ones in your living room gives a fresh look in those two spaces.

Who knew that opening your cabinets and seeing what’s stashed in there could potentially style your house in a different way? Finding new uses for your old home goods is a cost-effective opportunity to get creative with your decor.