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What's your rePurpose? The GREAT great room

Decorating can be daunting to some. The thoughts of time, money and what’s-my-style can be overwhelming. Not to mention…where the heck do I start?

Think back to the days when you picked a few dandelions in the yard for your mom which she happily accepted and popped into a vase. The vase wasn’t even a vase, it was a jar, and for a handful of days the little yellow flowers became the focal point of the room. Simple and emotional. Emotional because the dandelions were a symbol of love. Simple because mom grabbed an old mason jar she had for years and turned it into an instant decoration.

These two words can begin your decorating journey, as it all starts with what you already have.

Simple. Now look around for those staple pieces…flower pots, frames, baskets, items with structure. I guess in the world of fashion this would constitute the good blazer, white shirt and pair of jeans. Now this is where I have always struggled….why pay more for one good blazer when I can have 10 sub-par shirts? Ahhhh, and this is why we have tag sales, flea markets and consignments shops! There are folks out there who will not venture to these places and we like those people because that leaves more for us. Wink Wink.

Emotional. What do you already love in your house? Is it your grandmother’s Victrola stuck lifeless in the corner? Perhaps it’s the one and only painting you ever purchased from a craft fair? Back to the world of fashion, this would refer to YOU. Determine what it is that makes you happy and make it your focal point.

So now to bring the Simple and Emotional together.

Emotional: This trunk has been the focal point of our great room for years. I found it at a tag sale in Manchester, CT and felt a little guilty about the $50 I spent on it, but for how much we use it on a daily basis made it well worth the spend. We pound on it with plates, drinks and remote controls. It dawned on me that I don’t even know what is inside of it. It’s been locked shut for as long as I can remember, not sure if it ever opened? Nonetheless, a time capsule for someone down the road. It’s been one of my coolest tag sales finds which continues to take a beating, serve us well and look so rustic good in the process. We have a similar trunk available at Over AndOver, which I was drawn to for the same reasons….big, sturdy and flat! It has the owner’s name on it in yellow (Glenn Wilson, NYC) which doesn’t appear to have faded much over time. I did a few searches on the trunk, and what popped up were many old train schedules. Perhaps a traveling suitcase at one time!

Simple: So now onto the room accents. Before my husband and I first got together, he had spent some time living in Washington State among his grandparents, aunts and uncles…as his mom grew up there but over time found her way to the east coast. He discovered Northwest Indian Art, a look I couldn’t quite warm up to. But he had acquired so much of it at a young age, in beautiful frames no less; that I had to find a way to embrace it. So after a few more trips to Washington together I learned that this art was so much more than bold strokes and odd looking faces, it was about earth and animal symbolism and with that I was sold.

In attempt to balance the room with some feminine air, I added in some of my flower art created on a large wood slab. Many years ago I started “painting” with tissue paper. I am not a painter by any stretch, and that is why I discovered tissue paper, it is very forgiving and easy to acquire. Recycled from numerous gift bags collected over the years from baby showers to birthdays and beyond. Yes, I think this should be a class at Over AndOver! Stay tuned.

My other favorite items in this room besides Finley the pup and my Couture Flowers Magazine, are the metal pig and sailboats up high. Found the pig at the dump and sailboats at the flea market. This room use to be the garage, so has lots of height that they fill up quite nicely. Don’t ask the last time they were dusted. My other favorite flea market find (for a buck no less) is the tall blue vase. Clear, Blue, Easy…wait wrong commercial, but you know what I mean. Throw a few sticks in there for span, and done-zo! This room is a high traffic room, so remains functional and funky at the same time.

You can do this too, follow the steps and keep it simple. Please reach out to ask questions or share your tips!

With much decorating love,

Wendy Kopp @overandoverct

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