The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 11 February 2018

The World Within our Walls. Using what you have.

When we want to refresh or change things around there is really nothing like a good clean to make everything just seem better.  And I love a change around.  It makes a big difference and has that effect of a major spring clean!
Very often we can make things that little bit nicer without spending anything... like a "shop your wardrobe" session we might be able to refresh a piece of furniture or re use something in a new way.  Have you noticed very often our most beautiful things are away in a cupboard somewhere?  Sometimes putting things into use,  displaying them or re using them somehow is a great way to make things look lovely.

Instant improvements in my house seem to include throwing a fresh tablecloth onto the table, adding something nice in the middle as a table setting...
-putting a little vase of flowers in the bathroom,
-freshening up the hall table as it is kind of the first thing anyone sees...
-the same for the area around the front door.... I treat this like part of indoors so that it looks clean and fresh.
Another disaster zone the looks better instantly with a re arrange is my lounge room coffee table.

Bigger projects are a coat of paint which can transform things incredibly.  I just saw someone with pantry shelves that looked like marble.  It was contact paper!  Oh my goodness it looked so nice!

Jane provided todays pictures! 
She made over her chair and foot stool. 
This is so Jane!  She loves bright colours and loves patchwork. 
This is perfect for her home. 
If I walked into someones home and saw this I know I am going to really like them! 

In the school holidays we used to often have a bedroom re arranging day.  This would be an excuse to have a complete clean out and at the end the girls would feel that they had a "new room" but most of the time it was just a re use and refresh and things looked so different in new places.   It was so much fun.  I was always amazed what a difference a day like this could make!  You can have a big impact just using what you have!

I recently joined a pantry and organising Facebook group.  Often someone will post a picture of a room in the morning (very often a pantry) and then how it looks by the end of the day.  These are great!  A day of cleaning, organising and putting it all back... what a difference a day makes!   These all make me want to pick a target and get going!
So often we have things that can be put to good use in a make over like this.
An old ladder can come in to store your blankets or towels...
Baskets might fill the bottom of your pantry for veggies or paper products.
Look at everything from another angle and see if it can be handy somehow!

Really mundane things like cardboard boxes can become stylish pantry organisers.   Or formula tins or big coffee jars!   Take a look at this pantry where much of the storage is just old cardboard boxes...
The Most frugal Way to Organise your Pantry.  Very inspiring!

The other day Jane was recovering the cushions on her outdoor setting.
How pretty does this look!?

So much can be done just using what we have!  Making something over is very satisfying!  You end up with something unique rather than mass produced too!

Jane's very comfy but worn out sewing chair...

And now! Just lovely!

I am on a mission to use what I have and organise my craft cupboard and craft room.  It is a bomb right now.  Hopefully I will also find things that I can be putting to good use in other ways and make some gifts for the cupboard as well.  

What have you are used, made over,  revitalised in your home?
Do you have anything that needs a facelift or something that you KNOW COULD be useful but you are just now sure how?

Truly so many things can be charming and lovely yet they are in the back of a cupboard somewhere.  Giving them new life is better than shopping!   If we get busy on this I am going to have a "Show and Tell" for our home makeovers.... it could be your re arranged pantry,  or any re used, fixed up item!  I think this could be so interesting! 

Have a wonderful week!  It is much better here with lower temperatures! Yay! xxx


  1. Goodmorning, another great post. My sister visited me on the weekend. I am very lucky because she loves organising, she helped me rearrange my pantry and kitchen cupboards which was satisfying and very needed because I recently moved and kind of dumped/shoved things away as I wanted the moving boxes gone. It looks so good and is more functional. Mmm onto the laundry next. Have a great day. Clare.

  2. Oh my goodness - Jane's patchwork chair!!! It is fabulous! Lovely furniture makeovers Jane :)

    I love a good rearrange too Annabel, I have been slowly working my way through our house doing this in each cupboard. We've been here a year now, so I am now very aware of which parts of the house work well and which don't. A swap of cupboards in our bedroom has meant we have moved out a large chest of drawers, and it is so nice to have some extra room! It works so much better than the previous arrangement.

    I recently went through all of my craft supplies, and was actually a bit horrified. I have loads, and even though it is well organised now, it doesn't change the fact that I have more than I am comfortable with. Particularly because I don't buy things randomly, everything was bought with a project in mind. So as well as having too many supplies, I also have a head brimming with ideas that I haven't actually followed through with! I wrote everything down as I went, including patterns I want to use. I have some projects planned, and would like to be able to store all of my supplies in one plastic container that fits under my bed by the end of the year. At the moment I have two full, plus a shelf in my cupboard overflowing!! I hope your craft room sort out is smoother!!

    Have a lovely week everyone :)

    Jen in NZ

  3. Hi Annabel and a lovely post I loved the pantry makeover link you put it and all items at such a low cost to make the pantry look beautiful.

    Likewise I have used old tissue boxes that have the top cut out for drawers which hold our wallets, purses, keys and small knick-knacks such as screws and hooks in the kitchen buffet unit. Likewise you could use these for small packets of pasta and sauces, herbs and many others. I also make use of cardboard boxes to hold my spices and dehydrated items in a cupboard in the kitchen which keeps them all together. I have not covered them yet but agree it would look very pretty like that.

    The makeovers I have done in the house are to make curtains from a doona cover, tablecloths in various fabrics for the kitchen table, and a couple of runners for our entertainment unit which I change over when one gets dusty or dirty.

    We also have disaster areas in the home that need reorganising which are the bathroom linen cupboard and the dressing room where we have our second pantry as well as medical supplies. Might start the bathroom linen cupboard and see what we can organise in there to compact and organise to look nice.


  4. Dear Annabel,
    This is such a good topic. I love a refresh and to have things organized, functional, and pretty!
    As you know the most recent project was turning the upstairs loft into my sewing/craft area. This was a big project but really just involved setting up shelves (after removing the old ones and saving them for other projects) and getting things organized. What I didn't show you are the cupboards upstairs that are crammed full of other supplies that have yet to be organized, things like baskets and tins that I have saved to use for gift packaging, gifts that haven't yet been given, and things that can be made over into potential gifts. So this is an area that needs work.
    We have also been working on the yard. This is just cleaning things up, hauling things to the dump, and removing all of the rocks. Some of the rocks will be used to build steps off of the back patio and flower beds. So that is using what we already have. Really the yard has just been transformed already and we don't even have grass yet!
    A smaller little refresh happened Saturday when we moved my secretary out of our bedroom (which still has our living room furniture in it from our old house due to lack of space) to the upstairs. There is a small corner up there that is awkward and basically useless but I have made it pretty and functional. I pulled my old pictures out of storage to hang and now I have my own pretty little letter writing nook. I will get pictures of that to you, I am so pleased with it. It is one of those things that I just keep going to look at and admire :)
    Also in the topic of using what we have, Colton built me a brick patio in an area that was previously overgrown, also an awkward space. It had a small garden pond in it that basically attracted snakes and was a breeding ground for mosquitos. Now I just have to pretty up the patio with potted plants, maybe a window box and a cover for the utility meters. If I get that done, I'll send photos of that too.
    Well done to Jane for making things pretty using what she had. Her makeovers turned out so well and everything looks good as new and so cheerful. I can't wait to see what the others will have to show! Have a good week, everyone!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      I loved your sewing area and I think we should have a subject about creating some of these lovely work spaces for ourselves... this could be either a desk or sewing table or whatever it is we need. This makes life much better!
      The garden sounds like it is really coming on. I am glad you can use the rocks too... I thought that i.e. a fence or some kind of landscaping. Steps is a great way to use them!
      Your place is coming along in leaps and bounds, you must be really happy and it must be feeling much more like home.
      I cant wait to see your writing nook! I need one of these desperately. I am on an organising blitz and I can see I just need a desk. So maybe I will follow you in this thank you!
      I am sure you will get the patio looking good! Maybe there are some containers on the ranch or decor you could use... like an old trough can be a planter or an old wheel can be decor... even old garden tools mounted on the wall can look so nice! And some flowers of course! I cant wait to see! Thank you Kelsey! With love

  5. I remember about 15 years ago when Dave came home early in the afternoon from work and told me that he was put on “unassigned” status at work because his job had been eliminated. They would keep paying him for 60 days while he looked for another job within the company but if he couldn’t find one, he would be let go. At that time, although our 4 oldest children were married and out on their own, we still had 7 of our children plus 4 young single adults- 2 from Columbia, 1 from South Korea and 1 young man who needed a stable and safe home! I was in a panic! 13 of us and Dave had never left one job unless he had another one already in place!
    I realized that my feelings of fear and despair would only leave if I focused on what I could have control of and that were blessings in my life.
    We had a huge overstuffed Davenport that while structurally sound was getting threadbare. I knew I needed to make it beautiful without spending any money. I had several yards of several different corduroy fabrics- none of them enough (14 yards ) to recover the whole couch! So the two arms were a dark brown corduroy, the back was a red pinwale corduroy, the seat cushions were blue corduroy and the back was black corduroy. I even had enough left over to recover 2 large throw pillows in a black floral corduroy! Bright and unorthodox? Yes. But in it’s own way it looked symmetrical and balanced. My whole feeling of well being changed and became positive just because this project. I had been able to beautify my home even though I had no money to do it! I felt a sense of peace. Within 3 weeks, Dave had secured a new job within the company, but we didn’t replace that old Davenport for years because every time we looked at it, we smiled and it reminded us that no matter what our circumstances , we can do things for free or little cost to make our surroundings nicer! And that is so empowering and hopeful!!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, I love this story! It is a little bit like the "coat of many colours" or it makes me think of that. I would keep it as it is too.
      It also makes me thing of that saying to do what we can with what we have where we are.... if we do that things are just much much better.
      Another thing is when things are worrying it is better to be busy and DOING as it helps with the worry. I always find this! I am so glad things turned out ok at the end! Thank you for sharing this! With much love Annabelxxx

  6. Short and sweet today, post staging my mother in law's house yesterday and still really tired today.

    Using what I have to dress up our homes when we have been going to sell has been something that I have always done.

    It makes a home more inviting and photogenic and if done right brings the buyers in.

    Hopefully this will be the case with my mother in law's house.

    The price for someone to stage a house for sale ranges from $50- to $150- an hour and then if you need to hire furniture you have that cost on top as well.

    I did have to buy a few things to complete some of the rooms but the total cost for everything purchased would be no more than $100-.

    I used what I could that was at the house, that is after telling a brother in law that everything had to stay so that I could dress the house.

    He did remove some things without consultation and of course I was totally unimpressed.

    Anyway to cut a long story short - Pictures off the wall are now in use at my mother in law's house, the linen cupboard got hit really hard and a few trinkets and a couple of books made their way to the house.

    My husband was impressed with how it all came together, he has a couple of minor things to do Friday morning when he goes down to meet the real estate agent but they will only enhance what has already been done.

    Just hope the annoying brother in law can leave things as they are.

    We have boxes of items that we removed from the house to be gone through - most will go to the op shop.

    I am not in too much of a hurry to sort through the linen cupboard at the moment - indications are that the house will sell fairly quickly.

    Might be time to work my way through the bookcase that I use as part of my pantry. My friend has given me lots of coffee jars to use.

    Have a great week everyone

    It is supposed to be hot in Qld this week.


  7. Jane lovely re furnishing work. My fave is the outdoor setting, just gorgeous work there.
    Annabel, you are very right about having good things in the cupboards not being used and that being a waste. I use all my china and linen and use it just for mundane everyday use. After all when I'm gone, I can't enjoy it and use it.
    I too have had a huge sort out of my fabric stash. I too have lots and most bought for a specific thing. But what I have got is loads of ideas and thoughts and I will get through them.
    Have a great week, Fi xx

  8. Oh my, I love the chair and ottoman! Beautiful.
    I have been doing the same thing this winter. After the holidays I changed things up and moved things around - and it just looks so much fresher. It didn't cost a cent!
    Great advice

  9. You have me wondering about what I do have tucked away that I could be using.

  10. Great illustrations, especially the office chair. Reusing what we have in new ways is a great way to freshen things up. It's been cold and icy all weekend. Today is warmer and makes me long for spring and all the feathering that brings.
    Be blessed,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  11. Jane- Your work is just lovely and comfy looking both!
    Annabel- I agree simple touches can really freshen things and make things look neater, cozier and more inviting. For years I covered the old furniture with quilts or chenille blankets because it was just so worn out. A pretty ribbon or a rug or a pretty ruffle of some kind all make a home.

  12. Dear Annabel,

    This is a great post. We recently rearranged our living room to accommodate a piano, and folks who come to our house ask if we just got new chairs? (We've had them for 10 years and in that very same room!!) :) I know our house needs a good spring clean and rearranging is a great way to motivate a cleaning! I love Jane's makeovers of her furniture, especially the patchwork chair! I hope to implement this idea over the next few weeks!

    xx Jen in NS

  13. Lovely re purposing. I really like all of these projects. Deep cleaning while re arranging is a wonderful way to use what you have and feel like you have something new!

  14. Great post! Yes rearranging makes things seem new. We are still working on storage at this house. It was built in 1962 and the closets are tiny. So far we are using baskets big and small. Decorated boxes with lids and an old dresser as a side board. A few small shelf's in the bathroom. We also have a free standing closet that looks like an A frame. It does not look cohesive yet but it will come together. Jane Good job on using what you had. This is a reminder we don't have to go to the store to change things up. I like to look at things that are meant for one thing and imagine how else can I use this?
    Much love,
    Patti from San Diego

  15. Hi Annabel,
    The idea of reusing what we have means old favourites can live to see another day. Whatever there original purpose was does not matter they can still be enjoyed and useful.
    When Autum arrives I plan to seperate some of my hostas to fill some gaps in my side garden. These were seperated from some in my brothers garden that he shared with me. The gift that keeps on giving.


  16. Love this post! I've been rearranging rooms since I was 5 yrs. old.
    Thank you for sharing your photos, Jane. Love your patchwork chair and stool. I'm all about color. :)



I really appreciate your comments thank you! The aim of my blog is the be a place of encouragement and happiness. Very rarely is anyone rude. Actually only twice so far! If you post a rude or aggressive comment I will read it but not publish it, thanks for

Spam is never published... if you are advertising a product or selling website your comment wont be published. I am inundated with stuff about drugs, horses and weird things! I am not going to publish this stuff! Thank you.