Decorating Challenge: Find Ways to Repurpose Your Furnishings

I have a budget-friendly decorating challenge for you to do this weekend. It is not difficult. In fact, you may enjoy doing it since it doesn’t have any calories, won’t cost you a dime and you can do it without the need to leave your house to complete it.

Best of all, doing this challenge may help you to use something already in your home in a different way. It will offer a fresh appeal to your surroundings that you never previously considered.

I took the challenge myself and could not be happier with my results.

So what is the decorating challenge you can do this weekend?

center kitchen island on wheels.

The challenge didn’t start off as a challenge for me. In fact, it came to me as a surprise that all started when I needed a handy place to store an air fryer that was too big to keep on my kitchen counter.

I added this metal rolling cart and turned it into a kitchen island last spring. It has become the most used surface in the kitchen.

When I got an air fryer a few months ago, I stored it on the open bottom shelf of the rolling island. It fit fine, but it made the cart look cluttered.

I had to come up with an idea to hide it and figured I would have to go to HomeGoods to see if I could find a storage basket of some sort that would fit on the rolling cart. But HomeGoods is closed like so many other stores are now, so my need would have to wait.

how to hang wallpaper on one wall only as an accent wall

After thinking about wanting to get out shopping to find a basket to fit the rolling cart, I went to my bedroom for an unrelated reason. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a basket that I use to hold pillows when they are not being used on the bed.

The basket is usually empty and I don’t give it much thought…. until that second when I decided to look at it in a different light and ask myself…

“What if? I am always looking for ways to repurpose items in my house. Here is one that I never considered before. What if I try to use the basket in a new and better way for my needs. It looks like it could fit on the rolling island. What a win if it did!

Movable metal rolling island in a small white kitchen.

As you can see, it did fit… like it was meant to be. Not only with the rolling cart, but it also goes with the color of the kitchen floor and chairs around my kitchen table.

Movable metal rolling island in a small white kitchen.

Why didn’t I ever see the potential for this basket before? The reason – because once we put something in a room, we tend to only see it for that one room or use.

Large grey Kubu style storage basket on rolling kitchen island.

The basket is such a perfect fit for the cart and slides right out when I need to reach in to remove the air fryer.

Metal rolling kitchen island with large rattan basket on bottom shelf.

Here’s my decorating challenge for you this weekend, even if you don’t have a specific need to fill. Much like finding a basket for a kitchen cart, is to really open your eyes and look at every item in every room of your house. Consider using one or even a few of them in different ways in different rooms.

It could be as simple as hanging artwork in another room. Perhaps you could use a side table in your living room as a night table in your bedroom or switch the lampshades on every lamp you own with other lamps to see how they look.

You never know until you try. If you don’t like the item in the new place, you can simply put it back. But don’t decide right away as your eye might not be used to seeing something different.

After a few hours, you may find the new placement is much better, after you take the time to really see.

So this weekend, when you get tired of making yeast-less bread, putting 1000-piece puzzles together and other homebound activities, try taking the challenge to see what new decorating potential you can find in your home.

Baskets You May Like…

I find most of the baskets I use around my house at HomeGoods and thrift stores, but since they are all closed now I searched for a few baskets that I would like to have in my house to use in one way or another.

The beauty of baskets is that they can be used in many ways. Big baskets can be turned upside down to create a side table. Smaller baskets can be stacked for smart storage.

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  1. Hi Diane,

    I love your blog and I love finding things in my home to re-purpose! I too got an air fryer for Christmas. My favorite thing to cook in it is bacon! It’s the best! I always put aluminum foil below the top basket to help with clean up.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Paula – I haven’t tried bacon in the air fryer yet. Will try it tomorrow for Sunday breakfast. I have to experiment with it more.

  2. Linda Johnston says:

    amazing what we can find in our homes with fresh eyes!

  3. Love this! I actually have been moving a few pictures around…spending time shopping my house. One thing good that has come out of this horrible pandemic is that I shop less. I am enjoying the books I own…from decorating to cookbooks. Magazines too … especially my specialty ones produced by Hoffman Media. ? Do you like your air fryer? Its just the two of us with my boys being out of state. Wondering if worth it. Stay safe!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi June – Funny you asked about how I like using the air fryer. At the end of my post, I was going to ask readers for tips as I have not had success with it. I bought the air fryer back in the fall thinking it was going to help me use less oil when cooking items as well as getting a crunchy crust and moist inside on veggies and meats. I am not sure it is worth it. I know many love it. I think it all has to do with how you like your food cooked (oven baked-no oil or a deep fried – more oil taste) or maybe it could be the air fryer I bought. Maybe another brand cooks better. Not sure.

      I will keep trying, but so far it requires more oil than I would ever add to my veggies and is more work, as you have to watch the air fryer and keep shaking to make sure every piece gets evenly cooked. Maybe I need to experiment more, but I have been following recipes and so far I am not sold on using it.

      1. Thanks for the great review. I just am so hesitant to have another gadget.

  4. Brilliant, I’m always looking for clever storage and it must look good and be easy to use… it’s even better if it’s a repurposed piece from my home! Well done!

  5. I’m remembering the round basket you put wheels on to use in the workout room of your previous home….

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Erin – I still have that and it is still being used to hold my workout gear – mat and weights.

  6. What a perfect fit and looks beautiful!

  7. I am inspired so thank you! I was just dusting and happy that my clutter seems to be decreasing but I have a hoard of blankets with no home until….. I spotted a steamer trunk that my parents had all through my childhood. It’s tucked into a corner in my bonus room and now it’s time for this beauty to have a new home and be filled with blankets and maybe a cushion to have a cute bench seat. The search will continue! Love, love, love your blog! I have chalk painted two side tables and feel my creativity coming out.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rachel – Isn’t it fun when you see something that you pass everyday in a new way… it is like a lightbulb going on moment. Putting the trunk to use for storing the blankets sounds perfect. Adding a cushion on top will really add interest and even more function to it. Enjoy

  8. I can’t help but ask, where do you put your pillows in your bedroom now? I know “shopping your own home” is a popular concept, but I’m curious as to what people do with the inevitable “holes” that it leaves especially now that shopping for a replacement is not an option.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Margo – Good question. When we first moved to the house, I had a few throw pillows on the bed. I no longer have these pillows to the relief of my husband. :-) so the need for the basket wasn’t there anymore. I do have four large King size pillows with shams. When these come off the bed, I line them up against the wall. When they go back on the bed, the area where the basket was is empty, but I kind of like it. Gives the room more breathing space.

  9. It fits perfectly and looks great! What a win ?. I’ll see what I can try around my house ?

  10. What are the chances the basket would fit so well on your rolling cart? How long did you have the 2 items b/4 you put them together.? I love it when things are in your home and at a point in time they find each other…..

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Melanie – Good question. :-) I bought the basket 4 years ago when we first moved to the house. I bought the AirFryer in the fall.

  11. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your site. Definitely one of my favorites. Living in the same area as you, I loved knowing how to clean off the dreaded mold and mildew that accumulates no matter what we do. One of the problems of living in this beautiful state. Please keep giving us your great ideas. Your home and outdoor space is lovely. Just looking at pictures of that beautiful lake always makes me relax a a little.

    Thanks, Diane

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Brenda – Thank you – so nice to hear that my blog is a favorite. :-) I am enjoying the spring weather. The pollen is mostly gone so I can open the windows and let the fresh air in, although the past week with the storms and tornados, it has been a little scary. Have you seen any in your area of the state?

  12. Omg I love that basket, it’s perfect there! Love the added touch it brings to your kitchen & is lovely with everything.

  13. Diane,

    Really an ingenious idea for an air fryer; however, my kitchen is not big enough for a cart. I do have an air fryer and had to put it on my buffet in the dining room. I get a lot of ribbing about where it is located like they are going to hang garland around it and put a star on top of it for Christmas. (we have to have a laugh or two nowadays).

  14. This rolling cart/island is something I would LOVE to do in my kitchen. When we replaced my antique square tiger wood table with a beautiful new dining table and chairs, I had to decide what to do with my beloved antique: Scratch the island idea and use the table in my kitchen.But I thought the same thing as you did, that items on the cart would look cluttered, and get really dusty too, with all the foot traffic. That basket is amazing and how awesome that it matches so perfectly! And the air fryer on my counter gets such a workout that I would hate to have to be moving it back and forth. Between my air fryer and Instant Pot….whatever did I do before them! Haha, thanks for a great idea, Diane, and a nice challenge too.

  15. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Wow it was meant to be! How perfect for the rolling cart. I love finding things in my home to use in a different way.