What Is In Your Capsule for Home Decor?

The title of this post sounds a little like the credit card commercial with Jennifer Garner when she says… “What’s in your wallet?”

At this time of year, we may be saying “nothing” after overspending during the holidays.  I titled this post, What Is In Your Capsule for Home Decor? because it is the time of year when the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations are back in storage and our normal decor can seem a little barren to our eyes.

We want our decor to have a fresh feel just like we want a fresh start with new resolutions in the other areas of our life.  It is too early to decorate for spring, so what is someone who is passionate about decorating do?

Capsule Home decor items that work for Winter decorating. Decorating items that are fast and easy and budget friendly.

The first thought may be to run out to our favorite decor store and spend money to buy something new to add new life into our winter decor.

This can be a fun excursion, but if you are like me, you don’t want to spend any money on mid-winter decorating that can end up being bought on a whim just to fill a space until spring rolls around.

I want to remind you of a way you can get both – new winter decor at no expense.

When I was putting my Christmas ornaments away, I looked at my stash of decorative accessories that I keep on shelves in the attic and realized, I have a collection of “Capsule Home Decor”.

White hydrangeas on a stack of white books on a table in front of a wall of mirrors.
Thrift store books make perfect risers for decorative accessories.

Use What You Have Decorating” is my favorite way to decorate, but it’s little cousin… Capsule Decorating is a runner-up. 

What is Capsule Decorating?

Capsule decorating is the same concept as a “Capsule Wardrobe” where you compile a collection of a few essential wardrobe items that go with everything and can be used seasonally or year round.

Streamlining your wardrobe eliminates the need for a closet full of clothes that take up space or that you never wear. 

Your capsule pieces become your go-to items that you wear over and over again and that are chosen for quality over quantity as well as their ability to mix and coordinate with each other.

As I move forward in life I have found I like this capsule concept for all facets of my life, even to paring down all my kitchen cooking gadgets.

I am also reminded of something my mother always preached, which was to never decorate unless you love what you are adding to a room.

If you just buy something to fill a space, you will just end up wasting your time and money.  Wait until you find something you truly love and that is where a collection comes into play when decorating your a home.

Instead of buying something just to have something new to freshen my home for the new year. I want to find ways to simply add a tweak to an item I already own that will send my eye to a new focal point in a room or I can move items from one room to another to give them a new purpose.

I also like to re-arrange the furniture every once in a while. Using my capsule decorating items allows me to take a room from boring to looking fresh and new in no time without spending any money.

Diy winter decorating ideas on a budget using the capsule concept.

So that is what I did to decorate after the holidays. I chose some of my favorite white pitchers and arranged them on my mantel with candles and wood slices.

I call my decorating style, White & Woodsy and this mantel fits right in.

What’s In My Capsule Decorating Collection?

Decorating-a-bathroom-with-blue-and-white using glass canisters

Glass canisters that I buy at thrift stores in many different shapes and sizes to hold bathroom items…

Decorating with glass canisters as a part of a Capsule for Home Decor

…or goodies for my guests in a guest room…

Glass canister decorating ideas

…or goodies on the kitchen counter.

Decorating with trays and ideas

Trays… As you scroll through the photos of my capsule decorating items, you may notice something similar in the photos.

There is a tray of some sort in almost all of these photos. I like trays, they are workhorses and can be used in so many ways besides serving food.

I tweaked this one with decorative clock paper and paint that I bought at a thrift store, but have many others types and sizes that I use all around the house.

I use one to corral my collection of candles on my coffee table and a small rectangular white ceramic one to place toiletries on in my bathroom. Trays make it easy to corral small things which create focus and impact instead of clutter.

White kitchen shelves with white dishes

White ceramics – pitchers, platters, cake stand and dishes. They fill my open kitchen shelves, but I can move any one of the items to any room when needed.

Organizing behind the scenes

I have them hidden in kitchen cabinets also.

soap dish that has many decorative uses

For instance, a small white pedestal dish can serve up delicious dip at a party or become a soap holder on my bathroom counter.  It could also become a place to hold jewelry on my bedroom dresser.

Capsule Decorating vase to use for home decor

A white pitcher becomes a vase. A classic idea that works all year long.

No need to buy a novelty or trendy vase just for a holiday or a special event. Using capsule decor items does the job just a well and at the same time helps you keep your home and closets from being cluttered.


Anything that pulls at my heartstrings is also part of my capsule decorating items. I can always find a place for this brass turtle that was in the living room of my parents house my entire life.

It has now become a staple in my house. I may use it to hold matches by the fireplace in the winter, but in the summer it can accent a stack of books.

cylindrical-glass-vases are part of capsule concept of home decor

Glass canister vases –  I have quite a few of these and use them to hold candles, flowers, and a collections of matchbooks, seashells , ornaments and more. I recently showed you how I tweaked a chipped one in my post about decorating for New Year’s Eve.

I painted one which is permanent, but for a temporary re-fresh, I have been know to wrap them in paper or fabric to give them fresh new looks.

Ways-to-use-baskets-in-home-decorating using the capsule concept

You can see a theme in my capsule items… white, vases, flowers, trays… but I also like baskets, big chunky candles, and throw blankets that you have seen me use over and over again all around my house.

So, if you are feeling that your rooms need a tweak, think about what items you already own that make up our Capsule Decor.

Round them up and try to look at each item with new eyes to come up with new and creative ways to use them to add some of your own style to your home’s decor.

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  1. Giulia | YourMurano says:

    Great article! I absolutely love those glass canisters! I also really like your jar!

  2. Simran Ahuja says:

    A remarkable way of using items that you cant imagine!! All of them are so unique. That jar, that tortoise and even those glass vases. You cant think of what purpose things can be used. Really a versatile and informative blog. Thanks, dear for sharing such useful tricks

  3. Corey Snapp says:

    Beautiful decorating love all the little pieces.

  4. Your ideas made me smile! Much needed in the month of January, when the weather is cold and dreary! I love to shop at thrift stores too! It’s so much fun to find things to recycle,repaint, and also find treasures for my family and friends! Thank you for inspiring me! I enjoyed your post very much!

  5. Rachel Smith says:

    Smart and effective ideas to spruce up a house in the winters. Those white pitchers with leafy plants would look elegant in any sitting room. I also liked those glass canister vases. White as a colour is fast being replaced with bolder hues by the millennials today, simply because of the high maintenance aspect. But if one can handle that, the colour can bring peace and tranquility inside the home.

  6. Mobilya Modelleri says:

    Thanks for your very good idea

  7. Hi Diane! Hope you’re staying warm! I’ve done this for years and never really thought of it until now. I have plastic tubs marked with “seasonal decor”(ie January-March) and then tubs marked “general decor” (capsule items). Every time we switch things up seasonally we also pull out the general decor tubs to round out our decor! My general decor includes things like brass candle holders, picture frames, pinecones, etc. Thanks for sharing your capsule items with us!

  8. I like your capsule decor items! At this time of year, I like to decorate with citrus since we used to live Arizona and this is citrus season there! I also listen to classic country music because I always feel melancholy in January and think of my grandma, who loved this genre and who has since passed on.

  9. Katy Beacher says:

    Thank you. Looking through your post made me realize how many capsule items I have and didn’t realize until now.

  10. I like it. Really amazing. Thanks

  11. Norma Rolader says:

    I love all your grate and wonderful ideas and thank you for sharing with us

  12. Elisabeth says:

    Such a logical and great idea, Diane. I use my white tureens as vases for my Hydrangeas when they’re in flower. They’re perfect, as the flowers are so top heavy they don’t work so well in taller vases.

    Every time I see your lovely kitchen, I marvel at that bench top! I’ll probably change our bench top for a manufactured stone marble-look one this year. But I just had a thought! It’d be cheaper to just fly you out to Australia so you could convert my existing one to ‘marble’ with paint and your skill! Ha ha ha. You’d get a free holiday and I’d get a wonderful bench top like yours! :)
    Kind regards,

  13. Anxious to see your pantry! Maybe it will inspire me to do revamp mine (once I’m out from under my own warm blanket!).

  14. I have some of the same things too…just never called them design capsules…clever name! They are little pick me ups, for a sometimes dreary time of year. I’m in love with your brass turtle…it’s the perfect touch to a room. Stay warm! ;)

  15. Lynn T Wells says:

    Thank you for your creative inspiration!

  16. I love this post also, Diane, do you ever sleep, all of the ideas you gather would keep me up all night. Always find so much I can use. It is really cold here in the south and I don’t do cold.
    Thank you so much for introducing me to Thirty-One Gifts.

  17. Many wonderful ideas! I like how versatile the white ceramics are. It really got me thinking. And how special is the brass turtle from your parents house!

  18. Your ideas are so smart and always a great way to have a beautiful home without spending a ton of money.

    I have many of the same things in my ‘capsule decor’ and am thinking of getting rid of several things that I thought I’d use but no longer “work” or make me happy. Why let them take up space and never get used, right? ;-) Somebody will get some fun & pretty items when I donate them to thrift stores. Note: most of my decor accessories come from thrift stores too….so I figure it’s a nice way to go: Get it there, use it, fall out of love with it, donate it back. It’s a win-win. :-)

    Happy New Year Diane!

  19. A great reminder that I also have decorating capsules. Some are packed away and some I use every day. It’s time to do some refreshing – putting away the often used and bringing back some that have been forgotten. I’m a pitcher collector and have them in all sizes for various uses. Also, several of my copper pieces (teapots, bowls, platters, etc) can be used in any room for an instant mellow shine.
    Thanks again for your post. Now I’ve got to dig into boxes at the back of my storage closet. Happy New Year.

  20. Some great ideas! You have me thinking of how I can incorporate some of them in my home.

  21. Love his. I’ll need to take a good look at what I have to see what’s in my capsule; I’ve not thought about it that way. It may make paring down and organizing (that January curse) a more pleasurable and meaningful experience. That may not have been your intention but thank you.

  22. Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    I love this post—I didn’t know it but I too have a capsule wardrobe in my home!! Great ideas!! Happy New Year!!