Home. Once upon a time this was a place where I occasionally slept and sorted my mail…a pit stop in the midst of my insane travel schedule.  Now “home” is basecamp for my everything; work, sleep, binge watching Ozark, working out, Zoom calls (which most likely include margaritas) and everything in between. Since I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, I’m embracing all of it. But, also…thinking about how we can pay more attention to the space where we’re spending most (if not all) of our time. 


I don’t know about you, but I’ve tackled, organized, moved around and cleaned every nook and cranny in my house. Boredom, perhaps? Or, maybe we’ve just been so rushed there hasn’t been time to slow down and focus on how we live.  I’ve been reunited (and it feels so good) with items that fell off my radar and am giving them a new appreciation (like my old throw pillows that are about to make a comeback really soon). This got me thinking about a show I did for HGTV called, “FreeStyle”, where I helped homeowners de-clutter, reorganize, rearrange furniture and accessories to give a dramatic new look without digging deep into their wallets.  


What if we turned our boredom into genius and did our own in-home episodes of “FreeStyle”?  Who’s with me? ????


Let’s take a fresh approach to forgotten relics hidden in your closets, garages and basements.  For items you look at every day…let’s figure out whether they’re elevating your vibe or crushing it.  I can’t think of a better time to share creative ways to re-imagine the decor you already have and give your space a renewed sense of style without spending much (or anything) at all!



Shop Your Home. 

Get in some retail therapy by hitting up your own in-home boutique where everything is free and there’s an endless return policy.  Give those accessories, artwork and furniture a second glance.  Think about how they make you feel and what purpose they serve; function, aesthetics, sentimental value, etc. Ask yourself if they still work in that space or if they’d make more sense in another location.  Look in the tucked away spots of your home for items that may inspire new personal meaning since the last time you saw them.  Shake things up. Rearrange. Change your perspective. Keep only what makes you happy and let go of what no longer serves you. For zero dollars and a little time, using items you already have will invigorate you and your living space. 

Take items out of context by putting them all in one place (like you’d see at a store) then trying them out in a new spot.


Beauty in Numbers.

If the deep dive into your “boutique” has turned up an array of randomness, try to categorize what you have; e.i. wall art in one section, accessories/photo frames in another. Make those unintended collections work for you. For example, spray paint several mis-matched chairs all the same color and use them in your dining room for eclectic, all-original, new seating. I love this idea because it’s fun, unexpected and practically free.

Speaking of things that look cool, are similar but don’t necessarily match, an assortment of shallow rattan storage baskets or hats from your closet could be grouped together and hung on an empty wall. I’m a sucker for anything that does double-duty; in this case…storage and art! Be creative and hang (using hooks or heavy-duty velcro) an assortment of copper pans, dishes or mugs on a bare wall.  If your staple gun game is strong, use old place mats to create a headboard or some new textural wall art. A collection tells a story. It adds warmth and texture in a way that reads curated, not cookie-cutter. What will your collection say about you?




Upcycle & Repurpose.

Let your creative juices flow and turn things into other things! On one of my HGTV episodes we did a Spanish-inspired kitchen makeover. The homeowner was at a loss for how to incorporate her grandmother’s well-loved (well-worn) sideboard with an attached hutch.  My designer mind immediately saw potential.  We nixed the top hutch and painted the base to create a unique, one-of-a-kind kitchen island. The existing drawers were already storage perfection and we added a butcher block countertop for utility, warmth and texture. Our client was able to keep and use her family heirloom as a functional part of her everyday life.  Plus it now serves a better purpose overall. Day made. 


Upcycling and repurposing doesn’t have to be this complicated. Dig out those throw blankets hidden in the linen closet or family room. Would they work better in your bedroom? What if you take the leaning mirror from your bedroom, change its orientation horizontally by mounting it on the wall in your dining room or entryway for a completely new look?  Design is in the details so if you take the time to pay attention to what you already have, you’ll end up with all kinds of revived treasures.


Here she is…the island formerly known as “sideboard” in this Spanish-style kitchen renovation.


Get Back to Nature

My fur baby, Flynn, is more couch potato than adventure seeker, but we’re still heading out for a few long walks every day.  I’m grateful for the kind of mental clarity that only fresh air and nature can bring. While you’re out, snag some fresh greens, springtime flowers or even beautiful branches and tree bark.  Weaving those earthy, natural elements into your home decor is an effective way to help reduce stress, improve your mood and even remove toxins from the air. So, grab a vase, maybe some twine to create a bundle or perhaps fill a decorative bowl and use what your mama (nature) gave you.


Flynn wondering how much longer we have to walk.


My goal is always to help you create a comfortable, happy home that evokes all kinds of positive energy, but I’m motivated even more so nowadays. Take good care of yourselves, others and your surroundings.


If you know someone who’d enjoy this blog, please share it below! Message your ideas for future blog posts to me @taniyanayak.  I’m listening and always inspired by you.