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Use old items in your home

By Waverly Atkinson

Not sure how to repurpose that old bike in the front yard? Houzz have got you covered.

Stumbling upon an out-of-the-ordinary light fixture, artwork or household item when you visit someone’s home for the first time can stop you in your tracks and make your mouth drop open in delight, so why not strive for the same reaction at your house? As these ideas will reveal, repurposed items of all kinds can become talking points in a home – and be useful additions.

Boat sails
Stringing up purpose-made shade sails has become a popular and relatively inexpensive way of sheltering outdoor areas from the sun, but what about using an actual sail instead? A sail is hardy, comes with readymade holes to affix fastenings, and is sure to draw people outdoors.

Blueprints and city plans
In the same vein as world maps, but slightly more obscure (and therefore artistic), are blueprints and city maps. Frame the blueprints of your house for history’s sake, or put your favourite city or town plan on display. This dining room features a vintage New York map for the homeowners to reminisce about the times they spent there.

Old typewriters
This one has been put to use as a way for guests to write a note to the bride and groom at a wedding, but it could also become your guest register if you’re running an Airbnb out of your home or studio, or a way to leave love letters for your other half.

Teapots
Teapots aren’t the oft-used household items they used to be but secondhand teapots from days gone by have a charm all their own. Op-shops often have mismatched cups, saucers and teapots that can be put to good use as small-scale pot plants for a window sill or outdoor table.

Game boards
Who needs fine art when there are antique stores to trawl through for treasures? An old game board hung on the wall creates a one-of-a-kind artwork with a sense of history – who knows how many furrowed brows have leaned over this chessboard in a quest for victory.

Bicycles
Old bikes need not be put out on the curb when they can be transformed into a functional bit of fun for your garden. A lick of violet paint – on the tires and all – keeps rust at bay here, and the baskets are the perfect spot for a pot plant or two.

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