Decorating with Found Objects: Adding Character to Your Living Space

While it’s tempting to head to the nearest furniture store and pick out the latest trendy pieces when decorating, there’s something special about using found objects. It’s an artful way to create a living space that’s stylish and rich with character and history. Learn all about decorating with found objects and infusing your home with a sense of identity that can’t be bought off a showroom floor.

The Allure of Found Objects

Found objects are items you stumble upon in thrift shops, antique stores, flea markets, or even on the street. These unique items often come with a history and a story, making them unique and interesting additions to your home. The beauty of decorating with found objects is their ability to evoke nostalgia and curiosity while complementing your existing décor.

Decorating with these objects can create a unique and interesting atmosphere in your home. Each piece has a history and story of its own, which adds depth and personality to your home. For instance, you might find a vintage typewriter that once belonged to a writer who typed their greatest work on it. Placing it in your living room adds a touch of literary history to your space, making it a conversation starter and a source of inspiration.

How to Decorate with Found Objects

While the idea of decorating with found objects is appealing, you must strike the right balance to prevent your space from looking cluttered or disjointed. Here are some tips to help you seamlessly incorporate these treasures into your home.

Start with a Theme

When selecting your theme, consider the overall atmosphere you want to create in your space. This will help you identify which found objects best complement your desired aesthetic. For instance, a rustic theme might include natural elements like wood and stone, while a bohemian style could incorporate colorful textiles and eclectic accessories. 

As you explore flea markets, antique shops, or even your local surroundings, keep an eye out for unique items that resonate with your theme. Consider repurposing or upcycling items to fit your theme, which not only adds a personal touch but is also environmentally friendly.

Mix and Match

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles and eras. Combining a mid-century modern chair with an antique coffee table can create a captivating contrast that adds depth to your décor. Mixing styles can lead to unique and visually appealing interiors.

Curate with Care

Be selective when choosing objects. Not everything you come across will fit your theme or style, so choose items that resonate with you and enhance your overall design. Quality over quantity is key to a cohesive look.

Create Groupings

Display your found objects in curated groupings. This can help you tell a more cohesive story and prevent your space from feeling cluttered. For example, place a collection of vintage cameras on a shelf for an eye-catching display. Grouping objects together can create visual interest and draw attention to specific areas of your room.

Use Found Objects as Functional Pieces

Repurpose vintage ladders into charming bookshelves or use old wooden doors as rustic tabletops. Galvanized buckets can be transformed into quirky planters, and discarded window frames can become eye-catching photo displays. These functional objects add a unique touch to your decor and help in creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable home.

Consider DIY Projects

If you feel creative and are good with DIY projects, this is a great opportunity for you. A vintage door can become a beautiful dining table, or old windows can be transformed into unique photo frames. DIY projects allow you to personalize your found objects and make them truly your own.

Ideas for Decorating with Found Objects

Now that you have some tips in your decorating toolkit let’s explore some exciting ideas to help you get started decorating your living space with found objects.

Vintage Suitcases as Storage

Old suitcases with character can make fantastic storage solutions. Stack them in a corner to create a charming bedside table, or use them to store extra blankets in your living room. The worn leather and vintage labels will add a touch of nostalgia to your space. This practical use of found objects adds style and functionality to your home.

Pro Tip: A piece of advice we got from Lippincott Van Lines movers is that one of the ways you can find old suitcases or objects left behind is by contacting your local storage or moving company. They might have just what you need, as some customers tend to leave unwanted things behind.

Antique Maps and Globes

Maps and globes tell tales of travel and adventures. Hang an antique map or place a vintage globe on a bookshelf to ignite your travel bug. These items not only look beautiful but also inspire a sense of exploration. Antique maps and globes can add a sense of curiosity to your décor.

Salvaged Architectural Elements

Reclaimed architectural pieces, such as salvaged doors, windows, or wrought iron railings, can bring a sense of history and grandeur to your home. Install them as decorative features or use them in DIY projects to create a unique focal point.

Vintage Textiles

Add warmth and texture to your space with vintage textiles. Throw a colorful, handwoven rug over your sofa or drape a vintage quilt on your bed. These textiles can infuse your home with a cozy, welcoming vibe. Vintage textiles provide comfort and are a great way to introduce colors and patterns that enhance your overall design.

Industrial Lighting

Industrial-style pendant lights or vintage desk lamps can add an element of nostalgia and functionality to your space. They work well in modern and rustic settings alike, adding a touch of character and illumination. Vintage lighting fixtures can be unique focal points in your rooms and create ambient lighting with a vintage flair.

Start Decorating with Found Objects and Add Character to Your Home

Decorating with found objects is a captivating way to fill your living space with personality and charm. Carefully selecting and thoughtfully arranging these treasures will help you create a home that tells a unique story—one that reflects your tastes, interests, and history. So, the next time you’re on the hunt for home décor, consider venturing beyond the aisles of big-box stores. Explore thrift shops, flea markets, and antique stores. With found objects, your home will become a living gallery and a testament to your one-of-a-kind style.

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