Repurposed Home Improvement

Upcycling and repurposing are still growing in popularity thanks to HGTV, and Nashville is definitely not immune to this trend. Many people are interested in the idea of repurposing a cheap thrift store find and creating a dream home but have no idea where to start. Upcycling junk and turning it into your very own treasure isn’t hard, but it does take time. Here is how to get started.

Planning Required

Repurposing is a great way to save money but it is not a great way to save time. However, for many people spending time together working on a project and exercising their creativity is absolutely time well spent. Planning is the key to this. Planning and setting clear goals out ahead of time. If you walk into a thrift store or flea market and just pick up some used furniture or home decorations without any idea of what to do with them, they are going to be right back at that thrift store six months later. Preferably it is a good idea to go in, knowing generally what you are looking for. Do you need a nightstand? Are you looking for some lighting or wall decorations? Are you trying to create more storage? These are the kind of goals that will aid you in your planning process.

The other side of the coin is knowing what your actual style is. If someone were to ask you what your home’s theme currently is, how would you answer? Would you say that it is rustic or crafty? Colorful or modern, or natural? To be completely honest, most repurposing projects (especially for those who are newer) look rustic or shabby chic. This isn’t a knock on those styles, but it takes a bit more practice to make a 30 year old dresser look like a modern nightstand.

Maybe you are looking at repurposing old furniture for purely utilitarian purposes such as adding usb ports to a stand to put in your workshop. It doesn’t have to look good, it just has to charge things while you’re out working. That’s fine too and it also plays a part in what you can work with.

The Most Popular Projects


Some of the most popular projects are creating new tables. Of course taking old tables and recreating them into something unique or that fit your theme is common, but many people take other types of furniture such as dressers or storage and strip them down to act as all kinds of tables. Check out these great examples!


Speaking of storage, adding shelves, dressers, stands, crates, and more is one of the best ways to not only add to your home aesthetics but also create space to store all of your seasonal gear. Nashville has all four seasons which means our closets are full of winter coats, swimming suits, sweaters, and tank tops. Who couldn’t use some extra storage space?


Lighting is one of the best ways to take your home from drab to inviting. Thanks to LED lights there are endless ways to create lighting that fits your home. So whether you are looking for something space age with voice controlled color changing lights or you want a classic look with some LED edison bulbs, there is an opportunity for you.

5 simple upcycles to turn outdated frames into chic home decor – link to how-to in our profile! #chalkboard #upcycle

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Accent Pieces

Having an accent piece or color in your room is an easy way to make a boring room seem really put together. However this definitely works best if you are intentional and good at planning out what your goals are. If you just start tossing accent pieces on the wall, sooner or later your home is going to start resembling the flea market that you bought everything from. But with some effort and thinking things through, you can make your home look like something from a magazine.


Indoor plants are a great way to improve the air quality, deodorize your home, and generally make it feel more inviting. And few upcycling projects are easier than creating planters. The hard part will be convincing your spouse that a coffee pot with a fern growing out of it is cool.

For more inspiring ideas, head over to one of the ThriftSmart locations and see what is available. The best times for furniture are right after college students move out of their dorms so check out Lipscomb, Belmont, and Vanderbilt for info regarding that. But anytime is great to come and start planning your next great project. And if you have a few good pictures, why not share them with ThriftSmart on instagram or facebook, your home could be someone else’s next inspiration!

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