Thinking Outside the Box When Decorating Your Home

I think I could take a thousand pictures of decorative items in my home that have been found outdoors, that I made myself or purchased at second-hand or antique stores. The piece of driftwood that sits upon my mantle with a giant whale vertebra at the hearth or the paper flower that is hung above my bed. All unique items that you don’t see in every home. It was hard to decide which items to show you today as I have so many favorites, but alas I have narrowed it down to 20 pictures…haha. Okay, maybe 7.

The first is my driftwood wall. This wall has it all; a painting from the Nanaimo Art Gallery, a sign from a second-hand store and pieces of driftwood found at local beaches. This display will continue to grow and evolve as I add items and I love that!

creating a feature wall with driftwood, old vintage signs and art

The next items are in my sons room. One picture is of a large sign I found in someone’s yard and offered to buy on the spot and the other is of a minion wall decal. Little creepy for me, but my son loves it. This sign is large and takes up one wall in his room. Huge impact in a small room.

Large sign used in home decor for boys roomminion wall decal with quitar for boys room






I found an old hook and pulley at a second-hand store and just knew I could put it to use someplace. And as luck would have it, I won a vintage clothes line from the Salvation Army Thrift Shop Auction and “BAM” there u have it!  An outdoor lantern/chandelier holder. The nice thing is you can move your lantern or chandelier up or down depending on your needs. Highly functional and beautiful to boot.

outdoor lantern chandelier holder with pulley and vintage clothes linevintage clothes line used with a chandelier/lantern pulley







A treasure I brought home from China was a drawer front from an antique dresser. This was the inspiration for a wood bowl that I painted red and distressed, a couple old stools, a Buddha statue from Cambodia and some Chinese shoes with little red straps.

drawer front from antique chinese dresser used as wall decorationvintage chinese stools, Buddha staute and chinese slippers







My mother and father-in-law came home from a trip down south where they visited a cotton plantation and they brought back a piece of cotton picked right off the plant. Kids thought it was cool, but mom thought it was super-duper cool. I put the cotton in a shadow box with some nice paper and then grouped it with a hand whittled fork and spoon and a primitive butter spoon.

raw cotton in shadow box with vintage butter spoon and wooden fork and spoon

The last picture I chose was taken in my living room. It is a couple of old steamer trunks stacked so they can be used as a side table, an antique vinegar bottle, a pair of wooden shoe forms and a charcoal nude done by local artist Gerda Hofman.

old steamer trunks stacked with vintage vinegar bottle, wooden shoe forms and charcoal nudeLook for inspiration everywhere. You may surprise yourself on the home you create and how it can be uniquely….you.


  1. Love all your ideas Colleen and can see you transforming my place. Think I have some hidden treasures you may like I will save anything you like for when your trip is over.

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