How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways}

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Hey there!  If you’re coming over from learning all about decorating with cowhide rugs Decorchick! an extra special welcome to you! I am thrilled that you are here! 🙂

I am so happy to share my love of junk with y’all today. Seriously. The old adage is true, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” I love to find junk in the trash {yes, I’m so not above that}, at yard sales, thrift stores and the side of the road. You just never know when you will find a fabulous treasure that you will want to keep around for the rest of your life.

Now, I have to say that while I love junk, I hate clutter. So I often pass junk that I’m tired of along to my friends and family. I keep things that make me *really* happy. This practice keeps my home from looking like hoarders. My family and neighbors greatly appreciate it. Ha!

My style of decorating isn’t like a one-stop shop at Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware. I LOVE those places, but my style is an eclectic mix of old and new, shiny and distressed, smooth and tattered. A proper mix of textures, colors, shapes, sizes and eras makes me tick. I love it! My 5 tips for decorating with junk will inspire you to use what you have and make it work. All junk is different. You won’t likely have the exact same things I have…but the concepts is what we’re after here. 🙂

1. Layer it {from the outside in}.

I am a layer-er through and through. I can’t help myself. It’s just what I do. For the love, don’t just hang a picture above something and move on. Think about how you can layer things from the outside in.

Here are some examples…

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

For the Summer mantel this year, I just used everything that I already had on hand. I layered my Playing Card Specimen Art and a salvaged life preserver ring. I love the fun colors and textures together. The ring by itself wouldn’t stand out as much, so the art behind it helps everything pop. And I like different. I try to do things that I’ve never seen before.

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

This is last year’s Fall mantel where I layered a salvaged antique stove board, with my Peacock and Gold wreath along with various other fall accessories. Instead of everything being flat against the wall, laying out is much more interesting…and pretty.

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

I love the layers in this photo from Christmas. The layered frames, the bunting, the ladder, the sofa, the pillows, the rugs, the ottoman.  Everything is layered from the outside in.  Speaking of layering the rugs, that leads to my next suggestion…

2. Stack it {from the bottom up}.

Don’t just layer your walls from the outside in. Try stacking horizontally! It’s especially fun if you mix some vertical and horizontal lines in the same space.

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

Stack books. You won’t regret it. I found the Childcraft books second hand for 0.25 each. I love how colorful and fun they are. The wood block is a salvaged piece of old trim.

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

In one of my Fall vignettes one year, I stacked an old soda box with a basket of Autumn wonderfulness. The thrifted suitcase makes it extra special. 🙂

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

Here I stacked an old scale with one of my favorite salvaged wood blocks and a metal sphere on that.

Stacking isn’t only fun, it rocks!

3. Collect it.

Do you have a collection of items that look best when they are all together rather than scattered here, there and yon? Well, gather those things up! Collections have a greater visual impact than a piece-meal job.

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

I have a  thing for old yard sticks. My collection has grown a bit since I took this photo of our Drop Space area. Just putting them all together in the old churn is interesting and visually appealing.

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

Not all of the vases are second-hand finds, but you get the idea. Grouping things together looks nice! Don’t feel like you ALWAYS have to group like things together. These are just suggestions. And I break my own suggestions all the time. 😉 Haha!

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

I had to show you this photo again because of the collection of old frames. I’m a sucker for finding old frames at yard sales. They are so versatile!

4. Line it up.

If you do have a collection of items, try lining them up. I’ve lined white vases all in a row and the simple repetition is really pleasing. As some of you know, I love old books. They are some of my favorite things to either stack or line up. Here are a few examples…

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

Old books are beautiful. Line them up with the spine of the book away from you for a wonderful variant of textures! And of course, salvaged Scrabble tiles make everything more happy! And see those lovely layers peeking through? Old shutters and a picture frame. Ahhh!

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

More Childcraft books…this time they are lined up rather than stacked. 🙂

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

And here’s a combination of the two concepts…lined up and stacked together. It’s like a delightful marriage of opposites attracting each other. 🙂

5. Stick flowers in it!

I love fresh flowers, so I’m always on the lookout for interesting junk that I can make into a vase. Below are two of my favorites…

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

This vase is an old light fixture globe from my Granddaddy’s bathroom that we recently remodeled. I love the detailed glass and the combination of frosted and clear glass. You can’t find a vase like that anywhere!

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

Tulips in an old minnow bucket seriously makes my pulse quicken. The metal patina is just stunning. Don’t underestimate the power of sticking flowers in any old container you can find. You might just fall in love with it!

If you are feeling stuck in your decorating, or maybe you’re struggling trying to find your style, let me encourage you to start thinking outside the box. Start by implementing my 5 ways to decorate with junk and make your home yours with your own things that make YOU happy.

How to Decorate With Junk {5 Ways} |

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The How-To Decorating Series is the perfect place to get inspired! Next up, my friend Kim over at Sand & Sisal is teaching us How to Decorate Coastal ~ without going all “Margaritaville”! Be sure to check out the full line-up at Home Stories A t0 Z!

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Do you enjoy decorating with salvaged items? Do you layer? If not, you totally should give it a try!!




  1. I absolutely love your style and it is so much like mine. We must be kindred spirits. You do it so beautifully and artistically. Lately, it seems I’ve lost some of my mojo but hopefully this will help to get it back. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Myra,
    I love your post for today! Thanks for sharing all of the great ideas and inspiration… makes me want to go through my “junk” and see what I can use, or head out to the nearest thrift store! =) I always love your ideas…..

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