Use What You’ve Got

Major Home Makeovers For Minor Bucks

use what youve got

We just love interior decorator Andrea Putman.  Her “Use What You’ve Got” philosophy is so Fab & Fru! She works wonders – just by re-arranging, re-discovering, and re-purposing things you already have! Andrea has a knack for invigorating tired rooms just by repositioning a sofa, framing some old photos, and pulling an interesting vase out of a cabinet.  She is known around town for her ‘one –day redesigns’ of homes and offices.  Give her a few hours, and she’ll fill your space with beauty – without emptying your wallet!

Let’s face it– in this economy, so many of us would like to redecorate but can’t afford to. Andrea knows how your living space can affect your spirits — as luck (and a masters degree) would have it, this designing woman is also a trained psychotherapist!  So, keep that in mind as she shows us how to use what we’ve got in more ways than one!

Curate Your Art Collection!

Maybe you didn’t even know you had an art collection, but chances are you do.  The secret is in how you arrange your pieces.  Walk through your home and make groups of accessories, like your children’s art that is hung randomly, those old black and white family photos that your mom gave you, or even the snow-globes you collected as a kid!  If you group them together, either on the wall or a table, suddenly they become a collection as well as interesting cocktail party fodder!

One of our favorite Fab and Fru tricks is framing inexpensive yet beautiful finds.  A nice frame suddenly makes something that you might otherwise just tack up on a corkboard seem glamorous and substantial!   I came across some interesting images in the $1.00 bin at a used bookstore, framed them and voila – Art!  No one would guess the images in the frames only were a only buck each. You can do the framing yourself, or, if you want to splurge, you can have a professional do it.


Every room has a natural focal point where your eyes tend to land.  Rearrange your furnishings to face that part of the room!  Whether it is a fireplace or large arched window, embrace it by placing the furniture around it in a U shape. Suddenly, your old, dull room seems lively and organized!

Let there be light!

One of the easiest updates for any room is rethinking your lighting.  Swap out a dusty, pleated shade for a fresh modern looking drum shade, and in just a few seconds you have altered the vibe of the room!  Andrea also suggests changing from extra bright overhead lighting to free standing or table lamps to create cozy and inviting pools of light.

As Simple as Symmetry!

To achieve a calm and relaxed space, Andrea loves to create symmetry with pairs of lamps, sofas, pillows, candlesticks, etc.  By promoting balance and cohesion of objects, she says that the mind can make sense of its surroundings and free up that valuable grey matter for whatever challenges lay ahead of you that day!

Clear Out the Clutter!

Less is more, so clear out the clutter!  A tidy house makes your home a more inviting environment for guests while also making it easier for you to clear your head at the end of a long day.

Andrea points out that beauty often lies in the bare bones of a room.  However, if that beauty is hidden under piles of laundry and papers, you’ll never see it!  Look around and clear out that stack of Sunday Times that you haven’t even gotten to yet, the fireplace accessories you never use, and toss the junk mail. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you can actually see your furnishings – and perhaps that fabulous wood floor that you haven’t noticed in ages!

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One Response to “Use What You’ve Got”

  1. [...] doesn’t take much money to turn a house into a home.  Believe me, coming home after a crowded subway ride, to a clutter free, homey environment [...]

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