Don’t spend another dime to get a fresh new look

Redecorate your home with what you already own!

By Jeanine Hanson

Over the years, we collect the art and accessories that interest and delight us, and these are the very things we want to showcase in our homes. However, as new treasures and gifts continue to find their way to us we often find our homes overwhelmed with all that we have amassed.

If you are feeling like your home is in need of a makeover, don’t toss out what you have and start from scratch. You don’t need to spend good money to purchase new art and accessories hoping to get a fresh new look. Transform your home using what you already own just by following a few interior designer secrets.

Here are a few simple ways to rearrange your art and accessories to make a real impact. See what a difference you can make, without any new investment!

1) Choose a room and remove all of the art and accessories. Clear the walls, the surfaces and the display cabinets. Set your items aside on a large table or on the floor off to one side of the room; this allows you to see the room as a fresh new “canvas.”

2) Evaluate what you have. Single out the items that are special. Edit items that don’t give you pleasure every time you look at them; now is the time to let them go.

3) Group like things together. A collection of similar items – three items can be called a collection – can be showcased together. Be sure they have a unifying element: a collection of photos, pottery pieces together, or wood items with wood.

4) Now look over the room and identify where these special items are best displayed. Hang the art first. For a collection of many photos, consider a photo gallery wall or one surface on which to arrange them all; this is much more effective than displaying them on multiple surfaces. When filling a cabinet, keep like things together: glass items on one shelf and china on another will bring a cohesive look to the overall display. Consider using a few pieces of your collection at any one time and regularly rotate the rest to keep it interesting!

5) Establish a “free zone. “Less can be more. Always leave a place for your eyes to rest. If you have accessories on your coffee table, do not use them on your end tables. If you arrange a collage of photos on one wall, deep the surrounding area art free. These free zones give your collections the prominence they need to make a statement.

One woman had collected vases for many years, displaying and storing them in cupboards and closets throughout her home. Estimating a total collection of about 30 vases, she was surprised to discover she in fact had almost 300! Seeing them grouped together allowed her to choose 30 of her favorites. With these, she created a beautiful arrangement that she could enjoy every day, and she had no trouble letting go of the others.

Artfully display the treasures you already own, using these designer tips, and see the transformation in your home! Even if you are ready for something new, use these tips to evaluate and edit first, and you will find you make wiser purchase decisions.


Jeanine Hanson, owner of The Organizers, has been helping clients clear clutter, redecorate and bring beauty and comfort to every room of their home since 1993. Jeanine holds a B.A. in art from the UW, is a graduate of The Western School of Feng Shui, San Diego, CA, a member of the Interior Redecorators Network (IRN), New York City, and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). She has researched home feng shui across the globe. Jeanine was previously an owner of the Ovens of Brittany restaurants and bakeries for 20 years.

For more feng shui tips check my website Phone 608.441.8795, email

Published in Nature’s Pathways Magazine, August 2014