Cool items you can find in your parent's house

Leigh Leigh
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We may call them old-fashioned and out of touch with trends, but your parents could be sitting on all sorts of gems in their home. 

Hollywood star Orlando Bloom once said that the best way to look stylish on a budget was to try second-hand, bargain hunting and vintage. At your parents' home you don't even need to bargain hunt, you can just fish out the items that they no longer want and transform them into something quite remarkable, adding style to your home without dropping too much money.

You'd be surprised at how far a touch of paint can go and how even the most unlikely of items—such as a ladder—can become the design focal point of your home. 

So next time you're popping in for tea, get your exploration cap on and start hunting for some treasures. That's what parents are there for, after all.

Vintage kitchen accessories

country Kitchen by British Standard by Plain English
British Standard by Plain English

The Original British Standard Kitchen

British Standard by Plain English

Childhood memories are not complete with the kitchen, remembering mom's roast chicken or dad's famous pancakes. Sometimes today's modern and sleek appliances just don't evoke the same sense of nostalgia or classic kitchen style.

The answer? Raid your parents kitchen, and not just for the baked goods.

Retro is back, adding character and trend to any kitchen space no matter how small or how big. Think old school enamel mugs, china tea cups and tea pots, shot glasses from the '70s, aprons from the '20s and those crystal champagne glasses that your parents surely won't be using any time soon.

The kitchen is also the best place to go vintage simply because the accessories are as functional as they are stylish. Another great addition to a kitchen space when you have a limited budget is some fashionable wallpaper.

Check out these tips on How To Make Your Own DIY Fabric Wallpaper.

Vintage map or globe

 Household by Bellerby and Co Globemakers
Bellerby and Co Globemakers

Bellerby & Co Livingstone Globe in Prussian Blue, Handcrafted in London

Bellerby and Co Globemakers

Before GPS devices and Google Maps, people used maps to get around and globes to understand the geography of the world. 

The older a map or globe is, the more vintage it looks, fitting into a living area or office space beautifully. There are also so many different things that you can do with them.

If you can salvage a gorgeous old map, you can get it framed or mounted, creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Depending on the size of your map, you'll need to find a suitable wall on which to hang it. Vintage maps are so popular that many companies and bidding platforms actually sell them so if you do come across one, this is a real gem. Hold on it, it's a valuable design item.

Globes are also classy and stylish and the perfect accessory for a home office or more formal living room. It's better to use a globe that isn't too bright or classroom looking so try to recreate the vintage look if you can. This amazing globe in the photograph, made by Bellerby & Co Globemakers, is the perfect example.

Old drawers

Old drawers can be used in a variety of funky, innovative and trendy ways to add that little bit of texture and style to your home. If your parents have an old chest of drawers that they no longer need, salvage the drawers and get to work.

The first step is to decide what you're going to do with them and where you are going to put them. For starters, drawers make for fantastic shelves by sticking the underneath of the shelf vertically onto the wall. These shelves can be used in the kitchen, bedroom, hallway or any other room in the house and can be utilised for anything from tea cups to picture frames. 

You can also use old drawers as a bed for a little garden, a flower or a plant. Not only does this add an eclectic look and feel to a garden area, but it can be bright and fun too.

Once you've decided on what you are going to do with your drawers, you can go about choosing the paint that you'd like to use. Go for colours that complement the design of your home.

An old chest to turn into a coffee table

Back in the day, before fancy suitcases and smart luggage, parents had a habit of lugging their goods around in large trunks or chests. Photographs were stored in here, winter clothes were stored in here and even books were stored in here. 

After encouraging your parents to invest in a bookshelf and teaching them how to load all of their photographs onto an online cloud, the chest should be free of contents and ready to be turned into the perfect, retro coffee table. Once you've convinced them it should be yours, of course.

The first step is choose what colour you want the coffee table to be. If the old chest is wood, you may appreciate it's colour as well as how its age gives it a bit of character and edge. The other option is to sand the wood down and paint over it. You can white wash it or you can stain it darker. 

You can also white wash it and then paint over it with a colour, depending on the style and colour scheme of your living room.

Old ladder to use as shelving

Ladders are the perfect, trendy piece for any living room, hallway or even bedroom. They also make for fantastic rungs to hang up towels in a bathroom.

If you can get hold of an old ladder, you can do a variety of different things to it to dress it up and make it decor-friendly. First things first is to paint the ladder, according to the room that you are using it in. Neutral colours such as black, beige and white are great but you can also go bright with yellow, blue or green to really add a splash of retro to a space.

The first and most obvious way to use a ladder is to stand it up in a corner or against a wall and use the flat pieces for books, ornaments or accessories. However, you can also do something different and funky if you're really feeling adventurous such as hanging the ladder horizontally from the roof. Once it's secured, you can hang all sorts of pots and pans from it or use it to store baskets, cooler boxes and other larger items.

Another trick is to hang the ladder horizontally on the wall, using it store books or even cutlery and crockery.

The great thing about a ladder is that because of its shape, it can be used for just about anything—from shoes to flower pots to your collection of Harry Potter books.

Old pictures frames to display your artwork or posters

Old picture frames are in huge demand at the moment, adding a nostalgic and edgy look and feel to your most prized artwork or posters. There's no need to spend hundreds of Rand buying these old-school picture frames, however, just ask Mom and Dad to share theirs with you.

Instead of using them for your photographs, however, mix them up and use them for retro art or posters to add a little colour and vintage style to a room. You also don't have to worry about grouping colours too closely. Colour-block instead, using complementary colours to create collages of picture frames or an eclectic mix of picture frames. Use different sizes as well, mixing and matching.

Your parents' home is an opportunity to salvage some incredible decor items so keep your eyes peeled for treasured goods. With a bit of spit and grease, you can end up with a home full of prized possessions that would look at home in an interior design magazine.

What items have you found at your parents’ house for your home? Let us know!
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