Decorating with Found Objects

Many of us love to go thrifting or antiquing for the thrill of the hunt.  You have no idea what you might uncover.  Instead of looking for something in particular, you can let yourself be drawn to shapes, shades of color or unusual graphics of objects, even if you don't know what on earth you'd do with them!  Sometimes these items have a way of evolving into a collection and then it's even more fun to go hunting.  For our "Found" theme this month, we'd like to share a few ways in which we display our found treasures, incorporating them into our decorating projects throughout our homes.

I'm a sucker for a salon style wall.  When you hang many things close together, you're looking at how the combination comes together as a whole, rather than focusing on a single piece of art.  My collection of vintage paint-by-numbers wouldn't make much of a statement if they were scattered around the house.  But put all together, I've got a colorful, kitschy composition for my guest room.  I've also incorporated a few other pieces to keep the composition from feeling too restricted by the collection.  (Check out our post on how to make a similar silhouette using your favorite books).  

Sometimes collections are more than just decorative objects.  I've been finding and collecting old tins since my father started putting little trinkets in them.  He would present them to me as treasure boxes when I was little and now he does that for his grandchildren.  When they aren't holding mementos, they are the perfect containers for small bouquets.  It's a nice little surprise when you see flowers tucked into a shelf or bookcase where you wouldn't expect them.  Similar to the paint-by-numbers above, amassing a collection of tins is a great way to show off the colors, graphics and typography that make these objects so appealing.  

Finally, an example of how we sometimes incorporate a single found object into a vignette we've already created.  Karen had made several terrariums for her table last Thanksgiving and they're still growing beautifully.  She had them set up near her entryway along with a few other favorite items.  Several weeks ago, we were out antiquing and she found this dusty, strange looking object behind some other old stuff on the floor of the shop.  We had no idea what it was but of course, that's irrelevant.  (Turns out it's an old version of a projector.  The postcard or slide would be lit and projected on a wall.  The two chimneys would allow heat to escape).  Karen loved the shape, material and size of the piece and made a home for it amongst her terrariums.  It's one of those things that you can't explain, but it makes you ridiculously happy.  (If you're Karen.)  If you're me, you're jealous that you didn't find it first.