5 Surprising New Uses For Everyday Objects

In her new book Remodelista, Julie Carlson, Editor in Chief of the design and remodeling site of the same name, offers us a manual "for the considered home," with tours of enviable abodes, a user's guide to kitchens and bathrooms, and design ideas for would-be remodelers. One of our favorite features is Carlson's genius home hacks or "new uses for familiar things." See a few of our favorites below. _header1
1 If you live in an older home, you may have encountered a missing door knob here or there. If so, take note of this tried-and-true trick: "slip a piece of grosgrain ribbon through the door plate and anchor it with a silver bell." Offray Single Face Satin Ribbon, $4, Joann
2 Never settle. If you want a workspace where you can spread your paperwork out, and perhaps work alongside a family member, follow Carlson's advice. "Dining tables make excellent desks -- and not only in executive suites." Tarendo Table, $39, Ikea
3 Medicine cabinets never seem to have enough storage for all the beauty and skincare products we wind up with. If you've reached your limit, a vintage first aid box could be the answer to your storage prayers. Available in a range of sizes and colors and designed to be hung on a wall, Carlson calls these affordable vintage finds "ideal bathroom cabinets." Vintage First Aid Red Cross Metal Box, $30, Etsy
5 Bar carts may be all the rage, but we love the idea of this slimmer, temperature-controlled alternative, which is designed for on-the-go mixology. As Carlson's friend Catherine Dann puts it: "I can roll around the cart and make drinks, serve hors d'oeuvres, and grab cold bottles, and never leave my guests." Airline Food & Beverage Trolley, $401, Ebay
6 Some of us keep little more at our bedside than our smartphones and a glass of water (or wine). If you're a minimalist when it comes to bedtime necessities, skip the hefty nightstand and "simplify the setup with a small shelf." A piece of wood, a pair of L brackets, and screws are all you'll need to build it. Queen Anne's Lace Bracket, $32, Anthropologie
Copy of Cover_Remodelista Want to learn more innovative uses for familiar things? Pick up a copy of Remodelista by Julie Carlson, $22.
Check out more inventive solutions for your home on our Pinterest board. Photographs: Courtesy of Remodelista