8 Unconventional Items That Make Great Home Décor Accents

Updated 09/25/19
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Trinette Reed/Stocksy

Just because you don’t have endless funds to spend on imported area rugs, antique art, or hand-carved coffee tables, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your couture taste or unique decorating ideas. If you’re looking for cool home décor accents that are well-suited to your space and personal style—yet totally affordable—it’s time you started thinking outside of the box.

The truth is, when it comes to your design choices, decorating your home with one-of-a-kind accents doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, some of the very best home accessories aren’t even traditional décor pieces to begin with: They’re repurposed objects that have been totally transformed—which means they won’t break the bank either! When up-cycled with an imaginative eye, any old object can find a new purpose and become the perfect home decor accessory for your space.

Don’t believe us? Just take a look at how these 8 unconventional items have been repurposed to create the perfect home décor accessories:

1. A Junk Store Find

unconventional decor
Roger + Chris

Interior designers Roger Hazard and Chris Stout Hazard of Roger + Chris found a beat-up army machinist’s cabinet at a junk shop and transformed it into a statement piece for one of their design projects. “It was rusty and full of tiny divided compartments when we found it,” they explain. “We selectively removed some of the dividers, cleaned and waxed the metal to prevent it from rusting further, and used it as a display case for a vintage camera collection.”

2. A Wooden Bench

unconventional decor
Kristen Grove

When Kirsten Grove, a designer for We Three Design, couldn't find the right-sized coffee table for her living room, she came up with a clever solution that didn’t cost her a penny. “I used a wooden bench that I had at the end of my bed,” she tells us. “It fills up the space just as well as a large coffee table. And if you need extra seating, it doubles as that, as well!” Talk about a win-win.

3. A Woven Basket

When it comes to woven baskets, the design possibilities are endless. Transform a large basket into a makeshift lampshade for a pendant light or top a sturdy basket with a wood top to make a DIY coffee coffee table. You can also hang an assortment of shallow woven baskets in a cluster on your wall as art, like Hannah from @myfarmhouseaccents did in her master bedroom. “They bring in so much texture, warmth, and character,” she shares on Instagram.

4. A Roll of Cork

Think beyond the classroom and consider all the fun (and totally affordable!) ways you can incorporate cork into your home décor. It makes a super chic, non-slip cabinet liner material, can be used as a stylish table runner or cut into DIY placemats, and works beautifully as low-cost wallpaper, too! You can even refinish your kitchen island with it to add warmth and texture to your space.

5. Bamboo Stakes

Creating an eye-catching headboard doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. Kelly of @bohobotanicalbabe made this gorgeous DIY out of bamboo trellis stakes she bought from Home Depot. To get the look, check out her feed for an easy video how-to on how to recreate this simple project.

6. A Galvanized Tub

Whether it’s a newly purchased item or a rustic flea market find, a galvanized steel tub will add instant industrial flair to your décor. Flip it upside down to use as a plant stand, drill a hole in the center and transform it into a sink, or glue a mirror inside its base and turn it into the perfect conversation piece to hang above your bathroom vanity.

7. Discarded Tree Trimmings

Keep an eye out for sturdy logs and large pieces of cut tree trunk to be discarded on the side of the street because these hunks of real wood offer endless décor opportunities. If you’re willing to do a little heavy lifting, you can transform one into a pretty stool or even chic side table, like this one. “I used Annie Sloan Home Chalk Paint Wax to seal it,” shares the Australian stylist behind @my.styled.home who DIYed this au-natural accent.

8. An Old Bicycle Wheel

For some people, finding affordable wall art you love can feel like a challenge. But the truth is, just about anything can double as stylish, yet cheap, wall art—just take this bicycle wheel for example. Catherine Carton of Dainty Dress Diaries turned an abandoned bicycle wheel into a gorgeous wall art “wreath”, complete with everlasting faux flowers, to hang in her home on a previously blank wall. 

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