The things that surround you in your home should inspire, describe, and have importance to you. I'm all about going to the store to buy something to decorate your home, but honestly if you put time into it to make it your own, its deeper meaning can make it a focal point in your home and not just another trinket.
My dad made my headboard out of a Potterybarn teen magazine over a decade ago when we first moved into our home. I was seven at the time and had my heart set on living on a ranch as a cowgirl. The picket fence headboard accompanied my collection of Breyer horses, my Madeline cowgirl doll that rode a horse, and my sketches of horses that were plastered on my walls. Now that I'm past my cowgirl-phase, my mantle now shelves the antique Vogue prints my grandma gave me that are dated from 1913-1919. These prints that I already treasure will have even more meaning once my grandma passes.
I'll never forget the day I bought this fan in a thrift store in the middle of nowhere. My friends and I had all just graduated from high school together only weeks before and were having our "day-cation" near Heber Springs. Each of us were gathering things for our dorm and decided we all wanted to buy an object we each could own and think of each other while we were away from Arkansas to Texas to Chicago. We decided antique fans were a unique item to have and refurbish. Mine was just a silver color with some rust on it before. I chose to spray paint it a teal color after taking the safety trim off and removing the blades from the base. I did three coats and then rubbed it with sandpaper to add a shabby-chic look.
You can't see it well in the picture, but a step ladder I bought from the same thrift store makes for a great side table for my bed as well. On its steps, I have other items set on it. During my freshman year I used this ladder as a drying rack for my towels in my dorm.
If you're looking for a great way to elevate a piece you want to emphasize in your room, books are the answer. I tied an orange ribbon around these books under my fan for some extra cuteness! Below are a couple other examples of how to use books to elevate items and add to your space.
There's something to be said about books pulling a room together. They add character and are another meaningful item on your shelf. These items are something you've invested the money into buying and (sometimes) have taken time to read. Books are a small part of you. Make sure you make them a part of your room decor too!
There are no limits to how many books you can stack or boundaries for how to stack them. Turning and staggering them different ways are one of my favorite ways to decorate. If you have some empty spaces on your shelves and it looks like you're just missing "something", add a book or two and your problem will be resolved. Here's a tip, the thicker the book the better! You can see a couple of old classics that my grandma gave to me dated back to 1801.
You'll see the keys hanging on a string behind the lamp in the picture. I love to keeps things minimal, but one thing fun to keep is a "junk box" full of trinkets like key chains, buttons, and strings that turn up here and there. I'll be posting a craft at some point this summer where you'll be able to use all those trinkets to make something unique and special. This was only a five minute craft, but stringing up a few little items on a ribbon for your magnet strip, wall, or bulletin board is a cute touch.
IIn the next image, you'll see that these orange magnet strips from The Container Store are very functional for hanging this and that. I use to hang my artwork on them, but after over a year of being with my boyfriend, Austin, he's earned his place on my wall. The magnet strips come in all different colors with different lengths and includes super-strong mini magnets that hold a lot of weight.