To maximize the impact of a collection, display all the pieces together in an unusual way. Two dozen apothecary bottles become an eye-catching centerpiece when placed in a rustic tool caddy.
Keep irresistible finds from turning into dust collectors. Just give a must-have item a job to justify its presence. Use teacups to corral paperclips and pushpins in your home office. A row of mini chairs turns a guest bathroom into a playful retreat.
When shopping for used furniture, imagination is key. A dresser with missing drawers might seem like trash, but if it still has shelves, it can be a treasure. Give it a fresh coat of paint and you've got a whimsical bureau for your boudoir.
Instead of buying a generic bin to sort your mail, why not opt for something vintage and unexpected? Go on a hunt at the antique faire for a safety deposit box, a cheese crate or a narrow drawer from an old sewing table. A plastic inbox might do the job, but a card catalog drawer has character.
Second-hand chairs are not only easy to make over, they’re also super cheap. You can pick one up at a rummage sale, church bazaar or garage sale for under $10. Just double-check that it isn't broken and that the seat can be recovered easily. With some stylish fabric and a staple gun, you can have an instant occasional chair or a kooky side table.