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Sourcing the garden centre for home decor


August 14, 2009
By By Connie Oliver The Canadian Press

Aug. 14, 2009 – A new story from the Canadian Press highlights why a garden centre can be a great source for home decor items.

While I'm not a huge gardening nut, I do visit a few garden centres over the summer months. On a recent excursion, I made mental note of all of the interior decorating options that garden centres have to offer. I'm not talking about the obvious items they carry, like decorative birdhouses or suncatchers, but rather other items one might not consider when decorating inside the home.

My mind works in mysterious ways when I see items that others might pass over for use in the decor. Sometimes my creative side takes over and this opens the door to many unique decorating ideas.

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In order for the naysayers out there to come along for this unusual decor ride, they must also have an open and creative outlook. Once you get the hang of this practice you will see things in a new light, which will open up decorating possibilities.

Garden centres are just one of the out-of-the-way places that one might find awesome decor solutions. I've mentioned other places in past columns like auto-body supply shops, Scholar's Choice (teaching supplies) and plumbing supply stores, which have unusual decor options. Since garden centres are gearing down for the season, now's the time to get some deals on seasonal items.

Here are a few of the ideas I had while walking the store of just one garden centre.

Urns and bird baths

Decorative urns that are meant to hold an outdoor plant can be used to create unique occasional tables. The concrete or plaster finish is rough and textural, which will give the table base character. You'd have to purchase (or have made) a circular glass tabletop that would sit on the urn. Ensure the base is heavy enough to hold the glass and that the glass is suitable for tabletop use with smooth, rounded edges.

Some outdoor bird baths may be used in the same fashion to create a taller table that might be used as a small breakfast table in a sunroom or kitchen. I can see tables like these in a solarium, foyer or even as nightstands in the bedroom depending upon their height. For safety sake, you might have to adhere the glass to the base to ensure it's secure. Your glass supplier may have the solution for you in this case. You may opt to leave the glass out of the equation
altogether and use wood or other product for a tabletop. Be creative!

Decorative garden columns, which are usually made out of a lighter product, can stand alone in the home as a decorative feature. Shorter columns (one to 1.5 metres) might hold sculptural
artwork or two shorter ones can be topped with glass and used as a coffee table.

Lighting

The decorative obelisks found at a garden centre can be fashioned into distinctive floor lamps. Simply wrap the obelisk in a heavy, decorative paper (like hand-made paper, which has texture) or fabric leaving an opening at the top for heat to escape. Set a small accent lamp with a low wattage bulb inside the obelisk on the floor. The light from the small lamp will make the entire obelisk glow, creating lovely mood lighting. Be sure the bulb of the lamp is well away from the paper/fabric and that there is a sufficient opening for the heat to escape.

A decorative obelisk may also stand alone as a decorative element in a corner of the room, at the top of a stairway or what have you. You might enhance it by winding silk vines or bead through it. In the kitchen, a wire obelisk can hold small pots or utensils simply by hanging them off of the obelisk with S hooks.

Wooden trellises can be found in many styles and sizes. They can be used to create anything from a headboard to wall art. A plain interior slab door can be made into something special simply by adhering a decorative wooden trellis to it and painting the entire project in one colour. Wire or wooden trellises can be fashioned into unique headboards or suspended from the ceiling as a decorative element or even as a pot rack. A plain square wooden trellis can be fashioned into a Shoji screen simply by attaching two or three panels using hinges and covering the panels with rice paper. The screen can be used to divide a space, as a headboard or to hide a
corner computer work area.

Willow and bamboo

Willow fencing and other decorative items can be used as headboards or simply as decorative elements. A tall bunch of willow sprigs set in a simple vase give the room height and texture and support that casual, earthy bedroom decor. Willow or bamboo can be used as a walkover or to create a Tiki-style bar in a rec room. It can also be used for a privacy screen on a balcony.

There are so many creative ways to enhance your decor. You don't always have to shop at the usual decor stores. Look at other options when you're out and about. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination and creativity allow.


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