1. Make furniture. Obviously, this idea requires some level of handiness on your part--or some level of willingness to call in a favor to a handy friend--but we love many of the furniture pieces we've seen that make use of balusters. Below you'll see a rusty animal trough elevated by old balusters, and a console table and a coffee table, both given character by balusters.
Our store is chock full of old crusty balusters, also known as stair spindles. We've styled most of ours to be candle holders, but we sometimes get questions from customers about other ways to re-use them, too. In this post, you'll find some of our favorite ideas for giving new life to an old baluster.
2. Decorate for Christmas. 'Tis the season, and we found several wonderful ideas for working balusters into your rustic holiday decor: ornaments, a baluster tree, and a baluster wreath.
3. Let there be light. Ah, this has to be our favorite use for a chunky baluster: repurposing it into a lamp--or a pair of lamps. One crafty blogger even made a chandelier from one of her fat balusters.
4. Art. Another idea: Do nothing with that old baluster you bought and love, except display it like art and love it for what it is. In the store we have several balusters and finials mounted on stands, proving that fabulous architectural details can stand alone.
5. Baluster bird house. Get cheeky with your spindles and turn them into something whimsical and wonderful--like an old birdhouse. We've also seen them reused as a towel bar in a bathroom and as a jewelry holder. Let your creativity run wild, and be sure to share your ideas with us. We need more ideas to share with our customers!
Also see our post on 5 Ways to Repurpose a Corbel.
Whether we’re approaching an arrangement—furniture, table, or otherwise—in the shop or in a client’s home, we always err on the side of symmetry. And by “side,” we suppose we mean smack dab in the middle, since being on one side isn’t very symmetrical at all. Surely, you’ve heard of the scientific research that holds that the more symmetrical a human face is the more attractive the general population finds that person. Here's looking at you, Angelina Jolie. The same is generally true for your home, and it applies in so many places—from shrub placement to lamp placement, from pillows to artwork, seating to lighting.
To please your eyes and your guests’ and to make a space feel organized, pay attention to symmetry in all rooms, but in certain spots especially. And maybe it goes without saying, but if every thing was a cookie-cutter mirror image, a space could quickly become a little … creepy. Just like we embrace the imperfections of the human face--that one eyebrow that arches a little higher than the other--it's important not to rob your home of its character. Adjust, rearrange, experiment with scale and proportion, and if a room seems "off," try a little symmetry. Plus, it gives you reason to follow your mom's old adage that if you really like something, you should buy two of it!
Here are five places where symmetry in the home can be most impactful:
1. The front exterior of your house. Even if your home's exterior isn't actually symmetrical, the neatness of symmetry can be alluded to with lights that flank the front entrance or topiaries potted in oversized containers alongside the front door. Shrubs planted along the front of the house or down the front walk can also accomplish this. (Here are some more ideas for creating a traffic-stopping exterior.)
2. In the bedroom. We ordinarily see symmetry in the bedroom in the form of twin bedside tables and twin lamps. But some of the most pleasing examples of sleepy-time symmetry are in rooms that hold a pair of twin beds. Bedrooms are perhaps the best place to keep things nice and even, as a sense of orderliness can lend itself to a better night's sleep.
3. With lighting fixtures. Have an off-center ceiling fan or chandelier and your whole room will feel off kilter. Don't ignore the placement of your lights. If a visit from the electrician isn't in your budget, use a chain and swag hook to rehang a chandelier exactly where you need it to hang.
4. On the console table. An entry table, console table, bar, or banquet is the perfect place to put your home decor balancing act into practice.
5. In front of a mantel. There's something about a fireplace that begs to be a focal point. Of course, sometimes there are clunky design problems to work around--such as, the dreaded corner fireplace--but in general things will look most orderly when centered and divided by the line created by your mantel.
For more home styling tips, view our post on the Bynum Design blog about Easy Ideas for a Beautiful and Interesting Table Top.