7 Home Hacks That Will Make Your Friends Jealous

Photo: Courtesy Nicola Lemmon for A Pair and a Spare.
There’s a reason certain items are considered home decor basics; these things are useful, functional, and among the building blocks of a liveable (and loveable) abode. But what about a little something we like to call “the new basics” — items that aren’t technically essentials, but have become ubiquitous in many modern-day dwellings? (Think: wine crate storage, leather poufs, Mason jars.)

We’re the first to admit we love a sheepskin rug draped over an office chair just as much as the next person — but when an item becomes so trendy that it’s suddenly everywhere, it can be easy to fall into a trap of predictability. Luckily, this time of year is all about new beginnings. With the official start of fall a little over a week away, we’ve combed the web for the most surprising, delightful updates on decor staples. With a few tweaks, you'll have an apartment that feels fresh, of the moment, and anything but basic.
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Photo: Courtesy Nicola Lemmon for A Pair and a Spare.
Wooden Wine Crates
Wooden crates have become storage go-tos for books, blankets, and miscellaneous home goods. But here, stacked vertically by Geneva Vanderzeil, they find new life as a makeshift — and endlessly customizable — wardrobe.
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Photo: Courtesy Elena Gardin for Facing North With Gracia.
String Lights
Draped over a single nail, a string of white lights goes from cute to contemporary — and, as Elena Gardin shows us here, provides a fresh alternative to a bedside lamp.
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Photo: Courtesy Sarah Sherman Samuel for A Beautiful Mess.
Ikea Dishware
Got an extra Ikea bowl collecting dust in your kitchen cabinet? Drill a hole through the center, insert a pendant light fixture, and screw in a pretty bulb of your choosing to make a modern suspended lamp — Sarah Sherman Samuel shows you how on A Beautiful Mess.
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Photo: Courtesy Bianca Hall for French for Pineapple.
Sheepskin Rugs
In this ingenious DIY, designer Bianca Hall upholsters midcentury side tables with sheepskin, producing what she calls “It Stools” — a nod to the Addams Family’s hair-covered cousin.
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Photo: Courtesy Elise Joseph for Pennyweight.
Butterfly Chairs
Swap the butterfly chairs of your dorm-room days for a sleeker model made with hand-dyed leather. This one, styled by Elise Joseph of Pennyweight, comes from home-goods shop The Citizenry.
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Photo: Courtesy Jesse Chamberlin for Designlovefest.
Moroccan Poufs
Moroccan leather poufs have long made for easy extra seating, but throw a large tray on top — as Bri Emery does on her Los Angeles patio — and voilà: side table in a snap!
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Photo: Courtesy Stephanie Lee for Today’s Creative Life.
Votive Candles Or Mason Jars
In a tutorial for Today’s Creative Life, Stephanie Lee of Make and Tell uses paint and pen to transform simple glass votives and jars into mud-cloth-inspired masterpieces.
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