Zero-Waste Home Decor Ideas - Part II: Unconventional Decor

June 21, 2019


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As someone who lives and breathes interiors, I'm always itching to switch up our decor. Unfortunately, it's just not financially or environmentally responsible to buy new stuff on the regular. So, I've come up with other ways to scratch that itch.


In this post, I'll share the best zero-waste, budget-friendly decor ideas from our home!

In case you missed last week's post: Zero-Waste Decor Ideas Part I: Vintage Decor Ideas, click here.


1. Old Books


Old coffee table books are a great source of art. No one'll notice if you rip a page out here or there...


The Art Book ($30.62,



Within these frames are pages from an oversized coffee table book compiling the work of one of my favorite artists, Peter Doig:


I'm not embarrassed about the origin of this 'art' and have kept the bottom image resting on top of the mat board, drawing attention to the fact that it's a page from a book. Does this make me cheap or resourceful? I say both.





Peter Doig ($40.36,


Don't have any art books lying around? No problem. Even old textbooks with interesting visuals will do the trick.


This is a page from an old anatomy text from my med school days:



As are these:




Rohen & Yokochi Color Atlast of Anatomy ($91.80,




Netter Atlas of Human Anatomy ($78.37,



For more on this, check out this post:



2. Old Magazines


Before you purge those old magazines, have a quick flip through to see if there are any frame-worthy images. My favorite mag for this purpose is the Kinfolk series. It's full of stunning, minimalist-friendly images.



 Kinfolk Magazine ($12.91, Amazon.con).




Within the frame on the top shelf is a page from one of my old Kinfolk mags:




The photographed image in the walnut frame within our gallery wall is also from Kinfolk:




3. Kids' Artwork


By displaying the art your kiddos bring home from school, you're making use of something that might otherwise end up landfill.



This is a triple win for your home, the environment and your kid's self-esteem!  Even if your little one's no Picasso, you can display their art in a lower-traffic part of your home, like their bedroom, mudroom, or as a small part of a larger gallery wall.



We have my four-year-old's work up on shelves in his room:


We also have a designated frame within our gallery wall for his rotating works:



 And, a spot on our shelves:



For more on how to decorate with kids' art, check out this post:




4. Old Vacation Souvenirs


There's no better way to achieve a meaningfully curated home than with memorabilia from trips around the world. 



If you have your vacay keepsakes stored away somewhere, why not rummage through to see if there's anything that might look good on your mantle?

We love to pick up decor pieces on our travels. To give this habit a zero-waste spin, we no longer buy conventional souvenirs from our for the sake of buying souvenirs (i.e. no tacky shirts or magnets). But, I always keep an eye out for art and interesting objects from local shops and artisans. 


Some of our favorite pieces were acquired on trips.