Just because something is useful, that doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. I grew up loving to decorate my bedroom, but once I got my own home I suddenly didn’t know how to make it pretty. It’s absolutely still a work-in-progress, but the one thing that’s helped me the most has been learning to make the useful, ordinary, everyday items look beautiful. Functional household items are not in the way of a beautiful home, they are actually a part of it. Discover 17 creative ways to to make useful things look beautiful in your own home, below!
Why It Matters
For some time now, I have loved following along with Andrea from Pine and Prospect Home. In a recent podcast, Andrea joined Lisa from Farmhouse on Boone to talk about home decor, and that entire conversation was so inspiring.
Andrea made a statement that really stuck with me. She said, “I want everything I use to be beautiful and bring joy, whether it’s a spatula or a mixing bowl. So if I leave a mess in the kitchen, it’s still beautiful.”
What an inspirational idea! After following along with Andrea and Lisa for over a year now, I’ve learned to embrace the beauty of ordinary, everyday items in my home. I’ve learned that a dustpan hanging on the wall can look beautiful, and that it can almost look like a decoration. One that belongs there.
I recently thrifted a country picture in a nice frame. It was a photo of mason jars, eggs, flour, and the like. I loved the photo, but when I got it home I couldn’t bring myself to hang it on the wall. After pondering it for days, I realized why.
Because I don’t have to hang a photo of mason jars and eggs to make my home more beautiful. The most authentic beauty would be in having a mason jar with farm-fresh eggs actually sitting on my counter.
That’s real beauty, in the midst of the mundane. It’s finding joy in the way you live in and use your home, and not just in what you hang on the walls.
And, over time, it teaches you to be thankful for even ordinary things. I’m embracing that!
In The Kitchen
Here are several ways to make useful things look beautiful in your kitchen!
Keep your farm-fresh eggs in a cute jar or basket on the countertop.
We purchased eggs from a local farmer’s market, and I couldn’t love them more! They’re so beautiful out on my counter, just waiting to get used. Some of the eggs are speckled, some creamy white, some green, and even a few blue! They make me smile every time I see them, and yet they’re just eggs. I’m so thankful that I’m learning to see the beauty in ordinary things like that now.
I thrifted the jar that I’m using, but this jar is also adorable!
Store your sourdough starter in a clear jar or bowl.
I have switched my sourdough starter jar numerous times. I am always keeping my eyes out for quality glass jars, because I prefer to keep my starter out on the counter on display instead of in the fridge. It’s pleasing and rewarding to see it out!
I couldn’t find my jar online, but this jar is the same size and same brand.
Keep your stand mixer on the countertop to add a pop of color.
I kept my eyes out for a KitchenAid stand mixer for over a year before finding this beauty. It is a vintage machine, but I purchased the white ceramic bowl to go with it. I also use the mixer so much more often now that I don’t have to pull it out of the cabinet every time I want to use it!
Store fruits and vegetables in creative ways.
I like to tuck fresh fruits and vegetables all over my kitchen. It’s very satisfying, and inspires me to want to cook or eat them more! You can store them in a hanging basket or a hanging planter, in cotton mesh grocery bags on over the door hooks, or in a beautiful bowl right on the countertop.
Use your appliances as an opportunity to stand out instead of blending in.
This is a big one to me. Somewhere along the way, we got the idea that stainless steel appliances are somehow prettier or superior to all other colors. If that’s your favorite, then go for it! However, I am so glad that I didn’t go with the flow on the at one, and decided to pick what I actually like. My bright white appliances look beautiful with my white enamel sink and countertops!
We recently found a used microwave that fits into the vintage aesthetic perfectly. I love that I’m using it as a statement piece instead of trying to make it blend in.
I can’t link my microwave because it is no longer made, but this microwave has a similar color scheme!
Keep your most-used utensils in a crock, or even a plant stand!
My crafty idea for storing my kitchen utensils was in a plant stand! This fits right into the decor of my home, and I was able to find a plant stand so much cheaper than a utensil holder. Keeping your utensils on the counter is another way to make your home feel more cozy and lived-in.
I can’t link to my white plant stand, but I love the contrast of the white against the wood utensils like my Danish dough whisk!
Use a wooden dish scrubber so it looks beautiful even when it’s out.
I use this lovely wood dish scrubber for my dishes. It’s not only beautiful, but it’s also the easiest to use and has the most comfortable handle. I purchased this white ceramic bowl to store it in as well.
I also use a variety of pretty dish cloths. They’re all Swedish dish cloths, which are dishwasher safe and machine washable! It makes cleaning the kitchen more enjoyable too.
Disguise your grocery bag storage as a hanging basket of stems.
I used an an over the door wreath hanger to display a basket of faux flowers and stems on the outside of my pantry door. The secret is that this basket is where I store plastic grocery bags to be reused later!
I couldn’t find a link for my exact basket, but this basket that is actually for a bike would be a lovely option.
In The Bathroom
Here are several ways to make useful things look beautiful in your bathroom!
Roll your towels.
Instead of folding my towels, I have started rolling them. It feels like I’m at a luxury hotel every time I go to take a shower! Simply fold the towel into thirds, and then tightly roll it up.
Keep washcloths in a cute basket.
Alongside my rolled towels, I keep my washcloths in a cute basket (thrifted, but similar in size to this basket). This both holds my washcloths neatly in one place, and it keeps my tower of towels from rolling. The other bonus is that I don’t take the time to fold my washcloths anymore. If for no other reason, try this tip for that, ha!
Keep cotton swabs on the countertop.
I like to keep cotton swabs handy. It’s one of the few “decorations” that I keep on my bathroom counter, and yet it’s functional for everyday use. You can find the most adorable containers to keep them in, even vintage ones!
I use these jars for my cotton swabs.
In Your Living Areas
Here are several ways to make useful things look beautiful in your living areas!
Keep your blankets in a basket.
This one has been popular for awhile now, but don’t underestimate how cozy it makes the room feel! I use blankets daily (yes even in the middle of summer!), so keeping them in an easy-to-reach place instead of in a container or chest that has to be opened is a must for me. Plus, it looks inviting for guests to grab one too!
I found my basket at a discount store, but this basket is similar in size and has a unique weave pattern!
Keep your books in plain sight instead of hiding them.
I’ve never really been a reader or book person, but lately I’ve found so much charm in owning physical books on subjects that I care about. I’ve slowly been finding books that have interesting content, and many of them look pretty on my shelf! I’ve even removed a few of the book sleeves (or book jackets) to help them meet a certain color scheme. I have also flipped a few of the books backwards for added interest, or to hide spines that clash with my other books.
The Science of Good Cooking book is possibly my favorite of all time!
Get a pretty tissue box cover.
With intense Tennessee allergies, keeping tissues around the house is a must for me. But that doesn’t mean that the tissues have to look out of place! I instead found nice tissue box covers, and I use those to cover up the crazy box patterns. It makes it feel like the tissues belong there.
I thrifted my tissue box cover, but this tissue cover is very similar!
In Home Maintenance Areas
Here are several ways to make useful things look beautiful in your home maintenance areas and cleaning closets!
Have a decorative but functional shelf, like my plant care shelf.
I thrifted this little shelf, and hung it here on a whim. I typically ponder decorations for long periods of time before putting holes in the wall, but this one was hung the day I thought of it. I’m so glad I did, and I couldn’t be happier with it! It’s one of my favorite decor spots in my house, and yet it’s functional. All of these items can be used to care for my house plants and my outdoor garden as well!
Keep your cleaning products to a minimum.
Because I’ve simplified all of my cleaning products and make them myself, I can control how they look in my cleaning closet. Instead of flashy packaging, I have glass bottles that are clean and organized. Here, you’ll see a jar of my powder laundry detergent, a jar of baking soda, a bottle of distilled white vinegar (label removed of course!), a container of my DIY Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods, my Castile Cleaner Spray, my Homemade Vinegar Cleaning Spray, and my Multi Purpose Cleaning Spray. You’ll also notice that I have a faux plant on the shelf, as well as a plant photo on my laundry room wall. I used to think that my laundry room couldn’t look pretty, because it’s for laundry and cleaning products. Little did I realize that any space in your home can (and deserves) to be beautiful!
Get a pretty dust pan and broom.
I found the most darling dust pan and wood broom at a great price. I didn’t know that having pretty cleaning items could make it fun to clean, but I do have to say that I get a little bit excited every time I have something to sweep off the floor!
I couldn’t find a link to my set or one similar, but I think that this broom set looks just as lovely!