Editors' Blog

Green Living editors dish on the latest trends and happenings in sustainability.

I spend a lot of time drooling over what I call "decorating porn": beautiful photographs of other people's enviously put-together homes. Lately, I can't stop looking at Design*Sponge, a blog based out of Brooklyn, with its sumptuous galleries of designers' homes and DIY projects. I'm particularly drawn to the "Before & After" section. As the name suggests, this section features photos of home renos and makeovers. It also includes amazing transformations of furniture purchased at flea markets or found on the curb. With some new fabric, a hideous floral armchair dragged home from the dump becomes a cool and cozy place to curl up and read. A coat of paint, and a beat-up old table gets a second life in someone's breakfast nook. It never fails to amaze and inspire me.

Traditionally, I've favoured brand-spanking-new furniture over thrift store finds, but a recent trip to the Leslieville area of Toronto changed all that for good. This neighborhood is brimming with antique stores, and while browsing I saw many beautiful pieces of decently-priced old furniture. I'm pretty confident my next coffee table or hallway bench will come from one of these stores, and I can't wait to infuse my home with the character and charm of a vintage piece.

I'm starting to change the way I feel about purchasing new things in general. I've wanted a new iPod for a long time, as my first-generation, five-year-old model is badly scratched. But it works, and there's no reason to get rid of it. So I've decided I won't replace it until it kicks the bucket for good. Scratches or no scratches, it still plays tunes, and there's no point wasting money.

What are your thoughts? Are you more likely to purchase something new or repurpose something old? Are you guilty of buying things you don't really need? Answer in the comments!

-Amanda Factor, Editorial Intern