Jazzing it up with junk

Hamilton County native Katie Anderson Olthoff knows that junk isn’t always junk. Sometimes, junk makes great home or garden dcor.

The blogger, decorator and owner of The HomeShed will bring her junk style tips and trends to a program at the Kendall Young Library on Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the lower level meeting room.

Olthoff said during the program she will provide information on how to choose antique and vintage furniture pieces and how to repurpose “junk” items to create unique storage and decorating items at a fraction of the retail cost.

“I’ve always loved old things,” Olthoff said. “When I look around at my house and think about the kinds of accessories I want, I really want things that tell a story or remind me of the way life used to be.”

Olthoff said that those old accessories can add a great deal of character to a home.

“We’ll talk about how to incorporate junk – as we call it – into your dcor in a way that doesn’t look junky and works with a modern home,” she said. “We’ll also talk about where to find items and how to repaint or repurpose them.”

Items like an old toolbox, complete with a little rust for character, can create an attractive planter box. A library card file can fit nicely into the kitchen to hold recipes. Olthoff said in her own home, she has taken a vintage screen door that was on her husband’s grandparent’s farm and turned it into a message board which she uses to display her children’s artwork.

“That’s one of my favorite pieces. When we look at that, it reminds us of our family and heritage, and now we have incorporated our current family with the kids art,” she said.

She’s also filled a cabinet with an eclectic variety of items that she says reminds her of the way life used to be on the farm.

Olthoff, who also works for the Iowa Turkey Federation, owns a The HomeShed where she offers many of her decorating ideas.

“It’s really a barn sale or an occasional sale,” she said. “We’re only open certain weekends. It’s just full of home and garden dcor. Almost all is used; a lot is vintage or antique.”

But the HomeShed also features a lot of repurposed items that have been turned into garden and home decorating items.

The HomeShed is located at Red Granite Farm at 2013 130th St., Boone on Highway E-18. The farm is a produce and perennial farm operated by a friend, Olthoff said.

“We work together to offer everything you would need for your home and garden,” she said.

Olthoff said the next HomeShed sale is June 28 to 30.

“There will be a lot of other occasional sales going on in the area as part of ‘Junkin’ in June: Central Iowa’s Junk Jaunt,'” she said.

Olthoff said she hopes people who attend the program Monday will be inspired to create their own unique looks at home

“I want people to know what to look for and be able to incorporate it into their house in a way that works for their lifestyle,” she said.