Feb 4, 2015

The Johnson County Home + Garden Show is this weekend and we couldn't be more excited! Beyond the hundreds of unique and valuable exhibitors that will fill the Overland Park Convention Center and the must-see features, including garden gnomes that have been decorated by local celebrities that will be auctioned off, the show has an amazing line-up of home and garden celebrities and experts. This includes local business owner, blogger, and media personality, Leanne Lee. Get to know Leanne a little better as she introduces herself and her unparalleled upcycling skills below!

Hi I'm Leanne Lee, Diva of DIY and 2015 Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year, and I'm from right here in Kansas City! I won the title of Marketplace Events Trendsetter of the Year because I have a passion for transforming the world's discarded items into cherished possessions. My approach and ideas are simple - anyone can try them. And the best part is, I am more than happy to share the tools and techniques you need to start upcycling like a pro!

Okay, so I know not everyone out there is sold on the idea of upcycling - taking old products and giving them a new life. But, not only is it the hottest trend in home decor today, it also allows you to customize your style. When you upcycle you mix old with new and create a look you won't find in anyone else's home.

So where do you start? Thrift stores!

Keep an open mind. You will be amazed at what you find when you do. Often items that are donated are brand new. Someone bought a piece of furniture and just didn't know how to make it work for their home. That's a bonus for you because you can make it your own at a fraction of the original cost.

Remember to look past things that can be changed like fabric or paint, and focus on the shape and structure. If those features are there, pick it up and bring it home!

We have all seen the ugly, outdated 70s furniture that is sitting on the floor. It may be dirty and dingy, but look past that. Is the structure of the ottoman in good shape? Is that coffee table sturdy? How about the chairs, is their overall frame in good shape? If so, go ahead and take these pieces home with you. You can recover the ottoman with fabric to match your decor, sand and stain the coffee table, and create new-to-you chairs with paint, sanding, and stain - and don't forget that you can recover the seats!

It's important to remember that everything in the store was donated. Every once in a while you may run across an item that is really priced too high. When this happens, speak with a store manager in a caring manner and ask for a discount. Explain your reasoning behind it and they'll usually be understanding.

For more upcycling tips make sure to come see me at the Johnson County Home + Garden Show this weekend, February 20 - 22, at the Overland Park Convention Center. Don't forget to buy your tickets in advance to get the best deals and avoid box office lines. Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets on Facebook - bring a friend or family member to the show, we can't wait to see you there!

FEBRUARY 20 - 22, 2015