Melissa Z. Guerra is a South Florida based interior designer and co-founder of NXG Studio

The expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is one I use when describing my interior design perspective. Not only because each client is on a quest to achieve a specific look with their own style, but when searching for the perfect piece–whether it is artwork, an end table or a decorative accessory– I look to antiques and previously used items for inspiration. These pieces may look like trash to one but I see treasure hidden behind blemishes and scratches.

Mixing repurposed and newly purchased items helps to design a completely fresh and personalized space. A great example is to showcase new lighting fixtures that correspond with the theme of your repurposed décor. The right lighting enhances decorative appeal and highlights the essentials to keep the mood and the textures of your decor working together.

The overall goal is to create a beautiful environment that truly reflects the client’s individual style. Some additional tips I have to share are:

  • Repurposing gives you a custom look that cannot be replicated and is uniquely your own.
  • Repurposing is a great way to go green.  Recycle something old into something new!
  • Hit architectural salvage yards, thrift stores, yard sales, etc. Look around your house, attic and garage to see what forgotten treasures could be given new life.
  • Make sure the piece is worth salvaging and in relatively stable condition.
  • Adding new hardware to dressers and cabinets can immediately create a new look.
  • Remember: It is not what a piece looks like, but what it could look like.

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For the bedroom, I used an old door to create this headboard, which serves as a focal point of the room.  I found this piece at a salvage yard, painted it and framed it out with a built-in structure. I shopped for a new light fixture at Capitol Lighting and discovered this outstanding Corbett Lighting pendant.

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For this powder room, I repainted a mirror with a worn finish and added a little color to jazz it up. I chose lighting from Minka Lavery; these sconces set the mood and complete the Asian inspired look. 

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Melissa Z. Guerra, ASID, co-founder of NXG Studio is an innovative designer, who emphasizes listening to clients and understanding their individual preferences to maximize successful results. Guerra attended design school at the University of Georgia. She began her career as an assistant manager at Brunschwig & Fils in Atlanta, while doing freelance design on the side. In 2004, she moved to Palm Beach, Florida to work for a prestigious design firm. After honing her skills, she left to launch RZ Design Group in 2007. In 2010, it made sense for Melissa and Noe Guerra to join forces with NXG Studio, a full service architecture and interior design firm.

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